Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Runners on Your List
It’s that magical time of year, the days are getting shorter, somehow the number of people on your holiday shopping list keep on growing and you’re running out of time to get all your gifts together.
If you still have outstanding gifts to buy for the runners in your life, check out our round-up of last-minute ideas you can easily pick up in Ottawa stores or online. From cool new gear and stocking-sized treats, to more meaningful gestures of encouragement, we’ve got you covered during the holiday shopping crunch.
Let’s get technical
Bushtukah knows what runners need to get going in even the most challenging of winter conditions. Their staff recommends Kahtoola NANOspikes to conquer sidewalks covered in ice and snow. With these easy-to-use, secure grips that sprout tungsten carbide spikes running shoes get an extra edge, reducing the likelihood of the runner you love taking a fall.
Top recommendations from Ottawa’s Sports 4 include Merino wool socks and baselayers from brands like Smartwool and Darn Tough. These products are true crowd-pleasers: soft, comfortable, naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, ethically-source, and they retain their insulative properties even when wet. What’s better than keeping your loved ones warm?
Those who need dependable eyewear during long-distance runs will fall in love with ZiZU Optics. Slipping frames, fogging lenses, and the specific needs of high-performance athletes all went into consideration when designing these slick and technical sunglasses.
For the gadget-lover, consider the futuristic listening device Aeropex by Aftershokz. These next-generation headphones weigh less than an ounce, connect to your phone wirelessly and deliver music or podcasts to your eardrums… through your cheekbones! The best part? Runners still hear what’s going on around them while enjoying the music that gets their heart rate pumping.
Oranges may be delicious, classic stocking stuffers but they won’t keep until the next big race. If you want to help the runner you know stay fueled, our partners have some great bite-size treats that pack an extra boost of energy.
Looking to stay true to the orange concept? Xact Nutrition’s Fruit2 Mixed Box of energy bars come with orange and apricot flavour as well as strawberry – a good option for those who want a littlervariety. Based on a French fruit candy recipe, these bars are a decadent energy treat. If you’re looking for something that packs a denser, protein punch, you’ll want to grab a few Kronobars to throw into the mix. Vegan and gluten free, both of these products can be enjoyed by just about any runner.
Running through the winter (and celebrating over the holidays) can leave anyone’s electrolyte supply low. So why not toss a few packets of Nuun Hydration into everyone’s stocking? These fizzy drinks are a great way to supplement training and recovery, as well as everyday wellness and immune system boosts.
If a full meal is a must (particularly along the lines of filling and nutritious salads and sandwiches) then a Mad Radish gift card will do the trick. These can be picked up at any of their three Ottawa outlets and enjoyed year-round.
Sports 4 staff also recommends stuffing stockings with high-visibility lights by Nathan, which range from an eight-lumen mini clip-on to 115-lumen headlamps.
Sign ’em up
Is your runner up for a challenge? Nothing says, “I believe in you,” quite like buying them an entry to Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Keep in mind that when you buy a gift certificate from race weekend, you select the distance they will run on May 23 or 24, 2020. While you’re at it, why not sign yourself up so that you can run together?
If what they need is encouragement or support, there are training programs for all levels offered by Ottawa’s Running Rooms. Beginners can learn the basics, marathoners can train in teams, and smokers can even walk or run to quit. Every program comes with friendly, personal advice from the pros (including experts on quitting cigarettes!) Note, that if this sounds like something you want to take part in and are already registered for a Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend event, then you can get a discount on Running Room training clinics.
Those who wish to train on their own time might like the Gold membership version of the training app Runcoach, which connects users to world-class coaches. Texting a pro for one-on-one advice can go a long way for even the most independent runner.
And if you want to support your runner but aren’t sure of their skill or comfort level, a Run Ottawa membership is a great way to go. An annual membership offers them many advantages and several opportunities throughout 2020 that come as perks, discounts, and exclusive events to get them (and keep them) running.