2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners

It’s almost Christmas! I can’t believe how fast this holiday season is flying by. If you are like me, you haven’t finished all of your shopping left. Maybe you have a runner to buy for and aren’t sure what to give them. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite products in hopes that it helps you in your gift search!

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners:

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1.) KT Tape

I have been using KT Tape for a few years, and it has really helped me to be able to run while dealing with minor aches and pains. I struggle with knee problems a good bit, and when I wear KT Tape, I can pretty much run pain free* so I am super thankful for this product! It’s a great stocking stuffer.

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2.) Workout apparel from Fabletics

This is my second time getting apparel from Fabletics, and I am REALLY happy with this outfit! Here I am wearing the Heather Grey Long sleeve and the Salar capri. The capri’s are thick and sturdy with a really fun print at the bottom, I love the fabric. I am really impressed with the top, too. I usually struggle with long sleeve tops being to short in arm length, but this one fit perfect and is a soft snuggly material with a really flattering neckline. I ran in this outfit yesterday and everything stayed in place with no rubbing, chafing, riding up or falling down. I would also feel comfortable wearing this out to the store as well.

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I am aware this is a very dorky pose, but I wanted to show the arm sleeve length!

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3.) Clothes from Janji

Janji is a great company that does a lot of good for the world! When you purchase clothing from their site, money goes to different people in other parts of the world who are not as fortunate as us to have clean drinking water. For example, the blue long sleeve shirt in the second picture, if you purchase it, a person in Peru will get four months of clean drinking water. How awesome it that? Both shirts are made of a very soft thin material that is very comfortable. I have been sleeping in the long sleeve top on cold nights! Janji makes clothing for men and women, and they are great for workouts and include a wicking fabric. The blue top is 65% polyester, 35% cotton. be sure to go to their site to read about their story.

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4.) BIC bands

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a lot of hair. I cannot stand for the wind to blow my hair in my face/eyes, especially when I am running. These headbands have become a near daily essential for me, and there are some adorable colors and prints! BIC bands also gives to a different charity every month from the sale of their bands.

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5.) Gone for a RUN medal hanger display

Every runner should be proud of their race achievements, and have somewhere to display all of their shiny, well deserved bling. I have several different medal hangers, but I must say I love the color options and prints available at Gone for a RUN. There are a ton of options to customize and personalize your hanger display, go check it out!

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6.) Garmin 15

I was sent this GPS watch to test out back in July, and I prefer it to my Garmin 10 for a few reasons. I really like the step counter option, and the battery life is much longer. It’s small enough to wear every day but simple enough that you don’t have to be a tech geek to figure out. I want to gift my husband a watch from https://www.rusticlub.com/, he doesn’t really like the tech advanced stuff out there so a wooden watch should be his cup of tea.

 

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7.) Runner’s World Subscription

I have had a subscription to Runner’s World magazine for years, and it all started with a gift subscription for Christmas! This makes a great stocking stuffer, just make sure the runner you are buying for doesn’t already subscribe. :0)

8.) Running Skirts.com compression socks

If you know me at all you know I am a huge fan of Running Skirts and even used to work for them. One of my favorite items of theirs is the selection of compression socks. I wear them during and after races, and I can really feel a difference in my legs when I do so. I don’t get nearly as sore, and if I am sore, it goes away much more quickly in these comfy and cute socks. (Use code SKIRTSASS at checkout for 15% off your order!)

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9.) iTunes Giftcard

Most runners love to listen to music when we run, and the same songs can get really boring over and over again on long training runs. An iTunes giftcard would be a great stocking stuffer!

10.) Race entry

This is THE ultimate gift. Most runners love to race, so gifting an entry fee to a race is a great gift! Between all the clothing and gear, expensive race entry fees can add up, making runners have to plan out their race calendar very carefully. My two favorite race series? runDisney and Rock ‘n’ Roll. I will be running the runDisney Princess half in February, but first I will be making my comeback with the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon in January. I cannot wait to get back out there! If you want to buy for a runner and they aren’t ready to run a half, that’s ok, you can gift them entry into a 5k or 10k! (If you use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout you will get $10 off the entry into the half or full marathon, and LOOKINGGLASS10K gets you $5 off entry into the 10k for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans.)

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QOTD: Which of these gift ideas would YOU most like to receive? Anything else on your list I didn’t mention?

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

I was recently contacted by Garmin about testing out the new Forerunner 15 model GPS watch. I lloovveee me some Garmin (I have the 10, Bobby has one, and I have the super old school 301). I was very interested to see the differences especially between the 10 and the 15 models.

I was sent the Teal/White watch with heart rate monitor. The color is really cute!

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Here are a few features of the Forerunner 15 from Garmin’s website:

  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Compatible with foot pod (sold separately) for recording distance indoors
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™

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You can pair the Garmin with a heart rate strap (you can purchase the device with or without) and it will record your heart rate and heart rate zone so you know when you need to rein it in and when you can push yourself harder.

The coolest new feature of the Forerunner 15 is the activity tracker. You can track the steps you take during the day, even when you aren’t working out, and you can do so without havening to wear a separate device. Forerunner 15 counts your steps and the calories you burn all day. You can also upload you data to Garmin Connect, and monitor your progress toward your fitness goals. This device also reminds you when it’s time to move if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. When you get that cue to move, just walk for a couple of minutes to reset the inactivity indicator. How neat is that?!?

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Forerunner 15 also has an auto lap function that automatically alerts you when you complete each mile. When you complete your run and save it, you’ll see a summary of how you did (calories, pace, time, distance). It even lets you know when you achieve a personal record, like your fastest mile or longest run to date.

For outdoor runs, Forerunner 15 uses GPS to accurately record your time, pace and distance. To track distance and pace when you hit the treadmill or an indoor track, just pair Forerunner 15 with an optional foot pod, which attaches to the laces of your shoe.

Another favorite about this model in comparison to the Garmin 10 is the battery life. The rechargeable battery will last up to 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode or 8 hours when using it with GPS on your outdoor runs. This is a vast improvement over the 10 which only had a 5 hour battery life. I also love that I can wear it for FIVE WEEKS as a watch in activity mode and without recharging! I don’t plan to even need GPS for more than 8 hours at a time, so the battery life is perfect for me. Forerunner 15 has a water rating of 5 ATM (50 meters), which means it resists rain and sweat and can even join you for a swim.

After a run, use Garmin Connect to log your runs on your computer. Here, you can see your run on a map, get more detail on each mile, see a daily summary of your activities and share with friends. You can also join online challenges and earn virtual badges for extra motivation. This model also can auto sync information to your computer unlike the Forerunner 10.

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So to recap, the main differences in the Forerunner 10 and 15:

Forerunner 10: No activity tracker, no heart rate monitor, less battery life (5 hours in GPS mode)

Forerunner 15: Activity tracker, optional heart rate monitor and foot pod, longer battery (8 hours GPS mode, 5 weeks activity tracker mode).

Both models have the run/walk interval options, a virtual pacer, and you can also customize the screens on both watches.

Other things I love:

-Colors are varied and really cute

-Price point is reasonable and especially great for a first GPS watch.

-Size is nice, small enough to wear as a regular watch!

-Easy to use, minimal buttons and screens

-Easy of setup, I was out the door in three minutes the first time I turned it on!

My ONLY qualm with this model of GPS device is not being able to see pace, time, and distance all on one screen. When racing or trying to hit certain goals, I don’t really like having to scroll to another screen to see all of my data. However, on the flip side, it has kept me from wanting to constantly check my numbers, which can actually be a good thing sometimes.

Overall I would recommend this Garmin, especially now that it can be worn as a watch and has the activity tracker! They just keep getting better and better with technology, it blows me away.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on GPS watches? Would you wear the new  Forerunner 15?

Disclosure: I was provided product from Garmin in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.May contain affiliate links.

Runner Christmas Gift Guide 2012

 

So I am sure you have seen 100 of these across the fitness blog world in the past couple of weeks, but everyone’s is a little different right? Plus, if you see some of the same stuff repeated then you know it must be a great product! So, here is what I think you should be asking Santa for for Christmas!

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1.) RunningSkirts.Com Red Candy Stripe Running Skirt

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It’s no secret I love runningskirts.com skirts. I have worn them for pretty much every single race I have ever run. So comfy, cute, functional (side pockets with velcro!) and girly! They always have amazing prints and come out with new ones twice a year. The have the running skirt style with panty briefs underneath, and athletic skirt with compression shorts underneath.

 

2.) Oakley Women TwentySix.2 Sunglasses

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These sunglasses are stylish while still being girly, all while staying on your face! Who says sunglasses you run or workout in can’t be cute? They came with a great case as well, so you don’t have to worry about breaking them. (I MAY or may not be having a giveaway next week….be sure to come back!)

 

3.) Under Armour: Armour Bra

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I am hosting a giveaway for this bra right now! But if you don’t win, be sure to still add it to your Christmas list. It has great support, removable pads, mesh for ventilation, and is modest enough to wear alone. Love it!

 

4.) Running on the Wall medal display

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Great customer service, great prices, and super cute medal and bib displays! Many colors to choose from and great motivational quotes as well. I was very pleased with the product and the service and would buy from them again when I run out of room!

 

5.) GO Sport ID

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Guys, this is so important. You should always, ALWAYS wear your information on you when you are running, you just never know what can happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Being the color coordinated person I am, I love the Go Sport ID Inspire with the bundle pack so you can change out the colors! This would make a great gift or stocking stuffer.

 

6.) Garmin Forerunner 10

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Not gonna lie, I have been eyeing this bad boy up for awhile. My garmin is almost four years old and has been through a lot, and it isn’t working so well anymore. Plus, it’s big and bulky. This one is more feminine and it’s PINK! I must have it.

 

7.) Gone for a Run decorative pillow

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How cute is this? They have a ton of different ones (and other great runner gifts as well!) Good prices and great customer service to boot.

 

8.) Raw Threads shirts

I have yet to pick one up for myself but I droll over them at every expo I go to. Raw Threads has THE cutest shirts, made of the softest material. I particularly like their princess/castle inspired collection, and have my eyes on this one:

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Adorable. Must. Have. Be sure to check out all their other awesome merchandise!

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QOTD: What is one item on your wish list?

Back to My Roots: Tips for Beginners

 

So, some of you may have seen this post on Twitter yesterday.

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Sigh. I was so ready for a nice, relaxing massage, and instead I spent an hour talking to someone who obviously knew NOTHING about running, but asking me a million questions. Was I annoyed? Heck yes! I paid money to relax! Not explain what a GPS watch is to you!

When I got home, I started doing some thinking. Was it wrong and very annoying what she did? Of course, BUT, at the same time, here was someone obviously very wowed by my running knowledge, eagerly wanting more info and tips. She actually jokingly (I think!) asked me to be her running coach. She also told me she would hate to see me kick someone as she was rubbing my calves. Is it weird that I took this as a major compliment by the way?

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Anyway, here I was thinking “how can she not know what a Garmin watch is?” and “is she seriously asking me how I am supposed to know how far I have run “are there like, marks in the road that tell you?” As I began to feel slightly proud and cocky, I was immediately put in my place when I remembered that there was once a time when I didn’t know the answers to those questions.

How silly of me to assume that everyone knows how to get rid of a side cramp, and how you know what kind of shoes you need. To the “normal” world, these are not common knowledge issues. I do so much reading and research every day, it has become so easy for me to forget that everyone has to start from somewhere, and learn as they go.

So, I have decided to go “back to my roots” shall we say, and go over some things I wish I knew in the beginning but didn’t know.

GPS Watch/Garmin: These handy watches are amazing and it is my favorite piece of gear. They work via satellite and track your distance, pace, time, elevation, etc. Then you can plug it up to your computer and download your info to have for a training log, comparisons, etc. There are also phone apps for this purpose as well.

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(wearing my Garmin)

GU/Chomps: When I first started running I had no need for this as I was just running 3-4 miles at a time. When I got up to six miles I realized I needed to start using something for fuel. I was scared to try GU, the consistency seemed nasty, but now they are my BFF and I love trying the different flavors. I can’t do the chomps (if I can help it) because they get stuck in my teeth. The GU is easy to “suck down” when I see a water stop up ahead.

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How to start training: If you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend the couch to 5k program. I have not done it myself but know people who have been very successful with it. We all start from somewhere, even if it’s your couch. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Sweat Wicking: You don’t want to run in cotton! It gets very heavy when you sweat and doesn’t feel good. Invest in some dri fit/sweat wicking workout clothes that wick moisture away from your body. I of course recommend running skirts for workout gear!

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Log your workouts: It can be dailymile.com., or writing workouts in a journal, but keep track of what you do, and how you felt. That way you can look back to see how far you have come, what conditions you run best in, time of day, etc.

Body Glide: go buy some. You will thank me later when you don’t have burns and rashes all over and your friends do.

Walk Breaks: are perfectly normal. I hate that there is a stigma that if you walk during a run or a race you aren’t really a runner. I have done some experiments, and I actually race FASTER when I take a 20 second walk break every 7  minutes or so after I hit mile 8 of a half marathon. True story. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need to walk every now and then.

Rest: Being too ambitious in the beginning can get you burnt out or injured. Your body NEEDS rest days to recover and rebuild to make you stronger. Don’t forget to cross train as well. Build strength all over, and not just from running.

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These are by NO MEANS all the tips there are, these are just a few off the top of my head I wish I had know starting out (and some my masseuse asked me!) As always, if you have ANY specific questions, please feel free to comment here or e mail me at [email protected]. I love hearing from readers!

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Also wanted to add…I ran my FIST MILE since Thanksgiving Day today! It felt good! I took it slow, but ran the whole thing. I’m coming back! YAY!

QOTD: What is a running tip you wish you knew when you first started?

-Also of interest: This post I wrote on beginner running injuries.