My inbox is flooded with desperate emails from merchants: “Time is running out!” “Last chance for free shipping” “Last minute gift ideas!”
I refuse to allude to this being a “last minute” gift guide for runners. This is a Purposefully Procrastinated Gift Guide for Runners.
For the Overused Runner
Unless your runner friend religiously tracks how many miles they’ve put on a pair of shoes, they probably are overdue for a new pair. This is a tricky gift because you can’t really go out and buy someone a pair of shoes without knowing the exact make/model/color they want. Think homemade coupon or gift card to a retailer that carries a variety of shoes (or Brooks/Nike/Asics if you know for a fact which brand they use). To runners, new shoe smell = new car smell.
For the Unmotivated Runner
If you’re running partner has been talking about needing to sign up for a race, here’s your chance to cross off a present and guarantee a race buddy. Register yourself and a friend for a race and make sure your friend knows this race is for their goal – whether it’s to PR, run a course they’ve always wanted to try, or just to get to the finish line. Just be sure to stick to your word and not turn the race into your race!
For the Upcoming Racer
If you have a runner friend who has been training for his or her first 5K/half marathon/marathon, consider combining a bunch of training “essentials” into a gym bag. Think socks, energy gels, body glide, nipple guards, a book, a Road ID… you get the idea.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, go find a ridiculous shirt at Goodwill to give as a throwaway shirt (an old shirt runners wear to keep warm at the beginning of a race with the intention of throwing it away once they warm up). Throwing in a gift card for a post-race massage never offended anyone either.
For the Accomplished Runner
If your runner friend
hoards keeps all their old race bibs and medals, maybe it’s time they have a place to display them properly! A quick search on Etsy for “race bib holder” will find you plenty of options for cool homemade ways to show off race swag.
For the All Seasons Runner
If you have a runner friend who hates the treadmill and runs outside despite rain, sleet, wind or snow, Yaktrax could be a great option to help keep them safe on slick or snow-covered surfaces. If you want to learn more about Yaktrax, Brandi wrote a great review on them earlier this year!
To make this as stress-free as possible, I’m also including some gift guides I’ve come across so that this one post can be your one-stop shop for holiday gifts for all the runners in your life! Here are a few favorites to get you thinking:
- Potomac River Running’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Runner’s World 2012 Gear of the Year List
- Christmas Shop at Gone for a Run
- Fit Sugar Holiday Gift Guide for Women
Good luck and happy shopping!