The people we run with become a kind of family—and everyone knows that come December, family deserve gifts! Whether you’re looking to spend a lot on a special runner on your list or just want to give a little something to a running buddy, check out this list of our Top 10 Gift Ideas for Runners.
Gels, bars, and chews: The perfect stocking stuffer, why not pick up a couple packs and give a runner something you know they’ll use? If you know they’re favorite brands or flavors, stick to them but don’t be scared to give someone the opportunity to try a new brand or flavor—for free! Try one of elite runner Lauren Fleshman’s Picky Bars for the gluten-free runner in your life!
Socks, gloves, or a hat: Necessities for all runners, many people wait until they’re absolutely desperate to buy themselves new gear. Help them out by giving them something a little more luxurious than they might be used to!
A road ID, an iPod holder, or a race belt: What runner wouldn’t love having a little something extra? Especially for new runners, this can make someone feel like they’re a “true” runner.
Everyone knows the difference an outfit can make. Rather than letting your friend run in their free t-shirts, why not treat them to something special? Check out: The Power of the Outfit by RF contributor Nikki Tufts.
Runners eat, sleep, and breathe running so much that taking a break can be tough! Giving a runner a book about running will give them something satisfying to do with their downtime. Check out: Kara Goucher’s Running for Women, Running the Edge, Dean Karnazes’s 50-Secrets I learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days—and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!, or Nancy Clarke’s Food Guide For Marathoners
One of those things runners know they should do, massage is a pricier part of training. Help someone out by giving them at least one they don’t have to factor into their budget. Recommend they ask for Active Release Therapy as part of their session.
7. RACE ENTRY
Race entry fees may be worth every penny, but that doesn’t mean they’re cheap. If you know a friend’s race plan, offer to pay for a specific race. If they don’t have a plan, why not suggest a race you could both run and offer to pay their way?
Another absolute necessity, chances are you’ll be taking care of something any runner will end up spending on in the next year. Consider picking up a gift certificate to a running store or website instead so your friend can pick out their go-to model in the right size.
9. DIGITAL TRAINING BUDDY
An investment, it can be pretty cool to run with a computer. Whether you’re shopping for a serious runner or a weekend warrior, today’s technology can do some pretty amazing stuff that even casual runners will likely find cool. Check out this review of the Garmin 405!
For a runner looking to take things to the next level, why not treat them to a season’s worth of coaching? With plenty of plans to choose from, you could give them the extra piece they’ve been missing.
About the Author: Cheryl Madliger is a group fitness instructor at the Western Student Recreation Centre at the University of Western Ontario, where she is working towards her degree in Kinesiology. An avid cyclist, Cheryl has set her sights on completing an Ironman. Not a fan of free time, she also enjoys yoga, baking, and blogging.