Since I will not be lining up at my local turkey trot and intimidating the shit outta the kids at the start line this year, I figured the only contribution I have to the blogging world at this time of year is to tell everyone what I want for Christmas. Thus, the Punisher Guide to Holiday Gifting is born! Below is the list of running and health related things I either already use and love or really really want. I have tried to capture a range of prices and cover the spectrum of gear and interests to make sure there is something for every runner on your list!
- Subscription to Calm.com $60 gets you a 12 month unlimited subscription. Great for anyone trying to be more mindful, relaxed or sleep better and willing to try mediation.
- Subscription to Jasyoga $5 / month gives you unlimited access to a huge variety of yoga videos for athletes. I don’t always have the time or energy for a 60 or 90 minute class at a studio, but the numerous 10-20 minute videos are a great way for me to incorporate yoga into my routine. I didn’t see a gift option on the site, but I’m sure if you contact them they can set it up for you. Or you can just buy it for yourself 🙂
- The Compete Training Journal $15. I loved the original Believe training journal from Lauren Fleshman (which is another great option) but the new Compete Journal seems more tailored to my running goals. I have a digital running log, but there is still something awesome about filling out a physical log every day that I love.
- Jaybird x3 Wireless Ear Buds $99 – Currently on sale at Best Buy. I have the x2 and they are the only headphone that stay in my ears no matter how sweaty I get. I also love the wireless bluetooth feature that eliminates annoying cords getting in my way.
- Picky Bars A 10 pack is currently on sale for $19.95 and a 3 month subscription goes for $66.50. These are real food bars that taste freaking awesome and are made by a small, athlete-owned startup. My favorite flavors are Smooth Caffeinator and Moroccon Your World.
- GU I preferred GU over other fueling options because they are local (based in Berkeley, CA) and they had great flavor options. Then they made Salted Caramel Stroopwaffels and my lifetime loyalty was earned. But loyalty comes at a price. A box of 24 roctane gels usually goes for $60 (they are currently on sale for $48) and if I go through a gel every 25-30 minutes in runs over 90 minutes… well the GUs start to add up. A box of Stroopwaffels or salted caramel gels are a gift in their own right, but individual packets also make great stocking stuffers.
- How Bad Do you Want It? $13 For the reader or runner looking to improve the mental aspect of running. This book is amazing. You can read it all the way through, or chapter by chapter since it is broken down into individual anecdotes that stand up perfectly well on their own. I have even gone back and re-read specific chapters before a race. I would not recommend the audio version. For some reason, the narrator sounds like a robot and I can’t handle it.
- Oiselle Toolbelt Roga Shorts ($56) for the ladies or Patagonia Strider Pro ($59) shorts for the dudes. Pockets. Comfort. No Chaffing. The functional needs of trail running shorts is universal but it can be hard to splurge on yourself, which is why these make a great gift.
- ShowerPill $10 for a box of 10. Do you have a friend or loved one who is particularly stinky after a run? Also good for literally every runner who wants to get brunch after a weekend long run but is too self conscious about their aroma.
- Pretty much anything from Maggie Tides Design Gifts range from $30 for some super awesome graphics tees to $350 for a three piece canvas print of the historic Western States course. Maggie is a talented graphic designer, a lawyer and a badass trail runner so I have no problem spending my hard earned cash on such cool products.
- Heading to a holiday dinner or party? Bring a 4-pack of Sufferfest to thank your hosts. The Taper IPA is my favorite for it’s full flavor but surprisingly light body. It’s brewed with barley, but the gluten is removed which makes it easier to drink more! But be careful, the Taper is 7.5% ABV. They also have pretty sweet trucker hats for the trucker hat obsessed person in your life.
- Addaday Pro Massage Roller. $47. It may look like a torture device, but your calves will thank you.
- Hydroflask Water Bottle $30 for the 18 ounce wide mouth. There are few thingd worse than getting back to your car from a long hot run to find the water you stashed in your trunk is better used for bathing than drinking. Hydroflask use some crazy space age technology to keep the contents of their bottles cold (or warm if its coffee or food). Really it’s just a vacuum seal. But it works. And it’s awesome.
- A sports massage. Availability varies based on location, but a good sports massage never goes amiss for people who spend many hours a week pounding the trails.
- Personalized Blood Analysis through InsideTracker. A gift card for blood analysis could be a good gift for someone who wants to know more about their health or running performance. A range of tests offer analysis of a variety of biomarkers as well as nutrition and supplement recommendations to optimize health and athletic performance.
- Run Fast. East Slow Cookbook $17 I might be biased (it’s no secret that I am just a little bit of a fan of Shalane Flanagan’s), but this cookbook offers great recipes for endurance athletes and most are easy and quick. I also love that they don’t include calorie counts but rather focus on nourishing ingredients.
- Programmable Coffee Maker with Grinder $170 We recently sacrificed fresh ground beans for coffee that is ready when we wake up at 5 am to go running. Little did I know that we didn’t have to make that sacrifice. This is the perfect gift for the coffee obsessed, early morning runner to save those extra ten minutes in the am but still get all the flavor of fresh ground beans. Now all I need is a time machine.
- A National Parks Annual Pass $80. Give the gift of the promise of adventure. Imagine not having to sneak into Muir woods the back way to run through it or just hopping on down to Yosemite for a long run at the weekend. What better excuse to finally plan that trip to Zion or Glacier than free entry?
- Strava Premium Annual Subscription $60 Strava premium offers advanced analysis, instant feedback and personalized coaching among other features. It makes a great gift for any runner who is big on data and/or social media.
- Flight upgrade for A race. This one is a bit weird but, if you have a runner in your life who will be taking a flight over 4 hours long to get to a goal race next year, consider offering to pay for a seat upgrade. If you kind of like them, or are not made of money, an upgrade to premium economy gets enough legroom to at least stretch out a bit. If you really really love them, or happen to be filthy rich, an upgrade to business or first class with forever ingratiate them to you.
- A donation to Ultrarunner Podcast or IRUNFAR MUT isn’t exactly covered by espn and we need the likes of these two great websites to provide live event updates and in depth interviews with our sport’s established and up and coming stars.
What are you favorite running essentials / gift ideas?
Happy holidays everyone! Hope you have a great thanksgiving and crush whatever local turkey trot you happen to be racing tomorrow.