Six Great Gift Ideas for Runners

Seems like most of the running I’m doing this month is from one event to another. We’re all hustling toward the finish line …that is to say, the line marking off the last item on the gift list. A recent study conducted by eBay found that holiday shoppers’ heart rates increase by 33% while shopping, which is comparable to running a marathon.

If you are a runner, or are shopping for one, you’ll be glad to know it does not have to be a marathon task!  Here are six great gift ideas for any runner.

  • Water flask or belt: No matter what distance a runner prefers, hydration is essential. For most organized races, water and nutrition support are provided. But it is a good idea to have hydration readily available when training. I prefer the small flask with a grip free strap made by Nathan Sports. It’s very lightweight and comfortable and I don’t even really have to “hold” it while I’m running. Mine also has a small zipper pocket for lip balm, stingers and other items.  Some runners prefer the flask belt, so they can carry both water and supplemental hydration.
  • Massage Equipment: There are many, many options out there.  In my opinion, you can choose just about anything for a runner and you can’t go wrong.  From handheld rollers to foam rollers, anything that helps massage sore, tight muscles and assists with stretching is a runner’s best friend. The Pro-Tec Orb is one of my daily go-to products. You can view a demonstration of its use here.   Addaday  also has some of my favorites, and more that I’m aching to try.
  • Lights and Reflective Gear: This time of year especially, most of my running will not take place during daylight hours, so lights and reflective vests are essential. Head lamps can be cumbersome; my husband recently purchased lights that can be clipped to the bill of my cap, and they are just as bright as the expensive headlamp I bought last year. For colder weather, there are also beanies with lights attached to the forehead area.  Some reflective vests also come with lights. Many jackets have reflective material on them as well.  An extra flashing light to attach to your clothing is a great idea…can’t have too many lights. Since my dogs run with me, I also use a reflective leash, and am considering lights to attach to their collars. These items can be found at any sporting goods store.

    My Running Quilt from Project Repat, celebrating my first 3 years of running!
  • T-Shirt Quilt:  Most runners have no shortage of t-shirts and technical shirts. They are great race souvenirs, but eventually take up a lot of space. This is where the t-shirt quilt comes in. It’s a great way to re-purpose those souvenir shirts. Some companies accept payment in advance and provide a gift box with prep and mailing instructions, so the runner can then select and send the shirts they want to use. My husband happily gave me one for Christmas last year…from Project Repat. I helped design it, and I love it. Honestly, I’m almost ready for another one!
  • Bib/Medal Display: Bibs and medals are other items that a runner accumulates quickly, and there are several options for displaying them.  Medal displays come as wall hangings or standing racks. There are albums available for preserving bibs, and there are even companies who will take the collection of bibs and make them into tote bags.
  • Race Entry: Perhaps one of the best gifts for a runner is paid entry into a race. If your runner has been talking about a particular race coming up in the next year, you might look into the gift options. Some race organizers offer gift certificates so that the runner can register with the proper information at their convenience. Be aware of any rules pertaining to transfer or refund of entry fees, in case the runner is unable to participate. Another option is the virtual race, which is becoming quite a trend. There are virtual races for just about every interest and distance, and many good reasons for running them. A future post will explore virtual races in more detail.

What ideas do you have for the runners in your life? If you’re a runner, what’s at the top of your wish Iist?