Monday, December 8, 2014

2014 Holiday Running Wish List

Less than 2 weeks until Christmas!

I'll admit that I'm a little behind this year. The tree went up this week.

Yes, this week. A month later than a lot of people I know.

The good news is that I have most of my gift shopping done. I hope to finish it this weekend, wrap, and be ready to enjoy the holiday! However, I also have my eye on a few running goodies for myself. You see, we runners can never have too much running gear.

Running is theoretically the simplest sport known to man.

Start at point A. Run to point B. The fastest person to do it wins. The end.

Yet we runners have made it as complicated and expensive as we possibly could. Gone are the days when people put on a T-shirt, shorts, and running shoes and just went outside and ran (maybe with a regular stopwatch, but that was pushing it).

We must have our running clothes, high support sports bra (for the ladies), shoes, athletic socks, Garmin, RoadID, fuel belt or handheld water bottle, phone and/or iPod and headphones, armband to carry said device, and ponytail holder and/or headband, or we just simply can't run today!!! Or maybe that's just me. I almost left a half marathon once because I didn't have my Garmin.

And that doesn't even include cold weather and reflective gear for winter. I'm training for my first full marathon in March (it feels so cool to say that!), so I have many long runs ahead of me in the cold, dark winter months.

If you're new to winter running and aren't sure what you need, or you are buying for a runner in your life, check out these ideas:

Holiday 2014 Running Wish List
Holiday 2014 Running Wish List by amy-coffeescarvesandrunningshoes 

Polyvore is so much fun!!!

Clockwise from top left:

Lululemon Neck Warmer - I've heard good things about these. Not only do they keep your neck cozy during winter runs, you can pull them above your mouth and nose to look like a ninja help you breathe in really cold air.

Petzl Tikka Plus Headlamp - I don't like wearing headgear such as hats or visors (yeah, I'm weird), so I've avoided a headlamp. With many long runs ahead of me in the dark winter months, I can't avoid the need for safety and visibility. It is time to get over my quirks and succumb.

Alex and Ani bracelet charm - No, it won't keep me warm, comfortable, or safe while running. What it will do is look adorable and keep me motivated. I love jewelry and have started an Alex and Ani bangle collection, and what could be more appropriate for a new marathon runner?

Fuel Belt in pink - So far, I've been a handheld bottle kinda girl. My waist is not an area that I want to draw attention to with a fuel belt. Alas, my hydration needs for marathon training require that I succumb.

Moving Comfort sports bra - You can never have enough of these bad boys for running. Great support for running - check. Stylish - check.

Running Gloves - Self explanatory. Regular knit gloves just don't cut it for running.

REI Running Jacket - Believe it or not, I don't get that cold while running. After a mile, I feel pretty warm. Usually two layers of running shirts (or a running shirt and pullover) do the trick. However, we had a pretty cold winter last year, and this winter has already started off cold. I saw this jacket in our new local REI store, and I love it because it is breathable yet warm, and has thumb holes in the sleeves.

As an FYI - While some of these are pricy, you can find less expensive (but still pretty good quality) alternatives to some of these at stores like Target or even T.J. Maxx or Marshall's.

Other Favorites

These aren't on my list this year, as I own all of them, but here are some of my other favorite running items that could also make great gifts if you're new to running gear or buying for a runner.

Bigger Ticket Items

Lululemon Running Tights and Crops - I'm asked a lot if it's really worth it or necessary to buy name brand running clothes like Lululemon. My depends. For shirts, I think any technical fabric will do (check out Target or TJ Maxx for good deals).

Higher end running clothes make more sense for pants or shorts. In my opinion, you don't need the higher end stuff unless you do longer distance running. Think about it - if you run for two hours or more, that's two hours of the same back and forth leg motion. Keeping your legs comfortable and preventing them from rubbing is a must! I've found that Lululemon, Athleta, and Moving Comfort do the trick.

Garmin - We runners live by our GPS watches. I use the entry level model, the Forerunner 10, which measures pace, distance, and time. There are plenty of models with more bells and whistles, but the 10 will meet your basic running needs at a reasonable price point (lots of fun colors, too!).

Running "Hardware" Displays - We runners love to brag on our accomplishments. Displays for medals and bibs helps you (or your runner) celebrate your accomplishments and special race memories in a visible way. You can find these on Etsy and other websites.

Stocking Stuffers

Running socks - Socks are one of those things you feel like you never have enough of. Regular socks are fine, but I think that socks made for running prevent blisters and other discomfort (which is REALLY not fun to deal with for a 1 or 2+ hour run!). I'm a fan of Balega, which I find extra cushiony. I also like Swiftwick, which has a good compression offering if you're into compression socks.

Road ID - Buying someone a RoadID is telling them, "I care enough about you that I want to be contacted if something happens to you." Talk about commitment. No one wants to think about this, and of course it's unlikely, but it's always possible that we could get hurt while out running. If something happens and you are not able to answer someone helping you, your Road ID can tell them simple information about you (i.e. your name and any medical conditions they should be aware of), and who to contact in case of an emergency. It's smart to have as a runner. I do NOT recommend running alone, but sometimes you might get separated from other runners and a Road ID is good to have.

Running fuel - To a non-runner, this may sound lame, but I always thought it would be fun to receive a stocking or Easter basket with "running candy". If you've never read my story when I discovered I needed running candy, check it out here. Honey Stinger Chews and Sport Beans are my fuels of choice. Other runners swear by GU. I also drop Nuun into my water to add electolytes.

Handheld running bottle - If they don't have one already, help them hydrate! You can find these at any sporting goods or running store. I'm moving on to a fuel belt, but a handheld bottle is also a great option. I used one throughout all of my 5K and half marathon training.

Headband/ear warmers - To help prevent using the Road ID, make sure drivers can see you or your runner at night!

Visibility gear - Clip on lights, reflective vests, etc. Also found at sporting goods or running stores.

Seriously, you could make a stocking for your runner with their favorite running fuel and/or electrolytes and a pair or two of running socks. Throw in a reflector or a light and something motivational and running themed - a piece of jewelry, Christmas ornament, picture frame, etc. They'll love it!

Christmas. Done. What are your favorite running items and gift ideas?


I was not compensated by any of the above brands for this post, nor are they affiliated with this blog. I am simply sharing my honest opinions and experiences. The views expressed in this article are solely my own.

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