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Practical Gifts for Runners

The most cherished gifts people receive focus on their particular passions. It means someone pays attention to their lives. The runner in your life will appreciate the below items more than another tie, bottle of cologne, sweater, or candle. Consider one of the following.

Camelbak Hydration Pack – As the runner’s best friend, these lightweight backpacks keep water available without the runner having to carry it. Camelbak makes personal liquid reservoir packs of different shapes, sizes, and capacities. A drinking tube comes from the pack and can tuck into the front closure clasp or can hang freely. Camelbak technology allows the runner to suck water from it at will and then the mouthpiece closes securely. Ample pockets allow the runner to carry a wallet, a set of keys, a blister kit, and a snack. Visit camelbak.com to compare styles and to purchase. From the home page, click sports and recreation.

Runner’s Watch – A type for every budget. Companies like Timex, Adidas, Casio, and Garmin make great runner’s watches. The watch you choose should have a pulse rate monitor and a stopwatch. Advanced models track and store many different workouts. Some watches feature GPS systems, and have foot pods that monitor mileage. Online comparison is recommended because the prices range between $40 -$300. However, a trip to a sporting goods or department store will provide a decent watch for the needs of moderate runners.

Books about Running – “The Complete Book of Running” by James Fixx, “The Runner’s Body: How the Latest Science can Make you Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster” by Ross Tucker, and “Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to be your own Best Coach” by Brad Hudson will enhance any runner’s passion for their sport. Authors write books about technical concerns, nutrition, scenic runs, inspirational novels, biographies, and more. Visit the sports section of your neighborhood bookstore or visit amazon.com to give your runner hours of arm chair enjoyment as they plan their next workout.

Subscription to a Runner’s Magazine – This gift will bring a smile to your runner’s face each month when they find their copy in the mailbox. “Runner’s World”, “Running Times”, “Trail Runner”, and “Marathon and Beyond” provide good information. To encourage youngsters in your life to pursue their budding interests, order them “Youth Runner Magazine”. Don’t be ashamed to take the subscription card from the magazines at the book or grocery store. The employees will appreciate not having to pick them up from the floor.

Moisture-Wicking Apparel – Runners sweat. For that special occasion give them a coordinated running outfit. Cotton fails the test for running. Moisture-wicking clothes will keep the runner dry when they sweat. Cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold, a comfortable runner will go farther. Coolmax offers good moisture wicking clothes. Shop at coolclothingusa.com or find moisture wicking clothes at your nearest sporting goods store.

Gift Certificate for Running Shoes – Do not buy shoes for a runner. They commit to the brand that works best for them. Unless you have the runner with you at the mall, it is best to give them a gift certificate. A sporting goods store is a good choice but better still, notice the brand your runner likes. Give them a gift certificate specifically for that brand. For example, Nike gift cards can be purchased at nike.com.

Runner’s Socks – Runner’s feet take a beating. Socks must have the correct fiber and cushioning to maintain comfort and healthy feet. More expensive than everyday socks, a runner may put off buying them. They will welcome the gift from a thoughtful family member or friend. Meghan Rabbit compares ten types in “Running Sock Reviews.” Read her comments at runnersworld.com.

Runner’s Journal – One of these books will give the runner a place to track their progress, record their feelings, and get inspiration to lace up. “Runner’s World Training Journal” written by the editors of “Runner’s World” is a great choice. Other choices include “The 2009 Training Log by Phil Kasunick”, and “The Ultimate Runner’s Journal: Your Daily Training Partner and Log” by Rich Hanna. Look for these books and other formats at your local bookstore or at amazon.com.

Safety Gadgets – Runners have to be careful. Give them the gift of safety with an ID tag that has identification and emergency contact information on it. Styles go around the wrist or tie into the shoelaces. Flashing lights similar to those for bicycles are available as a clip-on or wrist bands for night running. Look for them and other running safety gear at your favorite sporting goods store.

More Practical Matters – Construct a gift bag. Include nose strips (to hold nostrils open for easier breathing), blister pads, alcohol wipes, ear-plugs (ear ache prevention on windy days), and a tube of sun screen. This gift will really let the runner know that you are thinking hard and really love them.

People appreciate it when they receive gifts they need and will love. Don’t risk the chance of your gift being returned. Surprise them with one of the ideas and watch their face light up.

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