Seven Great Gift Ideas for Runners

by - Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuck on what to get the runner in your life for Christmas this year? Here are some ideas to get you started. I recommend checking Amazon because they often have the best deals (especially today on Cyber Monday), but I've suggested a few other places you can look for some of these items.

Compression socks: These seem to be all the rage these days, and I have to admit, I wouldn't be so sad if Santa brought me a pair, preferably in hot pink. Compression socks are supposed to help keep blood from pooling in tight legs to speed recovery. (Cost: $45-$60)

Coupon for a race entry fee: Racing is one of the best part of running, but those fees add up. Offer to pay for a race of your runner's choice. This could be a really low-cost gift for something like a local 5K or 10K or it could be more expensive if you're offering to pay for a big marathon or half marathon. (Cost: $20-$120)

Offer to be race support: This is a no cost gift, other than sacrificing your time and waking up early on race day. Offer to drive your runner to the race, take pictures at the start and finish line and cheer them on while they're out on the course. (Cost: FREE!)

Reflective running gear: In the winter months, sunlight is hard to find whether your runner is a morning or evening runner so get them some reflective gear so they can be seen. There are tons of great options, like vests, or headlamps, or even reflective tape. Check Amazon for a ton of variety and for some more creative options check the RUseeN site. (Cost: $5-$20)

Road ID: Road ID makes it easy for your runner to have identification on them whenever they go out for a run. That way if they trip and roll an ankle or have a more serious accident, first responders have vital contact and health information at the tips of their fingers. I'm a big fan of the one you wear on your shoe. That way you put it on once and forget about it. If you get a new pair of shoes, you move it to the new pair. (Cost: ~$20)

iFitness belt: I'm a big fan of these fuel belts. I've used mine in two races now and on several training runs. It's the best belt I've used so far. It doesn't ride up and it's water resistant so no matter how many cups of water I dump over my head, my stuff stays dry. I'm a big fan of the model with the strings to attach your race bib, and slots to hold your gels. (Cost: $24-$28)

Garmin Forerunner: A runner's best friend. I ran for years without a Garmin, but I love all the extra data a Garmin gives me about my runs: pace, splits, a nice map of your route, heck even directions back home if you get lost. Amazon frequently offers great deal on Garmins, so I recommend checking there first. (Cost: $130-$300).

If you're still at a loss, you can't go wrong with a gift card to the local running or sports supply store, like Dick's Sporting Goods or Sports Authority.

If you're feeling extra creative, buy a bulletin board and tack up your runner's race bibs and medals and help hang it up. This is a fun way to display all the evidence of your runner's hard work.

Runners, what's the best running-related gift you've ever received?

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