HINT: This is a good post to forward to a non-runner who has asked what you’d like in your stocking.

He sees you when you’re running
He knows when you’re (not) awake.
He knows if you’ve been bad or good, or a haven’t logged so much as a single mile….
Let’s hope he thinks your efforts merit a few goodies, and not coal.  (More about that later in the post.)
Have you seen all the articles about cool gadgets you “need” for your running?  This isn’t that kind of post.Running is simple: all you need is a good pair of shoes.
But people do sometimes ask what you would like under the tree, so here are a gifts to delight a runner and make winter running even better.

5 Santa-Approved Running Gifts

(The links are just examples, not plugs: my friend who asked me to write this post says her aunt in New Jersey appreciates specifics.)

  1. Foam roller or stick. Every runner gets a few aches and pains, knots and tightness. A simple foam roller or a roller stick is a must have and they are pretty inexpensive.
  2. Running gloves.  Cooler tempts don’t stop us from running, but it is no fun if your fingers start to hurt and turn purple. A good pair of warm gloves is a must.
  3. Warm Running Socks.We will all run in winter in our normal running shoes. (Well, except for those that do the ruck races.  You go, folks.) Having cold toes is no fun: they just don’t warm up like the rest of your body. The gift of a great pair of warm running socks is so super nice (ahhhh!)
  4. Sunglasses.  You need a good pair. You should always run with them on because they not only protect your eyes from damaging sun rays (and squinting and wrinkles), but also from debris, bugs, etc.
  5. Entry to your next race – this is one of my favorites and Santa’s too: the gift of your next race will keep you training, motivated, and fit.  We recommend  Scramblin’ Scrooge December 16th but you can find a full calendar of races here.

You could also print out the list, highlight it, and leave it laying around for elves to notice, right?
So, we know you’ve been on your best behavior, but here are a few notes of caution if you want to be extra careful and impress the Jolly Old Elf.

3 Ways to Earn Coal in Your Running Shoes

  • Running in cotton.  People still do this! Just say NO to blisters and chaffing. I still see people running in cotton shorts, shirts, socks, and even jeans.    I once saw someone running in cutoff daisy duke shorts at a half marathon!  All I can say is, “OUCH!!!!”
  • Ignoring that little pain. As runners we are used to some aches and pains, but ignoring a lingering ache, pain, swelling (I am guilty of this) is going to set you back in your running and likely develop into a more severe problem. Don’t wait: go see your doc. Your running will thank you.
  • Not retiring your running shoes (and socks. I know who you are.) We all love a new pair of shoes, but don’t run further on them than you should. Most are good for about 200 to 300 miles, but depending upon the weather you run in, you might get less mileage.  Not retiring your shoes in time will likely mean an injury that we will ignore (see above). Remember that you need new socks, too.. they need to be replaced just as often as shoes if you want to have great runs and avoid blisters.

We send our best wishes for a happy holiday season of time with loved ones, giving, and staying fit.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash