Ideas for Runner’s Wish Lists and Gifts

Grab your old trainers, shell suit and old socks, complete with holes in, and you’re good to go out for a run, right?  Maybe not… 

Wearing the right gear can make so much difference to how you run, how you feel and your safety. 

There is so much out there in the market, involving a whole new world of jargon. From trainers with their heel to toe drop, pronation correction and toe spring, and clothing with their fast drying, sweat wicking and futuristic technology (what even is Polypropylene?)it’s no wonder it can be confusing. And that’s just what to wear. There’s also the world of technology, that running has fully embraced. 

So here’s a few ideas in case you are either a runner or know a runner, of something you may like to add to your list for Father Christmas. We have purposely not included where you may find these as our Christmas message this year is very much ‘shop local’. So start with you nearest sports shop, who are always a knowledgeable place to head for when sourcing any running gear. 

Shoes  

Whatever your distance – whether you’re just starting off or training for a marathon it’s important to invest in a good pair of running shoes and the right one for you. Many sports shops (including our local one in Berkhamsted) have a treadmill for you to try them on and see what’s best for you. Essentially there are three categories of shoes – Budget, Trail and Road shoe. There are even subcategories of trails, with the tread differing depending on the kind of trail terrain you tend to run on, for example the Inov-8 Mudclaw are fantastic if you love those muddy mountain runs (my hubby is a big fan!). 

Eliod Kipchoge ran his record breaker sub two marathon in a pair of Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%’s, making these the Rolls Royce of a shoe and the ones to have in 2019 and 2020 for those serious runners amongst you, taking seconds off your race times. The next generation one, the Vaporfly NEXT%, with its’ full length carbon fibre plate is now available. Probably not a stocking filler though, retailing at £259.95! 

Popular other makes, at a much more affordable range, are the Saucony, Brookes and INOV-8’s for trails. For road running the ASICS gel nimbus are a firm favourite for many. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to go into your local sports or running shop and have them fitted properly, according to what sort of running you’re doing and your budget. Of all the things to buy off the internet, running shoes are definitely not it.

Running clothing  

Gone are the days of running in old cotton, sweat absorbing, chaffing t shirt’s and shorts (or was that just me?!). Fortunately sportswear fabric has perfected lightweight, moisture-wicking material, making a run feel sooo much more comfortable.  

Choose the length of shorts you prefer, decide whether you like to wear a vest or t shirt best, base layer or not base layer…that is the question (I ask myself every time I go for a run, apart from a few days every summer)?! Leggings, capris or 7/8th’s (we’re still on leggings, not Hogwarts by the way), thermals, high rise, low rise, whatever rise…..best trying on a few if you’re new to the world of running tights and see what’s most comfortable!  

A running jacket is a must at this time of year. No jacket is going to keep you dry through torrential rain, but there are plenty that will keep a shower out and the wind more bearable. Head to your nearest sports/running shop and get the best one you can afford. If you’re running in the dark, the Proviz Classic jackets have built in reflective 390 degree reflective material, ensuring your safety as well as keeping you warm and dry. 

As well as thinking about wearing high viz material if you do run in the dark, think about lights and make sure you can be seen all round. There is a whole array of lights you can wear from head to chest, ankles to wrists, arms to legs! 

What to carry your key’s, phones, gels etc in? 

Having tried a whole array of ways to do just that, the main advice is to think firstly what exactly you need to take with you (you don’t need 2 litres of water for a 30 minute run!) and try a few things out if you can. My personal favourite is the Flipbelt. You can order separate water bottles to fit comfortably in them too!   

Running tech and gadgets 

With advances in technology it’s never been easier to record, monitor and track your improvement. It’s not for everyone, but if you love a stat, and want to analyse and review your running goals then consider putting a new gadget on your Christmas wish list! 

A good place to start is a decent watch. Think about what it is you want/need to know about your training. A favourite is the Garmin Forerunner 45, but there are plenty of cheaper ones on the market with fewer features.  

If you want to help improve the efficiency of your running and have a Garmin watch already, then consider a Garmin Running Dynamics Pod. This gives information about ground contact time, stride length, vertical oscillation and so much more. 

There are also chest straps for heart rate monitoring if you want to train to heart rate. If you like to run to music or a podcast, then have a look at the AfterShokz bone conductor headphones. These are allowed in official races and approved by England Athletics as they don’t cover your ears, making them a far safer option. 

To help avoid injury don’t forget to add a roller to your list. Better still a vibrating one or a Theragun to help get deeper into the muscles. If you are prone to injury and would like something easier than a bag of peas to hold onto, then a good cold therapy compression strap would be handy to have, or even an aircast cryo cooler may be worth investing in. 

And don’t forgot that golden rule of gifting – think of what you would like but can’t justify buying. So how about a book (we are obviously working on Jog On The Novel as well as the Movie just not sure who would play us both!) or a subscription to a fitness magazine ? There’s also loads of clever ‘medal display’ hooks/boxes to solve that problem of how to show off your/their bling – many of them can also be personalised as can water bottles (ideal to stop you leaving them at the gym).

We also know as runners you can never have too many pairs of gloves – no need to spend a fortune – and socks (compression socks are guaranteed to make any runner look professional even though the jury is out on whether they make any difference to your performance). Two things that DO work are Epsom salts in the bath and a professional sports massage (costing respectively a fiver from most supermarkets and an average of £40 an hour).

And if you’re really stuck then go down the Voucher Route – obviously a top choice would be a Jog On course – either fact to face or Virtual (ideal for recipients in far flung places and you’ll save a fortune on postage).

So a few ideas there, by no means everything. Think about what you want for your runs, what might help and make a positive difference, then head for your local sports or running shop and take Santa with you (or let him know what you might like).