With eleven days of shopping left it is time to start thinking seriously about your most favourite person. If they have earned that accolade, and you are reading this blog, then they are most likely a Runner. “But what does one buy a runner for Christmas?” I hear you cry. Read on and I shall soon have your runner’s Christmas sorted.
The risky choice: Trainers
There is no one size fits all approach to running (despite what some race organisers would have you believe with their race tents, I mean shirts) and nothing is more personal to a runner than their trainers. If you know the person intimately, perhaps even share a house with them, then the task should be fairly easy – simply pop a peg on your nose and start rummaging through their festering pile of trainers. Find a label on the tongue and get the size. Now half the battle is won.
If not covered in mud then you can hopefully even find a brand and model name on the side of said trainer and this is where the fun really begins. Start scouring the interwebs and you’ll discover that particular model is now 8 iterations removed or, worse still, discontinued altogether. You’ll also find a vast difference in price too, so all I can say if you choose to go the trainer route is: “good luck!”
If you’re not sure which ones to go for, then may I please recommend the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, without a doubt my favourite shoe.
The practical choice: Love
If you love your Runner, and particularly if you have a vested interest in the comfort of their under regions then perhaps buy them the gift of comfort and glide. BodyGlide to be precise.
If they use it already they’ll be grateful that someone else is forking out for this life-saver, and if they don’t they may well come back from their first run with it having found a new level of affection for you.
In a similar vein, head over to eBay and simply purchase an industrial pack of plasters. They’ll know what they’re for.
The injured runner: Recovery
Books might be a sensible option here; there are, of course, a wonderful array of excellent titles to choose from. However, there is an inherent risk here that you make the Runner even grumpier by enforcing them to sit in the warm and dry and read about the fells rather than it in the snow running on them.
Instead, how about purchasing the Yoga Studio app for their device of choice and encourage them to strengthen all the wonky bits that are resulting in injury in the first place. This app had a wealth of excellent yoga programmes available including a whole bunch of stretch routines designed specifically for runners which begin at just 5 minutes long.
I have been using this app for about six months now and trying to get in a 15-minute session at least every other day. I also haven’t been injured in all that time. Coincidence?
The crafty choice: Art
No doubt your Runner wants to brag about their achievements, and you have a couple of options to choose from.
Pin a medal on the wall
A lovely way to display the hard-earned medals. There are a great many styles and shapes to go for, but this is the place to start.
Print it and frame it
Maybe make a nice print of your Runner’s favourite race. Classics like the Great North Run or the London Marathon are available on colours to suit any decor
Sisu is an alternative, and arguably more personal, option as it can take the Strava information of your favourite Runner (and if they aren’t on Strava surely they can’t call themselves a runner). This then enables you to create a one-off print of a favourite run or event or can create a visual feast of the whole year’s running.
Immortalise EPIC in 3D
This is particularly awesome if your Runner has done something suitably epic in terms of hillage. You can get a 3D printed elevation of a route created from GPS files.
The reader: Knowledge
A magazine is almost always going to be a safe bet. But which one?
If you, or indeed your Runner, have no imagination then you might like to pick up a copy of Runners World. Any edition will do; the training advice will be the same and an article about nutrition will like follow Tim Noakes original advice in the Lore of Running, which he has since admitted was way off the mark! So save some money and pick up a cheap copy from eBay.
A little bit sexist?
Then there is a Men’s or Women’s Running magazine for you. Evidently, someone thinks the different sexes put one foot in front of the other so differently that wholly separate magazines are required.
Is your Runner a statto? Are they interested in the wider range of running and other affiliated accoutrements? Then hit them up with a subscription to Athletics Weekly; as it says on the tin, it offers a weekly roundup of all the goings-on in the athletics world. Marvelous.
If your Runner is not looking for information about how to run; they’re a runner, they understand it’s a simple task – but instead they are seeking enlightenment and answers to life’s big question: “Why We Run?” then simply subscribe them to the wonderful Like The Wind magazine. If they already have that box ticked, and let’s face it, why wouldn’t they? then perhaps try The Journal from Proper Adventure as a suitable alternative.
More money than sense: Splurge
Back on shoes – that risky choice – but the product of some hefty science can surely only give us a hefty price tag. The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% might cost nigh-on £200 but at just £50 per 10.48 miles, it’s guaranteed* to make your number one Runner go fast.
No money: Give ’em something proper good
Just send them in the direction of the Ginger Runner YouTube channel and wish them a Merry Christmas. They’ll love it, and probably you too!
*Nike don’t offer this actual guarantee (unless you are in fact Eliud Kipchoge)