Running gift guides can get repetitive. And since we’re getting a little close to Christmas to be ordering tons of gifts (are you guilty of this?), I thought it would be helpful to include some gifts that don’t require shipping. And while these are good ideas for the last minute, they’re also pretty great ideas for gifts (I’m gifting Tommy one of them, actually). These six unique gifts will surprise the runners in your life with something beyond the typical (but also nice!) running socks and gels.
If you’re looking for more perfect gifts for runners, this post has some of my running must-haves that runners of all level can use. Or shop this guide for running gifts under $20. Or if you want to go big and get them new running shoes, these are my favorites.
Runners are pretty easy to shop for — nice socks, gift card to a running store so they can shop for their favorite running gear, wireless headphones, cozy athleisure — but what if you’ve done that, given that, and want to gives something that’s a little different? I got ya covered! All of these ideas are things that I have used myself and love.
While most of these aren’t stocking stuffers, you could easily stick a certificate for some of the below gifts in a stocking. I love when I can surprise someone with something epic in their stockings after they’ve already opened their other gifts.
Okay, let’s jump in.
Six Unique Gifts for Runners You Haven’t Heard (and they haven’t received!)
1. Race Bib Coasters
I love the idea of taking a race bib and turning it into coasters. There are lots of people on Etsy who make them but I really like this one that splits one bib into four coaster since I think it creates a fun conversation piece and way to remember special finish lines. (You scan the bib – they don’t cut up your actual bib!) The store that I like on Etsy has 5 stars and great reviews. And I love that you can message the seller on Etsy to see about their shipping times. If you’re shopping last minute, make sure to ask how fast they can do this for you!
Coffee mugs are best when they have a story and I like the idea of coasters having stories too. (Our current coasters are really beautiful Italian coasters Tommy’s grandmother had, and she gave them to him when he was older…and then explained to him that he colored all over them with crayons when he was little. HA!) If you want to pair it with something else, go for Linden x Two coffee, which is the coffee company Des Linden runs with her husband.
2. Speciality Body Work
Most runners deal with some kind of injury each year… and if they’re not, they trying to PREVENT an injury. An elite runner said in a podcast I listened to recently that the difference between elites and non-elites is that elites have the time and resources to do all the little things. Little things like massage and physical therapy and chiropractic work. Oh, and napping. (Now THAT would be the best gift for runners. 😉 )
While you may not be able to give the gift of all the little things, you can give the gift of body work. Ask around for someone who specializes in working with runners – call your local running store if you’re not sure. If you’re local, these are my favorites.
- Massage: Ger Brown, Therapeutic Body Care (he specializes in Myoskeletal Therapy)
- Physical Therapy: Cheryl Pfruender Breakthrough Physical Therapy (she does dry needling) or Angie Koonin with Performance Driven PT
- Chiropractor: Burke Street Chiropractic.
Gifting tip: print out a certificate and stick it in your runner’s stocking!
I love to give gifts that can be used after the holidays have died down, and this is perfect. It’s also an amazing way to support your local community and shop small. I promise they’ll be grateful.
3. Hire a running coach
I gave this to a friend in the past and it was such a great gift! She was so excited since she never would have paid for a coach herself, thinking it was unnecessary as a casual runner. And it was fun for me to see her progress and improve! (And to get ideas from her workouts. 😉 ) This post about working with a running coach gives an idea of what that may look like, why it can be a good thing for runners of all levels and how to find one.
I used a running coach when I was training for the 2019 Boston Marathon and PRed! There is something so amazing about working with a professional to achieve your bigger goals.
4. Hyperice Hypervolt
This thing is LEGIT. Many runners have foam rollers and lacrosse balls that we don’t use enough (let’s be honest). And some of us have Roll Recovery R8s. But the Hyperice Hypervolt is newer toy on the scene and it’s GOOD. It’s pricey, but it worked my muscles as much as some of the pros do so it could eventually reduce the appointments I need!
My friend Kelly got the Hypervolt (she and her husband gave it to each other for their anniversary, which I love) and after I used it a couple times, I had to get my own. It REALLY works the muscles, and there are multiple attachments to work in different ways. MIt’s intense, don’t get me wrong. But it’s effective. I gave this to my father-in-law last year and he loves it.
Another unique gift idea for runners is an InsideTracker plan. It’s a blood testing service that tracks biometric markers over time, which is especially important to monitor for those exercising a lot. I found it super helpful during marathon training – read my full review here. You get customized, actionable and just down-right interesting information about your health and performance. Use code TERILYN at checkout for 20% off your plan.
If you’re really going big on a gift related to nutrition, pair the InsideTracker gift with a ButcherBox and/or Thrive Market subscription. Daily Harvest would be another good subscription to gift! Tommy and I LOVE ButcherBox – the meat is so high quality and tastes dramatically better that conventional store-bought meat. And Thrive Market has the best prices on all the things we regularly buy anyway (like cereal, crackers, dark chocolate, safer dish soap and even plant-based dish sponges).
6. Running Vacation
I saved my favorite gift idea for last. Wouldn’t your favorite runner love to pick the brain of elite runners and their coaches, run gorgeous trails, eat amazing food, have their form evaluated by the best of the best, and get racing and nutrition advice? Yes, yes they would. Get them the gift of a Zap Endurance Running Vacation. I attended their running retreat in Blowing Rock a few years ago after eyeing their camps for years and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. You can read about my experience here. They have people come from all over the US and world to attend their camps, and I’m lucky it’s so close to me. It really does feel like a vacation – I left feeling so refreshed and relaxed.
What’s the best running-related gift you’ve ever received??
Looking for more gift ideas for runners? Check out this post!
Also make sure to read my reviews on the AfterShokz Earbuds (they’re hands free and water resistant. I am OBSESSED), and my Garmin Watch review. A running watch would be a great gift for a newer runner. These watches track all the stats you need: pace, distance, heart rate, etc.