Well, we are entering that time of year when gifts are a thing… these choices can feel stressful sometimes, so I thought I’d share some good gifts I’ve received or hope to receive over this post and the next in case some of you are looking for some inspiration! First up- some suggestions for the runners in your life! (but lots of these can work for a variety of athletes!)
*Good shoes: I cannot stress enough how key good running shoes have been for me. For a very long time I kept injuring myself whenever I would try to start running and I credit finally being able to run without pain to two things- a regular yoga practice, and shoes that actually supported me well. I started having pain again recently because I was running on shoes that I had thoroughly worn out and put too many miles on. Getting a new pair was so key for me. Investing in shoes can seem overwhelming at first, but if you calculate how many hours or how how many miles you use them they are SO worth it! The best shoe for me and for the activities I do has been the Brooks Adrenaline, but each person is different so if you are trying to buy for someone who has never had a fitting before and does not have a go-to running shoe, then I suggest…
*A gift card to a local running store! The people there know their stuff AND you’ll be supporting local! I know this isn’t an option for everyone, depending on where you live (or what safety precautions are happening in this year of COVID…), but if at all possible this can be a great choice. (If you are local to the Phoenix are then I definitely recommend Tortoise and Hare!)
*SOCKS!: I know socks get a really bad rap as Christmas gifts, but if a runner you love has splurged on good running shoes, compression socks really help complete the supported running experience. Mytwo favorite styles are Swiftwick Vibe Zero and Swiftwick *****but I also know runners who love Balega socks (I actually really enjoy how those feel too, but since they are specific to right foot vs. left foot and odds that my kids hide one sock or another or that I am trying to fumble to put on socks at 5AM are just too high to make that a good option for me right now.
*Favorite snacks or sunglasses- This could be favorite snacks your runner loves to come home to, a promise of a favorite carb loading dinner or recovery breakfast, or favorite running snacks to fuel up on the go like HONEY STINGER Chews (I know a lot of people are also obsessed with Gu but I just can’t handle the texture!) , For hikes or lighter runs, I actually love wearing cheap or novelty sunglasses, but if I’m doing a long run I go for my anti-glare GOODR sunglasses.
EXTRA SPLURGES for SPECIFIC NEEDS:
*Strave Membership: Strava is the app I use to track my mileage for the year. You can use it for free to track your activities and you can go through and individually add them up, but if you buy a membership (monthly or yearly) you can get additional features such as goal setting and tracking so you know your activity mileage and time for the whole year and if you are on track to meet your goals, a “safety beacon” which will send a way for a safety contact or two to track your individual activities (this was a must for my hubby when I was doing half marathon training and logging a lot of evening and night miles), and other fun perks.
*Running vest or flip belt: When I was training for my half marathon I used the flip belt to carry just enough water for what I would need between aid stations as well as a few snacks. After deciding I didn’t totally hate running after surviving the half marathon, we found a crazy deal on a Nathan hydration vest for my birthday, and it is one of my very favorite running accessories (great for hiking too!) as it is insanely comfortable and has so many pockets for snacks, keys, etc.
*Running light for at night: you can get something as simple as a safety flashing light for your runner that is finishing runs at twilight or doing an occasional evening group run, you can opt for a headlamp or belt light.
*Heat roller: When my sweet husband got me running gear during my half marathon training, I had asked him for THIS and he ended up getting confused and upgrading me to THIS. I’m so glad for his confusion because the heat roller is AMAZING and not just for running but for all the aches of post partum and baby carrying.
Fellow Runners: Did I forget any favorites? Aspiring runners: Anything that would make you excited to start putting in some miles?