The 12 days of Running Gifts

If you are the supporter of a runner or triathlete and your version of a marathon is the Black Friday style madness through the treachery of the local mall, here is a guideline to help streamline your efforts for the runners on your list (If you ARE a runner or triathlete= TREAT YO’SELF!)

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1. Gift certificate to a running or athletic store. Gift certificates may seem impersonal, but every runner requires a different type of shoe so cutting out the middle man to buy the shoe may be playing a bit of a wild card and risking an ill-fitted shoe they feel too guilty to return. Besides, your gift certificate may push them to finally hunt down the new pair of shoes they’ve probably needed longer than they care to admit (runner shoe attachment issues)

2. Pedicure. With all of the miles they put on their feet, offer them a way for them to relax and spoil their poor tootsies!

3. Running clothes. In the same way that you can put a lot of miles on your feet, if you’re working out a lot your clothes can start to look a little haggard. To keep the runner in your life looking ready to pose for any Facebook picture that proves that they are, in fact, a runner… think about compression gear, touch-screen friendly gloves, eyewear, or whatever else tickles your fancy! If you’re unsure of what to buy, go to a running store and ask for some advice and they will be able to point you towards the newest trends (Keep it local by checking out “Tri-Zone” in Los Alamitos or “Runner’s High” in Long Beach)

4. A way to show off. Plenty of people compete in running for the feeling of satisfaction it brings. There is also the segment of racers that compete largely for the SWAG, like the bag, shirt and the medal. For example, I’ve convinced plenty of people to compete in our race solely based on the look of our medal. So a great gift for these athletes is either a hanging rack or a case where they can display their collection of medals. Whatever the reason people compete, this is still a great gift to give any athlete as a way to help safe keep all of their running treasures.

5. Music for the ears. Songs can help keep runners with timing, energy, and motivation. You can go with the usual iPod or accessories such as the armband, or special running ear buds. Another accessory to seriously consider is the Nike + iPod sensor. You can slide this into your shoes (the Nike+ shoes are obviously recommended, but I imagine you could figure out a way to adapt) and they will sync up to your iPod touch or iPhone 3GS or later. Once you have it set up, it can play music while tracking calories burned, distance, time, etc. http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/run.html

6. GPS Watch. Help the runner in your life know where they’re going and where they’ve been. (http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products/your-sports/running/tomtom-runner-gps-watch/dark-grey/?WT.srch=1&WT.mc_id=CO_search_Summer2013_SportsWatch) Most running watches out there (such as Garmin and tomtom) also give runners the ability to upload their workouts to their website or mobile device to help track training and progress.

7. Reusable Water bottle. If you want to give your runner a little something without diving into the big bucks of gear and the like, there are some great options to help keep your athlete hydrated. Be mindful of the style of the bottle in comparison to how they train (i.e. Biking vs running, hand held vs clip, insulated vs lightweight, etc).

8. Injury Prevention & Treatment. Injuries and discomfort caused by running can be easy sources for excuses to slip out of good exercise habits. To help your runner avoid this, think of purchasing something like body glide which reduces chafing, fancy colored sport tape to help with shin-splints, shoe inserts to reduce knee and foot issues, and synthetic socks to avoid blisters. (http://greatist.com/fitness/most-common-running-injuries-and-how-avoid-them)

9. Protein & Hydration (Stocking stuffer!) Protein bars, chews, and hydration packets can help boost your runner’s energy levels so they can finish a run or workout on a high note.

10. Wrist ID. Runners tend to travel light, often leaving with nothing but the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet. In the event of an emergency or injury with the runner, a wrist ID can be a lifesaving accessory. These wristbands can be fashion statements, but more importantly contain relevant medical information, their name, and contact information. This can help so that necessary people are contacted and important medical information is passed on to emergency personnel.

11. Jewelry. You can use jewelry to track specific running achievements, such as charms that represent the first time they ran or finished a certain race. Otherwise, you can also go with a simple and cute necklace or bracelet with a runner silhouette or quote. It’s a sleek way for them to show their passion and can also be used as a perfect conversation starter.

12. Running Belt. These are a perfect and comfortable way to have storage on the go. These trendy waistbands can fit most modern phones, keys, money, and even a power bar or two. They are essentially a sleeker, fancier, and more attractive version of the good ole fashioned fanny pack. (check out The FlipBelt at http://flipbelt.com/)

12 days of running gifts

13. In honor of Friday the 13th, I’m going to sneak in a little extra gift tip. Entry fees. When I shop for friends or family close to me, I like to try and create memories rather than chancing a physical item they may or may not use or even already have. Memories are invaluable (I know… it’s not free…shhh). Pay for an entry into their favorite race or sign BOTH of you up to participate. Give the gift of corny by gifting memories this holiday season. Anyone purchasing Race on the Base entries this holiday season?

Thanks to RunEatRepeat for the inspiration! http://runeatrepeat.com/2013/11/14/top-10-gifts-for-runners-this-holiday-season/

Holidaze

Just like ABC Family, our countdown to the holidays has officially begun. Between shopping, decorating, crafting, EATING holiday treats, and more- it can be hard to make time for yourself, let alone a work-out. What’s more- since the invention of things like Pinterest you’re now expected to have perfectly designed homes and equally appealing and creative holiday treats and dinners. So how are you supposed to find the time to do anything for yourself?

If you can’t avoid the holiday treats- hopefully you can still commit to working out in some form (no, holding an excessive number of shopping bags through a crowded mall-though brave-does NOT count as a workout!). Let’s start thinking about ways we can still fit a workout into the schedule without scheduling your life down to the T and getting minimal sleep.

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1. No elevators/escalators: take the stairs! Small changes such as this can make a BIG difference. They add up.

2. Portion control: If you struggle to make time to work out, don’t stack the cards against yourself by stacking your plate to the sky! Try the treats, but don’t eat the whole tray.

i'm not even sorry

3. Take an inventory of your time: Have you ever heard the expression “you don’t HAVE time… you MAKE time”? When something is important to you, you’ll make it happen. Prioritize family and friends, but don’t forget about YOU in the meantime because YOU are the one that has to live with the results of your workout habits. If you stop to think about how you actually spend your time, you may come to find hidden clusters of time that is wasted or could be repurposed for something more productive. (Remember that Pinterest I mentioned earlier…) (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/make-time-to-work-out?page=1)

4. Time Your Screen Time: It is so easy to get sucked into the trap of DVR and Netflix, especially after a long day at work. But just stop and think about all those times you’ve been watching a mediocre show that you settled on after realizing you’ve already watched and re-watched every episode of your favorite shows. I dare to say you won’t miss those shows if instead of watching them… you took a little time to focus on you and your health. What’s more- if you just can’t resist the newest episode of your favorite show: make your time more valuable. Be an active viewer. Do something on the commercial breaks like sit-ups, jumping jacks, or yoga. (http://experiencelife.com/article/25-ways-to-make-time-for-fitness/)

5. No excuses: Play like a champion! Instead of making up excuses to say why you shouldn’t or can’t workout, think of reasons why you should and I can guarantee those pros will definitely outweigh the cons. Plus, think of all that time you waste even thinking up excuses that could be better spent. Everything tends to be so much easier said than done, but you have to start somewhere.