Monday, November 26, 2018

Gift Guide for Runners

Happy Cyber Monday! If you're like me, you slept in (and hopefully decided to #OptOutside instead of standing in line at your local electronic store) on Black Friday... which means you probably need to start your holiday shopping about now.


In case you have a runner in your life and are stumped on what to get, I put together a list of great gift ideas for runners. (PS If you'd like to expand your holiday shopping to include a special blogger, let me know and I'll get you my address ;))

**I separated the gift into categories. Also, I included a range of price tags, from a couple dollars to a couple hundred dollars. FYI: This post is NOT sponsored, I'm NOT getting paid by any of these brands, nor did they ask to be include. They're just gifts I'd love to receive and believe my fellow runners would be STOKED to find them in their stocking.**

Ways To Commemorate Special Races

  ★ Kudos Coaster Plus ★

I heard about these a few weeks ago and have been telling everyone I can about them. Your race medals are symbols of hard work and outstanding accomplishment, and these coasters are an AWESOME way to display that bling proudly. Now you can relive your memories and celebrate life’s moments year-round with the customizable Kudos Coaster Plus. They are personalized and easy to use. Simply choose a background, adjust the tru-fit inserts, snap them closed and enjoy!

  ★ Personalized Race Map ★ 

I may not buy goodies or gear at race expos, but that doesn't mean I don't want to remember the race. A personalized race map from RunInk is the perfect way to not only celebrate the event, but you can then use it to decorate your office, your home gym or even your living room! Commemorate the race with their signature personalized Marathoner Map. Choose from over 150 races, each in 3 different sizes. And if they don't have your event, they can make a custom map - for any race, no matter the distance. They also offer Christmas ornaments, course map mugs, and so much more!

  ★ Project Repat Quilt ★ 

I don't know about you, but I never wear the participant/ finisher shirts I receive from races. Either they aren't my style, they don't fit well or they're plastered with sponsor logos. With that said, I can't part with them because they represent the miles, smiles and memories from the event. That's where Project Repat comes in - they turn those shirts into a blanket you can use and enjoy! They even offer gift boxes so the recipient can choose the shirts and design themselves!

Self Care

 ★ Massage, Chiro, Acupuncture, Cryotherapy ★ 

The saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is definitely true when it comes to running. I mean, talk to any injured runner and they will probably try to convince you (and themselves) why they should be out pounding the pavement. Whether the runner you are looking at gifts for is injured or not, a gift certificate to a local sports masseuse, chiropractor, acupuncturist or cryotherapy center would be greatly appreciated for the tired, weary bones.

 ★ Recovery Compression Boots/ Pants ★ 

I'll be honest, I have never tried these, but I know quiet a few athletes who swear by them. They are definitely a pretty penny (upwards of $1,000), but from what I've heard it is money well spent. The system, which utilizes dynamic, sequential air compression, is based on important medical technology and principles proven to improve circulation, mobilize metabolites and other toxins like carbon dioxide from muscle tissue, flush out lactic acid, mitigate edema, reduce exercise-induced swelling, alleviate inflammation, and facilitate protein synthesis by increasing blood flow to muscles. In short, it speeds up your body's natural process of healing, allowing you to recovery quickly and consistently.

 ★ Epsom Salt ★ 

Don't want to splurge and blow a grand on your favorite runner?! It's okay, I won't tell. But even an inexpensive gift of some epsom salt that they can use in a nice, relaxing, recovery bath would be greatly appreciated by their sore muscles!

Running Gear 

*WARNING: Running gear can be very personal, so unless you know the exact brand/ model/ size your runner wears, I'd probably suggest sticking with gift cards so they can pick out the products themselves*

 ★ PRO Compression Socks ★ 

These could've been included in the "Self Care" section, but I use them both during and after runs so I categorized them here. Everyone can benefit from stepping into PRO Compression products—because increased circulation is always a good thing. Whatever you do—from standing all day on the job to hoofing across 18 holes, from flying frequently for business to competing in triathlons—their socks and sleeves will help you perform at your peak and feel your very best. Along with graduated compression, their socks feature two stabilization zones—so they stay snug and won’t budge while you move. The designs also offer comfortable, supportive arch compression, unlike many other socks on the market. But their products aren’t just tight and technical. A proprietary moisture-wicking, poly-nylon fabric makes their gear soft, comfortable, and easy to pull on and off. Plus, the socks feature a roomy toe box, cushioned padding underfoot, and slick yarn along the sole for added comfort and ease. Not to mention their is a color or pattern to go with any running outfit ;)

 ★ Running Shoes ★ 

There's a quote that says "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy running shoes and that's almost the same thing" and I couldn't agree more! I'm usually not a big shoe girl (90% of the year I can survive with a pair of flip-flops or Toms), but I can never have too many pairs of running shoes. Normally I have 5-7 pairs in rotation. I can bet you that if you buy your runner a pair of their favorite running shoes you'll see their face light up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

 ★ Fuel ★ 

Just like with gear, runners can be very specific about the fuel they use while pounding the pavement. Some folks prefer goo's and gels, while others want real food (I've heard of folks carrying anything from dates to sweet potatoes in their hydration vests). For me, I fuel almost exclusively with PROBAR BOLT chews. They are easy on my stomach, don't have a funny consistency (I think the gels remind me of the texture of snot), and are delicious (pink lemonade and strawberry are my two go-to flavors). If you know your runner's favorite fuel and they have an upcoming event, making a race kit with things like fuel, safety pins, hair ties, band aids, etc (and maybe including some post-race treats {like a beer, a gift certificate for a sports massage, a piece of clothing to commemorate the event, etc}) would be an awesome idea.

 ★ Gift Card to Local Running Store ★ 

I know some people see gift cards as impersonal or the "easy way out", but I absolutely disagree with that thought. There are always a TON of running goodies on my "Dear Santa" list that I want but may not buy for myself. Having a little extra disposable income to splurge on myself (and my running habit) would make me super excited and grateful!

Non-Running Running Gear

  ★ Sarah Marie Design Studio Gift Certificate ★ 

What runner doesn't love running related gear when they aren't running?! And Sarah Marie Design Studio has some of my favorites! The designs are simple (mostly just text, nothing too fancy), but I love just about every single one of them. In fact, I have quite a few on my wish-list myself right now. And I'm sure you can find a "All The Miles" shirt for that special someone (if only there was a "Run all the miles, eat all the chips & salsa"... I'd LIVE in that shirt!). Not only are the clothes amazing, but you can also grab wine glasses, nail wraps, enamel pins and patches, coffee mugs, tote bags, etc.

  ★ Erica Sara Jewelry ★ 

We may not be able to wear our race medals every day (well, I guess you 'could' but it may not be socially acceptable), but we can definitely wear jewelry that reminds us of our running accomplishments, goals and tenacity. Erica Sara has some amazing pieces that any runner would love to add to their jewelry collection. I mean, shoot, she can even turn your favorite picture into a silhouette necklace; handcrafted in sterling silver. I'm pretty sure I will need a custom elevation necklace after finishing my first official ultra in January. (PS She also offers amazing non-running related jewelry.)

Enable Their Habit

 ★ Race Entry ★ 

Let's be real, although running can be a cheap/ free sport, that definitely is not the case all the time. Sure, you can lace up a pair of shoes and head out for a run just about anywhere and at any time, but there are definitely a few pricey aspects when it comes to running... and races are one of them. Depending on the race (location, distance, perks, etc), they can cost a pretty penny. Covering the race entry for a runner is an extremely kind gesture - especially if you potentially run in the event with them. If the budget allows, maybe you could even make a little trip or racecation out of it!

 ★ Running Date ★ 

Even though I would love to receive each and every one of the gifts I've included in this gift guide, I think what would top them all would be going on a run with friends (especially if they weren't necessarily a runner and were willing to step out of their comfort zone to do something that I love with me). Talk about speaking my love language! I'll be honest, I am normally a solo runner, but if a friend offers to run with me, I will definitely take them up on it! And, if it works out, you could consider a "light run" where you run through neighborhoods to check out all the Christmas decorations!

As I'm sure you can imagine, I could have gone on and on with gift ideas for runners (Garmin watch, hydration vest, treadmill, trucker hats, reflective gear for night running, flights and hotel accommodations for destination races, etc), but this will at least give you a good jumping off point. If you are still stumped, I'd recommend checking out their social media platforms to see the type of products or services they are following/ liking/ engaging with. #NotStalking #JustResearch ;)

What is currently on your running wish-list?

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