The holiday season is in full-swing, so you’re probably either: a) panicked because you haven’t even thought about shopping and missed Cyber Monday sales, b) awash in spreadsheets trying to track who you’ve bought for and who you haven’t (…cough…yes, some of us really do use spreadsheets for this stuff…cough…), or c) smirking at the rest of the world because you finished your holiday shopping before Thanksgiving (or you don’t plan to holiday shop at all).  Well, if you chose c), it may be time to treat yourself for being so awesome, and if you chose a) or b), I may just have an answer for that active, healthy person whose name is still empty on your list. Gift-List(picture source)

You’ve likely heard of subscription boxes, which have exploded in popularity over the past year or two.  I’ve previously tried ConsciousBox and StitchFix (the StitchFix one is a referral link), and I really enjoyed them both.  There’s something about receiving a surprise box in the mail each month and tearing into it, anxious to see what new products you’ll get to try this time, that just brings out the kid in all of us.

runnerboxSo when I heard about RunnerBox, I knew it was something that I’d love to try.  Here’s what RunnerBox says about its product:

“RunnerBox is a subscription based box for runners, triathletes and other active people. It’s a mini shoebox filled with running products, mailed to your front door. It has everything from energy products, gels, chews, protein shakes/supplements, nutrition bars, skincare, to safety products and other fun accessories! Some products will be brand new (but personally tested) on the market, and some will be tried and true favorites.”

I reached out to the company, and they were gracious enough to send me a trial box, plus a discount code for all of you!  I tried out a subscription box, which usually comes bi-monthly to subscribers.  RunnerBox also offers a gift box, which you can have shipped to your favorite runner.  The gift boxes come in regular, gluten-free, or holiday varieties, and cost $20 each (plus $7 shipping and handling).  It’s a great way to try (or gift others with the chance to try) the latest and greatest running products, without having to commit to buying a bulk package of something you’re not even sure you’ll like!

Runnerbox and magazine tips 004Here’s what I got in my RunnerBox this month (in order of my excitement!)…

  • Due North Foot Rubz Massage Ball: I’m shocking myself for listing a non-food item first, but this ball is amazing.  Rolling it around under your foot feels amazing, and I’ve brought it in my suitcase to roll out soreness in my calves, too!
  • Quest Bar: OK, you know about my love for Quest bars.  Enough said!
  • The Good Bean chickpea snacks: I’ve been wanting to try these, so I was thrilled when they came in my box.  They were delicious!  The bag has two servings, and while the salty crunch made them pretty addicting, half the bag tided me over at snacktime in the office.  They’re nut-free, gluten-free, and high in protein!  I will definitely look for these again.
  • Just Great Stuff Fruit and Veggie bar: This is next on my list to try … a bar with organic freeze-dried spinach, sprouted broccoli, kale, carrots, bananas, raisins, dates, and cashews sounds like my kind of packaged food.  If this tastes good, it’ll be great to add to my travel “emergency stash” for when it’s hard to find fruits or veggies on the road!
  • Betty Lou Almond Ball: a vegan, gluten-free snack that tastes like almond butter.  Sounds yummy!
  • Active Hair Band Bracelets: I always have an elastic band on my wrist, and these are a slightly cuter way to pull that off.  I use them all the time!
  • 2Toms Blister Shield: haven’t tried it, but I hate blisters, so I’m looking forward to it.
  • Garuka Bar: these look like dense bars and are a little high in carbs and sugar, but they’re made of high-quality ingredients, so it’s still something I’m looking forward to trying.
  • Muschie’s Bar: Another denser bar, but I love that this is a small company that hand-rolls their bars and uses only organic and clean ingredients.
  • Jelly Bean Sport Beans: I’ve tried these before, and they’re a fun way to carry fuel on longer runs.  Yes, they’re just jelly beans with electrolytes added, but a little candy certainly won’t kill you on a long run!
  • Clif bar: while I usually save these for longer bike rides or really high activity days since they’re so high in carbs and sugars, they’re pretty delicious and made with relatively clean ingredients!
  • Salt Stick: I have tried salt tabs during long, hot runs, and I’m personally undecided on whether or not I think they help, but many people swear by them!

Runnerbox discount codeAre you interested in buying a subscription box for yourself, or a gift box for someone else?  If so, head on over to RunnerBox’s website to buy one, and use the discount code “LYONS13” for a 10% discount through December 31st, 2013!  Let me know if you try it!

So tell me in the comments … Have you ever tried a subscription box?  Which product from my RunnerBox looks best to you?

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12 Comments

  1. Davida @ The Healthy Maven on December 12, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I’ve actually never tried a subscription box! It’s hard for Canadians because many of them are American and shipping is ridiculous 🙁 Maybe Canadians will come up with some good ones soon! Or I’ll just do it…haha
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…If Not Now, When?My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Davida, you should totally do it!!! I bet a Canadian subscription box would totally take off! If anyone can make it work, it’s you!

  2. Michael Anderson on December 12, 2013 at 7:27 am

    So that explains the Good Beans pic on Instagram!

    We are 99% done with shopping, with ~$25 of tiny stuff left to get between the kids and dogs 🙂

    I have never done a subscription box – back in Mass and here we have local places that build boxes and baskets of locally produced stuff we will send to people as gifts. But also, I have found it only in recent years that these sorts of things are actually worthwhile – in the past it felt like gift boxes / baskets were made up of 50% filler and priced way out of whack with the actual content.

    This one looks cool – and having just shipped all of our multiple December birthday gifts and Christmas boxes around the country, I no longer balk at the $7 shipping charge!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Throwback Thursday – First Family Picture With SantaMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Yes, I LOVED the GoodBeans, and then reached out to the company and got more! I’d highly recommend them – a tasty, portable snack with more protein than most and high-quality ingredients. I agree with you that you end up paying for some “filler” in subscription boxes, but I actually think the value of this one was pretty darn good. It’s an extra, unnecessary expense, to be sure, but if you have a little wiggle room in your budget, it’s a fun treat!

  3. Michelle on December 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Hi Megan!! Thanks for reviewing the RunnerBox – I was thinking about getting it for a friend for Christmas so I’m happy to see exactly what is in a typical box and I’m glad it is not all food.

    I have also tried Stitch Fix and I love it! I’m getting my third “Fix” in a couple weeks. It is so exciting to see new clothes and try them on at home with pieces I already own. I really don’t have time or desire to go to the mall and try stuff on anymore. I think Devin is equally excited too when I bring home a Stitch Fix box 🙂

    We recently tried NatureBox which is a monthly subscription to healthy snacks. We got five 2-3 serving bags of snacks for $10 (normally $20 but I used a Carrots n’ Cake coupon). We liked it, but didn’t love it for the price. Most of the bags we finished in 1 sitting. It’s fun to try but we won’t continue our subscription.

    The last subscription that we are still trying out is called Blue Apron. A NYC based company that ships us fresh ingredients and recipes for 3 dinners per week. Last week we did vegetarian and we really liked it but the meal/fish option looks even better and it should be arriving today! We are so excited to get the shipment and cook dinner together. It is easy, efficient, and may save us money because I’m not buying a huge portion of one item and throwing half of it out because we don’t use it. Also we usually have enough for leftovers which helps too.

    My friends have tried BarkBox for dogs – they love it, but I can’t attest to it.

    What did you think of Stitch Fix?

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Hey Michelle! So sorry for my late response. Did you end up getting it for your friend? I really liked StitchFix, and I thought the stylist did a good job of aligning with my preferences/ my style. I kept 3 of the 5 items. Like you, I almost never go shopping in a “real store” anymore – I don’t have time or desire either. The problem (and reason I didn’t continue with StitchFix) is that I’m pretty stingy when it comes to clothes. First, I’m not that fashionable, and second, there are so many things I’d rather spend my money on than clothes. So even though the StitchFix clothes were fairly reasonably priced, it still felt like more than I generally spend (since I ONLY buy clothes online if there’s a crazy sale!). Thanks for your review of NatureBox – I have thought the same thing when I saw it. If I only really liked 2-4 of the snacks, which is probably realistic, $20 is a lot to pay for them. I have heard about a very similar company to BlueApron (and one of my business school classmates is starting one in Chicago). I love the idea of having fresh ingredients put together to encourage people to cook at home. I think I just love grocery shopping too much to give it up :). Miss you!

  4. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on December 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I have never heard of this though it sounds really awesome! Those are all definitely things all of us runners can use and enjoy! 🙂
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted…Gym LessonsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Yes, isn’t it amazing how many runner products we just “need”? 😉

  5. Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries on December 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I definitely have a few different flavors of Quest bar packs on my Christmas list this year! They are the best!
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries recently posted…Tinsel TriathlonMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Did you get the Quest bars for Christmas?!? I hope so!

  6. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl on December 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Subscription boxes are so fun! I have never tried Runner Box, but it looks pretty awesome!

    • Megan Lyons on December 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Hope you end up trying the RunnerBox, Lora!

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