How are you? I do hope you, Mrs Claus and all the reindeer are well. It was very good of you to take time out of your busy schedule last month to help out at the RNLI Reindeer Run and it was lovely to receive my medal from you at the finish line, although I’m quite sure none of us were quick enough to challenge your super-speedy sleigh-pullers!
I’m probably a fairly easy person to choose gifts for, however just in case you’re still looking for any ideas, I thought I’d make you a list of my top picks of gifts for
runners me. I’ve been extremely mostly good this year and it would be lovely to find one of these little treats under my Christmas tree on the 25th*:
The “High End” Gifts
You have to aim high on a list like this, right? I may already have a perfectly serviceable Garmin watch (actually, I have two!), but top of my list this year has got to be the new Garmin Forerunner 620 with heart rate monitor. As a running addict and gadget geek, nothing would make my day more than combining running and tech into one fabulous piece of kit.
The 620 records just about every single piece of running data it’s possible to record (distance, pace, time, ground contact, cadence, bounce, VO2 max, race predictor…) as well as allowing friends to track your run live and then telling you how much recovery time you need post-run. Cool, huh? And all of this in a lightweight, colour touchscreen device with wireless connectivity. I definitely want one of these!
Next up, a running jacket. I have many of these and probably don’t need another one, but the one I’d love this year is not just any running jacket, it’s a Gore Air GT ASjacket in shiraz red and hot pink. Pricey, but I’ve found that nothing beats the elements quite like Gore (I’ve been wearing a great pair of Gore gloves which keep my hands nice and toasty) and this little beauty sports a feminine cut and fitted hood, has an integrated media pocket and a secure hook for a key. A pretty zippy colour too!
The Mid-Price Gifts
First up, the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze half zip top. I love a good base layer on colder days and this one can be worn on its own or with another top over it if the temperature plummets. Designed to be both insulating and moisture-wicking (essential to regulate body temperature), it comes in a range of funky colours – my favourite is magenta with the festive snowflake print.
I could also do with a new pair of trainers for the gym. I don’t like to be overly supported during my workouts so that my feet and ankles can be strengthened too so I’ve found the Nike Free 3.0 to be ideal for this. A really comfortable shoe, but my current pair (which I love) could probably do with being replaced. Even better, they can be customised with NikeiD to really reflect the owner’s personality. Awesome!
I love my Yurbuds earphones which are comfortable, never fall out and allow me to hear noise around me (like traffic – I need to know if a massive lorry is heading my way!) while keeping the quality of the sound. I’ve been using Yurbuds for the last couple of years since I discovered them on holiday in the USA and now they’re available here in the UK. I recently noticed their new Race Case which looks great for using my phone on the go. It has a handstrap for a tight grip and a shell that offers impact protection in the event of a drop. Great for easily taking race photos to stick on my blog without fear of dropping my precious iPhone!
Another thing I love is compression calf sleeves. During the winter months I wear compression tights on my long runs, but in the summer when I’m in my shorts or skorts I still like to know I can have some compression when I need it so calf sleeves are brilliant for this. Wearing sleeves also means I can stick to my favourite socks rather than trying something different which might cause blisters. Recently, I’ve been keen to get some more unusual designs and my attention has been caught by Bondi Band’s argyle patterned sleeves. Black or block colours are great, but sometimes I just like something a little more unique. Just because I’m going to get hot and sweaty doesn’t mean I can’t put an outfit together!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without socks, and my favourites are the Balega Enduro socks. Really comfortable and I’ve never had blisters with them so I tend to stick with these. With my big running challenge next year, a couple more pairs wouldn’t go wrong.
Everyone’s wearing Christmas jumpers these days and I’m certainly no exception. I recently came across this little gem and couldn’t resist – a tech top that looks like a Christmas jumper! It’s most certainly a novelty, but I’d love one of these for winter running.
So there you go Santa. This stuff is all available from a variety of running shops and online retailers, or you could get your elves to make them for me (I’m sure Mrs Claus would manage a tech Christmas jumper!). I’ll be sure to leave a cookie out for you and a carrot for Rudolph. Safe travels on Christmas Eve.
*Disclaimer: all of these are my own, totally independent ideas. This is quite simply a list of the stuff I’ve spotted and would quite like – you can never have too much running gear after all and you never know, Santa might be reading!
What would be top of your list for Santa this year?