Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Runner's Guide to Black Friday Shopping

Runners have an advantage when it comes to the holidays, especially when it comes to holiday shopping and the madness that is Black Friday. Runners are speedy, full of endurance and are pros at following a plan.

Jingle Bell Run(Source)

Use all that to your advantage on Friday and you'll be in and out of stores and done with all your holiday shopping in no time.

1. Leverage the mornings. 4 a.m. wake up call? Sounds like a race morning to me. Grab your pre-shopping fuel (bagel, coffee, maybe some Gatorade) and hit the road. You'll be bright eyed at the store, waiting in line for the doors to open, while everyone else is slowly dragging themselves out of bed.

2. Use those speedy legs. We do track workouts for a reason. What, you thought it was to improve your race times? Nope. Speed work is all to prep you for Black Friday shopping madness. List in hand you can sprint from aisle to aisle grabbing what you need and heading for the finish line check out line before everyone else even finds their first item.

3. Weave like a pro. Crowds are nothing to runners. We're used to being bunched into starting corrals and weaving in and out of the mob during the first mile of a race. Use your ability to weave to pick your way through those ahead of you. If you're lucky, you may eventually find some open space to hit your stride.

4. Plan your fuel. Just like race day, you need the proper fuel to keep your energy levels up through a marathon day of shopping. Bring your water bottle and several easy-to-carry snacks. Stash them in your purse or pockets to eat on the go.

5. Pace yourself. Remember Black Friday is a marathon, not a sprint, and as a runner you know all about pacing yourself during a race. Start out strong, but don't go out too fast. Stay steady and you won't crash and burn by your second store like all the inexperienced shoppers.

Being a runner does so much more than keep you in shape. It also prepares you for events like stressful holiday shopping. So use your running strengths to your advantage this holiday season.

If you're drawing a blank on good gift ideas, check back on Cyber Monday (next Monday) for a list of great gift ideas for runners.

Are you a Black Friday shopper or do you avoid the mall like the plague?

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