Presents for runners should be pretty easy.
We love trying new things, we are usually obsessed with our sport, and can’t really give enough gift ideas for runners, especially Christmas gifts, as it is the one time of year we really feel we deserve a treat, especially if it is cold outside.
Last year I made a 2016 best gifts for runners based on products I was using and loved. It was very popular, so thought I would make another runner present ideas list for 2017.
These are products I use personally, people in my running for real superstars community recommended, and products I have not yet tried (I will mention which ones they are), but can’t wait to give them a go.
I will say, some of these products were sent to me for free, but my opinions are my own, and my reviews are honest, if I don’t like a product, I will never put it on my website, so you can rest assured these are actual recommendations for the best gifts for the runner in your life.
Let’s dive in:
For the Runner Stocking Filler: Feetures ($12-$17)
I know, I know. Socks, really? How cliche is that!
Well, cliche as it may be, runners know just how miserable blisters and irritated feet and toes can make us feel. In many things, I am one of those people who would rather suffer through a little than spend money on something I deem unnecessary, BUT in this case, having a good pair of running socks can make more difference than you can imagine.
If you don’t believe me, that is because you havent worn a really GOOD pair of socks. I used to think that way, but now, the days I run out of good running socks and have to wear plain old cotton, I groan in frustration (yes, first world problem I know), as it really does make that much of a difference.
Now, when it comes to choosing, there are LOTS of brands out there, each with their own benefits, buuuuttt my favorite socks for many years have been Feetures, and for the runner in your life, although you might feel like they are taking the easy way out, they really will be really appreciated.
For the Dedicated or Injury Prone Runner:ElliptiGO ($2499)
If you have followed for a while, you probably know I am a HUGE ElliptiGO fan, and it was a big component of my training when I was running for Great Britain and chasing down those ultimate times.
It is a big purchase, I get that, and I know not everyone can afford it, BUT if you are injury prone or if you are getting older, where your body just can’t handle the pounding, this is something that will be a game changer for you.
It will keep you in shape even in the most dire situations of injuries, and not the same “In shape” you will be in from a stationary bike or elliptical, but it really works the exact muscles you will need for running, and you can do everything you would have done on land on the elliptigo. Meaning, when you do return, your body is ready to run fast quickly, as the muscles are prepped for it. There have been studies showing that runners raced PRs or close to it with ElliptiGO training alone!
I have the Elliptigo 8C, find it here.
For Running Safety: Run Angel ($99)
When I was running at my best, I didn’t really worry about safety. I had this naive attitude thinking that nothing bad would ever happen to me, and if someone did come after me, I would just run away. As much as I want to smack my old self in the face, that is how I viewed it. Thankfully, nothing did ever happen though.
Now I am pregnant, I realize that not only was that a stupid way of viewing the world, but it really CAN happen to anyone.
There are a lot of safety products out there, I do have a GoGuarded, and I do have pepper spray (although, full disclosure, rarely use it…I feel like I would end up spraying myself in that situation!), BUT I have been introduced to Run Angel over the last few months, and let me just say, THIS is the safety product that I have been looking for.
Of course, getting self defense training will always be the number one option, but that does not help you with situations where you are out running somewhere remote and suddenly feel dizzy or if you want that extra level of protection.
Run Angel is a wearable for your wrist (and yes, it is small enough to fit on your wrist, I have baby wrists and it fits mine!) that sets out an alarm the volume of a Rock Concert(!!!) if you push the button. When you do that, it will send an alert to your Guardians (whoever you set them up to be) of your location and that you are in trouble.
When I run alone now, especially on those dark mornings, having that Run Angel and knowing that all I need to do is push the button to send the alert, helps with peace of mind immensely. It is reassuring that you don’t have to hold it down for 3 seconds then click another button, then select yes, then click okay, it is just one GIANT button, that sets off the alarm.
I haven’t tried it yet, but curiosity is getting the better of me, so I may go sowmehre remote, warn my “Guardians” and test it out….just maybe after I have the baby, don’t want to terrify her!
For the Runner in Marathon Training: UCAN Bars ($33)
Marathon training is grueling. Actually, any hard training is grueling, no matter what distance you are training for. If you are putting in the work day after day, you deserve a huge pat on the back, it’s not easy! I see that even more now I am not doing it!
When you are trying to fit that in amongst a busy, hectic life (and who isn’t!) it can mean some VERY early mornings or late nights trying to squeeze in those runs. Stomach upsets happen often when we grab what we can to fuel for the run, buuutttt these Generation UCAN bars are really handy (and they don’t go nasty if you leave them in the heat or cold for a few days). They don’t make a mess, they are tasty (especially the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor), and they are perfect for pre or post run on the go as they have everything you need.
I still love them now, and often eat them in the mornings before I go for my run or strength training. I can’t imagine running without them.
Find Generation UCAN bars here and use coupon code RUNNING4REAL for 15% off.
For a Runner Who LOVES Their Stats: Garmin Forerunner 235 ($299)
How could I NOT include a Garmin?
I may be all about #nowatchme and not looking at your pace during runs, but come on, as runners we LOVE our stats…..just preferably after the run. I absolutely love my Forerunner 235. There are fancier models, I also love my Vivoactive for general use, but nothing comes close to the Forerunner 235, which fits nicely on even small wrists, has everything you need, great battery life, and tracks everything.
I have tried other brands of watches, and they don’t even come close to Garmin. I will always love mine, and hopefully, you like this one too.
Find Garmin Forerunner 235 here.
For the Runner Who is Trying to Eat Healthy: Ikea Silicon Baking Sheet ($5)
This one is a bit of a strange one, but bear with me on this.
Runners who really want to get the most out of their training are bound to put a focus on nutrition, and hopefully they are thinking about meal prepping as this helps tremendously while working and life is just pulling in 100 different directions. I wrote a whole post on how to meal prep, but the one thing I would recommend for all runners if they want to cook at home for themselves either for meal prep or just cooking meals is a good silicon baking sheet as it makes cooking SO easy.
I have a few different ones, and although they all work, this Ikea one is by far superior to the others. This makes washing up easy, and for egg bakes (notoriously sticky), it comes off in one piece, and cleaning up takes seconds.
It is also great for everything else that tends to get stuck in pans. Saves time and stress over and over again! AANNNNDD you are helping the environment a little by not using parchment paper 🙂
Find the Ikea Silicon Baking Sheet here (or at your local Ikea!)
For Runners Who Listen to Music and Need Motivation While Training Alone: VI (On sale right now for $199)
When I was training as an elite, I rarely listened to music. I wanted to focus on what I was doing; keeping my easy pace easy, listening to my body during workouts to know where I was at, and just thinking about my day and what I had to do. Sure, some days I got a little bored, but for the most part, I just enjoyed it. As a professional, you can’t wear headphones in races, so I never wanted to become reliant on them and be unable to motivate myself. I was highly motivated, and just didn’t really need it.
I would save music and podcasts for rare occasions I knew I was EXTRA tired (like the day after a race) or when I had a time on your feet long run, but it was maybe once every few weeks.
Nowadays I listen to music almost every day, and I love it. I use my VI headset to listen to iHeartRadio or the English radio channels I miss from home. Other days I have Pandora or podcasts to listen to. The sound quality on this headset is fantastic, and I barely even notice it is there.
The best thing about VI though? SHE is an AI (Augmented reality) trainer, meaning that she talks to you while you are running. Tells you stats if you want or need them, encourages you the way a friend would, and motivates you if you need it. You can set how much you want her to talk to you, and this is an amazing product for someone who is training alone and has to motivate themselves sometimes. My favorite part though, is that she is human. There is no choppy robot voice, but an actual person has recorded the words, and I love that!
For Runners Who Love to Read:
Brave Athlete Calm the F*ck Down
I love psychology books and find them fascinating. Usually though, they are very serious and intense. This one?
Of course there is a lot of technical language and in depth knowledge there, possibly more than any other psych book I have read, BUT it is written in a fun way, from a friend who likes to swear and be real with you. Imagine that friend wrote to you telling you about psychology, but telling you how it is, how we are all a bit loopy, and the why behind it.
If you want a fun read that actually teaches you A LOT, you will love this book.
The Mindset Manifesto
Another psychology book, but this one is for my runners who get FAR too nervous before races. Although Brave Athlete above explains why we put pressure and expectations on, Mindset Manifesto does it in a way that makes it really clear and makes you feel so at ease. I have recommend the Dr Bhrett McCabe podcast episode to more people than any other episode, and there is a reason for that. Bhrett knows his stuff, and this book can be applied outside running to your daily life too. Well worth a read.
Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow: Lessons from an Epic Friendship That Went the Distance
Confession: I have actually not finished this book yet. I have recorded about 20 podcast episodes in the month of November, and as you can imagine, a lot of those were from guests with books, which meant I did a LOT of reading the last few months.
I wanted to save this one for a time I could sit and read a book just to read a book, which is exactly what I plan to do with this book from Susan. A wonderful woman and a remarkable story, I can’t wait to dig into this one over the holiday period.
This is inspiring, this is funny, this is real. This is a the book for the runner in your life who loves those around them, especially as it is a book centered around a friendship.
For the Runner in Heavy Training: Bodyhealth Perfect Amino ($39.95)
I may not be in heavy training anymore…wait, actually I am, but a different kind of training, training for a monumental day sometime in February. BUT when I think about gifts I would have wanted had I still been training hard, recovering faster and feeling good would have been the top of my list.
Perfect Amino actually allows the runner in your life to do that. It speeds up recovery and helps your body handle the heavy training load, ESPECIALLY if you are someone who typically struggles with training. Ask a runner what they want more than anything? To get to each and every start line healthy. This will help them do that.
Find BodyHealth Perfect Amino here and use coupon code TINA10 for 10% off.
For the Runner Who Trains in All Weather: Saucony Vitarun Jacket ($125)
It wouldn’t be my list without something Saucony, right?
I know the winter brings many uncomfortable conditions that can make running raaaaather uncomfortable, but having a good running jacket can make all the difference. They might be expensive, but they can make all the difference between a run you enjoy and a run you…well, don’t!
I do not actually have THIS version of this jacket, but I loved the previous versions, and I am sure this one will have even more genius features that make a runners life easier. Saucony is so good like that.
Find the Saucony Vitarun Jacket here.
For the Female Runner: Lululemon Enlite Sports Bra ($98)
I have been a runner for 14 years now, and I have never loved a single running product as much as I love this sports bra. Especially now my chest is…well, much larger than it was when I was a tiny XS runner, this bra is literally my favorite thing. Yes, I realize the price tag is incredibly high, and trust me, if you told me a a year ago I would be paying this much for a sports bra, I would have laughed in your face, but it is worth EVERY PENNY. Trust me.
This sports bra is more comfortable than anything you have ever worn. It does not chafe AT ALL. It is incredibly supportive, and, Lululemon is known for their clothing lasting FOREVER. The few items I have from my school days (I left in 2006) are still in very good condition, and they never seem to change.
I know its expensive, but trust me, you will not regret this decision.
Find the Lululemon Enlite Sports Bra here.
For the Runner Who Sits All Day: Varidesk Pro Plus Desk ($395)
Don’t we all?
Yep, we are pretty sedentary nowadays, and even though we are runners who feel superior for getting out there every day for training, it doesn’t excuse us from the fact our poor muscles are sitting tightened and constricted for the other 12 hours a day.
I had always been skeptical about standing desks as, well, I hate standing, but also because I just thought that I was pretty good at getting up and moving around. However, once I got my Varidesk Pro, I realized how little I was actually moving before, and how much better I felt in the rest of my daily life. This desk moves up and down to the height of your choice (so you can sit. stand, or anywhere in between) and I actually got their seat to go with it, which was great for a middle ground, not a proper seat so you can relax, but you can engage the core while giving your legs a rest.
Well worth it if you are worried about your hip flexors tightening up or if you want to look after your body better for the time you are not running.
Find the Varidesk Pro Plus here.
For Runners Who Want to Eat Healthy, But Don’t Have Time: Hello Fresh (prices vary, but roughly $9.99 for a meal for 2)
As I have mentioned a few times so far, getting nutrition right is key to running well, but once again, life is busy, and those fast food restaurants make things far too tempting when trying to think up of meals to cook for dinner, going to the store to get ingredients AND cooking it is your alternative.
BUT for those of you who are busy, Hello Fresh is a wonderful idea, and will make life 100 times easier for the runner in your life to keep on track with making homemade meals, without thinking too hard.
Hello Fresh delivers a chilled box to you each week containing the pre-portioned ingredients for 2-4 meals, along with a recipe card explaining exactly how. You can select which recipes you want very easily, and they are all restaurant quality meals. Everything is measured out, so that takes a lot of the faffing time and energy out of it, and you will have a delicious, nutritious meal quicker than you think.
Great idea, and even better company.
For Runners Who Love Puns or Are Proud to Be a Runner: Sarah Marie Design Studio ($30-$60)
I am so proud of all Sarah has done. She has taken her unique designs and slogans for running apparel and just blown everyone away with her creativity and passion. She has the coolest clothes for runners, not so much for running in (although you can), but more for the lifestyle. “In my activewear” you know? 🙂
Her clothes have been worn by many of the most famous running celebrities out there, and it is easy to see why. They are made well, and really fun.
Find more about Sarah Marie Designs here.
For the Runnerd or Runner Who Loves to Try New Things: Stridebox (3 months for $59.85)
This is such a clever idea, especially if you are new to the running world and excited to see all the different options you have for making your running life easier. Stridebox is a subscription service where each month you get a box delivered with unique running products. You will get to try new gels trying to make their way into the market, granolas, light reflecting armbands, bandanas, recovery products, hydration products, anti-chafe products and so much more.
I am always so impressed with the variety of products in the box, and it makes me smile knowing that these little companies who are trying to make a difference in the world by creating products FOR runners rather than FOR the pockets of the corporations.
It is a really fun product to look forward to every month if you love the world of running.
Find more about Stridebox here and use either of these coupon codes: RunningForReal10 for 10% off of gift subscriptions or RunningForReal5 gives you $5 off of your first box of a regular subscription.
Both offers through 12/24.
For the Runner Who Ran a PB (or PR) Recently: Frame Of Race Day (price varies)
Most runners work for months on end for the opportunity to race, and sometimes all that hard work comes together and we are given the result we deserve. Those moments are fleeting, and therefore we want to bask in that post race glow, cherish that moment for as long as we can.
If the runner in your life has recently had a HUGE breakthrough race, they would absolutely love to show that hard work through a frame. Now if you really want to impress them, you can use a company like Gone for a Run to create a personalized frame with their bib (or bib number), photos, and an engraving, and that will bring a smile to their face that you will remember for life.
However, you can also just create something yourself, and they may appreciate the time you put into it even more. You can find many frames out there that have three slots; one for the bib, and a few for photos (maybe a finish line photo and a running photo from somewhere they looked decent in the race).
This is a wonderfully personal gift that your runner will love.
Frames can be found all over the internet, here is a good one or if you want to use a service, I recommend Gone for a Run as they have a lot of cool ideas!
For the Runner Who Wants to Cook More: Run Fast Eat Slow ($24.99, although currently on sale!)
I talked about this cookbook last year, and I still use mine all the time. Lots of great recipes in here, and they are pretty simple to make too. I like to make double or even triple batches of things, and then fresh the rest to unfreeze as needed.
The meals are delicious, the breakfast on the go foods are really impressive, and the snacks are fun to make. There isn’t much bad I could say about this book, and I look forward to their next one coming sometime next year.
Besides, Shalane Flanagan just won the NYC marathon, how can you not follow her lead? 🙂
For a New Race Day Shirt (while giving this lady a little support): Running for Real T-Shirts, Tanks, Sleeveless Vests, and Cap ($22-$27)
These recently went on sale, and I am really happy with how they turned out. The Running for Real Community is growing strong and fast by the day, and if you are or the runner in your life is already a part of it, this is a wonderful gift to make them feel even more loved and supported.
These shirts are made from moisture wicking materials and are ideal for racing in or training in. I wanted it make sure the quality of the fabric was good, as that is one of those things that makes a HUGE difference in how comfortable we feel.
I won’t preach too much about these, but if you enjoy Running for Real, this is one way you can feel even more a part of the community while supporting all that I am trying to do here.
For the Runner with Arch Pain or Plantar Fasciitis: The Oh Ball ($34.95-$49.95)
I have been fortunate enough to avoid foot issues during my running career. I never really had any of the usual suspects, not seriously anyway.
However, I have been noticing my arches ache a lot now I am pregnant. Whether that is the arches collapsing (which I have heard happens in pregnancy), or maybe just that I am running slightly different, but this Oh ball is absolutely fantastic for arch issues.
When I first came across it, I thought it seemed a bit silly, why did you need it? Couldn’t you just use a golf ball? But again, this was coming from the girl who never really had to deal with it. I see now that when you try to roll your foot over a ball, the ball usually does not stay in place….for obvious reasons…although apparently not obvoous enough for me to figure this out before.
This Oh Ball not only keeps it in place, but you can put it in the freezer so it can calm your foot down at the same time.
For a Treat for Your Runner: Sunglasses ($12-$40)
I know, its winter. I do realize that sunglasses are typically a summer request, BUT the light seems so much brighter in the winter, especially if it has snowed and the light reflects off that. The glare is much worse in the winter too, as there is more chance we are running right as the sun comes up. Sunglasses are a life saver for your eyes (and for preventing wrinkles :p) and I absolutely LOVE my Oakley Half Jacket.
There is a new kid in town. My Running for Real Community suggested Goodr Sunglasses. I have not personally tried them, but they come with a LOT of recommendations behind them! I might just gave to get myself a pair to see just how good they are!
For Another Stocking Stuffer That Any Runner Will Need: Road ID ($24-$30)
This really can be a lifesaver, especially if your runner has any kind of allergies or medical conditions.
The Road ID has come a long way since its early days, and now you can get a variety of styles and colors to match your personality. It basically is a wristband which is customized to you with your name, emergency contact details, known medical conditions, and a quote of your choice. That way if something happens to you, it makes things a whole lot easier to let your loved ones know.
Obviously we hope that this never has to be used by anyone, but it doesn’t really weigh anything, but will give you that peace of mind.
I realize this is similar to Run Angel in that it is helping with safety, but isn’t that the most important thing we ever need as a runner? The two combined gives you a powerful safety assurance.
Find Road ID here.
For the Marathon Runner: Saucony Bullet Shorts or Tights ($50-$80)
I know I harp on about these shorts all the time, but they really are the best shorts for marathoners. The pockets are absolutely amazing, and perfect for gels, bottles (yes, really), and anything else you may need (I actually often put my phone in there).
There is also a zip up pocket in the back for leaving your key, as I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t really comfortable leaving my house unlocked for 3 hours when I was doing my long runs!
The short also do NOT ride up, which is a huge plus.
For the Prepared or Organized Runner: Flip Belt ($16-$70)
I used to laugh at these. I could not understand why you could possibly need them, as it seemed people were putting all kinds of things in there, but now I have slowed down, gained weight, chafe often, and love to listen to music and podcasts while I run, I see how ingenious these are.
You really can put almost anything you would ever need in there, and they actually don’t move around very much. I don’t understand how they don’t ride up and end up bouncing around your belly, but they don’t, and I love using mine, especially when I am not wearing clothes that have nice pockets in like those Sacuony Bullets.
For the Runner You Love the Most 😉 : A Sports Massage
Well, really, we should all be purchasing massages for our loved ones all the time, cause they just are such a special treat that we rarely get ourselves, but for runners, this can make a HUGE difference in how we feel.
When I was in heavy training, I would get a massage once a week, and yes, I would pay for it, that is how important it was, but I know most runners are selfless and would rarely think they deserve that.
But they do, especially if they train hard and really commit to running, it beats you up BAD.
Find a well recommend masseuse in your area, and make them very happy.
I loved Karen Keys for my massages, but I am sure you can find someone near you!
Phew! Well, that is quiet the exhaustive list. Hope you found this helpful, and I look forward to hearing which of these you get this year.
What would you add?