In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share some of my favorite running things. Maybe this can help serve as a gift guide (giving or receiving!). I do not like to shop, so if I can order an item online, I will do that every time. My running wardrobe is nothing fancy, so you won’t find a pair of $400 tights in this list. Haha. But there are a few things that have made running more enjoyable to me, and they are listed below.
- Apple Shuffle: I love to listen to fast beats while I run, but I do not like to us
e my phone for music. Instead, my preference is the shuffle. Also, my favorite jam for running fast is MotionTraxx music with a bpm of 180 or more.
- Lacrosse balls: I’m a fan of foam rolling, but I’m an even bigger fan of lacrosse balls. I ordered the pack that comes with two balls, and I keep one in my purse and the other in my bedroom. I use these balls daily to help work out tight spots, and they seem to get deeper than just a foam roller. (If you are in the car, stick the ball under your hamstring and work away! Safer if you are the passenger. 😉
- Flexibility: while you can’t really give someone flexibility, you can help them achieve their goals with a subscription to ROMWOD (range of motion workout of the day). This is a $13.95/month service, so if you give it as a gift, be prepared to keep giving… and giving… But my husband and I have found that we feel so much better after completing the daily ~20 minute sessions of ROMWOD together.
- Milestone Pod: this is a new toy that I started to use, and the price of $24.95 is super reasonable to give as a gift to your favorite runner. The gait data points are pretty cool, and any running junky will love it!
- Compression Socks: I like to wear compression socks after hard runs to help speed up recovery. I’ve really noticed a difference! Also compression socks are nice for speedwork days because they minimize the vibrations that your calves experience. I like Pro Compression because they seem to have the best prices when accompanied by a discount code.
- Hydration Vest: I love my Ultimate Direction Jenny vest! I’ve tried other vests, but this one fits the best to me. I wore this vest for my 100 mile race, and it was perfect. I do not wear a vest for the shorter distances, but any trail runner who aspires to be outside for a couple of hours should invest in a good vest. For shorter distances, I like a handheld.
- Running in the dark: two things that have made early mornings safer: my Nathan Streak vest and my cheap but good headlamp. You can buy great expensive headlamps, or you can buy good cheap ones. I’ve used this headlamp for both a 50 mile and a 100 mile race, and it served me well. It also does great on my early morning runs. The batteries need to be switched every ~4 hours for optimum brightness, but it is super bright and not too heavy for general running use.
- Fanny pack: ok, so not really a fanny pack, but a running belt is fantastic! I started running with my phone after I got pregnant, and I now I like to have it in case I need the baby (or the other way around ;). I use the SPIbelt, but I think any belt would be fine. My belt is not water proof, and it will bounce when I go really fast,
but for most of my runs, it sits snugly around my waist. I can fit my phone and a couple of gels without a problem.
- Essential oils: There are several different uses for oils, from topical to aromatherapy. My favorite oils that I feel have helped me with running are aromatherapy with lavender (there are studies that show that lavender helps reduce cortisol levels), and melaleuca for skin abrasions (I have taken many falls on the trails, and this is my favorite!). I use doTerra, and I also like their Deep Blue product. If you are looking for a kit, the athlete’s kit is my favorite. Also, here is the diffuser that I use.
- Strength training: I love the Bosu Ball, medicine ball, and elastic bands for strength work.
- Thule Urban Glide: this would be a pretty expensive gift, but it is hands down the best running accompaniment (along with the baby!). It is the smoothest stroller around, and it handles long distances and fast speeds. Also look for the rain cover/windbreaker, snack tray, and console. These lights are also good to strap onto the bars of the stroller or these can clip to the stroller or clip to your clothes.
- Books: you guys know that I love love love reading. Here are all of my favorite running books and reviews. I also highly recommend Run Fast, Eat Slow.
Bonus: I do not use my RoadID bracelet very often anymore, but I had one made when I got pregnant and printed PREGNANT as my medical condition. This was important to me in case I needed emergency attention so that the first responders wouldn’t give me anything that could harm the baby. At some point, it becomes pretty obvious that you are pregnant, but in the first few weeks, sometimes it’s good to spell things out.
Do you have any favorite running items that I can add to my list this year?