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Best Running Tips Newsletter, Issue #024 -- Running Gift Ideas

December 8, 2010

As we are getting ready for Christmas, I thought it was a good idea to share with you my favorite running gear, shoes and books. If you need a present for a runner, or if you do not know what to ask for, this handy list may give you an idea or two!

But first, let's go to Jason and Jamie. I talked about them in a recent Best Running Tips Newsletter.

Jamie was going to run 300km in order to raise money for his son, who is suffering from an extremely rare medical condition. He recently did it. And he got a lot of money together as well. Jamie wrote about his experiences. It's well worth a read.

There are some good people in this world, you'd be amazed by the support and generosity that Jamie and Jason encountered on their trip. Get into the Xmas spirit and read about their experiences here:

The Big Push (PDF)

Oh, and it is still not too late to donate to them(!)...:

Now my list of favourite gear, shoes and books...

Best Running Book for Readers: Born to Run
born to run cover
Born to Run is a great book about long distance running. What is it about? Too much to list it all.

The main storyline throughout the book is the story of the organization of an ultramarathon race between a Mexican tribe of "running people" and American ultra-marathoners.

In addition to that you'll learn about the rise of the modern running shoe industry, the authors own preparation for the ultramarathon, the reasons why the "running people" can run for days on end and why we are all born to run.

It's written in an engaging way that will leave you inspired and in need of a run!

Click here for more information about Born to Run

Best Running Training Book
Daniels' Running Formula Book Cover
One of my all-time favorite running training books is Daniels' Running Formula. When people are in need of a detailed running program, I always find myself referring to this book. Why?

In short, it describes very well why we need to do certain types of runs and when we need to do them. It also includes templates for any race upto a marathon.

I have created many running programs for myself based on Jack Daniels' suggestions and am very happy with the results so far.

Click here for more information about Daniels' Running Formula

Best Running Gear for Intervals
The Gymboss is an easy to use piece of running gear that makes your intervals a lot easier.

The problem with doing intervals, I always find, is that a lot of time is spent monitoring the clock. Is it time to go fast again or not? Is it time to slow down again?

Basically all watches come with one stopwatch timer, which is simply not enough when you are running at two different speeds for set periods of time. The Gymboss solves those problems by providing two countdown timers.

My interval sessions are a lot less restless since I have been using the Gymboss. Great for run/walk programs as well!

Click here for more information about the Gymboss

Best Running Gear for Running Technique
Musicians use metronomes to keep playing at the right speed.

Runners can use metronomes as well to take the correct number of steps per minute. In the beginning the metronome might be a bit frustrating, it was for me.
But after a while it does get easier to keep up with it.

Why should you use a metronome? Well, in short, most runners take about 160-165 steps per minute. A more efficient number is 180 steps per minute as it means you take 'lighter' steps which helps to reduce the impact on your feet and lower legs, helps to reduce injuries and makes you faster as well.

Check out this running cadence page to learn more about running technique and the use of a metronome.

Click here for more information about the Seiko DM50 Compact Metronome on the picture

Best Running Gear for Long Runs
RRS Speed 4 Energy Belt
When you start running for longer and longer distances it becomes important to re-fuel during your run.

Don't think that you only need to drink during the run on warm days. In winter we lose a lot of fluids as well. Although you notice it less, you are still sweating.

The RoadRunnerSports Speed 4 Energy belt holds four 10-ounce nutrition/hydration flasks. When you need to go a little bit further, the lightweight Speed 4 Energy Belt comes to the rescue. There are some pockets in the belt to hold valuables as well.

Click here for more information about the RRS Speed 4 Energy Belt

Click here for more Hydration Options for Runners

Best Running Shoes: Newton Running Shoes
Newton Running Shoes
In my previous newsletter I spoke to the folks at Newton running shoes about their approach to shoe development.

It was very interesting to find out what they find important in shoes and how running shoes affect your running technique. It's important stuff.

In case you want to improve your technique and reduce your chances of getting injured, I can really recommend that you start using Newton running shoes.

There is a lot to be said for them.

Click here for more information about Newton running shoes

Best Running Heart Rate Monitor: Garmin 405cx
I recently got converted to using a heart rate monitor again after several years of running without. The Garmin 405cx is a top choice if you want a heart rate monitor with GPS.

You can upload all your results to desktop software or to Garmin Connect. There you can see your run on a map, watch your mile or km splits, your heart rate during the run, your pace during the run etc.

It provides a lot of training feedback that you can use to make yourself a better runner, monitor your progress and just to have fun with!

Click here for a Garmin 405cx user review

OK, that's it for now. Of course, there are many more running gift ideas, but these are really my top ideas. All of it is stuff that I like, I have and I am very happy with.

Hope it helps.

Before you click away, don't forget to download Jason and Jamie's story.

The Big Push (PDF)

I am wishing you a good end of year. Have lots of fun. I will be taking a break from the website for a few weeks, but will be back in touch in the new year.

Talk to you soon.
In the meantime, come visit my site often and happy running!


Best Running Tips




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