General running hacks:
1. If you live somewhere with minimal/sporadic real winter weather (which is true of Portland, until this year, anyway), don't bother spending money on too much cold-weather specific clothing such as fleece lined tights. Just layer other stuff. I have plenty of running clothes that are fine on their own (or with normal layering, e.g., a long-sleeve jacket over a t-shirt), for down to about 30 to 35 degrees, which is a normal winter daytime temperature here. For colder (or windier) than that, I just throw on more things: knee high socks and knee length shorts make a fine layer, plus maybe capris if it's really cold, and long tights over that. And the options for layering on top are easier - at least one tank and one tee, and then however many long-sleeve shirts are necessary.
2. For long runs, I do out and back runs - except, they're actually out and back and out the other way and back. I'll make my house or car the midpoint instead of just one end, so I can make a quick stop if needed for water, fuel, or the bathroom.
3. For arm warmers that are either cheap throwaways or cheap themed, buy knee socks and cut off the toes.
|Wearing socks on my arms|
4. For triathlons, you have your number written on your limbs for the swim, and attached to your bike for the bike, but a regular bib for the run. You can take the time to pin it on during transition (adding on unnecessary seconds), buy a race bib that has little hooks to attach the bib and just clip it on (unnecessary money), or use safety pins to attach your bib to a SPI or similar running belt, and quickly clip that on before the running leg.
5. If it's challenging to fit running into your schedule, try to find a way to multi-task. Maybe do a run commute (I did this a couple times, though it'd be harder now with wanting to get home to the baby), literally run errands, or make it a family outing - when I was getting back into it I did run/walk intervals while Abe walked with the baby, and I'm going to start giving the running stroller a try soon.
Beginner running hacks:
1. I remember the first time I did a race with a friend who was a more experienced runner, and she tucked her car key into a zippered pocket in the waistband of her running tights - I'd never heard of such a thing, it was so cool! I specifically seek out such zippered pockets now, but initially I just tied my housekey into my shoe laces when I went out for a run - it's just as secure and let me use more general athletic clothes before I was committed to running.
2. If you don't have or don't want to use an app or watch for intervals, write them on your hand to keep track of what you're planning to do.
3. If you want to run with faster or more experienced running friends, ask to join them on their easy day - their pace while recovering from harder workouts is likely to be easier for you to keep up with.
4. Or, meet up at a gym to run on treadmills - then you can all do your own thing at your own pace, while chatting. I did this with a couple coworkers when I was starting to run, and it made it a lot more fun before the running itself was fun.
5. Have a friend pace you for your first race or first attempt at a new distance. My first half marathon was with a friend, and I went way faster than I thought I was capable of while she set the pace and kept me motivated.