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Holiday Gift Guide: Runners

Holiday Gift Guide: Runners

Runners like toys. There’s no getting around it. Someone that’s into fitness will love getting some running toys for the holidays. Last year Michael’s mom gave me a gift card to a nearby running store for Christmas. Best present ever! I desperately needed a new pair of running shoes.

If you have a runner in your life, here are a few of my favorite things you might want to get for them:

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Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack with Two 10-Ounce Nutrition Flasks–I have one and I love it. It worked great for long training runs. I used it when I ran Hood To Coast. It’s a must have for any runner. I like that it doesn’t slosh around too much either.

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GUs–A runner needs fuel. I like GU brand personally. I’ve tried almost everything out there and decided that GUs tasted less like chemical burning than most of the “energy” things out there. Get a case for your runner.

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Garmin!–Oh my gosh! If you bought this for the runner in your life they will LOVE YOU. When I was running a lot I desperately wanted a Garmin. I was such a nerd about my stats and really wanted one of these babies to track all of it. I never got a Garmin but that leads me to my next item…

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Polar Heart Rate Monitor–I never got a Garmin but I absolutely love my Polar HRM. It absolutely changed the way I worked out, for the better. Being able to properly track my calories made a huge difference in my weight loss. I love my HRM and would never go back to not using one.

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Running Shoes–New Runners often make the mistake of buying cheap shoes. Sometimes it’s aboutΒ commitment, we aren’t sure we’ll stick with it, we don’t have the money, etc. But investing in a GOOD pair of shoes will make a world of difference. Bad shoes = injury. Take the time to get fitted for good shoes. And then buy them for cheaper online. πŸ™‚

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Tune Belt Sport Armband for iPhone/Blackberry–A cheap little stocking-stuffer that will make your runner happy. I prefer to have my music when I run or workout and this makes it easy.

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Smart Wool Socks–I don’t wear anything else when I workout. I love my SmartWool. They feel great, they never give me blisters, I don’t sweat in them. They are the perfect socks in my opinion. I have thick pairs for snowshoeing or hiking, thin pairs for running. Love!

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Compression Tights–Finally, my favorite fitness item I own is my compression tights. Michael got them for me for Christmas last year and I loveΒ these. They feel so fantastic. Compression tights are a lifesaver for people training for long distance runs or cycling events. They work great during events and also for recovery afterward.

Lots of fun toys for the runner–or great ideas for youΒ to make your holiday wish-list. Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite running items?

G is for Gym Bag Essentials

I have three gym bags. I don’t always take them all with me. On swim days, I just take my swim bag.

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SWIMMING BAG

My swimming bag is the biggest bag I have. I bought it at the Nike outlet mall for $20. It’s big because I have to have a lot of stuff with me when I go swimming.

I need shampoo, conditioner and soap for the shower afterward. I have a cosmetics bag with a hairbrush, Q-tips, Vitamin E Oil, deodorant and various lotions. The chlorine water dries my skin out and makes me itch. I use the Vitamin E oil on my body first, then put on lotion. It helps a lot. I usually stick with lotions that are unscented and aid in “itch” relief. Definitely an essential! Can’t go without my lotions and oils post-swim.

I have two towels, swim suit, various swimming caps in various stages of decay (I need new ones, some are old and stretched out). I also have earplugs and noseclips for when I swim.

The biggest stuff that takes the most space are my hand paddles and my buoy. I can swim without them but I like to take them with me whenever I go to the pool. So these items are essentials in my bag.

Finally, I have a lock for the locker. If you aren’t locking your stuff at the gym and just trusting people to be honest–don’t. I once had my gym stolen from the gym locker. It was six months of HELL trying to get it all taken care of. Spend the $5 on a lock!

GYM BAG

The other two bags are my gym bags. One is simply where I keep all my workout clothes and running shoes. I take this with me to

SHOES. I keep my newest pair of running shoes in the bag and only use them when running or working out at the gym. I want to keep them good as long as possible and not wear them out early. My Brooks Ravenna shoes are most definitely an essential item. I can’t run in anything else! In that pair of shoes I also have the heel lift I MUST have when I run (to prevent my IT Band issues).

PHONE CLIP. I have a special clip I can put on my iPhone case so I can attach it to my shorts. It’s so much easier when I workout and listen to music. I don’t have to worry about dropping my phone.

BONDI BAND. I have three Bondi Bands I use when I workout or run because it keeps the sweat from dripping on my face. When I run outside I often switch to using a running hat.

WEIGHT BAG

In my smaller gym bag I carry a few essential items that I need when I workout in the gym. I carry this tiny bag with me in the gym as I work out.

GLOVES. The must have item is my weight lifting gloves. I use an old pair of cycling gloves because they are comfortable and padded. I get calluses really easily on my hands and gloves prevent that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on weight lifting gloves, either.

TOWEL. I use the REI special wicking towel. I have a small one for my gym bag and a large one for my swim bag. It’s super absorbent. It’s literally the best towel I’ve ever purchased. It dries really fast and is lightweight. I use the small one when I’m in the gym to wipe off my sweat.

SNACKS. I’ve learned the hard way that I need to have some easy snacks in my gym bag. If I don’t eat them during my workout, they are handy to have right afterward. I currently have a small ziplock bag with dried apricots in it. That keeps the crashes at bay.

WIPES. My gym is awful about having wipes or sprays handy to wipe down machines. I’ve started carrying my own. Yes, I’m a germa-phobe but I’d much rather buy a few packs at the Dollar Store than get sick from the gym.

QUESTION: What are your gym bag essentials?

A-AbstinenceΒ *Β B-BalanceΒ *Β C-CaloriesΒ *Β D-Vitamin DΒ *Β E-EmergencyΒ * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining *