Holiday Gift Ideas for the Running Enthusiast

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The holidays are quickly approaching and if you are looking for some ideas for your favorite runner below are ten items I would put on my holiday wish list. Whether your runner is new to the sport or has been running for years, there should be something for everyone on the list below.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor
(Prices start at $109.95 and up)

My Polar Heart Rate Monitor been an invaluable source in my training since I started running over 2 ½ years ago. Polar, considered the crème de la crème of heart rate monitors, has a legacy that has been around for well over 30 years. Prices vary according to the model and features you are looking for--and if money is no object Polar just released their first heart rate monitor with GPS capability.

SparkPeople Cinch Drawstring Backpack

I love cinch drawstring backpacks. These are great for carrying a change of clothing for after a race as well as for carrying snacks, pins, brush, lip balm, etc. They are lightweight and fit nicely on your back leaving your hands free for stretching, drinking, and eating.

Road ID

Many runners do not carry any form of identification when running due to lack of pockets in their running attire. This is why the Road ID would make a perfect gift or stocking stuffer. All contact information is laser engraved with the runner’s name, address, phone number, emergency contact, and any medical conditions the individual may have. They have models to mount on your shoes, wear on your wrist or ankle, and even a dog tag style necklace. I have owned my wrist Road ID for well over 2 years now and I wear on all my training runs as well as in all my races.

Garmin Forerunner 405
($349.95 price includes chest transmitter and USB ANT stick)

As Polar is to heart rate monitors, Garmin is to the wrist GPS unit. With the release of the Garmin Forerunner 405 last spring, the size of the monitor has been reduced and the simplicity couldn’t be easier, even for those of us who are technologically challenged, such as me. One of the greatest features is the ability to upload all information off the monitor and onto your computer via the USB ANT stick which is included in the cost of the unit. You may elect to include the chest transmission strap (for an additional cost) for use as a heart rate monitor as well. This gadget has totally revolutionized my running.

Nathan Fuel 10K 2-Bottle Belt

I have actually tried several models and the one that is my current favorite is the Nathan Fuel 10K 2 Bottle Belt. This fuel belt allows me to carry not only water, but a sports drink as well on my longer runs. Nathan also carries a 4 bottle system for those runners going out on longer runs or for those participating in marathon or half-marathon distances.

Runner’s World

Runner’s World is one of the world’s premier running magazines. What I like about this publication is that it is geared not only for the beginner runner but also for the seasoned runner and everyone in between. Each issue is chock full of information ranging from training to nutrition. And since you get a new copy in the mail every month, it is like receiving a gift every month for a year.

The Runner’s Handbook by Bob Glover
($ 17.95)

This is truly a runner’s handbook covering such topics as form, pace, motivation, common injuries and remedies, stretches, nutrition, and everything else a new/intermediate runner may need to know. This book has been an invaluable source of information for me. I refer to this book almost on a weekly basis to guide me through my runs.

Brooks Running Night Gear

Products range from socks to hats to pants to jackets with prices varying depending on which reflective gear you choose. Reflective gear alerts drivers and/or cyclists that there is a runner ahead of them, especially if one must run early in the morning, in the evening or on a course that is not well-lit. I own the Brooks Nightlight Hat--not only does it have the reflective 3M Scotchlite all around the brim, but there is also a red flashing light on the back that can be activated by triggering the button.

iPod Shuffle

While many race directors are banning the use of iPods and other listening devices in their races citing safety reasons, I still like to have access to my handy-dandy purple Shuffle to use on the treadmill when I am forced to run inside. Nothing helps break the monotony of a boring run more than a nice tune coming from my Shuffle.

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

This is one of my all-time favorite nutrition books. Nancy Clark, one of the country’s leading sports Registered Dietitians, offers an invaluable source of information regarding the role our diets play in our running. She also gives specifics on training nutrition, pre-race nutrition, proper fueling and refueling methods, and everything a runner needs to know to help them along the way.

As a runner there are literally hundreds of gadgets and gizmos to choose from and if after reviewing this list you find yourself still in a quandary consider a one on one training session with a certified running coach. Many local running specialty stores have a list of running coaches available for personal sessions. You may also want to consider a membership in the local running club. This allows runners to meet others who share a passion for this great sport. I hope this list takes some of the guesswork out of choosing a gift for your favorite runner. I wish you all a very happy holiday and as always--HAPPY RUNNING!

What would you add to the list?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


Giving my fiance the Garmin Forerunner next week for his birthday!!
Also...Agree with LGLANDT...Marathoning for Mortals is fantastic!! Report
oh, yeah, and heading to the rainy pacific-NW, I could go for some wet-weather gear too!! Report
I'd like someone to gift me a heart-rate monitor and reflective gear. And gift certificates for shoes and proper running clothes would help!! I now (after being a runner for half my life) realize that cotton shirts get heavy when drenched in sweat. Ick. Report
I love the Road ID. I think it is a great idea not just for runners but anyone that doesn't have a locker at the gym. Report
I would add Yankz laces. Under 10 dollars...they make a great stocking stuffer. I've had a pair for 2 years now and I am currently hoping Santa brings me a second pair. Report
you know you're a runner when most of the items on the list you already if my family is on spearkpeople trying to figure out what to get me for Chrismas this list will not do them much good. hehehe Gift certificate at the local running store will be good, thank you! Report
Good list. Another idea is to pay for someone's race entry (for those training for half-marathons or marathons). Report
A key holder that attaches to your shoe laces and a knit cap with a hole in the back for a woman's ponytail holder. Both of these are my list this year! :) Report
Balega socks from Running warehouse always free shipping- I love those people!( and I love those socks!) Report
Love what ya got for the Runners.. Report
These are awesome gift ideas. I wish I knew a runner or an avid outdoors man. Report
Great ideas Report
Nancy--anything for walkers? Report
My 18 yod runs, and she always has her PEPPER SPRAY and Huge Whistle, plus her cell phone. They have a "Pet Tag" machine at Walmart and for $5 you can get an ID so I'll get one and she can pin it to her waistband, so thanks for the ID suggestion. Report
Thank you so much !!! Our daughter loves to run every day and the Road ID will be a great Christmas gift for her. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! Report
Thanks for the great list. The book and mag are a must do! Report
Great listing Nancy. I'm with Jenn - in that I was sure you'd have a Matt Fitzgerald book on this list! And the Garmin revolutionized my running too. It made me so much more aware of heart rate zones, and trying to burn fat instead of glycogen during longer runs. It would make a great gift for any runner (or cyclist).

Somebody suggested Sport Beans for the stocking! Woohoo - I'm going to do that too. Thanks for the idea. Report
Great suggestions!
On my list this year are a waterproof/windproof jacket, RW magazine, and and extra pair of my favorite running shoes before they move on to a new model!
Thank you for the ideas. Report
I agree with others that RoadID is a great gift. I bought mine for biking. Report
Great list Nancy!!

On my list: "winter" running socks - need something thicker to block the wind and snow! Blinky lights for visibility. A stocking full of my favorite gels!!
I would add earmuffs for those of us who live in cold and/or windy areas. I have a behind the head pair that don't mess my hair (for those of us who are vain when we're working out). Thanks for the book suggestion--I've been looking for a good training book.

I just received my RoadID this week, and I LOVE it! Report
I just ordered one for my husband for Christmas. I've also ordered one for myself. One great thing about the organization (2 actually), they don't charge an arm and a leg and your right kidney to ship to Canada. It's the same as shipping to the US. Also, part of the proceeds are donated to charity. You can even pick one of 5 charities to support. I thought that was just awesome. Report
I have a Road ID, dog tag style that I wear anytime I'm away from home. I have my emergency info on it, phone numbers, etc.... It's awesome. Report
I would have to put a supportive sports bra at the top of my list. Two weeks a month I need TOTAL immobilization. I suppose I could try running while holding myself, but it doesn't make for a great stride. Report
Good ideas, Nancy! The RoadID and Garmin (305 as it's on sale - hoping hubby already bought it!) are already on my list. I think maybe I'll add the Runner's World. And Adrian is also right about the socks - I think I'll add those as well. I love my wicking clothes and socks are so easy for others to buy! Report
Great list! I put the night gear on my Christmas list. Report
Great list, Nancy!!! I want them all. Thank you for the wonderful ideas. Report
I don't even run and I STILL want some of those goodies!
I am ordering the Road ID for my son!
GREAT gift idea and makes Mama feel better!!!!! Report
I got a Road ID last year and I love it. I forget I'm wearing it. They have several styles and colors of the IDs. Report
The Road ID is a great idea. I am going to order one for my husband today (I may even get an extra one for myself). Report
I think the list is almost complete :o)
the only thing i would add is a pedometer.

The road ID is a brilliant Idea! Report
Great list!
At the top of my wish list is a Polar, but I think I'll have to buy it myself, since it's a bit pricey. Report
How 'bout some nice UnderArmour gloves; fleece sweat-wicking headband to keep the ears warm; Sport Beans for in the stocking...? Ordered a RoadID for stubborn hubby who won't carry his ID--If I attach it to his shoe, he might not even notice! LOL! (My aunt once found a deceased jogger on the sidewalk in front of her house--no ID, and no way to notify his family! Definitely an important piece of running gear!) Report
thanks for the info on the night gear - I've always wondered where to find this! Report
What? No Matt F books? Didn't know we could have a list from you without one of those ;0) Great suggestions (as always). I add my million % to Adrian's. Road ID is a MUST. I adore my shoe ID and never hit the streets without it. And what runner can resist Runner's World? Report
Great ideas Nancy! I know I added a few of them to my Christmas list! Report
I got a subscription for RW for my running partner, and I'd LOVE to get a RoadID or Garmin 405. I've hinted hugely for the Garmin from Santa (hubby)...we shall see! Report
These are some really great gift ideas! :) Report
Thank you, Nancy! :-) Report
Agree 1 million % on the RoadID. That's the go-to gift for any runner. Another good, but underrated gift is a good pair of wicking socks.

Great list as always Nancy, I see you plundered your book collection too! Report
Loved it Nancy! Really good list!

The top item on my running wishlist this year is... a pair of Yak Trax! (a traction device you put them on the bottom of your shoes to run in snow and ice) Lol, to inform other people not you Nanc i know you know them =P Report
I really like the Road Id. I'm going to put that on my Christmas list. :) Hope Santa sees it in time. Report
Great list, Nancy! I look books and magazines and these are two books I haven't read. They'll go on my list! I also love Marathoning for Mortals, which has been mentioned already. Report
great list. i have yet to read that nutrition book. i will be asking for that for sure (or getting it myself). Report
I got three of these already, I must be a runner! LOL

The RoadID is an inexpensive but invaluable gift. It could safe a life! Report
The ID is a really good idea. I tend not to bring cards or a wallet to ensure that I make it home under my own power (no other choice) but I should at least carry an expired license or something. Report
Great ideas thank you. Report
Great list Nancy.....for the cold weather people...warmer clothes..and a nice wind jacket. Report
Nice package Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.