Thursday, December 15, 2011


It seems like everyone has published some sort of Gift Ideas list this Christmas season. I thought I should write my own for MDRA’s magazine. However, given the lag time with print media, it’s way too late for that. So I’ll just share my list here.

I’ll start with things every runner should have but may not want to buy for themselves;
Foam Roller – cheaper than a massage

Headlamp – great if your runner ventures out in the dark – or would like to

Reflective Vest – safety first

Road ID – no brainer

Arm warmers – come in handy for spring and fall races

Swiss ball – core, core core

The Strassburg Sock - if your runner has any sort of Achilles problems

Treadmill – if you really love the runner in your life

Homemade gift certificates for cross-training opportunities;
Spin class – places like Cycle Quest offer pay-as-you-go classes for around $13. They also have boot camp classes available.

Yoga/Pilates – there are also stand-alone yoga places, so you don’t have to be a member of a health club if all you want to do is yoga.

If you’re lucky enough to live where there’s snow, great cross training opportunities exist in the form of snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Don’t feel like buying equipment, there are plenty of rental opportunities around. And if your runner already has equipment, you can always get them a trail pass to their favorite park. Three Rivers Park passes cost $50. That’s good for such awesome parks as Hyland, Elm Creek, Baker, Murphy-Hanrehan, etc.

Some other more unique gifts I’ve received in the past;
A memory box of my first Boston – includes medal, bib # and race certificate

A quilt made out of my old race shirts

Some type of display case for medals would be really cool too

Coaching services or online training program

MDRA membership

Entry fee into a race

A nice set of headphone that won’t slip out

There are lots of running books to choose from – here are the last 3 I’ve read;

Hot (Sweaty) Mamas - not just for women

Running the Edge - not your typical running book – this is more of a self-help book with running as a backdrop

Kara Goucher’s Running for Women

Like books, there are lots of running DVD on the market;

There’s the Hood to Coast documentary that I reviewed recently.

Even better is The Long Green Line documentary that follows Illinois high school coach, Joe Newton. This is great for any runner, but even better if you coach kids.

Last year I received McMillan’s core training DVDs

Of course, I’m a big Lauren Fleshman fan, so I’m all for supporting her side projects. She has Picky Bars and women’s apparel and a training journal geared towards women at Believe I Am. NOTE: while the training journal may have lots of flowers on it, it’s all about believing in yourself, so it’s not just for women. offers online training videos for everything from home computing to photography to web design. Gift subscriptions are available for as little as $25 per month.

Finally, I had a friend mentioned getting a new phone, but struggling with having to figure it out.

There’s my wish list for this year. Hopefully, there are some helpful ideas on there.

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