01 Jul, 2013

Christmas Stocking Goodies for Runners

Christmas Stocking Goodies for Runners

Let’s face it, when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for runners, they are not easy to shop for. Not if you want to surprise them, that is, because they need to actually try on shoes before you can buy them, and the same goes for clothing. Even the choices of watches, heart rate monitors or GPS units depends largely on the specific runner’s needs and taste… In other words, before you buy one of these items, you invariably have to get the direct input and participation in the buying process from your runner, unless you already know the exact shoe brand, model and size that he or she wants, or the specific item of clothing, or the specific watch or unit.


Therefore, this month we decided to focus on something easier to pinpoint, some smaller, more general gifts for runners that would make great stocking fillers, or a quirky extra gift to put on top of something else and give your runner another present to open. (And if you're the one who's the runner and you're struggling with gift ideas to pass on to your family and friends, these will do just as well for you!)


Always wear sunscreen!

TECHNIblock Ultra Sunblocker SPF40 (150ml)

Nobody likes rubbing in sunscreen, so a transparent, non-greasy aerosol sunscreen really makes it quick, easy and mess-free! The TECHNIblock range includes SPF15 and SPF40 sprays, in various sized tins from 125ml to 340ml. They also produce a handy SPF40 stick for sensitive areas, like the face.

R100 at Dis-Chem Pharmacies, Clicks, Link Pharmacies and other outlets.


Put a sock in it…

Falke Hidden Cool

Most runners go through socks quickly, so there’s nothing boring about giving a runner good socks at Christmas! The thick padded cushioning of these babies means that every part of the foot is comfy, and they are remarkably well ventilated for such a thick sock. Your feet will thank you!

R39.95 at Sportsmans Warehouse, Runner Group, Cape Union Mart.


Race Planning 101

Nedbank Runner’s Guide 2013

While race calendars are available in several magazines and on several websites, the handiest guide to everything you need to know about every running event on the calendar throughout SA for the whole year, both on road and trail, remains Tom Cottrell’s excellent guide book, now in its 22nd edition!

R150 at CNA, Exclusive Books, Sportsmans Warehouse and Sweat Shop, or online at Mapstudio, Kalahari and Loot.


Never forget to lube!

BLUE STEEL SPORTS Anti-Chafe cream

Runners do not like getting rubbed up the wrong way, so get them a tube of this long-lasting, non-sticky, non-greasy lube with a pleasant smell. It won’t irritate sensitive skin or stain your clothing. Use it to protect from chafe, blisters, cracked heels, saddle sores and windburn.

R54.95 at Sportsmans Warehouse for a 100ml tube.


And work on that Core

Body Sculpture Exercise ball

You can cross-train even while sitting at your desk if you replace your chair with an exercise ball, because you’ll be using your core stabilising muscles to sit upright, still and balanced – and these same muscles will then help you run more efficiently. All you need is some lung power to set it up.

R179 at Sportsmans Warehouse.


More Gift Ideas

?         Is your runner always complaining of sore muscles? A gift certificate for a sports massage will soothe those muscles – and stop the complaints.

?         Does your runner struggle with motivation to keep a training programme going? A logbook or running journal is great motivation to get out the front door!

?         Has your runner achieved something great this past year on the road or trails? Put those race photos in a frame or album and really make your runner feel special.

?         Does your runner have black toenails from running? A gift certificate for a pedicure may tickle their fancy.

?         Has your runner dropped any hints about a specific race or event on the calendar that is high on that Bucket List? Then plan a weekend away around that event, with transport and accommodation sorted, and give your runner a big surprise.