The holiday season is fast-approaching. If you are a runner or have one in your family, you probably know that finding great running-related gifts for them can be difficult. Many runners are particular about their gear and clothing, or are in the habit of simply replacing things whenever they wear out. Gift cards to sporting goods stores are always great, but below are a few more personal ideas when you’re shopping for that crazy person who likes to get up early, run a few miles, and then go about their day.
Most runners, even casual runners, enjoy racing from time to time. It’s a great way to keep track of goals and improvement, connect with the running community, and earn a little bling to hang on the wall. However, race registrations can get pricy, especially if your runner enjoys destination racing. Some local 5K races might cost as little as $10, but longer, larger races can cost over $100. Helping your runner offset racing costs is a great gift. Pay for your runner to race in a fun event or new city (just be sure to check their training schedule first). Even better, buy registrations for both of you and commit to running or training together.
Running can be one of the least expensive sports to take up. At the most basic level, all is is needed is a pair of shoes and some workout clothing. However, there are a lot of fun (but sometimes pricey) gadgets that make it easier to track training data. A GPS watch or heartrate monitor could be great gifts for a runner who might view buying these for themselves as superflous, but would enjoy the gadgets if they had them. If your runner carries a smartphone, there are apps you could buy that track routes, speeds, paces, etc.
Top 5 Running Apps
Top GPS Watches on Amazon
If there is one thing that runners like to do besides running, it is probably reading about running. It’s not easy to make it out the door to run every day. Reading, reflecting, and remembering why we run are important to maintain motivation. Here are some recommended titles that are perfect for inspiring a tough run or for relaxing with while icing sore muscles.
Running and Being: the Total Experience, by George Sheehan
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life, by Amby Burfoot
Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running, by Jennifer Lin
Distance runners especially are careful about what they eat. The wrong food choices can spell disaster for a workout. Therefore, some runners get into a rut with their diet, always eating the same foods. Try getting your runner a cookbook written with runners’ diet needs in mind. It will help them discover new foods and add variety to their routines. Even better, make one of the dishes to go along with the book itself! Here are some suggested runners’ cookbooks:
“The Runners World Cookbook”
“The Athlete’s Palate Cookbook,” by Yishane Lee
“The Feed Zone Cookbook,” by Biju Thomas and Allen Lin
Much of running, especially long-distance running, is mental, so it’s important to stay focused. Some runners focus best without music, but personally, I love my music when I’m off in the middle of nowhere pounding the pavement. Music helps me focus on the joy and meaning I get from running. For my first marathon, I asked friends for song recommendations for my playlist, and those songs helped me make it through the tough miles, remembering the friends who added them. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and help your runner stay motivated and discover new music at the same time.