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Last week, I shared some of my favorite gift ideas for the loser in your life. Today, I’ll share some great gifts for runners that you might want to consider.
Now, when I say runner, you might picture in your mind a slim, trim, running machine. Someone who lives and breathes fitness. Someone who ties on the tennies, grabs a water bottle, and takes off into the distance rain or shine. Every. Single. Day.
While you might have one of the above fitness fiends as a friend, that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. It could be someone you know who doesn’t exactly love it, but exercise is “what the doctor ordered.”
Or maybe you were chatting with a friend or family member who said something to the effect of, “It’s been a rough year and I have been stress eating way too much. I really need to make some changes. Shed some pounds. I’m making a resolution to run in the new year. At least three times a week, for starters.” That’s the kind of friend who needs some encouragement, and these great gifts for runners might be just the encouragement that keeps them at it (yes, even past January 1st!).
1. Shoes. There is nothing more important for running than a good-fitting pair of running shoes. If you know your runner’s size and style preference, shoes are a great gift. If not, a gift certificate from a shoe department can be a great alternative.
2. Hydration system. Staying hydrated while running is important in all kinds of weather. There are all kinds of hydration systems – from belts to the hand-held variety. And don’t forget the water bottle.
3. Garmin. If you’re in search of great gifts for runners who are really close to you, a pricey gift that they will love is a Garmin. I love mine! It’s great for tracking your time and distance on training runs; plus, mine has a heart rate monitor and it can be used to track your speed and distance when biking, too.
4. Socks. When I first started running, I had no idea there were special socks for running. The first time I saw a pair, I couldn’t understand what was different about them than regular socks. One of the main differences is usually that they aren’t made of cotton, which holds moisture and often causes blisters.
I just gave away several pairs of my favorite brand of running socks. For Christmas, unless you live in a really warm climate, your runner would probably appreciate a pair of cold-weather running socks.
5. Gu. Gu is an energy gel used to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent physical and mental fatigue on long runs. I use them on most runs longer than 10 miles. They really help. There are lots of different types of energy gels and chews, but Gu is my personal choice. This would be a super-fun stocking stuffer. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to sit around and mindlessly eat Gu, putting your weight-loss success in jeopardy.
6. Running gloves. My hands freeze when I run on really cold days. Running gloves are on my Christmas wish list, so I bet your runner would like them, too.
7. Bondi band. I love my Bondi band. I’m currently reviewing one of their ponytail hats (love it, too!) and I’ll soon be giving away a few of their regular moisture-wicking hats. Unfortunately, they won’t be in time for Christmas, so you’d better go ahead and order now if you want some of these great gifts for runners in your life.
8. Running tights. Another fairly pricey gift, but so worth it! Before I bought mine, I read several reviews that said you’d never run in spandex again once you wore a pair of good running tights. I was skeptical, but it’s true – at least for anything longer than 5 miles for me.
9. Great running shirt. When I ran my half-marathon, I saw the greatest running shirt ever. The back said, “Dear God, please let there be someone behind me to read this.”
I immediately came home and ordered one for myself. It came all neatly gift-wrapped, so I couldn’t bring myself to rip into it since it was supposed to be a Christmas present from Brian. (Tell me I’m not the only one who sometimes purchases Christmas gifts for herself from her husband.)
10. Pay their registration fee. Anyone who starts to get at least somewhat serious about running will also start to consider a race or marathon. And if you don’t run, you may not realize that running races can get expensive. Most shorter races are at least $25 and longer ones run $50 or more. Paying a runner’s registration fee would be a much-appreciated gift.
I hope these ideas for great gifts for runners in your life will help you start checking off the “need to get gifts for so-and-so” on your Christmas to-do list.
Like I mentioned in my post about gifts for the loser in your life, one last gift idea you might consider is becoming a running companion for your friend or family member. As Winnie the Pooh so aptly states, “It’s more friendly with two.”
Do you have any great gifts for runners that you have found to be popular and highly appreciated by the runner in your life?
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.
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