A week to go to Christmas … so what do runners want the big jolly man to bring them this year? A pair of injury-proof legs, limitless-capacity lungs or the perfect race conditions? Mulling the latter over this morning I decided against – the trouble with perfect race conditions is that they leave you no wriggle room for excuses, no “it would have been (even) better if the conditions were nice!” after. Sometimes what you really need in a race is a villain to struggle heroically against. That villain can be wind, rain, ice, a niggle, a stitch … whatever it is, the best races are the ones where you fight that villain and emerge victorious.

So, rather more materialistically, what wrappable present are you longing for? If I were to recommend five things I have tried/used this year (and money is no object) they would be:

1. Jaybird run headphones. I finally get the point of Bluetooth. They come with nifty little charging case, the sound is good, they stay in my ears. Use them constantly (running, and just general commuting).

2. Garmin Forerunner 935. I’ve tried other brands but still can’t see beyond Garmin. This one is just brilliant. Aside from when it’s telling me to take 64 hours rest/easy after a run, mind. That ain’t going to happen.

3. Nike Vaporfly 4%. You can tell me they are overpriced, gimmick, overhyped etc until you are blue in the face. I’ve run in them and they are amazing. Might not suit everyone, might have to kill someone to get your hands on a pair, but they are incredible. And I did say money was no object …

4. Buffs. You can’t have too many buffs, especially in the cold weather. Headbands, sweatbands, ear warmers, wrap ‘em round your hands if you can’t find gloves, tuck a key in them. Multipurpose wonders.

5. A really good running backpack. I do a lot of run commute miles. I’ve tried quite a few different designs. Still loyal to the Lululemon Run all Day pack.

So, over to you. What are you hoping for under the tree, and how was your weekend running? And remember – next Monday is Christmas Day, and while there is clearly nothing better you could be doing than posting comments below the line, I might be posting a slightly delayed blog next week …

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