The holidays are upon us, and you’ve yet to cross off the runners on your list? Not to worry, Mountain Mama has four gift ideas to spare your wallet this holiday season.
Christmas is right around the corner and for those hard-to-buy-for runners still on your shopping list, go for one of the low-cost gift picks below.
1. A book about running. I’m currently reading Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run, A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen about the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyons who run hundreds of miles without getting injured. Born to Run inspires readers and reminds us why we love running. I can’t think of a runner who wouldn’t appreciate over two hundred pages nudging her to get out the door, and for $16, a copy of Born to Run won’t break the bank.
2. Create an at-home spa experience. Sore muscles and aching limbs plague runners. The perfect anecdote is a few cups of Epsom salt added to a bath or foot soak to relax the nervous system, ease muscle strain, and draw toxins from the body. Named for a bitter saline spring in Surrey, England, Epsom salt isn’t actually a salt at all, but rather a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. The best part is that you don’t have to venture further than your corner drug store to buy a milk carton worth of the curative crystals, which will only set you back $5.
3. Cold weather accessories. As the temperatures dip, ear-warming headbands help runners stay warm while looking good. Look for headbands made specifically for runners out of lightweight, sweat-wicking material. Cold weather running headbands come in a variety of colors and prints, so you’re sure to find something to suit the personality of the runners on your list. Another sure-to-please gift are socks particularly suited for the colder weather. The staff at Runner’s World recently rated Falke RU Stabilizers as the best winter socks for runners due to the high over-the-ankle cut that covers the bit of skin between running tights and shoes that gets nipped on frosty days. Expect to spend anywhere between $10 to $30 on a quality running socks or a cold weather headband.
4. Homemade energy bars. For the bakers amongst you, customize energy bars. Any runner would appreciate the gift of health in the form of energy-dense snacks easy to eat on a run. They’re a whole lot fresher than store-bought bars, and these days there are plenty of recipes on the internet, but here’s my favorite one:
1 ½ cups Oats
¼ cup Almond Butter
¼ cup Honey
1 cup Almonds
¼ cup Goji Berries
¼ cup Ground Flax
¼ cup Chia Seeds
½ cup Coconut
1 cup Dates
[Put dates into food processor until dough-like. Heat honey and almond butter on stove top. Mix all ingredients together, press into pan, freeze for 20 minutes. Cut into approximately 20 bars.]