With Christmas rapidly approaching, now’s as good as time as any to think about what to get the special runner in your life. If you’re a fellow runner, you may know what’s about and what’s worth buying. If not, rest assured. I’ve put together a list of Christmas gift ideas for runners to get the inspiration flowing, and to give you the heads up on what runners generally like.
GPS Running Watch.
If you’re looking for a decent GPS watch, the Garmin Fenix 6 is the latest all singing, all dancing offering from Garmin. With an whopping £800 price tag, I’m assuming it’s akin to something James Bond would wear. If you’re looking for a good GPS watch in a lower price bracket, Garmin offer other options. There’s the popular, and more affordable, Forerunner. I have an older version of the Forerunner, and about 4 years in, it’s still going strong.
Suunto is another popular, reliable brand. Their watches are roughly the same price but there’s a good range. I recently heard good things about Polar too, so they’re definitely worth checking out.
Run Camps and Experiences.
One day I dream of hosting a run camp, experience or runcation. Until then I can only give you some idea what’s on offer, and where.
Helen at Run Better With Yoga organises running retreats in Cornwall and Chamonix. Her retreats are for runners of all abilities, with and without yoga. Input is offered not just from Helen but from a Natural Running Coach. This, alongside awesome running trails, beaches and newly found friendships, makes this a memorable running treat and getaway.
If you’re looking for something further afield, check out Run Wild Retreats. They’ll literally take you anywhere, and what an amazing adventure to give as a Christmas gift.
Race entries can add up. Some of the trail events can be quite pricey compared to the smaller, local road races. If you know when the runner in your life is free, or if there’s a particular event they’ve got their eye on, you could secure them a place. This event local to me is always popular, and entries open on 1st January. There’s 4 distances on offer too, so something for all abilities. You could double it up with a little Cornish holiday.
Mandatory Running Kit For Races.
If your runner has events coming up, you can guarantee that they’ll be grateful for new kit. Trail races tend to have a mandatory kit list so you could always add to that. Usually it’s things like a hydration pack, head torches (check the minimum lumen required) or a taped seamed jacket. Even something smaller, like a couple of buffs or whistle are always appreciated, and will get used.
Everyday Running Kit.
I’m a firm believer that you can’t have too much running kit, which makes it a perfect Christmas gift. I’d rather buy running clothes and shoes than regular clothes but maybe I’m a bit unusual. The good news is, there’s loads of things you can buy for a runner. For storing items, why not think about a Flipbelt? Relatively cheap and something that’ll get used over and over again. You could always stock up on some running socks. I’ve a particular fondness for long compression socks, the brighter the better. Or how about some wireless headphones? Bone conduction headphones seem to be latest thing to have. I love my Aftershokz, the sound quality is incredibly good. Obviously all runners need tees, vests, and bottoms. A safe bet all round.
In an attempt to keep your runner motivated you could gift them some running books. There’s loads out there from personal running journeys to guides on how to run better. Personally, I like an autobiographical running book. My favourite so far is Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run. Primal Endurance is also an interesting read. Other books are good to dip in and out of, including Cheaper Than Therapy and Phil Hewitt’s In The Running which offers a snapshot of runners of all abilities who’ve made their mark on the running world.
Why not buy a running club membership as a present? Membership’s usually affordable and it’ll encourage your runner to meet other like minded people. Running clubs are often perceived as intimating or something “real” runners go to. My experience couldn’t be further from this. They’re usually friendly and inviting, and are delighted to have more runners, of all abilities, come into their fold.
Another membership you could consider is paying for an upgrade on a running app, like Strava. While Strava is free, you can pay a small membership fee for additional features and functions, called Strava Summit. These features are offered in 3 “packs” – Training, Analysis and Safety. You can buy all 3 for less than £5 per month, which I think is pretty good value. There’s a strong online running community too, which is so valuable when you’re a lone runner. Plus, you can nab other people’s routes!
Runner’s are always grateful for new gear and running related items, and as a runner I love getting new kit or running related items as a Christmas gift. As a runner, what would your dream gift be?