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2014 Christmas Gifts for Runners-Training Aids

Christmas 2014



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.

Best Gifts for Runners

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.

Click here for a downloadable list of my favorite training aids, with clickable Amazon links, to make your holiday shopping as easy as possible!

A Running Coach Without the Title

Does a running coach NEED to be RRCA certified?

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This is a question I’ve been kicking around in my head for some time now.

As I’m now taking on clients as a running coach and creating training plans for runners of all race distances, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should pursue RRCA certification as a coach.

I don’t think I am going to. Read more

Did You Witness History in the Making?

Last night was a first for me. I put on my first ever live webinar. I spent an hour or so, chatting with runners and answering questions in a very relaxed and laid back environment.

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Was it perfect? Hell no!

Was it a success? Absolutely! Read more

Put Up or Shut Up

Do you ever feel like you just need a few more hours in each day to get everything accomplished that you set out to do?

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That’s been me for the past couple of weeks.

I shared with the tribe via email that I’ve been very non-productive over the past couple of weeks, basically since the baby was born. While it might be easy/convenient to blame the baby for my struggles, I’ve wasted a lot of time since she’s been born here.

And that needs to stop.

So I’m calling myself out. I need to do a better job of prioritizing and staying focused on the task at hand, both in terms of work, in terms of family life, and in terms of my running.

Blending Work and Running

In the email I sent to the tribe last week, I also let them in on the top secret project I’m working on, which will be ready to roll in early September.

While I’m not ready to spill the beans publicly yet, I’ll give y’all a little teaser. I’m a huge believer in the positive impact of regular strength training for runners. And yet, it’s something that many runners don’t do enough of.

And I need to include myself in that group.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be offering all kinds of opportunities to learn about the benefits of strength training, no matter what level of a runner you would consider yourself to be.

  • I’ll be talking about why some “gym staples” have no benefit to runners, and how some of the best exercises for runners will earn you some stares if you do them at the gym.
  • I’ll also get into some of the many benefits of regular strength training, including a decreased risk of injury, improved endurance, stronger kick, and a higher top speed.
  • I’ll also cover why it’s so important to work your upper body as well, not just your legs.

But before I do all of that, I need to practice what I’m going to preach. Because as much as I know the benefits of strength training, I haven’t made strength training a priority for myself yet. And that needs to change.

It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up

I have a lot of plans for the future of this website, and the podcast is just the first piece of the vision that I have. But in order for any of the plans to be successful, the first thing I need to do is to take a dose of my own medicine.

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My focused strength training starts now, and I can’t wait to share with you guys what I’ve got planned for next month.

Want a sneak peak? Join the tribe and I’ll give you the scoop!


 

 Join my Tribe!

There’s always room for more members of the tribe!

Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else.

If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!

Diz Runs With… Amanda Loudin


On today’s episode of the Diz Runs With podcast, I’m joining running coach Amanda Loudin for a few easy miles to talk about running, life, and everything in between.

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During our run, we covered a lot of ground. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Her favorite race distance is a unique one, since it’s not a distance you can find to race frequently.
  • Got her start as an endurance athlete in a very unique style of triathlon.
  • Her plans of running an ultra marathon (or 2!) in the next year and a half or so.
  • MAF running. What is it and why it’s beneficial.
  • Big, bulky shoes vs. Small, light shoes. The shoe debate continues!

My conversation with Amanda was a great one, and I know that I learned a lot from her, especially about MAF training. I’m not sure I have the patience to implement it, but I really like the idea of it and how it can really lay the foundation for improvement for any runner.

If you’d like more information about MAF training, I’d definitely suggest you connect with Amanda. She’s always willing to talk with runners about anything, and I know she can answer any questions that you might have.

Her Website–MissZippy1.com

Facebook–MissZippy1 

Twitter–@MissZippy1

Instagram–misszippy1

I hope you’ll take the time to connect with Amanda, and let her know that you heard her on the Diz Runs With podcast!


 

 Join my Tribe!

There’s always room for more members of the tribe!

Both the Facebook group and the email group provide opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Facebook group is still small, but it is a great way to connect with fellow runners and foster community amongst like minded individuals. The email group is THE way to stay up to date about future guests on the show, as well as getting some other freebies and offers that aren’t available to anyone else.

If you’ve got questions about either/both, just let me know!