My 2015 Runner’s Gift Guide

You can google “holiday gift guides” but none will be like mine. You know the runner that runs all the races, and trains in clothes that never match but always “flash.”

I did this last year, and some things will probably be the same, but that post got buried in a year of blogging. I will also note these are my favorite things, and some of them came to me through an opportunity through Bibrave. Otherwise no one has paid me for this post.

Hydration

  • Orange Mud Hydraquiver Vests – these are a backpack like hydration pack, but fit above the chest in the front. There are several different styles, with pocket and bottle options. I am currently testing the OM HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1. I love the pockets and the ease to use it. Not sure if I would chafe in the under arm area with a tank top.
  • Camelbak Marathoner Back pack – Ok, so a friend won this pack, and allowed me to borrow it for a 50k, it was great to use and store everything I needed on the run. I also took out the bladder once and used it as a running back pack. My only issue is with chaffing near my sports bra.
  • Hand held water bottle – Camelbak and Nathan make these, just a note, if you run on trails with one, you could fall, and fall on the bottle creating a problem. I haven’t done it, but seen it happen. They fit nice in your hand, but the added weight can be a pain.
  • Every day water bottle – I love my Camelbak Edy, but they are hard to keep clean. I know many love Tervis.
  • Drinks – There are a lot on the market, my go to beverage is Gatorade or G2 as I can easily grab that at the store, oh and water. However, I like Skratch Labs (they make a hot hydration drink that tastes like cider) and MeStrength, these would fit great in a stocking.

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Food / Nutrition

These are the same from last year:

  • Mini Luna or Clif bars – these are the perfect size to take along on the run, or to eat when “runger” sets in. You can find them by the case at Target, or online
  • Justin’s nut butters – almond butter in packets, no need for the nasty GU or Gel, how about chocolate hazelnut? This can be found at a grocery store or online .
  • Snickers – as in the candy bar. This is one of my personal favorites, the bite size is perfect for a long run. Super easy to access at any retailer.
  • Gummi’s / fruit snacks – I like these not only because they taste delicious, but they are easy to obtain.
  • Honey Stinger Waffles – nothing like justifying eating a cookie, lol, ok so they are like wafers, but perfect treat for the runner.

Additions:

  • Monster cookies / granola bars – Ok, so I am biased, I have some recipes to make both of these. Basically peanut butter, oats and m&m’s are a great mix to keep you fueled. Plus who doesn’t love a home made snack.
  • fruit basket – fruit works great on the run
  • trail mix – make a fancy gift basket for that runner in your life, add a bag of nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate.

Clothing

  • Compression: I love compression gear, I am really liking it for recovery lately after a long run, especially pants. These are my favorite brands. ProCompression socks, Zensah Ultra Calf Sleeves, 2XU compression pants, CW-X compression pants.
  • Headsweats – Hats…these fit my head the best and there is a terry cloth liner around the inside for sweat. They also make visors for Sparkle Athletic. They seem to come out with new colors and logos. Priced around $20 online.
  • Arm Sleeves – I have yet to find a favorite brand, but having a pair of these in the running drawer comes in handy. Living in Iowa the weather is always throwing a curve ball.
  • Shorts – I prefer “spandex” style running shorts, I like a longer inseam. My new go to is the Addidas boy short 7″ inseam. Great price, however there are no pockets.
  • Shirts – I run in so many different shirts, if you are looking for one tip, buy something that will wick away sweat. While cute sayings may come on cotton shirts, invest in some technical material. Which you can buy at Wal-Mart.
  • Sport teams gear – it’s fun to represent your favorite team at a race, why not ask for some Hawkeye tech shirts? or hat? or socks?

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Shoes:

  • I never tell anyone that one pair of shoes is better than another. I am loyal to the Brooks Ghost though, lol. However I always tell people to go to their local running store and get fitted for a pair that fits your feet the best. The shoe experts get paid to fit you correctly. A gift card to a running store is perfect.

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Accessories

  • Marathang Bands – ok so I make these, but I started making them because I wasn’t going to spend $$$ on a head band. I know they stay in place on the run, as I have run 12 miles with one. Also they are cute and come in 3 sizes and all patterns
  • Race number belt – no more pinning bibs, just attach to a belt. Nathan makes a simple belt that buckles, it’s adjustable and has toggles for the bib.
  • Garmin (GPS watch) – I recently got the Fenix 3, it has all the bells and whistles!! This is an expensive watch, but it has bluetooth capability, counts steps, is a compass, has a map, elevation and can order a pizza…or maybe not, but I love it!
  • Gloves – Pearl Izumi winter ones.  However when it is really cold I like to wear those $1 knit gloves from JoAnn Fabrics with some mittens as the outside layer.
  • Winter hat – I wear anything, the close fitting to my head the better. A hat really keeps the heat in. Some may prefer a baseball cap with an ear band.
  • Buff – This is a multi-functional tube of fabric. I really like this for cold weather running, as I can wrap it around my head, neck and ears. It has so many uses and comes in so many colors.
  • Sunglasses – I usually don’t run with these, but I have heard good things about XX2i and Rudy.

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Safety

  • Road ID – I can’t say enough about this company. Affordable bracelets, shoe tags or anklets in all colors, with an ID tag on them. There is even a phone app. Buy one for yourself too.
  • Reflective Vest – This can be a personal preference as fit can be important. I have an Amphipod, which is more of a strappy thing, but it hugs close to the body and there is no extra flapping in the wind.
  • Lights – I have a hodge podge of lights, received as gifts or picked up along the way. I say the more lights the merrier, but NiteIzeNathan, Amphipod and Petzl have some great options. A head lamp would be a great place to start. Then add something for your shoe, a slap bracelet, etc.

Books / Magazines:

  • Born to Run – Ok so it may be the only running book I have read, but it’s great. Can be purchased at a book store or online, I am sure there is a digital version too
  • Runner’s World Magazine – Great magazine with gear guides, stories, race recommendations; all around magazine for running
  • Planners/Journals – I don’t use one, but they make a great gift for those who are old school and like to write out their training miles.

Music

  • Plantronics wireless head phones – These are my new favorite thing. Bluetooth technology that links your phone to your head phones, and you can use them to talk on the phone too.
  • Yurbuds – affordable every day head phones. They have one line that comes with adjustable buds, can change the size of the ear gels and/or add ear hooks.
  • ipod shuffle – I like my shuffle the best, it is so tiny, you don’t even know you have anything attached to you. A 2 GB at Wal-Mart would set you back around $50
  • itunes gift card – Not only is this a great idea for just about anyone, it’s perfect for the runner. Also an audio book or podcast is perfect on the long run. You can snag these cards at just about any retailer.

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Recovery:

    • Addaday Rollers – Long before Bibrave teamed up with this roller, I was a huge fan. This is a stick type roller for massaging out those tired muscles. Think rolling pin with massaging balls. They have a variety of rollers, can be purchased online or in many running stores.
    • Foam Roller – the basic roller, easy to use, can be picked up at Wal-Mart, online, any where.
    • Compression Gear – ProCompression, Zensah, 2XU, Cw-X
    • KT Tape – Magic tape, ok so it acts like a brace or support for the injured area while allowing movement and encouraging blood flow. The running store or Wal-Mart has this product, can be priced up to $20 if you go with the pro line.
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Miscellaneous: (something a runner has been eyeing, but may not splurge on)

  • Gym membership – Most runners hate the treadmill or cross training, but a gym membership would encourage us to get to the gym. Or hit the treadmill when temps are sub zero or lightning strikes.
  • Coffee – I start every morning with coffee, a little extra boost to get things moving in the morning. Who wouldn’t love a pound of their favorite flavor or a Dunkin Donuts gift card?
  • Sample box membership – This is perfect for the gift that keeps on giving. It is a monthly subscription to receive samples. There are lots of products out there, but sometimes buying a whole case just to try, isn’t feasible. StrideBox, Bulu Box, Graze are a few brands.
  • Sports Bras – Moving Comfort, you will spend a little extra, but they fit based on actual bra size. Invest in one of these. In the last year they were purchased by Brooks, but they still make great bras.
  • Mile 22 Bags – This is a bag made from old bibs. I do not have one, but I think I would look great carrying one {wink wink}
  • Shwings – these are accessories for your shoes, laced in and placed near the toe or on the side. Sparkly wings are a popular design.
  • Sparkle Athletic – add some flare to your get up. From skirts, capes, visors and fun shirts. I always race in a skirt, cuz they’re fun.
  • Orange Mud Transition Towel – It’s a towel with a zipper and a strap, but can be used to change out of your sweaty running clothes, clean off after a race, or protect your car from your sweaty self.

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Other places to shop:

If those physical items aren’t what you are looking for, how about a race entry? A few of my favorites:

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Some I would love to run: (still the same as last year)

  • Big Sur Marathon
  • Honolulu Marathon – well any race in Hawaii
  • all the races!

If all else fails, sign up to run a race with your friend, a good way to keep motivated through the winter.

Have a great holiday, go hawks!!!

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