I don’t like the idea of buying gifts for someone, simply because it’s a holiday. Gifts should have a personal element, whether it be something that someone really wants or something that helps with one of their passions.
Needless to say, runners are a passionate group. There are a lot of marathoners that used to hate running and now live and breathe the running lifestyle. Despite being a relatively inexpensive sport to get into– I only spent $20 on a t-shirt starting out, because it said: “Run, I thought you said rum.”– there are some helpful gadgets to pick up when your pace, distance, and passion grow.
With that in mind, here are the ten best gifts–both practical and luxurious– for the runner on your list.
1. The FlipBelt
The FlipBelt is a must-have if you drive to the location from which you start running, or if you carry your phone with you and dislike armbands. It is reflective, versatile, has a loop for your keys, and can be tossed in the washer when the sweat starts to accumulate. The price has dropped significantly since their showstopping appearance a few years back, making them a great gift all around.
2. Lightweight Running Gloves
Running gloves are one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you borrowed your friend’s one day. If you– or the person you are shopping for– has yet to give them back to said friend, then perhaps it’s time to buy a pair. They’re affordable, they breathe, and they keep you warm during those bitter winter runs without overheating you.
3. TrailHeads Women’s Ponytail Headband
This is the perfect gift for the lady runner in your life (or your husband if he looks like mine). Crocheted messy bun hats are a huge hit right now, so it’s no surprise that the running world has adapted accordingly. If you’re like me and get overheated when you run in the winter, headbands are a great alternative to wearing a full hat. They also tend to slip and slide if your ponytail isn’t just so. This headband covers your ears snugly while using your ponytail as an anchor.
4. Bseen LED Running Armband
When I say that glowing armbands are lifesavers, I mean it in the most literal sense possible. While you should always wear something white or light-colored and have reflective gear on for night runs, it isn’t always enough. Having an eye-catching light armband can alert drivers to your presence as you hit the pavement. They’ll see you well in advance rather than being caught by surprise. And they look like lightsabers. They might not help you make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, but it can’t hurt to try. Oh yeah, you can get the Kessel Run shirt here.
5. FitBit Charge 2
Has the runner on your list been really good this year? Then maybe you should treat them to a FitBit Charge 2. While I have mixed feelings about being addicted to a fitness tracker, one of the best parts of running is seeing how far you ran and your pace afterward. It also has a calorie tracker and heart rate monitor, if you’re so inclined. Sync it to your phone to receive texts, calendar reminders, and email notifications while on the go.
6. Jaybird Wireless Headphones
Remember what it was like before high-speed Internet? It was painful, but awesome compared to the eternal nothingness we had before? (Just kidding, the internet is a scourge upon humanity, but I wouldn’t even be speaking to you without it!) Anyway, it was what we had, and it worked. Then high-speed came along. Hoo boy. There was no turning back after that. It’s the same with wireless headphones. They connect to each other, but Bluetooth to your phone. They are a luxury item for sure, but will someday be the norm. *Que dial-up sound*
7. Running Socks
Socks. Bonafide running socks. You’re probably thinking “well that’s lame, ” but they make a difference. Breathable, comfortable, seamless, plushy, and structured, running socks take the heat off the feet. Besides, sneakers are something only the runner can decide upon, so what better way to show you care about their feet without buying the wrong thing? Socks. Everyone needs them; everyone loves them. It’s part of being an adult.
8.The Running Revolution
It wouldn’t be a Strong in Body, Strong in Mind post without books now would it? Rest days elicit mixed emotions among runners. On the one hand, you’re often tired enough at the end of your last run to be thankful for a break. On the other, you may have to fight off the urge to run on a rest day, or even after a run earlier in the day. What better way to chill out than to read about running. Techniques, science, ideas, The Running Revolution has it all.
If you are not a runner, you can’t begin to comprehend the chafing that happens after a run. The shower scene quickly turns into something out of Psycho when the water hits your thighs. So, like socks, Bodyglide is another seemingly lame but really practical gift for a runner. It’s inexpensive and prevents death by friction.
10. Sign them Up for a Race!!!
Some runners love running in races but are don’t have the funds to get to everyone they’d like to. Offer to sign them up for a race of their choice. Better yet, find out about their bucket list races and group together with other gift-givers to make it happen for them. That would be the ultimate balance of practicality and thoughtfulness. Then you best get out there and hold a witty sign. We’ll be watching.
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