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Best gifts for runners: 14 treats to keep them training

Treat the runner in your life with our pick of the best gifts to keep them honed, happy and hydrated on their next training session

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Whether your loved one runs marathon distances every week or dabbles with shorter distances, there are plenty of gift ideas that can improve their workout.

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These range from items that will keep them wrapped up on winter runs, headlamps to ensure they’re seen at night and monitors that will collect their stats.

We’ve also considered the all important recovery period, so there’s something here for every runner, whether they’re pounding the pavement or putting their feet up and taking a well deserved rest.

Best running gifts

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch on white background

The Garmin Forerunner 35 covers all the basics at a budget price. It’s been designed with a simple interface and high-resolution display to help you track your performance with ease.

Thanks to the built-in GPS, the Forerunner 35 tracks your steps, as well as the intensity of your workout, telling you how far you’ve run and how fast, which is essential for charting your performance.

For a more detailed breakdown of your latest run you can also pair it with your smartphone, which means it’s also handy for staying on top of any important messages and notifications on the go. 

Thanks to the built-in heart monitor you can stay aware of your heart rate as you run, and more generally throughout the day, with prompts that will let you know if it is time to get up and move around a little.

Inov-8 Race Ultra Pro 5 Vest

Inov-8 Race Ultra Pro 5 Vest on white background

If your loved one embarks on long training runs, make sure they stay hydrated with this vest from Inov-8. It’s an ergonomic bit of kit that allows the user to place both their 500ml water bottles at hip height thanks to it’s longer straws, so it should be a more comfortable fit when on the move.

There’s also plenty of additional storage for snacks and gels, with nine pockets in total, which includes a larger section on the back.

Dhb Run Gloves

Dhb run gloves on white background

Running in the winter can take a toll on your hands so it’s wise to invest in an extra layer. These run gloves from dhb may be just the solution. Lightweight enough to stuff in a pocket out of the way, they should make a difference when you need them thanks to their fleecy fabric.

The index finger is also compatible with a touchscreen so you can use your phone without removing the gloves, and there’s a reflective logo on the side to help keep you visible at night.

Petzl Actik Headlamp

PETZL Actik Headlamp

With shorter days and less daylight thanks to the winter, it’s vital that runners can see (and can be seen) when they head out. This is where the Petzl Actik headlamp comes in handy. 

Promising to deliver 350 lumens of light, it comes with a number of settings so you can choose the correct beam for your environment, ranging from a wide beam to a mixed effect. There’s also the option of a red light, which should help improve visibility without blinding fellow runners or anyone beside you.

Boasting a simple set-up, you should be able to choose your choice of light with minimum fuss thanks to a single button, with a lock function that stops you accidentally switching it on or off.

The headband itself features a reflective logo to help you be seen and is detachable, which means you can wash it after a particularly sweaty run.

Hoka Rincon 3

RINCON 3

The chances are the competitive runner in your life is wearing through their current pair of trainers, so why not gift them with a fresh set?

The Hoka Rincon 3s are perfect for both training and race day, and promise to deliver the best cushion-to-weight ratio, keeping the runner comfortable during long events without weighing them down.

Even the tongue has been streamlined to save on weight, but this doesn’t mean the shoe loses all its additional features, like the heel tab which helps them slip on with ease. In our review in issue 398, tester Matt Baird described the Rincon 3 as “Hoka’s best shoe yet”.

Out of Thin Air

Out of Thin Air book on white background

It’s important to take rest days from running, so encourage your favourite runner to put their feet up with this book on running wisdom from author and marathon runner Michael Crawley. 

Crawley spent 15 months training in Ethiopia alongside runners at all levels to understand some of their alternative preparation methods and the impressive outcomes they’ve achieved as a result.

For more reading inspiration check our our picks of the best triathlon books.

Nike Slim Waist Pack 2.0

Nike slim waist pack 2 on white background

Ideal for carrying essentials on longer runs without weighing yourself down, the Slim Waist Pack 2.0 from Nike has an expandable pocket to hold your phone, snacks or gel packs. It’s also been made with a stretchy belt to accommodate a range of waste sizes, with reflective elements to help keep you seen in low light.

Darn Tough Run Sock

DARN TOUGH NO SHOW TAB ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SOCKS on white background

It’s a cliché that socks are generally a bad gift, but you can make a runner’s day with a pair from Darn Tough. Fitted with additional cushioning, these are designed to keep blisters at bay on longer runs due to their moisture-wicking properties, which direct sweat away from the skin. 

Aiming to be lightweight and to stay in place without budging, the runner in your life should be able to stay comfortably oblivious to all the work the sock is doing to keep out dirt, all the while remaining odour-resistant. They come with a lifetime guarantee, too.

You can also take a look at our round up of the best running socks.

Jabra Elite Active 75T Earbuds

Jabra Elite Active 75t Earbuds

If you know a runner who likes to blast music as they train, or listen to podcasts to see them through the longer events, it may be time to gift them with a fresh set of earbuds.

Made to sit snugly within a variety of ear shapes to avoid them coming loose and constantly requiring adjustment, the Elite Active 75T earbuds from Jabra claim to be both waterproof and sweatproof, perfect for intense runs whatever the weather. 

Boasting up to 24 hours of battery life, the user can listen along to their favourite tunes, and even make phone calls on the go without worrying about them draining too quickly.

There’s even a variety of volume settings, which mean you can totally zone in on the audio, or select the HearThrough setting which will pick up on your surroundings alongside the music for increased safety.

Hyperice Hypervolt Go massage gun

Hyperice Hypervolt Go Deep Tissue Massage Gun on white background

Recovery is a vital aspect of running, helping your body to regroup and relax ahead of the next session. A massage gun can be particularly helpful in this regard, aiming to get you back on the road in better shape faster.

The Hypervolt Go from Hyperice is a wireless massage gun designed to give a deep tissue massage to any part of the body that needs attention, with three different speeds allowing for a range of intensity.

It weighs in at just 0.7kg and claims to be exceptionally quiet, which means it can be the perfect travel companion without fear of bringing attention to yourself or disrupting others.

Gone For a Run Race Big and Medal Display

Gone For a Run BibFOLIO Plus Race Bib and Medal Display on white background

After all the work, training and sacrifice that can go into an event, it’s a shame to let the medals and bibs disappear in the back of a drawer or gather dust on a side table. With the Gone For a Run medal display, you can highlight your runner’s achievements in an organised way, giving their hard-earned trophies pride of place. 

The hanger comes with everything you need to install it on the wall, with enough sheets to display 12 bibs, and room for up to 24 medals on the lower bar.

Salomon Hydration belt

Salomon Sensibelt Hydration Belt

For the runners who prefer a bottle to a hydration vest, this belt from Salomon should help keep a sturdy grip on your drink, with room to hold a 600ml bottle. Designed to be lightweight and comfortable, it also has an extra pocket ideal for storing your keys and phone, or even a gel pack or two. 

Wahoo Tickr HR monitor

Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor on white background

If you know a runner who likes to keep on top of their metrics (who doesn’t?) this heart rate monitor from Wahoo could be the perfect present.

Designed to deliver accurate stats on their heart rate and calorie burn, it can link up to a smartphone or smartwatch for a closer look at your analytics. The strap itself is designed with an ergonomic fit to increase comfort and create a natural feel during their workout.

Oakley Flight Jacket Prizm Sunglasses

Oakley Flight Jacket Prizm Sunglasses on white background

For the runner who often trains in direct sunlight, these Flight Jacket Prizm sunglasses from Oakley may be just what they need to keep the glare from their eyes.

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Made with a browless design, and making use of colour science research, the lenses have been built to ensure maximum vision. They also shouldn’t slip or budge on the move thanks to their three-point fit system, while the positioning of the nosebridge is said to limit lens fogging.