We all know at least one runner who has a partner or bunch of mates who just really doesn’t get it and resents the strange hobby you developed later in life. You used to be so much FUN before – right?
Well let them know it doesn’t all have to be bad news, here’s five Christmas presents you can give to a runner that won’t cost a penny – leaving all of your cash for COOL stuff like cigars, top hats and booze.
1. A long run
All runners love these and usually go out on a Saturday or Sunday to do “the long run” with other like-minded masochists. If your partner/friend is training for a spring marathon then maybe give them a little booklet of long-run vouchers. Let them disappear, guilt-free, for two to three hours, whilst you make sure they have a nice bit of food upon their return.
This may not be for every runner and if you are seeing a sprinter or middle distance runner this may be seen as a negative. They like to run very short distances and then do “drills” (which doesn’t mean they want to put up those shelves).
2. A race entry
Well, this may actually cost money, but the trick here is to find one that lets you pay on the day (it’s up to you whether you pass on this information) or gift them an entry into their local parkrun.
Even better find a race that has a lottery draw for entries and so you can add them, using their card details, and then there will be no expense (for them) until after Christmas – if they get accepted. It’s like buying someone a scratch card for their birthday. It could be worth £10,000, but most probably it won’t. It’s the thought that counts.
3. A free gym trial
Everyone knows the best time of the year to go to the gym is in January. Thousands decide that the overindulgence of Christmas, New Years or just decades of life, decide they need to start smashing it out on the treadmill and doing bicep curls (the king of all dynamic exercises).
Find a gym doing a free trial and sign your partner up. Tell them you’re worried about them slipping on ice in the Winter and want to keep their running safe. Don’t tell them that the gym will now email them with special offers for eternity.
4. Smoothie Roast Dinner
If you know anything about nutrition (like if you did that two-hour course on the internet) then you’ll know that everything is healthier in smoothie form, otherwise, why would people drink their food?
Take the initiative and blend their Christmas dinner into a handy drink so no time is taken away from training and your partner can smash the festive period in one hearty gulp.
A real coach could cost money, but if you offer to do the coaching yourself or, even better, get the kids to do it, then it’s free. Now all you need is a whistle and maybe a stopwatch (although a phone will do this, but look less professional).
Next time your runner goes to the running track you just need to come along, hold the stopwatch and blow the whistle as loud as possible at random intervals. This is the essence of coaching and will ensure PBs galore for the future.
Runners are simple creatures and don’t need expensive trainers, watches, headphones or clothes to make them happy (although some might have you believe this). True happiness in a runner comes from striding along a trail/track/road, feeling lighter than air and flying past a finish line, enjoying the miles with fellow runners or just lacing up the kicks and getting outside.