Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

It is very possible that on your holiday gift list includes a runner. It may be someone you train with, someone you have met at a race or even your neighbor. Here is a look at our holiday gift guide for runners – 2014 edition!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Training

Without a doubt, runners put the most time on the road while training. From shoes to clothes, fuel to music, there is a lot that goes into the training miles. Here are a few of our favorite items for training!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

KT Tape – Throughout a training cycle, runners may experience a few aches and pains. KT Tape is a great option to help keep some of those pains at bay. This stretchy athletic tape is applied in a certain way to allow your muscles to work properly as you run. Even better, it comes in a ton of great colors, making it an accessory to your running outfit!

TuneBelt – Especially for those long runs, having music or something to listen to can help tremendously. Not to mention, bringing your phone with you during a run is yet another way to stay safe. TuneBelt offers a variety of products to help you carry your phone with ease. (Note: Use code MagicalFriends20 for 20% off!)

iTunes Gift Card – During training (or in preparation for race day), creating a great playlist is a must! Get your runner an iTunes gift card so they can pump up their playlist with some of their new favorite songs!

 

Race Day

After all the training, it’s time to take a victory lap! For many runDisney runners, it’s a time to dress up and have fun. Take a look at our favorites – especially when creating that runDisney costume!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Sparkle Athletic – Whether it’s part of a costume or if your outfit just needs a little sparkle, Sparkle Athletic has great options! From sparkle skirts to tank tops, adding sparkle is easy. There are also sparkle visors, shoe accessories and even capes!

Run with Perseverance – Sometimes the extra boost that runners need during the race is a mantra. Run with Perseverance offers tank tops with great mantras, from famous quotes to Disney-inspired creations. You can even have tank tops custom made with your runner’s name, favorite quote or more!

PaceBands – It’s true, runners can get quite competitive with themselves. If your runner has a goal time in mind for their upcoming race, a PaceBand is a great way to keep them focused while making sure they are on track. These silicone bands have even split times for many half marathon and marathon paces. It’s a great stocking stuffer too!

 

Recovery

Whether it’s a PR or a new race distance, you need to make sure you recovery properly. Here are a few of our favorite recovery items!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

ProCompression – Keeping your muscles from swelling is needed after a hard race or run. ProCompression makes socks, calf sleeves, leggings and arm sleeves to keep runner muscles happy after a run. They even come in great colors to accessorize during a race! (Note: Use code BLG14 for 40% off!)

ShowerPill – After a longer distance race, you may be a little sweaty. (Okay, maybe a lot sweaty.) ShowerPill makes athletic wipes that allow runners to freshen up quickly after a race or run! These are easy to pop in your bag check bag, or even have a spectator bring along for you.

Foam Roller – It’s true, runners have a love/hate relationship with foam rollers. However, they do a great job of getting the lactic acid out of muscles, keeping runners in great running shape! From travel size to rumble rollers, there are many to choose from.

 

Celebration

Every race or milestone deserves a wonderful celebration! Take a look at a few of our favorite ways to celebrate.

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Project Repat – If the runner on your list has been racing for awhile, they may have quite the race shirt collection. Project Repat takes those race shirts and creates a blanket out of them! It’s a great way to keep the memories of your shirts, without them lying around in a closet.

Sport Hooks – Runners do love the bling they get after a race! Sport Hooks creates fantastic medal holders that allow runners to display their medals with pride! With lots of designs to choose from, you are sure to find one that fits your runner’s personality.

Spa Gift Card – After putting in miles and miles of training followed by a great race, runners deserve a little pampering! A gift card to a local spa or massage is a fantastic way to let your runner get in a little rest and relaxation.

 

Sharing in the holiday cheer are TuneBelt and Run with Perseverance! They have graciously offered a giveaway for our wonderful readers.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Preserving runDisney Memories with Project Repat

Disclosure: Project Repat provided us with a discount for their product. As always, all opinions are our own.

 

After a runDisney race, you want to preserve every memory that you can! Whether it’s a scrapbook, blog post or even displaying those medals with pride, it’s fun to look back on the magical miles you experienced.

Preserving runDisney Memories with Project Repat

Project Repat has created a product that is an excellent way to continue to preserve your runDisney race memories!

While we all love to wear our runDisney race shirts after the race, there may come a point where they are no longer wearable. (Or you have such a large collection, you don’t wear them all!) Project Repat takes those race shirts and creates a blanket out of them. Even better, the process is simple!

Choose what size blanket you would like to create. From a lap blanket of 12 shirts to a King blanket of 64 shirts, you can find one that fits your race shirt needs. Along with the size, you will choose what color PolarTec fleece will be on the back of your blanket. You will pay for your blanket ahead of time, then the fun begins!

After choosing all of your shirts, you lay them out in the pattern of your choosing. Maybe it’s by color. Maybe it’s chronological. The choice is completely up to you! Take a photo as you will include send it along with all of your shirts.

Preserving Race Memories with Project Repat

Once the pattern is chosen and documented, you will need to cut your shirts in half. Yes, that is right – you will be cutting up those beloved runDisney shirts! This is because most race shirts have images on both sides. By cutting the shirt in half, you will only send Project Repat the side that you would like on the blanket. (They have a great video that explains how to cut the shirts, with the MOST important being that you have enough fabric for them to create the blanket with.) If you have shirts that only have one side, they do not need to be cut.

Preserving Race Memories with Project Repat

When your shirts are all cut, you box them up (Priority Flat Rate is a great option) and send them to Project Repat with the email printout they sent you AND the photo of your pattern. Once they receive it, you will get an email and then the waiting begins!

Approximately 2 weeks later (longer during the holidays), an email was sent that the blanket was on its way back!

Preserving Race Memories with Project Repat

Preserving Race Memories with Project Repat

It turned out beautiful, showcasing the race shirts with pride. It truly is a great way to preserve those race shirts! Use the link http://bit.ly/MagicalRepat and get 10% off your order!

Our friends at Project Repat want to give you a little holiday cheer! Enter below for your chance to win a $100 gift card to create a Project Repat blanket of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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runDisney Training – When Training Gets Tough

Training cycles can be long. There may even come a point where training gets downright hard. So how do you push through those runs that seem so tough?

Tips for when Training gets Tough

For starters, know that this happens to EVERY runner! Whether you have been running for months or years, every runner goes through a time where training gets tough. It may be when the mileage piles on. It may be when life tries to get in the way. It may be when the weather interferes. Regardless of the reason, here are some tips to help push through those tough training times.

Find a new route. It is very easy to run the same route over and over. (We can attest to running the routes near our homes the most!) You know every hill and mile marker, and that can make your runs seem boring. Switch things up by finding a new route, specifically for the longer runs. A change in scenery may be all it takes to get out of your training rut! (Note: ALWAYS research your route first, making sure it is safe.)

Grab a running buddy. The thought of running miles and miles, specifically alone, may be daunting. (Even more so if you have been doing the majority of your runs alone as well.) Find yourself a running buddy! Someone at the gym, a neighbor or even a friend or family member alongside of you during your runs will not only offer encouragement, but also a distraction during the miles. No one around you is a runner? Have them bike alongside of you instead!

Focus on the goal ahead of you. There may be times where you get caught up in the training doldrums that you lose sight of your goal at hand. Is it to finish a runDisney race? Then focus on the course! While Megan was training for her first marathon, she would note the mile markers of the Walt Disney World Marathon course. It made her long runs a little more fun when should would note that mile 6 was Magic Kingdom, mile 12 was Animal Kingdom, etc. Always have a mental picture of your goal to help keep you focused.

Take a little break. Sometimes a training rut means your body needs a break. While you can’t completely stop training, it may be wise to cut back on the mileage a bit. (Note: You should be tired during “peak week” a few weeks prior to your race – that’s why taper occurs soon after!) There are many training plans that allow for cut back weeks, specifically Jeff Galloway’s. Listen to your body, yet make sure you are getting in the training needed for your goal.

Remember why you started running. We all began our running journey for different reasons. To get in shape. To achieve a goal. To raise money/awareness for a charity. In the midst of training, sometimes we forget why we started running in the first place! When training gets tough, remember why you started. That may be just the thing you need to turn your training around!

Tips for when Training gets Tough

While training can get tough from time to time, know that you are not alone! Push through as best you can, knowing that your goal can be achieved. Focus on those magical miles you will take on while at Walt Disney World and Disneyland – sure to bring a smile to your face!

Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to info@runnersguidetowdw.com!

 

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Creating your runDisney Costume

runDisney races bring out a lot of unique experiences. Running through the parks. Photo opportunities with characters. And yes, the amazing costume creations of the runners!

Creating your runDisney Costume

So how exactly do you create a runDisney costume? The good news is, you don’t have to be a master costumer or seamstress! There are many ways to create a runDisney costume that will not only look great but feel great as you run.

Creating your runDisney Costume

Find your character inspiration. Disney provides many characters throughout their movies and within the parks. Add in the addition of Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilms, and the inspiration is almost overwhelming! Choose a character that not only means something to you, but also is easy to recreate (depending on your creative ability). Villains, super heroes, princesses, sidekicks, attraction inspiration – the list goes on and on. (Not wanting to create a full costume? Run with Perseverance has some great Disney-inspired tank tops that would be great during a runDisney race!)

Locate running gear to match. Find a photo of your character or inspiration, then start to piece together the various aspects. For example, our friend Carlee decided to recreate Russell from UP! A yellow shirt and brown skirt were the main components of running gear, followed by various embellishments. Another example are the princesses. Each princess has a specific color palette that you build upon. The most important (especially for the longer races), is to choose running gear you know will be comfortable!

Creating your runDisney Costume

Photo: Sparkle Athletic

Add embellishments. This is where your costume comes to life! With your colored running gear in place, now you begin to add the extras that will make your character become more recognizable. Carlee’s version of Russell included his Wilderness Explorer hat and sash, and even an orange backpack. Take a look at various photos online (or even watch the movies or visit the parks) to see what makes that character stand out. For Rapunzel, it may be Pascal. For Maleficent, it’s her horns. Add the embellishments that will help define your character, while not adding too much extra – remember you still need to be able to run!

Give it a trial run (or two). Yes, we realize that running around your neighborhood in your costume is a little silly. However, it is a MUST! Not only do you need to make sure your costume is comfortable, you need to make sure it is going to stay together and work well. Through the trial run, you’ll find what areas cause some chafing, what areas need a little extra reinforcement, etc. Who knows, maybe you will inspire your neighbor to run a runDisney race in the future!
Creating your runDisney Costume

Your runDisney costume doesn’t have to be elaborate, the most important things is for it to fit into your schedule and ability. (Although, it is a lot of fun to see some of the creations others make!)  Whether you are inspired by a character or could pass for the character in the parks, you are sure to bring a smile to those around you.

Our wonderful friends at Sparkle Athletic and ProCompression have graciously offered a GIVEAWAY! Enter below for your chance to win items that just may help create your next runDisney costume!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Costuming!

 

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runDisney Training – Training through the Holidays

Disclosure: Kohl’s sent Megan clothes from their active line to review. She has been a Kohl’s shopper for many years and is very excited to see that their activewear line is expanding! As always, all opinions are her own.

The holidays. A time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. There are parties. There is a lot of food. There are gifts. And there is little time for much else – training included.

Training through the Holidays

For the runDisney runners who have a race (or more) scheduled during the Walt Disney World Marathon or Star Wars Half Marathon Weekends in particular, the holidays mean one thing – peak training. That’s right, along with all the fun festivities the holidays bring, you also need to run some of your longest training runs! So how do you keep on training through the holidays? Here are a few of our tips!

Schedule it in. During the holidays, your schedule may be insane. Shopping, baking, parties – the list goes on and on. Make sure you schedule in your training as well. Putting it in the calendar means that you have a set time for it, another appointment or event you can’t miss. While you may need to do a little re-arranging due to prior commitments, scheduling it in allows you to see that you can fit in training during the holiday chaos. And yes, you may have to miss a run or two – that’s okay! Do your best to get the majority in, specifically the longer runs.

Dress for the conditions. For those of you in the northern regions, Jack Frost may bring a new aspect to your training – cold and even snow. Make sure that you have running clothes and gear that will allow you to stay safe and warm during your run. If you are in the warmer weather (or are running inside on a treadmill), be sure to include items that wick sweat and keep you comfortable. There are even some great clothing options that make it easy to go from a run to a holiday festivity! (Although, we do suggest a little bit of freshening up first.)

Get the family involved. Since the holidays also include a lot of family time – get everyone involved! While they may not go for a run with you, they can help with some cross training. Sledding, building snow forts, shoveling the driveway – these are all great ways to get the family outside and active during the holidays. (And yes, cross training DOES help with running!)

Treat yourself. Keeping up with your events, training and everything else the holidays bring can be exhausting. Once it’s over (or maybe even while it’s going on), treat yourself for all you have accomplished! Whether it’s a massage, signing up for a race or new running clothes, give yourself a little gift to keep you encouraged as you fit your training into the busy holiday season.

Tips for Training through the Holidays

As you prepare for the holiday season, these tips can help keep your runDisney training going. However, we must state that family is ALWAYS more important. Be sure to spend lots of quality time with those that you love this holiday season!

 

Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to info@runnersguidetowdw.com!

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Resort Review – Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside

Enjoy a quaint experience with Southern charm at Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts! For those wanting the excitement of Mardi Gras, choose the French Quarter. If you are looking for the tranquility of the bayou, then Riverside is for you.

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

Located in the Downtown Disney area, this moderate resort offers peace away from the parks. Bus transportation is provided to all four theme parks, as well as boat transportation to Downtown Disney. Best of all, this is the most compact moderate resort, meaning less time on your feet before (and after) your race.

Room types are similar between the two resorts, which view options such as standard (which may overlook at parking lot), garden, pool and river. All rooms include two queen beds or one king bed. If your party size is larger, Port Orleans Riverside can sleep up to 5, with an addition of a bunk-size pull-down bed. If a truly royal experience is in order, Royal Rooms are also available at Port Orleans Riverside! Princess Tiana has made these rooms fit for royalty, including special headboards and decor from her princess friends.

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

Pools are available at both French Quarter and Riverside, including a main pool at each complete with a water slide. Even better, if you are staying at either Port Orleans location, you can use ANY of the pools! (That means a lot of pools to explore!) Other recreation options include bike rental, horse-drawn carriage rides, fishing, arcade games, campfire activities and even a Pirate Adventure Cruise.

There are two food court areas – Riverside Mill at Riverside and Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at French Quarter. A table service restaurant, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, is also available at Riverside. For some nighttime entertainment, head to the River Roost lounge at Riverside and listen to the musical stylings of Yehaa Bob!

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

During a runDisney race weekend, Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts are definitely a runner favorite. With the compact size and price range that’s easier on the wallet, it makes for a great race weekend resort option. (Note: Although the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon and Princess Half Marathon start lines are close to this resort, you CANNOT walk to it.)

 

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