There are people who say running is a cheap sport, that you just need a good pair of sneakers and a decent sports bra, if you’re a lady.
They’re clearly not addicted to gear like I am. While none of this stuff makes me faster, some of it makes things easier and all of it makes running even more enjoyable.
Below are my top picks for any runners on your holiday shopping list. Unless otherwise indicated, all items are things I’ve tried and love. And any Amazon links are affiliate links, FYI.
Vanilla Bean Gu; $1.08 per on Amazon/$25.95 for a case of 24 (usually about $1-$1.50 in a running store
This stuff has gotten me through training and running two marathons and a whole bunch of halfs. It has caffeine, but doesn’t seem to bother my stomach and it sort of tastes like vanilla frosting. Its cousin, chocolate outrage, is equally awesome.
Gu Brew Peach Tea Tablets; $14 for 24 tablets
This stuff is like Nuun, but Nuun’s bothered my stomach, so I’m a Gu Brew girl. It’s has electrolytes and potassium to rehydrate you, like Gatorade, but a lot less calories.
Zico Coconut Water, $21.51 for a case of 12
Also awesome for hydration. Whether it’s from running…or too much wine. Either or.
These gloves are awesome to steal an iPad with. Or, you know, use your touchscreen phone/iPod while running in the cold without taking your gloves off. Same thing. They have some silver-y stuff in them which makes them work. Or magic. You may still find yourself taking your gloves off to text, though.
Foam Roller! $10.09
This is sort of the entry-level foam roller. The white kinds are the softest/least hardcore, but until I discovered another kind at physical therapy (more on this one later), I was completely fine with this one. If you’re not super injury-prone, this will do a good enough job getting all the crap out of your muscles. (More technical explanation here.)
I wore this for an entire marathon, and it barely slipped. Plus, it’s purple and sparkly. That’s really all you need to know.
Thorlo Experia Socks; $12.50
Yes, $12.50 for a pair of socks. But these are not just any socks, my friends, they are magical. They’re made with Coolmax so your feet don’t overheat (trust me, it can happen. Running is sexy.) or stay wet. My mom bought them for me last year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. (Before that, I was a Feetures girl.)
So, I’m really weird in that I’m a 36C/34D, so average-to-slightly-larger chested, but I can wear almost any sports bra without discomfort or pain. I’m really not picky about sports bras at all. But with that said, I like this one. It’s comfortable and doesn’t smother me. Abs not included, sadly.
Skirt: Lululemon Run: Pace Setter, $58.
I ran the entire marathon in this and it didn’t chafe or ride, so it’s a winner.
Shirt: Brooks EZ T II. $18.71
Not too long, not too short, not too tight (I mean, I can’t blame the shirt for my muffin top), not too baggy. I threw it in the dryer a few too many times and it shrunk some, but I don’t think you’re supposed to put Dri-Fit stuff in the dryer, so that’s probably my fault.
Holds all your stuff while you’re running.
Race Bling; $98 for limited-edition NYC version, $68-78 for other marathons
I love Erica, and all of her jewelry is gorgeous. This is perfect to celebrate someone’s achievement!
Trigger Point Massage Roller; $39.95-$69.98
See all the different sizes in the grids? Those help you apply different levels of pressure while rolling. It ranges from “ow, this kind of hurts” to “holy shit, please stop!”
Runner Medal Display; $40
Does the runner in your life have a bunch of medals in a box? These medal displays are a great way to show them off. I smile every time I walk past mine. Also, please note, every other race besides the NYRR races gives out good medals.
CEP Compression Socks, $59.95
These help with recovery. And they’re pink.
Saucony Pro Grid Guide 4; $53.16 – $157.58 <–Amazon is smoking crack. Don’t pay more than $100 for these. Or really, more than $90.
These are the shoes that I ran the marathon in and trained for the marathon in. If you need a little stability, these could be decent shoes for you, but I think I need a more neutral shoe like my last one, the Pro Grid Ride.
More Than $100
Garmin Forerunner 405, $159.77
If you’re not familiar with Garmins, they track your pace and distance. Once you start running with a Garmin, it’s hard to run without it. They’re addicting.
Runners: what are your favorite products? What do you want under your tree/Hanukkah bush/other holiday plant?