Everyone has a friend that spends more time in sneakers, leggings and racer-back tops than actual clothing. You know, that friend who prefers marathon training to Netflix binging, and considers cardio workouts to be a legitimate form of entertainment. You admire their commitment, passion and tenacity, and marathon season is a great time to express that with a meaningful post-race gift they’re sure to appreciate—and actually use.
The following ideas will spark inspiration as you shop for the runners in your life who never slow down long enough to shop for themselves.
Sweatbands for Charity: They Look Cute and Do Good
These athleisure inspired running accessories from Banded2Gether come in various prints, styles and designs to express one’s fashion sense while pounding the pavement. Made from eco-conscious bamboo fabric, these sweatbands minimize odors and wick moisture for a snug, breathable fit.
The best part is that with every purchase, Banded2Gether contributes meals to underprivileged youth in Uganda, Latin America and the Caribbean. So, if your friend is also passionate about social justice, they’ll appreciate the significance behind this gift.
Wireless Headphones for that Workout Playlist
This cutting-edge technology makes tangled cords a thing of the past, allowing runners to listen to their favorite “pump up” anthems without ever breaking stride. Wireless headphones are bluetooth enabled and most have a microphone that adapts to iOS 6 or higher Apple smartphones and most new Android models too.
Prices can fluctuate depending on brand and style for wireless headphones, so you can use this simple headphone pricing guide for options that are both affordable and sustainable against wear-and-tear—because runners need gear as tough as them.
Running for 26.2 mils is exhausting, so help your friend come back to life with a box of Energy Tea. The ingredients were chosen specifically to increase energy levels, support ongoing energy and boost concentration and mood. This will be the go-to drink for the entire week post-marathon.
Take it a step further and get them this glass tumbler with a bamboo lid. They’ll be able to take their tea everywhere they go, feeling energized all day long.
Foam Roller for Much-Needed Recovery Time
This post-workout essential from TriggerPoint features a patented multi-density composition to repair muscles and joints, improve flexibility, and minimize the risk of injury. Available in a variety of colors, from neon orange to camouflage, and compact portability for on-the-go convenience, this foam roller is a must-have for both the novice and hardcore runner on your shopping list.
Recommended by massage therapists, personal trainers and experienced athletes, this gift keeps your friend pain-free—during each run and afterward too.
Healthy Cookbook to Power an Active Lifestyle
This collaboration between Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan and nutritional chef Elyse Kopecky, titled Run Fast Eat Slow, teaches cardio enthusiasts how the optimum diet can fuel their performance and potential.
This New York Times bestseller is jam-packed with more than 100 recipes, from green smoothies and guiltless desserts to nourishing twists on comfort dishes. With an emphasis on whole foods and abstinence from refined sugars or artificial ingredients, this cookbook proves that healthy eating can, in fact, taste indulgent and satiating.
Trip to the Shoe Store—Gait Analysis Included
If you want to really splurge on your favorite runner this marathon season, take them to a specialty running store to buy a new pair of shoes. Find a store that provides a gait analysis as well, which helps them find the absolute best shoes for their running style:
“Keep in mind that the running shoe serves as a structural and functional extension of the foot. Chosen correctly, it can improve your running. Chosen improperly, it can amplify biomechanical and functional flaws thereby increasing your risk of injury,” according to the experts at Fit2Run. If you’re a runner, get one for yourself too. You may be surprised what you’ll learn.
Marathon season is a great time to splurge on your run-loving friends and show how proud you are of their hard work. Pick something from this list to make sure you get something they can really use.
BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time blogger. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist, and the owner of her own personal training business, Honest Body Fitness. She’s written for a wide variety of publications including AARP, Reader’s Digest, Shape, and more. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and clean eating ideas.