Whether you're prepping for your first couch-to-5K or you're already a distance runner, a smartphone is essential road gear. It not only supplies music or podcasts to help you while away the miles, but also monitors your route and stats (via awesome apps like RunKeeper).
Most important of all, a phone is essential in case you turn an ankle or otherwise need to call for help.
Okay, but how to carry it? Pockets are no good, and neither is holding it. No, your best bet is an armband, which allows for easy access to the screen. What's more, it's really the only option if you're planning to use Bluetooth earphones, as your phone has to stay very close to them to avoid audio dropout. (Bluetooth isn't great outdoors because there's nothing for the signal to bounce off.)
You've probably seen cheap, $20 armband cases with one-size-fits-all plastic sleeves, but in my experience these are terrible. Getting the phone in and out tends to be difficult at best, and accessing phone controls (like volume) is darn near impossible.
You've also probably seen high-end, custom-fit armband cases priced around $50 and thought, "No way, too pricey."
Here's a solid compromise: PureGear is offering the PureMove Sports Armband for iPhone 5/5C/5S for $34.99 shipped when you apply coupon code CNET30 at checkout. That's 30 percent off the regular price and a Cheapskate exclusive!
The PureMove offers a washable, moisture-wicking armband with reflective elements and a cord-wrap clip for folks who prefer wired earbuds. The holster affords "extended" volume buttons and easy access to the screen and headphone jack, though obviously you'll need to remove your iPhone from its existing case before snapping it into this one.
It's available in black/green and gray/pink and comes with a one-year warranty. I haven't found any reviews of the product (it's pretty new), but at this price point I think it's a pretty solid buy. Great for the gym, too.
Bonus deal: Need a new TV? A small budget doesn't have to mean a small screen. For a limited time (possibly very limited -- this deal first appeared yesterday), Best Buy has the Insignia NS-40D510NA15 40-inch LED HDTV for $249.99 shipped (plus tax). That's some Black Friday-style pricing right there. It's a no-frills TV, to be sure, but it has nothing but five-star reviews from Best Buy customers. The only downside I can see: only two HDMI ports.