Not sure what to get the runner in your life that has all manner of goodies, equipment and gear imaginable when it comes to running? Tired of always getting them shoes, something made of wicking material and consumable gel substances? Check out these 10 items for creative ideas to surprise even the most discerning runner!
1) A medal holder: Bought or hand created, a medal holder for an avid racer makes a double duty gift – not only can the medals proudly be displayed but it can also tidy up the scattering of medals collecting dust on various surfaces around the house. If the runner in your life does not covet medals but collects their bibs, a bib-folio makes a great gift for show and tell fun.
2) Therapy balls: Therapy balls come in different sizes, firmness and materials. They are a great self massaging tool – just like the foam or stick roller – but allow for more isolated, concentrated pressure and release.
3) New underwear and socks: These do not have to be running specific underwear and socks, but should have as their main purpose more comfortable running. Seam free underwear to avoid chafing and double layer socks to reduce blisters will make any runner happy.
4) Gait analysis assessment: Finding a chiropractor who can do a functional analysis of muscular weaknesses and review gait patterns to increase a runner’s speed, form and efficiency is a unique gift with benefits that will go well beyond the assessment.
5) Nutrition plan: Consider purchasing an appointment with a sports nutritionist for a runner who has had issues with maintenance of weight during heavy training, is training for their first endurance event, or is interested in ensuring they are fueling their bodies optimally for sport.
6) Private sessions with a yoga teacher: Many runners know they could benefit from yoga but are too intimidated to try a yoga class on their own. Private sessions with a teacher familiar with a runner’s body and its limitations can help demystify the postures and bring confidence to the runner so they can then feel comfortable eventually attending group classes.
7) iTunes gift card: If your runner is far and mailing a gift certificate is easier, iTunes is a good option as it can either allow your runner to refresh an old, out-of-date playlist, or invest in new apps to track pace, distance and training.
8) A coupon book: Make a personalized coupon book redeemable by the runner over a 12 month period. Ideas include coupons “Redeemable for a carbo-load meal of choice”; “Redeemable for extra cowbell and cheering at your next race”; and “Redeemable for back rubs after a long run”. Be as creative, fun, or naughty as you wish!
9) Subscription for a run magazine: Runners don’t have much spare time to read, but when they do, you can bet they want to read about… running.
10) An “ICE” basket: No runner wants to think about aches, pains and potential injuries. But one can never be too prepared. Your “In case of Emergency” basket could include Epsom salts, Traumeel, Advil, and an ice pack for the post long run shuffle.
Still not sure what to get? Check out our 2011 Top 10 Gift Ideas for Runners
About the Author: Alice Toyonaga is a yoga teacher, runner and bureaucrat. She is best described by her friends as a goal-setter with seemingly limitless endurance and a gift for multi-tasking. Convinced she sleeps in plank, her friends also know that in order to see her socially, they either have to join one of the many run clubs she is a part of or attend her challenging yet grounding yoga classes.