As the temperature drops, the running season warms up and marches right into Christmas and then New Year. It is a good time to give some cool gifts to your runner relatives and friends. Here is the first part of our Christmas gift guide for runners.
You must have observed cricketers and footballers wearing a base layer underneath their team colours. That base layer is actually compression bottoms and tops. Compression gear reduces muscle vibration during a run, which means less muscle fatigue. The compression technology stabilizes your muscles during foot strike, thereby reducing fatigue and also increases blood flow. Depending on the weather, pick full-length compression pants or shorts. Under Armour, Skins and 2XU are good choices but they are hard to come by in India. They are available online on some sites but tend to be prohibitively priced. Opt for Adidas or Reebok if buying from India.
Price: Rs2,899-5,999, for men and women.
Sore calves and aching shins need some tender care. While stretching and massage definitely help, one cannot have those while on the run. To relieve and reduce the fatigue and soreness, try compression socks or calf sleeves. They work almost the same way as compression bottoms, but in case of stockings, the compression is gradual, maximum near the ankle and Achilles tendon and lesser higher up towards the calves. This ensures better blood circulation to the extremities of your foot, thereby improving performance and reducing fatigue. Both Nike and Adidas sell these in select stores, while better deals on the same can be found online on portals like Amazon, Jabong, and Shop.adidas.co.in.
This is perhaps the best gift you could give to any runner who trains in hot and humid places, such as Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata (and Delhi during the summer months). While hydration packs that are worn as a backpack are heavy and hydration belts come with bottles that keep falling off or getting lost, the vests are super-light and come with two water pouches (100ml and 200ml) that fit in the two front pockets of the vest. They also come with some glow-in-the-dark stickers on both front and back, thereby adding a safety feature for those who run at dusk or dawn. Salomon, for one, makes a rather light hydration vest as part of its S-Lab Sense range (available on Amazon.in)
Price: Rs13,749 onwards.
Muscle Stick and Foam roller
Sore quadriceps, tight hamstrings and complaining calves are what every runner gets. Now, physiotherapy and sports massage after every training session would be ideal but not actually feasible. Gift your friend a muscle stick and a foam roller. It will help massage the tight muscles and reduce soreness. The muscle stick can be used to massage the sore muscles, and it also helps break down stubborn, painful knots that form due to overuse and lactic acid build-up. You will find YouTube videos explaining how to use the muscle stick and foam roller. They are available on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal and several sports stores across the country.
No, we are not talking protein shakes but gels, hydration mixes and salt tabs. You could always turn to international brands such as GU, Cliff and PowerGel, but now there are made-in-India options too. Choose between Fast&Up’s gels and a wide range of pre-, intra- and post-run hydration tablets and Unived’s RRUNN gels and nutrition supplements. While Fast&Up uses a tried-and-tested Swiss formula for its products, Unived has developed its entire range of vegan supplements in India. Products are available on Amazon.in, Healthkart.com, Fastandup.in and Flipkart.com
Price: Rs160 onwards.
Next week, look out for our list of GPS trackers, sports therapies and athletic tests.