Tuesday, 2 December 2014

My Christmas Wishlist - Running Edition

So I don't know about you, but I'm now seriously into Christmas present buying process.  I'm thinking about and looking at gift ideas constantly!  But that also means that I've seen some things around that I wouldn't mind buying myself.  If you have a running friend or family member that you are looking to buy a gift for, here are some ideas that I'm sure they would love!  FYI the list is a little bit southern hemisphere focused (ie. all about summer and the heat), but if you live in the north, I'm sure these goodies can be put away until summer rolls around for you!

1. Asics Gel Kayano (or other appropriate running shoe)

A runner is ALWAYS on the look out for running shoes.  My current go to shoe is the Asics Gel Kayano.  I'd had a couple of pairs after just choosing them myself, and then I went to get a proper running shoe fitting, and lo and behold, they recommended the Kayano!

Running shoes are definitely an individual fit - brand, style and size.  So if you're not sure what shoe to get, I'd probably suggest getting your runner a gift voucher to a local running or sports store, so they can have their foot properly assessed and fitted.  No runner can have too many pairs of shoes.

2. Socks

So I've become a little obsessed with socks since I took up running.  I have many many pairs, and I find myself inexplicably drawn to the sock bin in every sports store.  My favourite socks are actually this pair of Bonds.  They have really padded heels and toes!  I think I have maybe 6 pairs.  Your runner will always need more socks in their life!

3. Hat

We have just started summer here, and with that comes hot hot weather in Australia.  So your runner will be starting to think about how to stay sun smart and protected on their runs outside.  Personally, I never run outside without a hat.  I'm a fair skinned girl who burns easily, so a hat adds some extra protection to my face.  A hat also keeps all my hair strands off my face, which can be really annoying when it's windy out.  You could also check to see if your runner prefers a visor to a cap - it's really a personal choice, but some people find a visor less hot than a cap.  I prefer not to get my scalp burnt.

4. Water bottle / belt

Something else I'm always on the hunt for is the perfect water bottle.  A runner needs a variety of water bottles for different workouts.  For the gym I like a heavy large water bottle that I can fill up and leave on the treadmill, that I don't have to keep refilling.  For a long run though, a hand held bottle or water belt can be your best bet.  A hand held bottle (like this one) is fine when you know you have lots of places to top it up along your run.  On the other hand, a water belt can be great when you want to take all of your water with you.

5. Sunscreen

Sounds boring?  Last year I got a Kris Kringle present and it was really great sunscreen and a lip balm with sunscreen.  I was a little too excited!  See comment above re my capacity to burn, and sunscreen is an essential part of my running paraphernalia.  Go for something with the highest SPF you can find, and that is specifically for sports so it doesn't run off when you sweat.  A facial sunscreen that is oil free is also a great product to have, as well as some sun protecting lip balm.

6. Waterproof earphones

All runners at some time use earphones.  Whether they are attached to their phone, an iPod or a treadmill tv, earphones will be used.  And it can actually be quite a journey to find the right pair!  I really like the Philips Action Fit in ear earphones.  Because I wear sunglasses when I'm running outside, I don't like the over the ear fit, but these ear buds always stay in, and are sweat and rain resistant.  I've had them for probably a year now, so they last well too.

7. Stretching / Yoga DVD

I don't know about guys, but I'm not so great at making time to stretch properly.  I know that I should, but when it comes to deciding between an extra km on the treadmill and 5 minutes of stretches, usually the extra run time wins.  But as runners we also know how regular stretching can help prevent injuries and niggles.  What I find motivates me to stretch is to have a dvd session to follow.  Yoga works well too.  So if your runner is a bit like me and needs to dedicate some time stretching, some gentle yoga and stretching dvds might be just what the doctor ordered.

8. Massage voucher

Four or five runs (and / or cross training sessions) leaves us runners pretty sore sometimes, especially when we are training for a race or a new personal distance record.  No matter at what point in their training cycle they are, a runner will always get excited about the prospect of a massage to help relieve aches and pains.  A gift voucher for a massage at a local sports clinic or centre will be a great idea - just make sure that the therapist or centre is qualified, and preferably has some sports massage training and experience (most will tell you if you ask).

9. Books about running

As a runner, you kind of get obsessed about all things running.  We want to watch things about running, talk about running, and read about running.  So a book on running as a gift is pretty awesome.  There are lots out there, but some of the books I've read that I really enjoy include:

Hopefully you'll find some ideas for Christmas gifts for your runner friends and family.  Or even just something to pick up in the post-Christmas sales yourself!

What running accessory do you have on your Christmas list this year?

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