It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when your social media feeds and magazine subscriptions are chock full of “holiday gift guides for runners!” And, while I can probably speak for every runner when I say that you can’t really go wrong with buying us runners anything associated with the sport, sometimes you need a breath of fresh air in your gift-giving or you just need that one gift that has the “it” factor. Below are my ideas, custom-made for that runner in your life who also does something else.
For that runner who is just starting out: A gift card to a local running store is a great option where they can get fitted for the right pair of shoes or maybe buy that one special piece of running clothing that makes them feel like a bad-ass. Right now, their list is probably a mile long, so this is a no-fail option.
For that runner who gets injured a lot: Try a gift certificate to a massage– maybe their injuries are related to tight muscles that just need some TLC. No one will ever say no thanks to a new recovery toy, especially if it’s as fancy as the Roll Recovery R8 ($119, RollRecoveryR8.com) or as simple as an 11″ Tiger Tail ($27.95, TigerTailUSA.com). Of course, there’s always the option of “pre-hab” and avoiding injuries to begin with. After going to physical therapy more times than I can count, I am 100% sold on a Bosu Ball Trainer ($85-112, Amazon.com).
For that runner who is also a fashionista: This casual, yet elegant “Marathoner” sweatshirt ($70, SarahMarieDesignStudio.com) is sure to warrant an intervention for being worn too often. It’s so pretty!
For that runner who needs a little encouragement: In college, my mom would always surprise me on finals week with a care package full of instant coffee, Ramen noodles, candy, and some cute college-themed pencils that parents could order from the university who would then deliver them to students. It was one of my favorite college memories, so when I learned of a new service called the Good Luck Box, which offers customized (and sometimes race-specific!) care packages for runners ahead of a big race, I was ecstatic. The Good Luck Box is putting together holiday-themed runners’ boxes ($39, TheGoodLuckBox.com), and then you can follow it up later in the year with another box!
For that runner who is also a foodie: The obvious choice is the new cookbook Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky ($15, Amazon.com), but it truly is an awesome book full of unique recipes designed specifically for the runner’s lifestyle. In this book, they (to my surprise!) use butter quite frequently, which would make this adorable and luxurious butter crock from Le Creuset ($40, Amazon.com) a necessity as well as any kind of cooking instrument needed to live successfully off this book (like knives and cutting boards).
For that runner who brags a lot: Get them something that will do the bragging for them, like a customized bag made with their race bibs or T-shirts by Mile 22 Bags. Styles range from cross-body to tote bags, messenger bags to duffle bags or backpacks! If you want to take the safe route on this one and get your runner’s stamp of approval on the finished product, Mile 22 Bags is running a promotion on its gift certificates: for every $25 spent, you get another $5 tacked on. Or, if you already have the OK from your runner to go this route, use code 10thrive for 10% off your order!
For that runner who hasn’t made it to Boston yet: Running coaches can be kind of expensive, but they are available. If someone pitched in on the price of a coaching service to help me get to Boston, I would be so moved. Make sure your good gesture won’t be misconstrued or that your runner won’t feel as though they wasted your money if it takes longer than expected to qualify. If you think that would happen, opt for a book like Boston Bound, by Elizabeth Clor ($12, Amazon.com) or one of my personal favorites, Mind Gym ($15, Amazon.com).
For that runner who prefers a “b-double E, double R-U-N”: Pretty much any item of clothing, tinted beer mug or pint glass, or medal rack that jokes about “will run for beer” should be a hit, especially my personal favorites: this hooded sweatshirt ($35, Went to the Fridge to Get a Beer.com), these socks ($12, GoneForARun.com). Alternatively, try a membership to a “Beer of the Month Club” (AmazingClubs.com). If you want something unique, try this wall-mounted bottle opener ($33, Etsy.com) or a personalized City Running Tours gift certificate that stops at local breweries ($60 and up, CityRunningTours.com).
For that runner who just needs something new to do for awhile: Winter is a great time for runners to try new forms of cross-training and to work on base-building and conditioning. Consider a membership or a class bundle to a fitness studio they’ve always wanted to try, like Orange Theory Fitness, Pure Barre, or Soul Cycle. Not sure what they’d be into? Class Pass is a great option with a range of price points and flexibility.
For that lazy runner: The Yeti 2.0 in Cat Lady fleece ($98, Oiselle.com) is as ridiculous as it is awesome. In fact, give this to your runner on Christmas Eve because this just screams “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”
For that runner who run-commutes: A backpack is an absolute must-get for run-commuters, but the right backpack is an non-negotiable must-have. Personally, I use the Osprey Daylite Daypack ($50, REI.com) and I love it because it’s roomy and very adjustable with little to no bounce, but some lower-cost options include the Marmot Kompressor Backpack ($35, Backcountry.com) or the Under Armour Adaptable Backpack ($20, Zappos.com). Also consider a nice toiletries bag for them to hide their essentials at work or an Invisibobble hair tie which gives us ladies the option to wash our hair at home instead of at the office.
For that runner who travels for a lot of races: I honestly can’t remember the last time I went on a vacation that didn’t involve me running a race somewhere. And, for 2017, I’ve generally sworn off out-of-town races simply because they do get to be pretty expensive. My only exception is for races that I pace, because I don’t have to pay the registration fee, which can sometimes save at least $100 depending on the race. This is a great way to alleviate some cost for runners: gift them a race registration fee! Just make sure you’re not signing them up for something that they may feel is over their heads. Your confidence is appreciated, but go with a less-is-more approach here.
For that runner who needs a little organization: Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas have released a line of training journals ($19, BelieveIAm.com) that are introspective, motivating, and just as hardcore as they are aesthetic. I’ve used them before, and they are perfect for tracking daily activities, self-assessment, and strength work.