We may be just a little bit biased, but running really is one of the best sports, mainly, because it’s so flexible. You can train anytime of day, any day of the week and in any location.
All you need to get started is a decent pair of running shoes and some sweat-proof kit and you can pound the pavements until your heart’s content.
But if you’re looking to go to the next level, or invest in some kit to make those runs more comfortable or beneficial, then take a look at our kit list before writing your letter to Mr Claus.
You may have invested in a new pair of trainers when you first started out, but how long ago was that? Six months or maybe even six years ago! Now’s the time to get a fresh pair so you can get that extra spring in your step. It’s important to change your trainers regularly or have a few pairs on the go to rotate. Like anything, wear and tear will mean your scruffy pair in the garage might not be doing the best job for supporting you in the right way.
Depending on Santa’s budget, you can spend as much or as little as you like on a tracking device that lets you know everything from your heartbeat to your mile/km pace. You might not be into your gadgets but it certainly does help to know how much you’re improving each time you go out. Make sure you search around for the best deal and maybe see what your fellow running buddies are using too.
High Vis and Head Torches
As you train over the winter months, you’ll no doubt be heading out in almost pitch black whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night. So make sure you can be seen on your run, especially to others out on the road. Cars have headlights, so you need one too. Even if you do resemble a Christmas tree…
Sugary stocking fillers
Instead of chocolates, get some sweets on your list. Packets of jelly babies or maybe some energy gels so you can keep a stack of emergency stores when you head out on your long runs.
There are some chilly, frosty runs ahead over the next few months so make sure you’re dressed appropriately. And no, an old jumper isn’t the best - you’ll be sweating in minutes. You need to protect the parts of your body that lose heat quickly, so special running gloves, a neck-scarf/buff and a lightweight hat can work wonders. If you do get too warm, you can always stick them in your pocket.
Mobile Phone Holder
If you’re running alone or even as a pair, make sure one of you has your phone. Safety first. So without risking smashing the screen when you drop your phone on the pavement, invest in a cheap mobile phone holder that you can pop on your arm.
What’s that we hear you cry? Epsom salts can be really beneficial to your recovery after a long run. So before you use your favourite bubble bath, have a 10-15 minute soak in some salts, which can help relax your muscles and loosen stuff joints or soreness after working out.
Gone are the days of getting your arms and clothes tangled in your earphones. Ditch the wires and go for some earphones that pop into your ear and connect to your pumped up playlist. Make sure you shop around and make sure they’re compatible with your phone.
Had a year of PBs and amazing running experiences? Why not display your achievements and medals on a fancy medal hanger on your bedroom wall instead of stuffing them in your drawer so you can remind yourself how awesome you are each time you look at it. You can even get some personalised ones!