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Christmas presents for runners can be tricky, particularly if you’re not into running yourself. Strange socks that are pulled up to the knees and different types of running shoes for different situations – confusing! To help your friends and family make an informed choice on what to buy the runner in their life. Here’s a little list you can share with them!
For those early mornings and dark winter evenings. A headtorch is a safety accessory, however also opens up a whole new world of running in the dark! They vary in price depending on the strength of beam, type of bulb and general comfort, fitting and sturdiness.
From £18.00 at Wiggle
Compression socks restrict the blood flow to a runner’s lower legs which, it has been suggested, can have endurance benefits. Whilst this is unproven, there is some evidence to suggest that wearing compression socks AFTER your run can help reduce muscle damage and so swelling or soreness. We looked into this here.
Yes it’s true, runners even have special shorts for running as opposed to just training in. Racing shorts tend to be lighter, shorter and more friction resistant.
Buy Ladies shorts here
Men’s shorts here
A staple piece of clothing for winter road running, this keeps the chill away (slightly) and allows other road users to see runners better. As usual, the more expensive, the more durable, heat retentive and light reflective they tend to be.
I bought this Ronhill one for £25 last autumn and it’s done well.
Running socks tend to pull tight in the areas they need to, in order to reduce the potential for rubbing and so blisters. They also often have padding around the heel as well as being ergonomically fitted to the shape of each foot. If you’re running any kind of regular mileage then investing in a good pair of socks every 6 months or so is a good idea.
Lots of good ones here, inc 2x Nike for £8.99
Runners even have their own special types of water bottles! These are either small enough to clench in your hand, or have a handle for ease of carrying over longer distances. Also available are backpack style hydration units or belt based bottles.
Just £2.99 – what a good pressie!
Gels and energy bars are a way for runners to replenish lost energy and nutrients on the go. They’re not for everybody and there are lots of different brands and types. Some people’s stomach react badly to certain types so it’s probably best to do a bit of detective work to see whether the runner you have in mind has a preference!
Get a pack of 12x Science in Sport gels for £15.12 here
At the top end of scale of presents for runners is the treadmill. Whilst never a replacement for getting out of the door and going for a run, sometimes circumstances convene to mean a runner isn’t able to meet their weekly mileage targets. A treadmill in the garage or spare room is a quick and easy way to keep the mileage up and is particularly good if you have kids and are either a single parent or both like running.
John Lewis have a good range starting at £499.99
There are many, many… many different types of trainers, varying in cost, specialism and design. Most trainers need to be replaced every 400 miles or 6-8 months if regularly used. Trainers can be a risky business just guessing or picking a random pair for a runner as everybody has their preferred brands and style of shoe for everyday use. If you know what shoe your runner likes, and you know they’re looking a bit worn out then great, get them a new pair!
If they’re wanting to improve their parkrun or 5k time then getting them a pair of racing flats could help. These generally have little/zero cushioning anyway so less about comfort, more about speed (although there are some comfy ones out there)
Perhaps they like to wander off the beaten track, in which case a pair of trail shoes would be ideal if they don’t already own a pair.
Range in price like any pair of sunglasses depending on the weight, fit and lenses, but are a welcome accessory when running on a bright, hot day.
They range from £5.99 through to £195.99!
Parkrun is a free, timed, weekly run. The timing works by registering on their website and printing off a bar code which is then scanned as you cross the finish line. However, paper + running + weather often ends in ruined bar codes. Fortunately you can order credit card or keyring style durable bar codes. I have one and it’s much better!
Buy these from the official parkrun supplier here
Like everything, can range from entry level GPS watches, to state-of-the-art wrist laptops. General things to look out for when choosing a running watch are; how long the watch usually takes to connect to satellites, how many runs it can store before having to be wiped and easiness of uploading run data to online software such as Garmin Connect or Strava. Watches with built in Smart Bluetooth are great as they upload straight to your smartphone or iPad app.
See a wide range here
Many runners are obsessive about running and so love nothing better than to read about running when they’re not actually running! The following are all great books; Running the Rift, Running with the Kenyans, Advanced Marathon Training & Born to Run. These are just for starters, there are literally 100s of them!
A good running jacket will keep heat in and the weather out whilst still allowing an exchange of air to prevent dampness. Unfortunately, the better a jacket is at doing this, the more expensive it will be, however a lightweight, hi-viz ‘shower-proof’ jacket need not cost more than £20. See this article we ran on ‘3 Running Jackets that are ACTUALLY Waterproof!
Has the runner in your life reached a plateau? Is their motivation beginning to flag? Or perhaps they want to improve, get faster or run further but aren’t sure how to proceed. If this is the case then a private coaching session could help them and is great to give as a present. For example, Yelling Performance offer gift vouchers and remote coaching…
Mainly for keeping warm during winter running, but also for minimising potential injuries (cold muscles are more prone to injury). Tights can bolster a runners reflectiveness for increased safety. Did we mention they keep you warm too?
Ah blessed running gloves, a runner’s best friend during cold winter months!
For those running distances of half marathon and above, a running belt may be the answer to all their fuel and hydration problems. This belt goes around the waist and allows the runner to attach a number of drink bottles, plus gels or energy bars.
There’s nothing like watching the greatest athletes in the land compete at the highest level to motivate you! Taking place in various locations, check the IAAF website for updates on upcoming competitions to watch.
A slightly random item of running gear, but one for anyone who’s had to hold on to an Asthma inhaler for the duration of a race – have a look at the Sports-Haler.