Article updated October 2021
If you are looking to treat yourself after a tough year or want to buy the perfect gift for the runner in your life, look no further than this list of running accessories. Ideal for novices starting out on their first couch to 5k plan and seasoned runners tackling their umpteenth marathon, this kit list is just the gift inspiration you need this Christmas.
Running Gloves – Gloves for running work harder than cold weather gloves. Gross as it may sound they double up as sweat and snot wipers on a cold day and they go through the washing machine on a regular basis. For this reason, hardy, all-weather runners will always be grateful for a new pair to keep their fingers warm on cold winter runs.
Running Socks – Another pressie that will always be welcomed by a keen runner is a good pair of running socks. If you don’t know your runner’s preferred brand, go for one like Thousand Mile, Hilly or Balega, which consistently do well in reviews.
Medal Hanger – with mass entry in-person races back on the agenda by secnd half of 2021, runners are starting to bring home the bling again and probably wondering where to put it all. The runner in your life will be grateful for a stylish medal hanger on which to proudly display the medals that their racing efforts have achieved. There is a huge range available, from hangers that incorporate a trophy shelf to personalised versions with a different hook for each different race distance. Support a small business by exploring the range of wooden medal hangers on Etsy. Many sellers can customise your purchase with a name and an ispirational quote.
Long Run Rescue Hamper – If you have a bit of time to put this together, it will certainly go down a treat with the long distance runner in your life! All you need to do is fill a basket or bag of your choice with the follow items to create the perfect post-run recovery experience:
- Magnesium Bath Flakes – Ideal for soothing achy muscle in a restorative post-run bath.
- Electrolyte Tablets – For adding to the post-run drink of water to help replenish the minerals lost as sweat during the run.
- Muscle Roller Stick – Lightweight and easy to use, a roller stick is a great addition to your post-run hamper, providing targeted deep massage to tired, sore muscles.
- Your Runner’s Favourite Sweets – If ever the runner in your life has the excuse to indulge in their favourite sweets, it’s after a gruellingly long training run. Pop a couple of bags of their favourites into your recovery hamper to cheer them up post run.
- Peanut Butter – If the runner in your life likes peanut butter, pop a jar in their hamper. As a post-run snack it provides sustained energy to get them through the rest of their day.
- Local Restaurant/Takeaway Voucher – A good post-run feed is essential and getting a voucher for your runner’s favourite local eatery is a great way to support their business after repeated lockdowns.
- Pasta and Sauce – If you have already spent most of your budget on other items and a restaurant voucher seems a bit of an extravagant finishing touch for your hamper, add a packet of pasta and a jar of your runner’s favourite sauce. It will be an easy meal to whip up at the end of a long run and will satisfy their carb cravings.
- Muscle Rub – Ease the pain of sore muscles with a warming and soothing balm.
- Foot Cream – Runners’ feet take a real battering, so provide some pampering with a sweet-smelling foot cream, to be massaged in after that post-run bath.
- Pillow Spray – It may seem like running multiple miles is enough of a sleep aid in itself, but a deliciously scented pillow spray will make getting ready for bed the evening after a long run even more of a treat.
All the above ideas also work as stocking filler gifts for runners, if you don’t have the time or the budget to put a big hamper together.
Kit Gift Voucher – It may seem like a cop out, but if the runner in your life seems to have everything they need at the moment, a voucher for their favourite running store may be the perfect gift choice. It could allow them to offset the cost of their next pair of trainers, buy them their favourite sports underwear or contribute to their next fitness tracker – none of which are decisions you probably feel qualified to make!
Event Gift Voucher – A number of race organisers now offer vouchers that can be used to cover the cost of entering their events. With so much uncertainty surrounding whether our favourite races are going to take place or not in the coming months, a voucher is the perfect way to support race organisers who may be struggling, without committing to entering a particular event.
Running Buff – This multi-functioning hero of any runner’s wardrobe can be used as a neck and face warmer during the winter, but it also doubles as a sweat-wicking headband that protects your head from the sun during the summer. The Proviz running buff goes by the name of a neck gaiter/warmer and features reflective detailing to help keep the wearer visible in low light conditions. Running buffs make great gifts because you do not have to worry about getting the size right!
Wireless Running Headphones – If you have heard the runner in your life lamenting the limitations of their wired headphones, you may want to surprise them with a pair of earbuds. These wireless headphones are ideal for running and are available from a range of manufacturers.
Running Beanie – The UK has enjoyed a very mild autumn this year, so the chances are that many runners will get to winter without worrying about the extra layers required for intrepid outings in really cold weather. Adding a running beanie to the gifts in your runner’s Christmas stocking will prepare them to hit the road or the trail in any cold snaps that may occur early next year.