You do not need these running toys

If I won a big shopping spree, would it be surprising that I’d splurge on mostly running gear? Of course not – because I’m a huge running nerd.

Just look at a small number of the running books I own…

But for the most part, running is such a simple sport – just lace up your shoes and you’re ready to run. You don’t need a team, ball, court, or much equipment.

And that’s why I love it.

You only need a few things:

That’s it! I remember back to 1998 when I started running and had no fancy gear. My shoes were basic, I wore soccer shorts, and I didn’t own a watch until the end of my first cross country season.

Those were the good ‘ole days when mileage was estimated, “wearables” wasn’t even a word, and shoes rarely cost more than $90.

But today, I could easily spend thousands of dollars on shoes, running books, gear, wearable tech, courses, coaching, and home gym equipment.

Somebody, please hide my credit card.

My view is that this is actually a good thing – it means the sport is growing and there are more resources than ever to help you succeed.

So, if you do want to spend some hard-earned cash on your passion this holiday season, I have some suggestions for you.

None of these are necessary, but they can make you a better runner or can help you geek out on your training.

Gift #1: Running Form Analysis

All of us have unique form – it’s our “runner fingerprint” that differentiates us.

A good analysis of that fingerprint can offer clues about your weaknesses, strengths, and idiosyncratic movements. This will help you determine:

  • What areas need to be strengthened
  • If any muscles need more flexibility
  • What (if any) subtle tweaks to your form are needed

But getting access to a running lab with all of their fancy cameras, software, and equipment can be incredibly expensive. You would likely pay hundreds of dollars to get your form evaluated.

There’s another option called The Running Form Course that includes that form analysis in addition to a full video course on running form.

The total package costs less than a normal form review – and you don’t even need to go to the running lab. You just film yourself running outside or on a treadmill and submit the video (they take care of the rest).

I’ve gone through the course myself and can vouch for how informative and on-point the material is. It’s the best form program available as far as I can tell.

You can check out all the details here (you can even get just the course itself if you don’t want the form analysis).

Gift #2: GoPro!

If you’ve been on the team for a year or so, you’ll have noticed my obsession with my GoPro camera.

My hard drive is nearly exploding with running footage – I even put together a trail running video for fun. And last year, a new GoPro was SR’s biggest giveaway at the time.

Capturing some of your biggest running memories is a great way to celebrate our wonderful sport.

I use mine for Q&A with Coach, trail running footage, and capturing all of SR’s video demonstrations.

With the free app, you can also preview the video on your phone. This comes in handy if you’re trying to capture the right frame or doing any demonstration filming.

The newer version GoPro is also much better than mine, with a ton of new features:

  • Better than standard HD video recording
  • Time-lapse, Night Photo, and an easier to use display
  • 12MP camera

It’s quite versatile for a little camera. Check out the side-by-side comparison of the different models on this page.

Gift #3: Blendtec Blender

Over the last year I’ve made huge strides in dialing in my nutrition and sticking to the core principles of Nutrition for Runners. One way that I do this is by making frequent smoothies with my new blender.

The Blendtec is one of the most state of the art blenders on the market, allowing you to make smoothies, nut butters, and juice.

Since it’s esentially a blender, juicer, and food processor in one device it’s incredibly versatile. And with a commercial-grade, 3 horsepower motor you can put virtually anything inside without having to “push” the contents down.

Plus, there are an assortment of colors (we bought the aquamarine) that let me show off my fun side 🙂

I’ve always been aggressive at investing in my health and passions – after all, what good is life if you’re not healthy enough to do what you enjoy?

I bought the classic version but you’ll be on your way to chef status with the newest model.

By the way, I get all of my smoothie recipes here. They’re easy and delicious.

Happy Holidays!

If you’re still undecided about a few gifts for the runners in your life (or yourself), then I hope this brief list gave you some ideas.

This will be the last post on SR for 2015 but we’ll be rocking and rolling in 2016.

There are HUGE things in the pipeline and I’ll soon be sharing them with you soon – including new coaching programs, SR gear, and the biggest giveaway I’ve ever put together (think, 4-figures worth of prizes…).

It’s going to be a lot of fun and if you’re not yet on the team, join us here. You’ll be the first to know about these goodies.

Until then, have a very merry Christmas, a (belated) happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful New Year’s.

Be in touch soon!
Jason.

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