The Best Holiday Gifts for Runners, Part 1: Stocking Stuffers

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‘Tis the season, my friends! The trees have been lit, the ornaments have been hung, the sales are on!

Time to get down to business and spend all that hard earned cash on gifts for family, friends, pets, neighbors, the mailman, the garbage man, your hair stylist… yup. Lots of shopping ahead.

Sadly, not everyone on my list is a runner. Boy, do I have gift ideas for those peeps. There are so many different things you can get for the runners in your life — from little things like foot cream or temporary tattoos (oh yeah!) to all-out splurges like the latest GPS watch or even – if Santa is feeling particularly generous – why not a treadmill? If you’ve got runners on your holiday gift list this year – feel blessed.

And because I can’t help but share all my brilliant ideas, I’ve compiled not one but several gift idea lists, with different price points. Starting with stocking stuffers (up to $15), warming up with $15 to $50, getting serious with $50 to $150 and the all-out options at $150 or more: I’ve got you covered. First, stocking stuffers:

1. Headlight — and other safety stuff
It’s not the sexiest of gifts, but in these short winter days and cold, long nights, it will improve your runner’s safety tremendously.

More light/ safety options:
An LED armband

Reflective vest

2. Speaking of sexy…
You can’t go wrong with Bodyglide. Trust me on that one.

And if your runner’s got a proper sense of humor, go with this one… or or this. (Wait for it… wait… ah!)

OK. Fifth-grade moment over, moving on.

3. Headband
Is your runner a lady? (Or a dude with long hair and a knack for flair?) Get them a no-slip headband like this one — and beware, you may find them glued to Amazon later on, stocking up on even more colors and patterns!

4. Happy feet
All that pounding makes for not very happy feet. Bring it back with this foot cream to work miracles at the end of the day.

Another one I’ve loved using is this one from the Body Shop. The peppermint smells and feels refreshing — and Christmas-y, to boot!

For bonus points, throw in a foot file. Scrub-a-dub and those calluses be gone!

4. Temporary tattoos
Whether your runner has signed up for their first marathon next year or is about to race their third (hello!) or thirty-third, a 26.2 temporary tattoo is bound to be appreciated and enjoyed on race day!

Ditto for one celebrating the half marathon runner.

Will your runner run for wine?

Or is he/ she a NO excuses type of runner?

Lots more options available, just look around!

5. The tasty stuff
Or be old fashioned and fill up their stocking with candy. As long as it’s the right kind of “candy” of course. There are too many sports nutrition/ energy chews, gels and chomps out there, from GU gels to chomps, to jelly belly sport strips or jelly belly sport beans.

My personal favorite: PowerBar power gels, double latte flavor (double the caffeine!)

6. Inspire, educate, entertain, or even help them run a new personal best!
A really – really – good running book is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few of my favorite (and I’m sure I’m missing many others):

Train Like a Mother and Run Like a Mother by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

Funny, educational and inspiring (yes, I know I already said that), these books are written for mothers – but will be an interesting and useful read to any runner with a busy lifestyle. One of the half marathon training plans in Train Like a Mother helped me run a personal best sub-2 hour half earlier this year.

For anyone else, you really can’t go wrong with any of Dean Karnazes’ books. Just make sure they aren’t already on your runner’s book shelf (or night stand): they’ve quickly become something of inspirational bibles for runners.

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner:

Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days — and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!

What are some good running books you’ve read recently?

Got more to spend? Check these out:

Today’s workout:

With the housewives of Beverly Hills. This show is like a car crash, it’s disgusting but I can’t stop looking. But I’ve had enough. In a day or two, I’m going on a long run!

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