We’re three weeks out from Christmas, so there’s still some time to pick that perfect gift for the runner in your life. From cozy clothing and tools for recovery to techie gadgets and accessories for making any run more fun, these are my favorite picks for making any athlete merrier this season.
To keep ‘em warm…
On those in-between days when wearing a full jacket for your workout feels like overkill, the Sprint vest keeps your core warm and allows for unrestricted movement. Plus, the streamlined design means it’s a versatile layering piece for “running” casual errands around town, as well.
Oiselle Lux Layer ($76)
The thought of heading out for a winter run is much more bearable when you have a velvety-soft base layer to help shield skin from the searing cold. This one is moisture-wicking and has a fitted shape that’s not too tight, along with thumb holes to keep sleeves from riding up.
I’m digging all the crazy prints on this season’s running gear, and the Endurance tight is one of my favorites. Not only is the pattern funky (without being too over-the-top), but it’s also got great reflective details and a perfect, muffin-top-free fit thanks to a wide, flat waistband.
To keep ‘em healthy…
The GRID Mini ($25)
I credit the full-size GRID with helping me get through marathon training injury-free this fall, and the Mini makes a nice travel companion for runners who double as road warriors. Small enough to squeeze in a suitcase, it still provides targeted massage for circulation and flexibility.
Recovery is one of the most important parts of the training process, and Zensah just raised the bar for compression with its new fusion technology. Soothe legs and feet with graduated pressure that improves circulation for muscle recovery, shin splint relief and targeted support.
The Stick Body Stick ($43)
Compact, lightweight and easy to use, The Stick is used by Olympic athletes, sports professionals, and weekend warriors to roll out muscle knots and treat trigger points. When used after tough workouts, it can help disperse lactic acid, accelerate muscle recovery and improve flexibility.
To keep ‘em happy…
OllyDog Mt. Tam Leash ($29)
Although I don’t run with my dogs, I see many owners who do — and I’m sure they’d appreciate this handy leash for a more comfortable, hands-free run. It’s fully-adjustable, shock-absorbing and includes a reflective traffic handle for control and visibility.
You worked hard to earn all that race bling, so get it out of that dusty drawer and display it proudly with this wall-mounted medal hanger. Choose from one of the existing designs, or contact the company to have one specially customized.
Stylish and smartly-designed, this carry-all offers ample storage — minus the look of a bulky gym bag. Use the six external pockets to store small items, while the interior pouch is large enough to hold all the essentials (and will even accommodate a full-sized yoga mat!).
To keep ‘em connected…
Rid yourself of one major running pet peeve (cords that tangle and can get caught) with the smallest Bluetooth headphones available. They pack an incredible eight hours of play time, are sweat-proof, skip-free and offer two options for a comfortable, secure fit.
Nike+ Sportwatch GPS ($150)
My never-leave-home-without-it run companion, this water-resistant watch has all the bells and whistles, including GPS, pace tracker, timer, calorie counter, pedometer and lap/interval marker. Like a personal running coach on your wrist, it keeps runners motivated and on track with features like run reminders and notifications of personal records.
GoPro HERO3 White Edition ($200)
Document and share your favorite run experiences with the HERO3, which is 20 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than previous models and is compatible with all GoPro mounts and accessories — making it the most mountable, wearable and versatile White Edition GoPro ever.
What’s on your wish list this year?