Christmas Gift Guide 2008


PaceTat, £1.99 (or free if you submit two reviews on

Make sure you never lose track of your time with the ingenious PaceTat. The temporary tattoo won't chafe and will withstand limitless rain and sweat, but washes off easily with baby oil or an alcohol wipe.

Good for: marathon men (and women!)

Goody Stayput Hairbands, from £3.10

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and once you've tried these natural-coloured hairbands with non-slip, non-pull rubber tread woven into the elastic, you'll never go back!

Good for: running Rapunzels

Arktos Ice Bandage, £3.91

Keep this dinky package in your bum bag, and if injury strikes you can start recovering straight away. It'll start working just 10 minutes after application, and give you two hours of its blissful cooling effect.

Good for: avoiding time on the bench

Pledgetags, from £3.99

Help the runner in your life dig deep with a personal message. The waterproof tags come printed with a range of motivational messages, or design your own message of up to 25 characters. They are available in medium (18.7cm) and large (21.2cm) sizes and a range of suitably bright colours.

Good for: motivational mantras

Nab Fitness Diary, £5.99

You'll have no excuse to stray from the grand plan with this paper training log – it'll fit in your gym bag and is simple to use if fancy online logs leave you confused! With 11 sections, including goals, body fat, weight training and cardio training, it can be started at any time in the year for 12 months of use from that date.

Good for: New Year's resolutions

Xtenex laces, £7.99

Make mid-race lace adjustments a thing of the past with these knotty shoelaces. They may take a while to lace, but once fitted you'll never need to untie them again – the knots in Xtenex laces stretch out to allow the shoe to come off easily. The laces' tension can be adjusted between eyelets to the exact mould of your foot, for a more comfortable fit.

Good for: comfy feet

SIGG water bottles, from £8

Ditch plastic water bottles and invest in a classic Swiss aluminium one instead - they're re-useable, recyclable and just about unbreakable. A timeless accessory, perfect for hardcore traditionalists and bright young things alike, Sigg water bottles come in a dazzling array of styles and colours.

Good for: stylish hydration

The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, Granta, £8.99

Something different for those who prefer to hit the trails than pound the pavements, this is a celebration of Britain’s ‘wild places’. Academic Macfarlane treks from his fenland home, to find wilderness in landscapes from remote islands off North Wales to nightfall in mountainous Cumbria.

Good for: avid trail runners

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD (£10 - £60)

Running & Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind, ed. by Michael Austin, Wiley-Blackwell, £12.99

If you’ve ever wondered whether a zombie could run a marathon, this unique collection of essays on the philosophy of running might just have the answer. The anthology features essays from the full spectrum of runners, from college-level athletes, to philosophers who run in their spare time, to the philosopher who only started running to test the ideas in this book.

Good for: food for thought on a long run

iStik MP3 holder, £19.99

If you've got an iPod nano, there's an iStik for you. The super-strong magnets keep it firmly attached to your clothes and won't make holes or pull, leaving your hands free to enjoy your run!

Good for: runners who like to feel the beat as well as the burn

North Face Etip gloves, £22

These three-season gloves aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for spring and autumn too. With special grips for fiddly MP3 controls to suit music-loving runners, these super-gloves also prevent the growth of bacteria and regulate body temperature.

Good for: freezing fingers


Camelbak Stamina 1, £25

The designers at Camelbak seem to have thought of every problem associated with bottle belts and fixed it. It’s snug and stable, with convenient side fastenings and a secure MP3 pocket as well as the two other roomy pockets. It also comes with a Camelbak Performance bottle.

Good for: finishing long runs in style


Omni Massage Heavy Massage Roller, from £29.99

The next time the runner in your life asks for a sports massage, leave oily hands behind and try this new stainless-steel massage ball. The multi-directional, heavy ball makes deep-tissue massage a breeze – and no need for batteries or greasy creams or oils.

Good for: relief from knots and niggles


Montane Featherlite Marathon Jacket, from £40

Billed as the world’s lightest running jacket, the Featherlite Marathon Jacket is a 98 per cent breathable, wind- and water-resistant jacket, and has reflective detailing and breathable vents. Amazingly, once stowed in its teeny bag, it’s smaller and lighter than the average banana. The hi-vis version is also the same colour as a banana, but you can choose electric blue, red, mango orange or black instead.

Good for: those who like to travel light

Osprey Talon 22 Backpack, £59

This spacious and stylish panel-loading backpack will carry all you need for a day of fast-paced fun or a serious adventure race. Its large mesh lined slash pocket will keep valuables separate and organised. Available in temptingly named colours spicy chilli, moonlight blue or acid green.

Good for: tough trail runners (or tough commuters)


XCo-Trainer hand weights, £89.99

Give your cross-training a boost with these hand weights. The hollow tubes are filled with silicon granules, which are propelled from one end of the tube to the other when lifted. Cleverly, this triggers a series of responses from the body, which makes it work harder without the strain that static weights place on ligaments or tissue. The set also includes a DVD and a wall chart of exercises.

Good for: home work-outs

Finis SwiMP3 v2, £99

Swimming is great cross-training, and now you don’t have to miss out on your favourite motivational tunes. With bone conduction technology, the SwiMP3 will play your top tracks crystal clear as well as loud. Its basic functions and simple controls make it a doddle to use.

Good for: budding triathletes

Brooks Trance 8, £110

Complete with biodegradable midsole, Brooks Trance running shoes are the perfect solution for overpronators who love the planet as much as they love running. Don’t forget to recycle your old trainers too!

Good for: eco-warriors

iPod Touch with Nike+ sensor, (iPod Touch £169.99, Nike+ iPod Sport kit £10.99)

The iPod Touch is one of the flashiest gadgets around, with its touch screen, wireless internet access and thousands of downloadable applications. The latest version comes with built-in Nike+ capability and all that entails, making it the perfect all-round gadget for runners.

Good for: style-conscious multi-taskers

Garmin Forerunner 405, £229

Much smaller and slicker to look at than the much-loved Forerunner 305, this is an accessory that makes runners go weak at the knees. It has numerous features, from high-sensitivity GPS to wireless connectivity to the option of a ‘Virtual Partner’ if you like to run alone.

Good for: gadget addicts