It is that time of year again. The time to be Festive and Jolly. I do not know about you, but 2020 has been a bit like getting punched in the kidney by Manny Pacquiao. Neither a broken kidney or 2020 should stop anyone enjoying December and Christmas festivities.
It is getting colder, which means it is time to get out the cold weather gear. There is less day light, which means more time can be spent watching the sun rise and set. Always good to find a positive angle.
A trauma that does come with Christmas is finding friends and family suitable gifts. You might have left this to the last minute, so this post might provide some form of inspiration for a stocking filler, mystery Santa or loving gift. These are 5 suggestions of things to give a runner for Christmas depending on your budget!
1 – Speed Cup
A wonderful thing in many running events is the phasing out of plastic cups. Maverick Race, for example, are leading the way in removing all disposable cups from their events. This is a good step in making racing environmentally friendly. One of the beauties of trail running is the ability to get out of the city, off the tarmac and to enjoy the views and fresh air in nature. A great, simple, and easy way of contributing a little bit towards protecting the environment is by getting a soft cup. They are light and can be pushed into a pocket with ease.
I have volunteered at events in the past and manned the hydration stations. I have seen thousands of small plastic cups being used for a quick sip of water and discarded. This is a huge waste, and a simple soft cup will remove this needless waste from racing. Hundreds of brands make these cups so here is a link to some.
2 – Socks
Everyone gets socks at Christmas, right? I think they are such a standard gift so why not jazz it up a bit? Do not just go for something whimsical and funky, instead get some running socks. They will give the owner the gift of blister-less running which I can assure you, is a gift that keeps on giving.
I sing the praises of the Bridgedale Trail Running Socks in some of my blogs so here is a link to them. I am sure there are other more option available, but if you were to buy me socks, get these.
3 – Foam Roller
Foam rollers are a blessing made in the form of a torture device. The really are amazing at helping work out the knots from a long run and in the same breath, they can deliver a vast amount of discomfort. It really is worth the hardship, because using one of these correctly will take hours if not days off the recovery time from a long run.
4 – Head Torch
It is winter, so it is dark. Therefore, a headtorch is necessary. Running trails at night is a fantastic, even the regular routes can feel completely different. I find my focus on the trails is much greater and I relish running through an atmospheric woodland on a winding single track. However, if I did not have a headtorch, I would probably trip on the first root in the ground and hurt myself.
There are countless types and sizes of headtorches available. For a runner, having a front and rear light is important. Often trails cross roads or have small sections of tarmac to get to and from the trials. With this in mind, a rear light is important to ensure motorists on the road can see you. Another reason to buy a headtorch with a rear light is that for some ultramarathons, this is mandatory.
A wider-angle front beam is also helpful. Having a narrow beam can restrict vision making a more technical trail difficult.
I have a Black Diamond Sprinter 275. It is rechargeable and has a supremely bright front light as well as a flashing red, rear light. It is lightweight, easy to use and perfect for the trails.
5 – KitBrix
Kit Brix are small, rugged, waterproof, and bomb proof kit bags. They tuck neatly into cupboards and the back of the car. I think these bags are awesome, after getting off a wet and muddy trail I can pull of my dirty clothes and stuff them into my KitBrix’s bag. When I get home, I pull out all the stinky, wet, and muddy clothes, then wash out the bag in the sink or shower (depending how bad it is).
They are excellent for events as well due to being rugged and waterproof. I have chucked warm and dry kit into them so when I have finished a winter race, I can quickly find my warm and very dry kit to get change into.
These bags are amazing, and I cannot recommend them more. A real Christmas winner!!