Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gift Ideas for Walkers -- Part II

No bad photography with this half of the list as it continues:

6) Books about Walking, Health and Fitness or Healthy Eating -- There are lots of books about walking, but if the person you are buying for is trying marathon walking or racewalking, you need to check out the books written by Dave McGovern. He is smart and a very good writer. For books on nutrition, try any of Nancy Clark's books. I just purchased her book on sports nutrition for my son (who does not read my blog) and her book on nutrition for marathoners for me. The Dr. Oz books titled "You" are also good. Though not about walking, I loved the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

7) Heart Rate Monitor -- Heart rate monitors are great! They give you a much better idea of the amount of effort you are putting forth. I have PR'd twice this year by basing my race pace on my heart rate. I have a low-end Timex that is very easy to use, but does not store information. It is enough for me. Friends of mine have really high-end models that store results for a month and can download workouts to their computer or special web sites. Those are also great, but are much more expensive.

8) Water Bottle -- I'm not talking about one of those cheap plastic water bottles that cause dangerous chemicals to enter your drinking water. I have a great Nathan brand stainless steel water bottle that I love! It doesn't work in the water bottle carrier I use for distance workouts, but I use it for hiking, when driving around the city, baseball games, or just about any situation other than carrying it in my water bottle carrier.

9) Race Registration -- If you know your walker would love to do a race, pay the registration fee. It's a great way to inspire your walker and give him or her a reason to train all year. FYI -- for anyone planning to buy me a gift, I'd love to enter a race in Hawaii.:-) Can you include airfare, too?

10) SPI Belt -- SPI Belt was the original, but there are other brands of small bags that go around the waist for carrying essentials during a race. What I love is that the belt is elastic, so it can get tight enough that it won't bounce. The bag stretches to carry everything from a cell phone or camera, your keys and a gel or Clif Shot Bloks. The SPI Belt brand also has clips to attach your race number, so you don't have to put safety pin holes in your favorite shirt or jacket. I use mine for training walks in the summer when I don't have pockets and for races.

11) Wind-proof Jacket -- I can walk all year round if I can just stop the wind. I have a great jacket by asics that is both wind-proof and water resistant! With the right amount of layers, it is great for most of the winter. In the spring and fall it helps protect me from the rain and wind. Mine has plenty of vents I can open when needed to prevent overheating. I might be unusual, but I prefer a light jacket I can add layers under to a heavy jacket.

12) New Shoes -- No, you probably cannot go out and buy new shoes for your favorite walker. But, you can purchase a gift card to their favorite running and walking store. And if your favorite walker is not buying his or her shoes from a good running/walking store, now is the time to get them started. It is very important to have a professional fit shoes to your feet based on the type of walking you do. A good pair of walking shoes can range from $80 to over $100.

So, without dropping too many brand names, and without enough photos, I hope these two blog postings will help you to shop (even at the last minute) for your favorite walker!

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