If you’re like me (and 31% of Americans according to a recent Marist Poll), you may have made a resolution to get in better shape or exercise this year. Sadly only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually admit to achieving their goal.

I’ve never been a runner, but my husband is, and I know it’s a great way to get in shape. There are so many options for running these days including fun runs, charity runs, obstacle courses, and even runs where you stop to eat or drink along the way! Participating in social running activities is a great way to hold yourself accountable while getting exercise in. Unfortunately the entry fees for these races can get rather pricey, and I’m not looking to spend a lot of money to get in shape (especially for an activity that is free!).

There are a few ways to save money on race entry fees so that you’re able to participate, have fun, and get healthy all at the same time!

1. Register early

Most races, whether they’re a fun run 5k or a full marathon, offer different prices depending on how early you register. Take this run in my area for example. While the race isn’t actually until the end of February, registration opened for it back in July!

The earlier you register, the cheaper it is. Registering as early as possible for a race is also a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you know you paid for a race a few weeks or months down the road, you now have a goal to work towards. It may make it easier to exercise knowing that you have a reason, especially one you paid for! Registering early is also a great idea since many runs sell out the closer it gets to the actual date.

2. Run with a team

Running events are increasingly becoming social activities. It’s less about running for a great time and more about having a great time with your friends! If a group of you are interested in running the same race, see if they have a discount for registering as a team. A very popular 5k in the country right now offers a $5 discount per person if you register as a team of at least four people, instead of individually. They also offer a discount depending on how early you register as well!

3. Check social media

As soon as I decided I wanted to run a particular 5k in my area, I looked them up on Facebook and started following them. Not only do they have giveaways for shirts and hats and things, they occasionally offer discount codes for registration fees. I registered on New Year’s Day when they offered a promo code that made the registration fee $20.15. If I had registered normally that day without the code, it would have cost me $40. I saved almost 50% just because I followed them on social media and found a discount code. I can handle $20 for a run, but $40 is a no go!

4. Bundle your races

Finally, check and see if the race you’re interested in running is part of a “running series,” which is becoming increasingly popular. In my area you can sign up to run the Texas Trio, which is three half-marathons throughout the year. If you’re planning on running in multiple races, you can save a lot of money this way. For example, if you register for the Texas Trio right now, it would cost $170 to run all three races. If you registered for them individually today, it would cost $210. That’s a $40 savings!

If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and you’re thinking about running as a way to do it, make sure you save yourself some money along the way. No matter what time I finish my run in at the end of February, I’ll still be happy knowing I saved almost 50% on the entry fee!

This is a guest post by Amy from Bryan, TX.

4 Smart Ways to Save on Race Entry Fees