Running is at its heart a pretty simple sport. Lace up a pair of shoes (or not, if you’re one of the hard-core Born To Run crowd), set off and, er, that’s it.
But, while there are plenty of folk out there – notably Silas and Dave from The Naked Runners – who are trying to encourage people not to over-complicate running, there is still a place for some kit to make your run safer, more fun and more efficient.
So here are my recommendations for what the runner in your life might like to find under the tree come Christmas morning.
(Note, that I haven’t included the obvious – shoes – in my list, simply because they are such a personal thing they are impossible to buy for someone else. If you’re still keen on giving shoes, consider a voucher from your local running store).
Oh, and if anyone ever works out how to guarantee an injury-free 12 months of running as a gift, then I’ll take that any day over anything on this list.
Garmin Forerunner XT
After trying various brands I settled with the Garmin GPS watch, mainly because of the superior interface design. Where the competition over-complicate matters, Garmin’s watch provide easy access to the functions you want, including distance, elapsed time and pace. Simple.
Camelbak Podium bottle
Now, fair enough, it’s only a small thing but having a water bottle along for the ride that doesn’t leak and won’t poison you with BPA is a very nice thing indeed. This is the only bottle to buy. It’s a bit more pricey than most but, hey – it works.
New Balance performance top
I really like these tops from New Balance. They come in a good range of pretty lairy colours (although there is not a great choice online at the moment for some reason) and let the sweat evaporate quickly. And, let’s face it, you can never have enough running shirts.
Summit pocket trowel
This piece of kit was rather wittily christened the iPood until Apple’s lawyers got the (snort) shits so now its moniker is much more prosaic. However, it still does the same job. You don’t need me to spell out what that is – suffice to say there will come a day when you're out on a trail run and you be really glad you brought it along.
Fox 40 Safety Whistle
I never leave home without one of these when I’m running in the bush. Mobile phones can’t be relied on, but this little beauty requires no batteries or reception if you need to summon help. Three blasts with a minute between is the accepted distress signal – which you will hopefully never have to use.
What running related gifts are you hoping for?