As the holidays approach, the search for the perfect gift for each person on your list will only intensify. If you are shopping for a runner this year, over the next few weeks I’ll give you dozens of gift ideas in a number of different running categories.
Today, I will be looking at some of the tools for managing the inevitable aches and pains that all runners are forced to deal with from time to time. With proper management, preventing the aches and pains from developing into a more serious injury (and forced time away from running) is completely possible.
If you’d like to download a list of all of the items listed on this post (with clickable links to make shopping easy) and talked about in the podcast episode, simply click here.
Gifts for Runners’ Aches and Pains
- Torex Hot/Cold Sleeve–Hands down, the best ice pack that I’ve every used. And it also doubles as a hot pack as well. What makes it so great is that when it is frozen, the sleeve is still pliable and comfortable to wear, outside of the fact that it’s cold! Make sure you pick the size that is most appropriate for the runner you’re shopping for (most likely the medium or large).
- Foam Roller–There is nothing more tortuous yet beneficial than a good, high density foam roller. Without question, the one I’ve linked to is the best roller available for the price. Getting a “fancier version” is fine, but doesn’t work any better than this old faithful.
- The Stick–This is another self-massage tool, similar to the foam roller, and is a great way to help loosen up some of the tight muscles that runners deal with on a regular basis. As with the foam roller, there aren’t any additional physiological benefits of some of the different types of massage sticks that are available.
- Chopat Strap–The chopat strap is wrapped around the knee, and is used to help alleviate the discomfort associated with runners knee. If the runner on your list is dealing with some knee discomfort, a chopat strap makes a good gift, but it doesn’t SOLVE the problem. Wearing one allows you to keep running, but you need to address the other symptoms as well to help eliminate the problem and the need for the strap long term.
- Strassburg Sock–The Strassburg sock is used to help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, which is a problem that many runners have dealt with at one time or another. The sock helps to keep the fascia stretched while you are sleeping, but it does not ultimately solve the problem, just like the strap above.
- Bio Freeze–Bio-freeze, or any of the topical analgesics that are available, can help to alleviate some minor muscle discomfort/soreness as necessary. Many runners swear by the bio-freeze, so a tube in the stocking might be considered the best gift of the season! Other options to bio-freeze include flexall, icy hot, tiger balm, and many others.
- Body Glide–Body glide wouldn’t be considered a glamorous gift, but it’s a practical one for sure! Every runner deals with chaffing of different body parts from time to time, and a dab of body glide helps to eliminate that discomfort.
Aches and pains are a fact of life for runners, but daily soreness doesn’t have to translate into injuries or force a runner into taking time off. As runners, we all need to listen to our bodies, be proactive when it comes to routine maintenance, and utilize some simple tools that allow us to keep going mile after mile.
If you’ve got runners on your shopping list this year and they don’t have any of these items to manage their aches and pains, I can pretty much guarantee your gifts will be well received if they are coming from this list!