As a runner myself I know just how expensive some of the kit can be. Yeah sure when you first start you think this running lark’s great, as unlike most other sports you don’t need to pay enough to start pounding the pavements. There’s no gym membership, no gear needed, no balls, no sticks, no rackets – just you, some old joggers and the great outdoors.
That is until you get really into it.
Then you realise that for the sake of your feet you should really invest in a decent pair of trainers, and suddenly those tatty paint splattered jogging bottoms just aren’t cutting the mustard any more and a stylish new pair of lycra leggings from lulu lemon would look way better. Then of course you’ll need a chest or head light to make sure you can see properly during the darker winter months, and some reflective clothing so others can see you. And layers, yes you’ll need layers, and gloves, and a hat. And that’s not even taking into account a medal rack to store the multitude of medals you’ve amassed from the millions of races you’ve entered this year, oh and then there’s the race entry fees and the travel costs, and the latest fit tech…. don’t even get me started on that!
Suddenly your seemingly cheap hobby has made a right old dent in your savings. So what to do…
Why, you whack a load of if on your Christmas list and get others to buy some of this stuff for you, that’s what!
I’ve compiled my own list which contains some few gift ideas for runners that perhaps you might not have thought of and that will certainly help save them a bob or two and get you some extra brownie points for buying them a Christmas gift they’ll actually use.
Take a look at my Christmas gift guide for runners:
The cost of entering races is getting more and more expensive, but as you begin to improve on how fast and how far you’re capable of running the temptation to compete grows stronger. Not to mention the lure of a lovely bit of bling at the finish line – there really are some lovely looking medals around these days.
And if like me, you feel as if you need an all-singing, all-dancing kind of race, you know one in which it would be a crime not to dress up and there absolutely must be some form of entertainment if there’s any hope of you stumbling over the finish line then you can expect to pay even more. But these races are epic and there are so many choices – Santa runs, Disney runs, obstacle runs, endurance runs, relay runs, colour runs, wine runs…. you name it, there’s a race for it!
You can approach gifting race entry in one of two ways:
- Ask the person you intend to buy the gift for which race they would like entry for.
- Or…take matters into your own hands and enter them into a race of your choosing.
Personally I’m favouring option 2, just make sure you know they are physically (and mentally) capable of doing the race, that they have no medical conditions and that you’re willing to risk wasting money should they put their foot down and refuse to do it!
On the plus side it might make them push themselves, motivate them to train for it and if nothing else will certainly make them aware of the fact that you 100% believe in them.
You can never have too many running tops and certainly come winter it’s all about the layers, so the more tops you’ve got stashed away in your drawers the better. I love a good tech t-shirt for that very reason, in that it’s so handy to layer up over a long sleeved top and you can pop a run jacket over the top if it’s really cold or raining without bulking up too much. The last thing you want when running is to be bogged down by heavy materials and a tech t-shirt like this one from Health Buddy is a great lightweight and versatile option. Available in both a thinner summer version (140gsm) and a slightly thicker winter version (170gsm) the t-shirts are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and come in white, navy and green. Plus with prices starting at £18 with free p&p it makes for an affordable present choice and could even be included with other run clothing, such as leggings, socks and a hat, to form a running gift hamper.
One thing you need to look out for when buying tech t-shirts is that the printed logos (‘cos they will be on there) don’t have any kind of plastic backing otherwise there is the risk of chafing on the inside, especially if it’s placed over the nipple area – trust me no-one wants chafed nipples! And always check the sizes as all too often they can come up too small and be super, super snug or be absolutely massive and feel as if you’re running in a nightie. I’m a size 10/12 on top and went for a size small, which was perfect. It’s quite long in the body, but I like that as it means it helps skim over my backside and I’m all for tops that hide the dreaded camel toe – ladies you so know what I mean!
If you’re after a bit of a different gift idea then this is absolutely perfect. No matter where you are on your running journey it certainly helps if you know yourself inside out and what better way to do that than with a health and fitness DNA test!
Now whilst taking the test isn’t going to turn you into Mo Farrah overnight, it will give you information about your body that perhaps you may not have known before. I trialled the DNA fitness test from VITL Health earlier this year and was really interested to discover that one of my genes suggest that my body is equipped with slow twitch muscle fibres. Now what this means in terms of running is that I should be better at endurance based running, rather than short sharp sprints. I would absolutely never have guessed this, having always struggled with longer distances, and whilst taking a DNA test and finding out this information isn’t going to suddenly turn me into a running pro it definitely gave me the confidence to believe in myself a bit more. Obviously you need to take the information away with you and actually do something about it and the idea of fitness DNA tests such as this is that you have the information to structure a better and more personalised training programme. Some companies may also offer a training plan and even a diet plan based on your DNA results.
As Sir Frances Bacon so famously said, “knowledge is power” and a DNA fitness test will certainly equip you with the knowledge to make improvements on your running and take you to where you want to be – just remember you’ve still got to put all the hard work in, but at least now you’ll be focusing your efforts in the areas you can definitely improve on!
Let’s face it, if you live in the UK you just have to accept that during the autumn and winter months (and hey even the spring and summer ones let’s be honest here!) you’re going to be running in the rain a LOT! Which means a waterproof, lightweight jacket is an absolute must and it helps if it comes equipped with a few other handy features too.
This jacket from MoonRide is super cool because not only does it tick the lightweight and weatherproof boxes, but it also has a nifty blinking LED light fitted into the back meaning you’ll be spotted day or night and no matter what the weather.
The light has a battery life of a whopping 200 hours so it’ll keep you going for ages and it has three different settings (slow blink, fast blink, and continuous red light) for you to choose from. It can also be easily removed from the jacket by pressing it out of its concealed pouch, meaning you don’t have to worry about it messing up when the jacket goes into the wash.
In addition you also get these fab features:
- Folds up small and comes complete with its own storage pouch.
- Made of waterproof and breathable fabric.
- 4 zipped pockets.
- Breathable eyelets to reduce sweating.
- Reinforced hand cuffs to stop the rain getting in.
- An adjustable hood that can be folded away when not in use.
- An adjustable elasticated waist.
Priced at just under £60 and available in sizes M, L, XL (you’ll need it bigger to fit layers underneath) this really is a great jacket for running, cycling or indeed any outdoor sport.
Stocking Filler Snacks
Forget the chocolate oranges and novelty chocolate Santas, this year it’s all about the superfood stocking snacks that’ll fuel your run before, during and after!
Go Bites have bought out three new fruity flavours of their legendary energy balls and we LOVE them. They’re totally pretty, totally Instagrammable and can be totally co-ordinated to your run kit – hey it’s all the important stuff right 😉
But best of all they taste amazeballs, like seriously oh my goodness are these actually healthy, AMAZING!
And yes they are indeed healthy, just check this out:
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Wheat free
- No added sugar
- High fibre
- Vegan friendly
- Between 42 – 47 calories per ball.
Raspberry & Cacao – Contains dates, almonds, cashews, raisins gluten-free oats, cacao powder and are rolled and coated in freeze-dried raspberry. These are the ones you eat to give yourself a boost and in terms of taste they are my fave – I could seriously knock back a whole pack of these no probs!
Strawberry & Cashew – Contains dates, almonds, raisins, cashews, raisins gluten-free oats and are rolled and coated in freeze-dried strawberry. These are the ones you eat post run to refuel. It tastes gentle and delicate, yet also hearty and nourishing, like it’s gonna sort you right out!
Blackcurrant & Blueberry – Contains rice protein, almonds, raisins gluten-free oats, blueberry and are rolled and coated in blackcurrant powder. These are the ones to recover with and contain extra protein to help rebuild those poor aching muscles. It’s the ultra zingy, sherbert tasting one that will wake you up and have you back firing on all cylinders in no time!
As far as natural run fuel goes you can’t get better than these and even better they taste like chocolate truffles. Smooth, sweet, chewy and dare I say it I personally think they’re an improvement on the original flavours. Each pack contains three energy balls and you can buy them from the Go Faster Food website.
We all know that eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly is the way to go, but as we get older sometimes we need a little help along the way. And that’s where supplements can come in.
OK so opening up a few boxes of supplements on Christmas day might not seem the best present idea and sure yeah depending on what those supplements are it might make you a little paranoid about what people think of you. But if you’ve subtly asked for them beforehand then it’s all good right….
One of the biggest problems encountered by runners is joint pain and while it may be something that comes on as purely part of the aging process, it can be exacerbated by running (particularly on hard surfaces such as pavements).
Rose hips contain high levels of Vitamin C – 6o times more than an orange! Vitamin C is essential for maintaining the health of blood vessels (a huge factor when it comes to running), helps produce collagen (the connective tissues and therefore essential for joint and muscle health), treats inflammation, and it helps your body absorb iron better (therefore giving you more energy!). But in addition to of all that rose hips also contain the fatty acid GOPO, which is basically the plant version of fish oil and we all know how good cod liver oil is for the joints right!
GOPO® are natural food supplements taken from rose hips which have been clinically proven to help reduce joint pain and stiffness which in turn helps improve both flexibility and mobility. Available from Boots, supermarkets and independent chemists nationwide, GOPO® Joint Health is priced at £18.99 for 120 capsules or £28.49 for 200 capsules.
To begin noticing the effects you should ideally have three capsules twice daily for a minimum of three months. And yes that is a lot of supplements to be taking, I totally get that, so if you’re someone who struggles to swallow pills you can also break open the capsules and sprinkle the powder over your food.
As a runner myself and as someone who from time to time experiences a bit of knee pain I have been taking these for the past two weeks and shall keep monitoring how I get on with them and will keep you updated!
Natural Body Care
Considering the amount of strain we put our bodies through when we run it’s high time we gave it a bit of TLC. This natural body care range from e’lifexir has something for everybody. Created from natural and organic plant and fruit extracts, each product is suitable for all skin types, hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested and are all vegan friendly.
The range includes:
- Fitness Body Contouring Gel
- Actidern Revitalising Leg Gel
- Anti-Stretch Marks Repairing and Preventing Cream
- Bodylift Anti-Cellulite and Lifting Cream
- Flat Tummy Reducing and Firming Cream
- Push-Up Breast Toning and Firming Cream
- Push-Up Buttocks Sculpting Gel
I’m not saying these are miracle products, I mean come on anyone that actually makes a cream that can flatten a tummy well they’d be millionaires wouldn’t they, however there is a lot to be said about treating and looking after your body. And not just so that it feels nice, but also in the personal relationship you form with it. If you take time looking after something you begin to look at it in a different way; you respect it, you appreciate it, you start to love it. This body confidence does wonders for how you think of yourself as a runner, because if you believe in your body and the strength and power it has as well as what it is capable of, it will translate to how well you run.
My personal fave product in the range is the Fitness Body Contouring Gel as it contains caffeine, which provides a tightening effect on the skin and after using a small amount each after a shower each evening I can notice a slight firming up around my thigh area.
Priced at £15.99 for a 150ml tube a little goes a long way and you could either buy this as a little stocking filler or buy a selection and arrange in a pretty container or basket to create your own gift set.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas of what to buy your running mad friend or family member or even what to put on your own Christmas list. There are so many products available for runners these days, however I wanted to include products that were slightly different and that covered a whole range of different areas. If you have any other ideas you’d like to add to the list please feel free to comment at the end of this post.
*all products gifted for review.