Gift Guides/ Running

Five Gift Ideas for Runners You Haven’t Heard (and they haven’t received!)

Running gift guides can get repetitive. These five ideas will surprise your runner, no matter how many miles you’ve put in together of the years!

Runners are pretty easy to shop for — nice socks, gift card to their favorite running store, cozy athleisure — but what if you’ve done that, given that, and want to gives something that’s a little different? I got ya!

1. Race Bib Coasters

I love the idea of taking a race bib and turning it into coastsers. There are a ton 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. (You scan the bib – they don’t cut up your actual bib!)

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 showed him how he colored all over them with crayons. HA!) If you want to pair it with something bigger, I think giving the gift of ButcherBox is awesome (unless your fave runner is vegetarian). Tommy and I have LOVED our ButcherBox – the meat is so high quality and tastes dramatically better that conventional store-bought meat. And you can’t beat the convenience.

2. Speciality Body Work

Most runners are usually dealing with some kind of injury… 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.

3. Hire a running coach

I gave this to a friend in the past and it was such a fun 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.

4. Hyperice Hypervolt

This thing is LEGIT. 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 the new toy on the scene and it’s GOOD. It’s pricey at $349, 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 I’ve used it a couple times. It REALLY works the muscles, and there are multiple attachments to work in different ways. Her PT (she also goes to Cheryl for dry needling) told her that she can tell a difference in Kelly’s muscles since she’s been using it. It’s intense, don’t get me wrong. But it’s effective.

5. Running Camp / Running Retreat

I saved my favorite gift idea for last since I’m personally super excited about this one! 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 nutrition advice? Yes, yes they would. And I am SO excited to go to a Zap Fitness Running Camp in Blowing Rock next June after eyeing their camps for years. They have people come from all over to do their camps, and I’m lucky it’s so close to me. It’s called a camp, but I like to think of it as a retreat where I get to indulge my love of running fully. 😉

I’m even more excited that Carrie Tollefson will be at the camp I’m doing. She is the podcaster behind C Tolle Run, one of my favorite podcasts, and she just seems like the nicest person. (Let’s hope I’m less insane when I meet Carrie than when I met Shalane.) Other guest runners next year include Bart Yasso and Bill Rodgers.

NOTE: If you sign up for a Zap Fitness Running Camp (or give the gift), make sure you indicate that you are a Returning Camper even if you haven’t been. The lovely folks are Zap Fitness agreed to give my readers a $75 discount off registration! (Thanks Pete!)

And SERIOUSLY COME CAMP WITH ME IN JUNE!!!! I’d love to have some blog friends to hang out with! (Let me know if you’re thinking about it — [email protected]!) It’s such a gorgeous area – you wouldn’t regret taking a vacation there, and I swear I’m a normal person in real life.

zap fitness

zap fitness running camp

Zap Fitness is especially appealing because they have a gourmet chef (he used to be the chef at Artisanal in Banner Elk). I mean, look at this food.

zap fitness camp food

What’s the best running-related gift you’ve ever received??

Pin this for later –> (And hey, feel free to send the link to your significant other! That’s subtle enough, right?)

Looking for more gift ideas for runners? Check out this post!

gifts for runners


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  • Ali

    I love the idea of the coffee coasters. So cute!

  • Barbara Curry

    You’re going to Love Camp this summer. I go every year and learn something new each time. I live in Greensboro and would love to connect and talk about blog stuff. I’m at