Gift Ideas for the Runner, Triathlete

Today marks the first day of December. In our family (as in many), December is a very full and festive month. It begins with today–December 1–because it’s my mom’s birthday! :) So Happy Birthday to my mother, Mary!

Then in exactly one week, it’s my birthday too (and my “twin” Wenny‘s birthday). I like to say I was my mom’s birthday gift (though belated). She was not prepared for me since my due date was December 31. Then Christmas is only a few weeks after my birthday (so I’d be the one who could get combined birthday/Christmas gifts). The joys of having a birthday around the holidays. I also seem to know a ton of people with birthdays in December…it’s crazy.

So since this is the season for giving, if you’re looking for gift ideas for a runner or triathlete (like myself), here are some gift ideas you might consider:

Forerunner 305

Garmin Forerunner
Whenever I run, I always have trouble with pacing. I’m never quite sure exactly what my pace is and I can only tell my checking my cheap stopwatch and calculating how long it took me to run the last mile. If I’m running outside, I also don’t really know the distance unless I’m on the forest preserve path with mile markers or if I’ve already measured out my route using the Google Maps distance measurement tool. So for the runner in your life, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is like a new training partner.

The Garmin helps you to know your current pace and tracks your distance because it’s a GPS. There are even special training modes where you can race against yourself. This version has a multi-sport mode, which is great for triathletes too. You can even get a mount for your bike so it can track your cycling pace and miles too. The watch is also waterproof, so you can swim in it. The forerunner 305 is on Garmin’s site for $199.99.

But if you want a version that can track your swim pace and distance, you may want to check out the Forerunner

Forerunner 310XT

310XT. The GPS doesn’t really work well in the water, but it estimates accurately (according to the site). The 310XT retails at $349.99, so it’s quite pricier than the 305. I’m not sure which of these watches I’d want if I got one. I like how the 310XT can do more to track your swimming, but then again, most of my swims will be in a pool anyway, not open water. It’s also a lot bulkier looking. There are plenty of other simpler models on Garmin’s website, so you’re sure to find one that will fit the athlete in your life. I know a Garmin would help me with my own training sessions to make them more productive.

compression socks

Compression Socks
Another thing I haven’t tried, but I thought about getting them. Compression socks are supposed to help increase the blood flow in your legs to speed up recovery after long runs and supposedly even help you run faster because more oxygenated blood is getting to your legs. Whether the part about you running faster is true or not, I don’t know, but I’d be willing to try them if they do help!  The socks can be kind of expensive–the ones pictured are about $60–but from what people say about them, they’re worth the price. I haven’t done any really long runs yet (my longest is 8.5 miles), but since I’ll be training for the Soldier Field 10 Mile race, I’ll probably need all the recovery help I can get.

Vibram FiveFingers
Barefoot running is the newest thing. It’s more natural and is supposed to cause

Vibram FiveFingers KSO

less injury (which would make sense since that’s how God created us to run). I’m interested in increasing my speed as a runner, especially for shorter distances like the 5k. I also don’t want to get injured since I had some problems last year and early this year with major shin and knee pain. I ran through it and happened to come out okay, but I’m trying to be extra careful about that. I had my stride evaluated for my current pair of running shoes and so far I’ve been able to be injury-free, which is great. I’m still curious about trying these Vibram FiveFingers though. I’ve considered looking for a lighter weight racing shoe, but I’d consider trying these too. They look really funny (almost like toe socks), but then again, I was told that you don’t buy running shoes for the color. That’s just a bonus. I’m an overpronator, so it might help me to be able to run more naturally so my feet don’t overcompensate when they’re in shoes. They’re about $85 on the Vibram site, so they’re actually less than what I paid for my Mizunos.

Under Armor
Since it’s winter, I thought I’d just throw in what is a staple for winter running in my wardrobe. I don’t run outside too often in the winter since it gets dark so early, but I love my Under Armor. It keeps me warm and dry, which is so important. Personally, I want to get up to the Under Armor outlet in Wisconsin to see if I can get myself some good deals on more Under Armor clothing. It’s totally worth the price.

So these are just some gift suggestions for the runner in your life. These things are on my wish list too (birthday or Christmas…hint, hint), but it doesn’t matter whether I get them or not. I just love spending time with friends and family around this time of year.

Do you have anything to add to my triathlete/runner’s gift list?

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  1. #1 by Chico on December 1, 2010 - 10:13 pm

    The only negative that I’ve heard about the Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs) is that it takes some time to adjust your running style to the shoes (gloves?). I’ve read a number of posts from folks that bought a pair, rushed out to use them, only to injure themselves in the process. Should you get a pair, I would recommend doing a little research on how best to adjust your style for your new footwear. I have, also, seen recommendations about not buying your first pair online, to ensure proper sizing.

    Here are a couple of links were reviewing:
    http://mygaragegym.blogspot.com/2007/03/vibram-five-fingers-review.html
    http://www.justinowings.com/b/index.php/me/my-bare-feet-vibram-five-fingers-revi
    http://birthdayshoes.com/the-beginner-s-guide-to-five-fingers

    Happy trails!

    • #2 by Christy on December 2, 2010 - 11:41 am

      Thanks for the tips, Chico! I’ve also read that when you start using them, you shouldn’t run a lot in them to let your feet adjust. I’d probably only do gradual mileage increases. I’ll check out those links too.

  2. #3 by Wenny Ng on December 2, 2010 - 2:01 am

    ahhh we’re so old… that’s a nice runners list but i think you forgot stuff… like insoles, and ice packs and heat packs, and cool running stuff from REI (it’s my grown up disney store)!

    • #4 by Christy on December 2, 2010 - 11:43 am

      Yeah, that stuff’s important too. I actually have insoles in my current running shoes and I think they help a lot. My feet are flat…I have like no arches. Anyway, I live near an REI so you should visit it with me the next time you come home (and to see my new place!).

      • #5 by Wenny on December 6, 2010 - 7:58 pm

        I come back soon!!!!! we should have a party! or at least a meal. and take our christmas pic. or something of the sort

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