Hey Runner, you ready to make gift giving SO incredibly easy (and affordable) this year?
Because who doesn't like taking a peak at a RUNNING gift guide to see what goodies they should *maybe* treat themselves to, too?
(You're secret is safe with me.)
I'm excited to share with you my 2nd Running Holiday Gift Guide filled with my ride-or-die favorites that I simply can't run (or live) without.
Legal Disclaimer Time: for products with codes or affiliate links, I may earn a small commission. But please know, I am incredibly picky about the products I share with you. For me to promote something, it needs to enrich your life and improve your running. Just like an exercise I give a patient, there has to be solid clinical reasoning behind the exercise prescription and this follows through into my product suggestions.
With that serious stuff out of the way, grab your beverage of choice (and maybe your wallet) and let's get started!
Recovery Tools That ACTUALLY Work
Dreams and Dandelions
Being a PT, I've tried a lot of topical muscle rubs.
Biofreeze: it's alright; it's menthol based which means it feels really cooling on the applied area, but it doesn't deliver anything deeper into the skin or your muscles
Tiger Balm: similar story + cayenne pepper extract meant to help with pain relief
Blue Emu: more for pain rather than muscle soreness from running, so it's not really going to help with DOMS
But this Warming Muscle Rub! I've sworn by this stuff for YEARS.
Natural oil carriers:
olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax
cayenne pepper extract = warming sensation + pain reliever
Clove bud oil = slight numbing affect for decreased soreness
Arnica = an anti-inflammatory which decreases the sensation of muscle soreness and needed muscle recovery time (it's also really good at helping bruises heel faster)
Pro tip: Great stocking stuffer!
And that's just scratching the surface.
I love it. Get it.
Your sore running buddy will thank you (and smell better too after their long run)
Did I mention these are amazing too?
These are a must for winter/cold weather or dry climate runs!
(Arizona and other desert places-I'm looking at you!)
I always stash mine in my vest pocket before I head out the door to make sure my lips aren't bleeding by the time I come back (because no one likes wind burnt and chapped lips. )
All natural ingredients and extremely nourishing.
Non-scented/flavored option available.
Pro tip: Great stocking stuffer!
NOTE: Carli, the owner of Dandelions and Dreams, only ships in the US. Sorry, international runners. maybe you can do a gift exchange with a US running buddy? ;)
Who followed Project Eclipse?
Shalane's comeback from retirement was incredible to watch, as was her recovery process...which included EATING! (we love to hear it!)
Those superhero muffins she was devouring on a regular bases are in this cookbook: Run Fast. Eat Slow. (yes, I talked about this book last year, but it's worth it! Especially because superhero muffins. IYKYK.)
This book begins to help change the narrative around food "just being calories". You learn by EATING! You find out what foods you respond well to, how to eat nutrient dense carbs, and why fat is important to you meeting your running goals.
Also, multiple recipes sneaks in veggies in case you have an littlies who happen to be picky eaters. ;)
Need something for when you're short on time? Check out some additional and new tasty recipes in her second cook book: Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
This one is for the busy parent, busy runner, or just hangry runner who has big running dreams but little time.
And yes, prioritizing healthy, nutrient dense food is one of your biggest and best recovery tools! Don't sabotage yourself or your running goals.
So if you're ready to take your training to the next level, or know a runner-friend whose constantly complaining about bonking, grab one of these! Food is fuel. (And who doesn't like an excuse to eat? ;) )
Yes, runners can use protein powder too! While carbs are essential for fueling our long runs, protein is crucial for recovery.
Quick physiology lesson: workouts technically break down and damage muscles. It's through the recovery process from this damage that we get stronger. And to recover well, your body needs the building blocks to do so. And those building blocks are protein.
1 full serving of this protein powder packs 20g of protein and an estimated 3g carbs.
Yes, I realize runners needs carbs; don't come for me.
Here me out: I like to EAT my carbs. I love pasta! So let me have my protein shake and my bowl o' noodles.
More reasons to love this:
owned and operated by women
Yes, it's protein geared towards women, but I've gotten one brother-in-law hooked on this stuff. So my dude runners, we'll share ;)
wide variety of mix/match flavors
sample tub sizes available to trial 3 different flavors before purchasing a large tub
Plant-based options available
Formulated to work in both shake, hot drinks, and baking (hello protein brownies and pancakes!)
DISCOUNT CODE: BADMARIE to save 10%
(ppsst: discount codes are stackable! want to save more money? sign up for the email and get another 10-15% off!)
I know, you probably already know about this one. But I'm late to the party (oh well).
This electrolyte blend is GOOD. Not to mention…
Different flavors (guava, tangerine, pineapple just to name a few)
A sleep version!
Performance-wise in the hot, summer months I can DEFINITLY tell a difference from when I use this compared to when I forget.
When I take it, I can:
not feel completely spent when I finish
Recover faster because my body has the nutrients, vitamins, and water it needs
give your water bottle a good shake to dissolve everything; otherwise you get some weird floaties, but not carbonation bubbles that will threaten to turn your water bottle into a squirt gun (aimed at your face…yes, I'm unfortunately talking from experience.)
I wish I had a discount code to give you guys. Next best thing: grab these at Costco for a more cost effective price and a larger bundle.
Great stocking stuffers!
Running Gear They'll ACTUALLY USE! (and you will too)
(use code: DR. W for 20% off!)
Reasons this hat is actually fire:
Made for runners by runners
Variety of SIZES for those runners with a wider or smaller crown
Variety of styles
This means: pick your brim of choice!
Strategically placed vent holes
newest style released is collapsible! (aka I want this one next!)
Why all this matters:
this hat is STURDY.
It doesn't lose its shape.
You don't overheat.
some styles are specifically water-proof
the wide brim is amazing at preventing sunburn on long hot runs and keeping the rain out of your face during the wet ones.
For clarification, I have the Coaster style which is pretty forgiving when it comes to head size and very adjustable. But for runners out there with LOTS of hair, you're going to want the Drifter.
I was in dire need of haircut.
And a run.
So the run came first.
I slapped on my Coaster hat and rammed my thick, unruly hair under the hat but the wind had other plans. I nearly lost my hat 3x during that run (with the wind's help of course), nearly exposing my bad hat hair.
So if your flow is routinely curly or untamed, then you're going to want the Drifter.
Use Code: DR. W to save 20%!
Ok, this is the ONE product I have not personally tried.
BUT….the recommendation comes from YOU GUYS!
I've heard non-stop raving about how you all LOVE the flip AND the water bottles that come with it!
So in case you live under a rock (like me) and didn't know this accessory existed and you already have a flip belt…well, now you know.
Because hydration and fuel is important. Drink up.
Ok, yes, this one applies to my lady-runners. Feel free, gentleman, to skip this one.
I have been running in these non-stop!
I have pockets galore, including one for my phone.
Not to mention, I have it on excellent report from my favorite running store, Running Lab, that these are amazing for ALL sizes of runners.
Meaning, not matter what size you wear, you will be secure and ready to go!
I forgot my running belt when I went out to Arizona earlier this year BUT…I brought this bra.
I was terrified that one the rugged trails, my phone would fly out of the main pocket and I kept checking on it neurotically.
The only thing I lost: my room key because of my own paranoia.
My phone was completely fine and unharmed in the making of my desert adventures.
Did I mention these bras have snack pockets on the side??
Or whatever else you want to stash in those little side pockets.
And I actually have 2 different sizes: one true to my regular size and the other just one size up. They're BOTH comfortable and super supportive. So really, you can't go wrong.
These are definitely a ride-or-die.
This is for the gadget/tech runner in your life.
I've been using this on my own in very non-traditional speed drill ways….
And I have to say, the carryover from training drills to actually running on the road and/or trail has impressed me.
Quick recap: running form is still VERY up in the air according to recent running literature (aka the sciencey running research papers). Because of this, I can neither confirm nor deny the importance of arm swing, how much arm swing, when arm swing, etc etc.
All I can really give you, is anecdotal evidence my own experience.
And like I've said, I've been pleasantly surprised.
From my video above, it's pretty obvious how this works: you get a *click* when you have the correct arm swing and in turn "good" posture.
From a PT POV: what you're ACTUALLY doing is training your BRAIN. You're teaching your brain where your body is in space and if you're in "good space" based on whether you get a click or not.
First Impressions: "This is great for sprinters and long distance runners on track speed-days, but how does this help my long distance runner long term? Or even my trail runners?"
2nd, 3rd, 4th Impression: "oh wait, I'm actually correcting myself while on the trails."
I was finding I was 'chicken winging' to maintain my balance during tricky, technical trail bits and I was keeping my arms in the same position even when those were behind me.
From having spent time using the Klickspeed, I found myself becoming aware of and ditching the chicken wings for the more appropriate arm swing position.
You can grab yours HERE and purchase with discount through my promo link! All support is greatly appreciated, never expected.
RUNNING-Life Changing Gifts that Your Running Buddy Needs
Training Journals by Lauren Fleshman and Róisín McGettigan-Dumas
Did I include the Believe version in last year's Holiday Gift Guide? You betcha.
Did Lauren and Roisin come out with updated versions AND a new one?
Here's the beautiful thing about these training journals.
There's 2 different kinds
I have the Believe version.
But the real magic of these journals:
with either version, you can start entries or pick back up anywhere because there are no set dates.
Each is like having your own personal coach.
You literally get to the pick the brains of these elite runners as they spill race tips, help you set goals, help you realize running dreams you didn't know were there! They help amp you up for race day and then analyze your performance afterwards.
Not to mention, hand-written journaling IS evidence-based! We know from countless studies that you process life, emotions, thoughts, plans for race day etc better when you physically write it down.
I can speak from experience: if it wasn't from using this gifted-journal, I wouldn't have identified a looming burnout. That burn out hit hard and fast, but at least during it, I could go back and identify when and how things started to go off the rails. Make your story and experience better than mine! But know, these journals are powerful tools.
Grab a copy for yourself and your running buddy. You won't regret it!
Running Performance the EASY WAY
Do you know a runner whose constantly struggling with foot pain, repeated foot or ankle injuries like plantar fasciitis, peroneal tendonitis, achilles tendonitis, or maybe they're just starting to dabble into running performance?
Gift them (or yourself):
solutions they won't find anywhere else.
a way to stop the injury cycle and a way to keep running.
new answers to old, nagging questions.
Speaking of struggling, does competing, conflicting running advice leave you overwhelmed with your hands up in the air?
(or maybe that's just me after scrolling on IG for too long).
But if these running form topics leave you frustrated or scared of potential injury:
The "perfect" cadence
Too short or too long of a stride length
Where your foot should land under your body
Or generally unsure whether your running is amazing or terrible…
Let's get you and a running buddy some answers!
Click HERE to check out my Running Form 101 Workshop:
where we ditch the confusion around over-cued running form
bust popular form myths
and give you practical, immediate tools you can use on your next run so you can run empowered and confident.
P.S. GIFT CARDS are a great option ;)
That's a WRAP, running fit fam.
So get gift-giving (or getting, no judgement here)!
And if there's any other running-gifts I forgot, SHARE THOSE BELOW!
I can't wait to maybe treat myself and check out YOUR recommendations!
Until next time, Dare to Train Differently,
Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //@dr.whitt.fit
P.S. Speaking of gifts, grab YOURS! I have a FREE RUNNING GUIDE that if you don't already have it…what are you doing?? Go grab your copy and then send that link to your running buddy to share the free running goodness!