2010 Holiday Gift Ideas for Runners - $25 and Under

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about some gifts for the runners on your list (and maybe to drop some hints for yourself).  Here are some holiday gift ideas for less than $25.

Foam RollSelf-Massage Tools

Self-massage it essential to preventing and treating running injuries.  A foam roll is one of the most versatile self-massage recovery tools.  The foam roll is great for loosening up stiff muscles and recovering from minor muscular injuries.

Tiger TailThe Tiger Tail rolling muscle massager allows you to precisely target the areas that need massaging that the foam roll can’t get to.  I bought one of these at this year’s Boston Marathon Expo.  It’s great.

The Tiger Tail is only 18” long and is very convenient for travel.  I’m not sure you can get it by the TSA, though.

Books

Books about running are always a good choice.  There are four books on running that I refer to all the time:

Run Less Run Faster

I used the training plans in this book to run my first three marathons (and qualified for Boston).  This is a terrific book for people who have a limited amount of time for training.  The authors’ prescription is three days of quality running workouts each week, combined with two days of cross training.  Personally, I think that the recommended paces for the interval workouts in this book are too fast.

Daniels’ Running Formula

Written by Jack Daniels, who Runner’s World called the World’s Best Running Coach, this book is a great resource for designing a training plan.  I prefer the interval paces based on the VDOT formula in this book over the paces in Run Less Run Faster.

Advanced Marathoning

This book, written by two-time Olympic Marathoner and exercise physiologist Pete Pfitzinger, contains detailed scientific information to help you run faster marathons.  If you are primarily running shorter races, Pfitzinger’s other book, Road Racing for Serious Runners, may be the better choice for you.

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Solid reference book on sports nutrition.  Also contains some great recipes.

Inspirational books about running are also a good choice for holiday gifts. 

Meb Keflezighi’s new book, Run to Overcome, “must read” for anyone who is a runner. Meb provides tips on how he has been able to remain at the top of his sport for nearly 20 years and how he has come back from what most observers thought were career-ending injuries. Meb’s life lessons about hard work, the value of education, sportsmanship, overcoming difficulties, and faith are inspiring.

Shoe IDRunning Safety

If your favorite runner doesn’t carry ID with them when they run, giving them a Road ID is a nice way to show them that you care about their safety.  Other safety-related gifts ideas include reflective vests and strobe lights. Get 15% off Road ID until Nov. 28. Use coupon code pcSAVE15 at the checkout.

If your runner lives in an area that gets a lot of snow, YakTrax Pro Traction Cleats make a good gift.

Magazines

Subscriptions to magazines like Runner’s World and Running Times are always a good gift.

Socks

Injinji Performance Micro Toesock Injinji Toe Socks are a fun gift for the runner on your list.  They help prevent blisters and can help you feel more connected to the road.  They are also are an essential companion to the Vibram FiveFingers running shoes.

I’m also a big fan of Smartwool socks for winter running.  They keep your feet warm, but they don’t get overheated and sweaty.  They never give me blisters, either.

Handheld Water Bottles

Nathan SprintEarlier this year, I bought the lightest, most comfortable handheld water bottle I could find, the Nathan Sprint.

It holds 10 ounces of fluid and has a race cap with a high flow, one-way valve.  It has a thin mesh hand strap that doesn’t require you to grip the bottle.  If you need a handheld bottle with a little more capacity, the Nathan Quickdraw Elite (22 oz.) is a good choice.

Electric Shoe Dryer

As we head into the winter season, an electric shoe dryer is a great gift keep your runner’s shoes dry (and to warm them up before winter runs).

What’s on your holiday gift list this year?  Tell me in the comments.

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