Running and Friendly Links
Christmas and Birthday Present Ideas for Runners and Fitness Enthusiasts
Give Arm Sleeves, Technical Running Socks, Hydration Gear, and More
Thanksgiving dinner is later this week, Black Friday shopping follows the next morning, and Christmas is champing at the bits. Not many of us have done our shopping for stocking stuffers and Christmas presents.
The saving grace about gifting runners, triathletes, and other fitness types is that chances are they will actually enjoy the gear they find beneath the Christmas tree or crammed into their stockings. Lets look at a few gifts that Santa Claus would be proud to deliver.
Running Gear for Cold Weather
The weather outside is frightful, as the song says. Well, maybe not so much here in south Texas, but theres the odd 40° morning here and there. Given that many runners are smack dab in the middle of training for a winter marathon, some cold weather gear is in order.
- Technical running gloves or mittens. These work in our area since you can wear them when you head out on a chilly run, and then take them off and tuck them into your waistband when you warm up or catch a tailwind.
The technical materials used today wick moisture away while retaining keeping the body heat in. You can pick up a good pair for about $20 for a Christmas present or stocking stuffer.
- Arm sleeves. You might hear them called sports sleeves as well. They are really getting popular for those of us who are thermally challenged. They might look odd, but so do Bluetooth earhuggers; go figure.
Sleeves can be handy when a runners core temperature doesnt warrant a long-sleeved shirt isnt needed; just go with a singlet and sleeves.
Christmas Gifts that Keep on Giving
Some running gear spans the seasons. Check these out.
- Technical running socks. Unless youre a barefoot runner, youre always going to need a pair or two. Look for socks that are specifically designed for running to minimize the chance of blisters.
- BodyGlide. Back in the day we had to settle for vaseline. It worked but was temperamental on very cold or very hot days. And it stained clothes. No more; now weve got BodyGlide, possibly the most effective anti-chafing product available. It comes in a handy applicator resembling a deodorant stick. No more dipping your fingers into the Vaseline tub.
- Water bottles and hydration devices. Hydrate or die, as they say. This market has really expanded. The most basic is the hand-held. Then theres the one I like, the Fuelbelt Sprint 10-ounce Palm Holder with Pocket. Its a regular bottle but it comes with a cushioned strap so you dont have to keep a tight grip on it as the miles roll by.
CamelBak backpacks used to be just a cycling thing, but more and more runners are wearing them. I suppose they would be handy for fastpacking, but it seems a little extreme otherwise. Plus, in the summer it reduces available exposed skin area for cooling by evaporation.
- Running safety gear. This is one thing thats just not used much, but should be. We train on roads, we sometimes get out there in the dark, people drive crazy with texting and such behavior. Obviously, despite all cautions taken, runners and cyclists do get hit. At least have your contact information available.
I use the Road ID. Its very inexpensive and completely customizable. Mine lists my name, address, emergency contact info, and a medical condition. In my case, high blood pressure. Get one for your spouse or main squeeze as a stocking stuffer.
- Columbia Omni Freeze Zero Shirt. This is a shirt engineered for hot weather. The fabric contains tiny embedded cooling rings that are activated by moisture, (i.e. sweat).
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