‘Tis the season of giving! So, I put together a list of ideas for the runners on your list (or for yourself — I support your healthy habits!). Read on for gifts that inspire, help with training, celebrate achievements, and aid in recovery, plus the ones that keep on giving. Have more ideas? Share them in the comments below!
Gifts that Inspire
1. Magazine Subscription
It’s impossible not to get inspired with a monthly dose of kick-ass runners in your mailbox. These three are my favorite, but make sure you choose the magazine that best represents your runner.
2. Book About Running
Winter is the perfect time to cozy up and read a book about running instead of actually going out in the cold for a run! Need a little more help? Check out my list of 10 Books for Runners.
3. Life Size Cut Out
Imagine waking up every day to a life size cut out of 2018 Boston Marathon Champ Desiree Linden or perhaps America’s Marathon Sweetheart, Meb Keflezighi. If that’s not motivation to get out of bed and go for a run, I don’t know what is.
Gifts for Training
4. Running Shoes
If you have a friend that covers a lot of mileage, chances are they go through a new pair of sneakers every few months. In most cases, runners stick with what they know, so it’s pretty easy to get the right pair. If you’re not sure where your friend’s shoe loyalty lies, strike up a conversation! Try something like this: “Hey, I’ve been thinking about getting into running and investing in some good sneaks. What do you run in?” They’ll probably be so excited to talk about running gear, they won’t think anything of it. And if you have no way of finding out, these Brooks Ugly Sweater kicks< are a Runner/Christmas Lover’s dream come true!
In my opinion, the Buff is an essential part of cool weather race gear. It’s a hat! It’s a scarf! It’s whatever you want it to be! And it comes in so many colors and patterns that you are guaranteed to find something your runner will like.
Gifts for Celebrating Achievements
6. T-Shirt Quilt
If your runner is racing every weekend, the race shirt situation is probably out of control. It can be hard to get rid of said shirts because of the memories that are associated with them. So, instead of tossing all that swag, turn it into a quilt; and then watch your runner snuggle up with sweet memories of the glory days! I especially like this company because they can incorporate all the corresponding bibs.
7. Medal Hanger
I used to keep my medals in a box, that was dumb. Your runner deserves to show off his/her medals and those medals deserve to be displayed on a fancy hanger, like this one from Believe & Train.
8. Bib Album
Before owning a bib album, I would find bibs crammed in drawers and bookshelves. Now, they are all in order and easy to flip through on days I need to reminisce.
9. Personalized Marathon Map
How do you know if someone has run a marathon? They’ll tell you! Training for and running a marathon is hard work, so it makes perfect sense that your runner will want to shout their accomplishment from the roof tops. Save your friend’s voice and get him/her a customized race poster that can go right smack dab in the middle of the living room wall for everyone to see.
Gifts for Recovery
10. The Stick
The Stick is great for getting out all those knots that go hand-in-hand with higher mileage. Now it even comes in a very convenient travel size!
11. Brazyn Foam Roller
My sister got me one of these bad boys for my birthday and it is seriously the most ingenious product I’ve seen. It’s small enough for a carry on and a drop bag. Don’t know what a drop bag is? Ask your runner to show you one, then surprise them by shoving an entire foam roller in it. They’ll be thrilled!
Running can be pretty hard on the body. Why not gift your runner a sports massage at the local spa. If you’re trying to save some money and you have a more intimate relationship, just give the massage yourself!
Foot care is crucial for running success and nothing says “I’m supportive of your running goals” like giving someone the opportunity to scrape the callouses of their feet.
Gifts that Keep Giving
14. Club Membership
If the runner in your life spends all his or her time itching for the next race, club membership can be a great gift that usually offers discounts on future races! In the Big Apple, a New York Road Runners Membership can get you up to 45% off their races as well as other great benefits.
Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs both require certain criteria for membership eligibility, but if your runner qualifies, they offer some really great perks. Discounts, VIP treatment at some races, and even special members only medals!
Check your local running organization to see if it offers similar discounts.
15. Race Entry
This one might be a little tricky, but I’ve never met a runner who didn’t want free race entry. Do some investigative work and try to find out if there are any races they’ve been eyeing. If there’s nothing on the horizon, ask them to keep a weekend clear and opt for a shorter distance (5k or 10k). Want to make this an even better gift? Register yourself so the two of you can run together! Friendship for the win!
Got more gift ideas for the runner in your life? Let me know in the comments!