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 continue to give you dozens of gift ideas for runners in a number of different running categories. To revisit the categories I’ve already talked about, click here.
Today, I will be looking at some of the training aids that many runners can use to help them get faster/run farther/stay healthy/become better overall runners.
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.
Training Aids for Runners
- Coaching–One of the quickest ways for a runner to improve his or her performance is to work with a running coach. Hiring a coach may seem like something that is for elite runners only, but there are a lot of reasons why new runners can benefit from working with a coach, as well as those that have been running for awhile. A good coaching program will help all runners improve, while minimizing risk of injury or burnout, faster than many runners will be able to improve on their own.
- TRX System–For whatever reason, there is still a large portion of the running community that thinks that strength training isn’t important. I can’t stress the importance of strength training enough, and the TRX System is the perfect piece of equipment for runners to work their entire body from the comfort of their own homes. There is literally nothing you can’t work with the TRX, and I believe that all runners will improve if they start working the muscles in their entire body.
- Resistance Bands–Another great option for runners to get a whole body workout is to use resistance bands. Buy a pack with a few different levels of resistance to work different muscle groups and to progress as they build strength.
- Exercise Ball–An exercise ball is a great tool for working the entire core, and it can also be used to work the upper and lower body as well. Core stability is vital for runners, especially those running longer distances, and doing work on an exercise ball is much more difficult than doing many of the same exercises on the floor.
- Namaste Yoga DVD–Most runners have poor flexibility. A great way to improve as a runner, and to feel better overall, is to do yoga on a regular basis. Most yoga videos have a stigma about being long and boring, but the Namaste Yoga series is my absolute favorite because each yoga routine is only 22 minutes and there is constant movement throughout each session. I’ve tried a handful of other yoga DVDs, and this is hands down the best I’ve ever used.
- Gift Card to Local Running Store–I love supporting small businesses, and the local running store is perhaps my favorite place to support. And believe me, every runner on your list has something at the running store they’d love to buy but haven’t, so a gift card makes a great gift!
- Membership for Gym/Pool/Yoga Studio–Another way to support local business and help your runner improve is to give a gift certificate/membership to one of these options. All offer great cross training opportunities for runners, and also a chance to improve their all around fitness.