Pound The Pavement
One of the cool parts of summer is seeing everyone actually get outdoors to breathe in some fresh air and take in some golden sunlight – particularly when it comes to working out. Come June, suddenly the sidewalks and roads are bustling with cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and just about everything in between. If you have a friend that’s into running, or simply has an enviable lung capacity and is considering hitting the track this summer, then I’ve got some great gift ideas to share with you today from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Not only that, I’ve also got some handy tips on getting started on running, because believe it or not, it’s not so simple as touching toes to pavement – if you’re seriously considering running, then get geared up kids.
The first step? Figure out what kind of runner you are. Maybe you dig hitting the road, or maybe you’re more of a treadmill person. Perhaps you like hitting wide open spaces with a challenge on the beach or you prefer a more controlled experience, circling the track at your local club. No matter what, make sure you’re properly outfitted for the day. MEC sells plenty of ventilated, moisture-wicking products, including this MEC Run Cap ($23) that regulates your body temperature, reduces glare, and increases your overall comfort for those long excursions.
A lot of people might ask why you even need running gear – isn’t it just you and the road? Well sure, but keep in mind two things you need to tango with that road: well-fitted shoes and water. A visit to MEC can get you properly fitted so you can purchase the perfect pair of shoes to minimize aches and pains, and possibly improve your performance time. If you’re working so hard, you will get dehydrated, so be sure to bring along a water bottle. The lightweight MEC Pace 100 Waist Pack ($19.95) not only has you bottle at hand, it also gives you space to store keys, credit cards, or other essentials.
One such essential? Lip Pods Sport Lip Balm ($2.75), designed for the outdoorsy type and imbued with SPF 30. While it rocks in the sunshine, it’s also great for blustery fall and spring days to avoid lip chapping. If the person you’re stocking up on these essentials for is really into running, this is another fun little present to encourage them to keep on pushing through. Another top tip? Encourage them to make and try to reach goals so their affair with running isn’t just a summer fling. Start with times, then look at distances – your best competition is often yourself.
My final tip of the day? Aside from staying hydrated, you’ve also got to fuel up your body when you’re rocking and rolling it when running. Aim to eat 1-3 hours before you pound the ground, and if you’re going on a mini-marathon, be sure to snack every hour while you’re jogging. Post-workout recovery can also be sped up by a healthy dose of carbs and protein, so get chomping. No matter when you’re noshing, an energy-laden product is a great choice for serious workouts – like Clif Shot Bloks Fast Paks ($2.10), which tuck nicely into your Waist Pack and are loaded with electrolytes and carbs, but free from pretty much anything artificial.
Now that you’re armed with four run-ready gift ideas, let me gift you one last thing: one lucky winner is going to walk away with all four items highlighted in this post! If you’ve got the fever for a serious workout, here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by July 10th with a link back to the running shoes from MEC.ca you’d love to own (or gift) to accompany your running gear kit.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around July 11th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Show me how much you love MEC by liking them on Facebook. If you’re feeling keen, leave a comment while you’re there (you’re under no obligation to mention the CGG).