Running Christmas Gift Ideas

I love browsing sports websites, especially the good selection of kit available on the likes of Outside Shop from many different brands, as well of course, what can be found on the Salomon website. Here are a few Christmas gift ideas which you might want to consider for someone you know (or yourself!) for this Christmas.

Running Christmas Gift Ideas

 Photo: Outside Shop

Photo: Outside Shop

I spotted the Forerunner 25 on Outside website. There seems to be a really good price deal on at the moment so do check it out pre xmas! It comes in two colours, has GPS, can track your activity (and apparently, your sleep!), comes with a heart rate monitor, and can display incoming texts/calls (depends how much you want to escape the daily grind while running!).

More info can be found here .

 Photo: Salomon

Photo: Salomon

Post race time; winter days training, you often have the issue to tackle of where to put muddy shoes. Sometimes a Tesco bag suffices. But I love this - and think it's a useful present to get a fellow runner.It has compartments for different clothing items, helping to keep organised and not lose your things pre or post race!

This is available from the Salomon website in various colours.

 Photo: Salomon

Photo: Salomon

I really love my Elevate Midi from Salomon, and have worn it for pre-race, after running, chilling out, layering up in winter etc.Ladies, I see they now have it in purple! Really like the colour of this, and it is a great present for anyone, whatever sport - as it is lightweight and comfortable

Happy Shopping, and enjoy the festive time :)

Motivate your running with Running Heroes

New week, new sporting 'to do's in the diary. Perhaps you will have an evening 5km to battle in the cold. Perhaps a 10 miler and you are hoping it doesn't rain?

Maybe you are feeling you need a bit of an incentive with you running.

I recently tried out a pretty cool, completely free to all running tool.

Running Heroes, enables you to monitor your running progress, to encourage and support your during training by linking you with a huge running community – and to reward you while you run.

When I considered trying this out, I was a bit sceptical. Mainly because I feel I have enough tracking my progress without trying something else.

However, this doesn’t cost anything to use. Best of all, and it took me a while to get my head around it - it isn't an app. It works with your Garmin, Nike – whatever.

It all sounded a bit too good to be true, and I was curious how exactly it would work, and whether it was all a bit... gimmicky.

My impressions on Running Heroes

Was it hard to set up?

No, took no time at all. No complicated syncing business or long registering time. Did it in a couple of mins.

What happened next?

I just went for a run. That’s about it. My Garmin actually was the thing doing the hard work – and the Running Heroes tool simply works with it. Tracking progress, giving my Garmin the ‘thumbs up’ and putting me in line to get offers.

What do they get out of it?

Good question. I have had the privilege to recently be in contact with a senior member of their team, and I have been really impressed with their passion for running and dedication to the sport as a company.  By bringing together brands and a community of runners, they are an exciting, new enterprise. Very much a case of: you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Example of what 'rewards' you can get when you have earned enough points through running
Example of what 'rewards' you can get when you have earned enough points through running

Do I recommend it?

Yes, it’s a great way to bring together runners, share what we love, and to get the chance to receive little rewards through offers that you can put towards kit etc, for your solid efforts. I am really behind any company that wants to fundamentally promote the community essence of running and make running more accessible and enjoyable for everybody.

Visit their site:


Do I need a running watch?

Happy Friday! As part of my 'vlog' series, I thought I would include some videos which are short, snappy and sum up some advice to do with running, kit etc. Today I talk about running watches - do you need a running watch? Why are they useful?

Hope this helps anyone new into the sport, or anyone thinking of updating their kit. For more experienced runners, I'd love to know which running watch you use, and any you recommend (always on look out to update my kit!).

Have a great weekend.

Running kit must haves!

Happy Friday! Today I have posted the second vlog in my new series 'For Fit Friday'. Each Friday I aim to post a video following my running adventures, and running/fitness advice.

This week I had a think about three essential running kit must haves that are important to consider when starting out running, particularly if you are off road running.

To find out more, watch this video!

Have a great weekend, and do comment below if there are any specific areas to do with running that you would like to see a video about in the future!

Products mentioned in the video (click links for more info):

Salomon Speed Cross 3 shoes

Salomon Soft Flask 500ml

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 - available online from good sports stockists.

Trigger Point Foam Roller (Although not the specific roller in the video, this brand makes excellent foam rollers).

Oops! Learning from a bad mistake

I once had a bit of a drama with water on a run. Snowdonia trip. With a rucksack on my back (no water bottle space at the front), we skipped our way up steep scrambles, gaining height and enjoying the tiring exertion. Once I had decided it was time for a quick water stop, I paused, the other guys full of energy for the adventures that lay ahead when- oops. Set-back. I forgot my water.


I actually thought, being fairly none the wiser with kit at this stage, that it might not be a big deal. JR looked concerned, but I thought - hey, this ain't the Sahara, how bad is it going to get?  But, considering we ended up covering about 18 miles, it was a pretty good thing that Snowdon is equipped with a tourist cafe ( commercialisation affecting natural beauty is a contentious issue - I can't deny in this case that I grateful it was there on the rugged rock!).

So, turns out on long distance routes, you really do need water. Considering it is a necessity for your daily movements, it's going to be absolutely vital for those days when you are exerting just that bit more.

Now, it is definitely a benefit, unless you are buying a camel pack (water bag built into the main part of the bag with a tube that allows you to drink while running) to have a running pack with bottles in the front. It means you don't have to stop to get out bottles enabling you to sip regularly and keep hydrated.

So, establishing that you have to bring water, and it is better to have it to hand, or at least, strapped to your front, which bottles to get? A 1 L evian bottle is, let's be honest, pretty cumbersome to carry around. So what are the options? Ultimate Direction packs are equipped with just over 500ml hard bottles.

These are good, sturdy bottles. However, I personally found them bulky in front of me when I ran. Ben, a very experienced long distance runner, offered to lend me the 'squigy' Ultimate Direction bottles to put in my vest pack for the OCC last year. But we both agreed that the size of his bottles isn't ideal - at under 500ml per bottle you are not prepared with a whole litre of water, on your front, while you run. Looking on the website, I see that Ultimate Direction do do a Body Bottle Plus allowing you to carry a litre on the front in two bottles,which might be an idea for those who have an Ultimate Direction Vest.

Although I gratefully took the 'squidgy' bottles from Ben, before race day, I actually decided to invest in Salomon bottles - 500ml each. Salomon do them in several sizes (this is an example of a more light version at 250ml, below) but what is great is that they are super light, and being narrow too, they are the ideal shape for being pretty unnoticeable on the go.

A good thing to make sure is that the bottle fits your pack - during the OCC I used Salomon bottles in my Ultimate Direction pack - which wasn't the best fit, but just about worked ok! I now wear a Salomon S Lab Adv Skin 3 vest, which fits the bottles perfectly, and the design of the pack itself means the bottles are subtle while you are running.

 Photo: Angela Roberts

Photo: Angela Roberts

So, to conclude, definitely remember water when running,  think about the best way for you to carry it and your needs for what you are doing - and keep hydrated!

Where to buy? Outside Shop, Hathersage stock both Ultimate Direction and Salomon accessories