Updated: Nov 29
Who else gets as SUPER excited about a pair of socks as a runner?
You know I'm right...
A good pair of running socks is right up there with finding the perfect pair of running shoes.
or the right fueling gel.
or the most comfortable pair of running shorts.
Buying holiday gifts for the runner in your life doesn't have to be a mind-melting challenge.
Let me give you my favorite running finds of 2023 that I'll be purchasing for runner friends (and re-purchasing for myself lol).
This year I deliberately tested and re-tested my fueling strategies.
I hate to admit it: but I poo-poo'd mid-run fueling for the LONGEST TIME. (it just wasn't a thing when I started running!)
And then I tried it.
And my whole world changed.
Here's my personal fueling go-tos after my year of experimenting
Prozis has stolen the show and is the supplier of my favorite nut butters.
I've been working with Prozis since February of 2023 (and I've eaten a lot of nut butters as a result). Prozis is a Portuguese-based and leading European company that specializes predominantly in sports nutrition while also supplying fitness gear. They're a partner of the ATRP (Associação de Trail Running de Portugal, the Portuguese Trail Running Association). and have also been a sponsor of the Portuguese Trail Running Championships as of 2016.
If you're looking for some fancy nut butters to PRE-FUEL your runs: I got you.
if you're a peanut butter fan, this one tastes like a Reese's cup. Now imagine putting that on your pre-run toast. (instant yum).
a touch sweeter than your normal almond butter, but not over poweringly sweet. Goes really nicely with bananas :)
it's dangerous keeping this in my house. I eat it straight out of the jar. This is my absolute favorite and I personally think it's better than nutella. (I know, strong words).
Now imagine gifting your favorite runner a variety pack of all these nut butters. They might say thank you by immediately scarfing these down and heading out the door on a run.
SAVE MONEY! use my code for 10% off + free snacks/goodies: DRWHITT10
if you are a SALTY sweater, you NEED THIS. I won't lie: salt sticks get the job done but this is more enjoyable to drink
Living now in Northern Alabama, I've learned the value of hydrating properly the hard way. I won't be without these in the summer months. But these also would have been a game changer living in Michigan and running in the cold and snow where hydrating is actually more difficult, because who wants to chug water when its -10F outside?
THE TRICK: these are flavored with stevia so while they're salty, they're also sweet. And you only have to use as much as you need, which might mean only half a stick for an entire water bottle.
THE BEST PART: you can get a sample pack on Amazon if you don't want to commit to an entire box
(bonus perk: because there's no sugar in them, they doesn't leave your water bottles or hydration bladders sticky and gross)
I LOVE these, I really do! Especially the caffeinated ones for loooong trail runs.
easy to carry and the most gentle, GI-friendly, runner-specific fuel you can find at your running store or REI
All the flavors are delicious with 3 pieces giving you 24g of carbs
I would personally use these for race day because they're relatively melt-resistant, but these (like any running fuel) start to get expensive...
so I wanted to find an everyday alternative...
Albanese Gummy Bears. hear me out.
you can buy a large bag of these at your preferred grocery store (or amazon) for $10-$12 USD.
With 9 gummy bears for 23g of carbs...hmmmm, do you see a similarity here?
all you really need in a mid-run fuel is vehicle for the appropriate amount of easily digestible sugars in a form that your body can handle.
Candy is made to be very easily consumed. And easy to digest. It's also a lot cheaper than specific running fuels ;)
Running Gear: Ladies Corner
Sorry my dudes.
Salomon Advanced 8 skin trail hydration pack (for women)
This was gifted to me mid summer this year. And it's another game changer.
Added my LMNT to a hydration bladder (bought separately) and headed out to go run/hike a (in my opinion) super technical, rocky mountain.
The combo of hydration + electrolytes helped me power through 1.5hours, at 70-80 degrees F getting up to about 80% humidity. This was something I could NEVER have done before.
the fit was comfy, adjustable, and secure without smooshing or compressing me. I personally prefer a hydration bladder vs. the 2 water bottles it comes with because I feel the straw wack my in the face. No bueno.
The only thing: I would highly recommend wearing a shirt and not tank tap to help avoid general chafing. Otherwise: 10/10.
Favorite Prozis Shorts: Battle Braids High Waist Medium Short
if you're sick of hearing about these, sorry. (but not sorry).
Again, the hot weather came for me with all the uncomfortable chafing and these shorts saved me. I have 2 pairs of them.
They're compressive in the best way possible: not too much that you feel like an exploding can of biscuits but firm enough that they're not going to slide down after miles and miles and repeated wash cycles.
They move with you, don't ride up, have mesh paneling in the gusset (look it up. it's important in active wear) and the dark colors don't show awkward sweat outlines.
the best part: they lift and they run. I love me a multi-use anything.
SAVE MONEY! use my code for 10% off + free snacks/goodies: DRWHITT10
Ride or Die: 3 Pocket Brooks Running Sports Bra
ladies, buy one for your best lady running friend. She will thank you.
this bra has saved the day multiple times.
Most notable: I was out in Arizona and took advantage of the desert trails near us. While getting ready for my run, I panicked because I forget my running belt. Until I realized, I could fit my phone, hotel key, and something else if I wanted to into this sports bra. I ran the entire long weekend in it and never lost a thing. (ok, I lost my hotel key but that was because I was stupid. it was not the bra's fault)
By the way, I own 3 of these.
Running Gear: Anyone's Party
CEP compressions socks vs everyone.
there's literally an entire branch of physical therapy surrounding compression socks. (ok, compression garments in general. So I'll keep this short.)
THE POINT: the lower grade compression socks you can get off amazon that are around 10mmHg,...they're alright. I personally refuse to buy them.
The Evidence is leaning towards a higher compression socks around 20-30mmHg to truly make a difference and help your recovery game. That's why I only use CEP socks.
they're high quality, last a long time, and if you don't like the sock part, you can get calf sleeves.
the ULTIMATE TRICK with these: wear them on the airplane traveling to AND from your destination race. Trust me. You will feel better rested and less laggy.
Now, I want to hear for YOU!
Please tell me in the comments below your favorite, can't-run-without-them finds!
I'm always looking for something new and fun to try.
Until next time running fit fam...
Dare to Train Differently,
Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //@dr.whitt.fit