Happy 6th December and hope you’re all enjoying the early days of Advent and jolly run-up to Christmas. For all you runners out there or for those
cursed lucky enough to have a runner in your life, there is always a long list of coveted running items and accessories that we long for and which, you’ll be delighted to know, make the perfect Christmas gifts.
If you weren’t running-minded, you’d be forgiven for thinking that once a person had acquired all the essential running gear – running shoes, shorts, t-shirts, jacket, socks, gloves, leggings, hats, etc. – there would simply be nothing else left to buy.
You would be wrong.
There is always something new or better out there in the shops that catches your eye and sticks in your mind until that glorious day when you actually get to bring it home with you…and add it to the ever-mounting, massive and obscene amount of running gear in your wardrobe 🙂
I use wiggle.com a lot for buying running gear as they have great gear for running, cycling, swimming and triathlon and they offer great discounts. Also incredibly good service, very reliable and fast delivery. My “wishlist” on wiggle is a permanent fixture and since getting into cycling, my wishlist has at least doubled in size! Most of the items are ones which I will probably never actually buy but a girl is allowed to dream sometimes 😉
But presents for runners (or cyclists!) don’t have to be big or expensive. Great presents are often very inexpensive but choosing the rights ones can make a truly brilliant present for a runner and as they’ll likely be using it everyday, your gift is sure to leave a lasting impression. Last year, my aunt got me some running socks – now every time I put them on, I remember where I got them and it makes me smile. So small, but so thoughtful.
Enough jabber, now for the ideas!
1. Running Gloves – You can pick up a pair of these in Elvery’s, Lifestyle and most other sports clothes shops, as well, of course, as online like such sites as wiggle.com. They come in a variety of types, from the lighter pairs to the fluffier winter mitten styles. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, the lighter or warmer ones might be best.
For a light pair, I would go for Ronhill Lite Gloves – Retailing between 10-20 euro, these are a comfortable light pair for winter day when you feel like you need something for your hands but nothing too warm. You can often buy them as a set complete with a beanie also.
For a very good, properly warm pair on those really cold days, I would highly recommend the Saucony Ulti-mitts.
You can fold the flap over the fingers on these for a mitten effect and it honestly does make such a difference in terms of keeping out the cold that much better. As well as providing an extra layer of material on top of your fingers, it creates a barrier to keep air from passing in between the fingers and thereby keeps the temperature up.
I love them. Solid 5/5 from me.
2. Running Socks – YOU CANNOT BUY A RUNNER ENOUGH SOCKS, EVER. I’d like to be able to say you can’t go wrong with buying someone running socks, but you can. Good intentions are lovely and all but if you get someone a poor pair of running socks, they simply won’t use them or they will…and then end up silently cursing you forever. Do it right however, and they will love you forever more 😉
1000 Mile socks are my personal favourite. I never blister, they are supremely cushy and comfortable and… very importantly, they don’t slip down. They retail around 11 euro and you can buy them in Elvery’s or online here.
As a general rule, I’d stay away from thick “sweat socks” or socks that have poor elastic around the neck. Personally, I’ve found that Nike socks tend to fall down (pun intended) in this department.
3. Running Hat – Another cheap, yet great piece of gear. I have a mixture of light hats and warmer ones, picking whichever one is more suited to my mood and the weather. For the very cold days, I’d recommend the Saucony Drylette beanie. Looks great and very comfortable fit – snug but not too tight or too warm.
On a less posh note, I also frequently wear a fleece hat that sits a lot more loosely on my head and which I find very comfortable. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all and if it has a bit of colour or a fun design to it, then all the better
4. Food – Running gels, energy bars, electrolyte tablets, energy chews… we love all this stuff. You wanna see the look of sheer delight when you give a runner a box of these goodies – it’s like the adult version of the Santa effect. Pure joy. Go mad.
Some of my own favourites are High 5 Zero Electrolyte Tabs, Clif Shots, SIS energy gels…
Gu energy gels, Clif bars… the list is endless. A particularly good present idea is to pop along to a sports shop and pick up a random selection of these kind of things and parcel them in a nice gift-wrapped box. Kinda like a runner’s selection box.
5. A Decent Foam Roller. An essential piece of kit in any runner’s armoury, a foam roller can wear out when used a lot so the gift of a new one can be a most welcome present to a runner. A good one will make for a brilliant and very useful gift.
Trigger Point foam rollers are the business when it comes to foam rollers and can be got for good discounts if you shop around online.
6. Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is not your typical running book. Neither a biography nor not a lesson in how to run, this is a completely different, if enjoyable read for people with a love of running.
7. T-shirts and Hoodies with Cute Running Jargon… My favourite t-shirt is one that I picked up for 10 euro at a running expo that has the Irish shamrock emblem on the back with Saucony’s running phrase “Find Your Strong” alongside Dublin. I’ve worn it to death but I love it to bits because it makes me feel a tiny bit strong 😉
Websites like goneforarun.com do a range of tees and hoodies with snappy slogans that will make the runner in your life feel pretty darn badass. Bits and bobs like these:
8. An I.D Band – I have to confess I still haven’t got one of these yet. A really simple ID band just in case… find one here.
9. A Running Journal is a lovely present. Useful, as well as being just a nice thing to have.
10. Born To Run by Christopher McDougall – like with Murakami, this is unlike anything else you’ve ever read and one that will shape you, change the way you think and stay with you forever. If you haven’t read it, read it before you gift wrap it and pass it on 😉 !