The Runner's Gift Guide for Christmas and Beyond

It's the holiday season once again. And what that means for you is what the heck are you going to buy for that runner in your life? Well, if you don't know, you've never been on this channel before. 

It's the holiday season once again. And what that means for you is what the heck are you going to buy for that runner in your life? Well, if you don't know, you've never been on this channel before. I'm Jesse Funk, the founder of and the host of this show, Runner's High, where we talk about everything running and endurance related.

And today, even though maybe you aren't a runner, you know, a runner and you're trying to figure out what can I get them for Christmas? I'm going to share five different things I think are good universal gifts for runners of all types, basically, that aren't going to be too specific, but are also specific enough that your runner will appreciate them.

So we're going to skip the intro. And if you'll do me a favor, share this channel with the runner in your life. Hit subscribe, send it to them, whatever you can do. I would appreciate them in their viewership. So thanks in advance for that.

So let's get on to number one. What do you get for the runner that has everything? And I can almost guarantee they don't have this and they probably may not have even heard of it because there are only a few companies doing this. And this is a sweat test kit. This is something that we do. A sweat test kit basically tells you what is the electrolyte profile of your sweat. We each sweat a different amount of electrolytes and we need to plan our hydration strategy based on what we lose, not what everybody else loses.

So we kind of specialize in that, among other things. And getting a sweat test kit is easy for most runners. They can incorporate it into their normal workouts. They send their sample back to us. We use our equipment to check it out, give them information, and then help them form a hydration strategy.

This is especially useful for people who go longer distances half-marathon, marathon, do triathlons, ultras, all that kind of stuff. Very, very useful if you're doing really short stuff. Maybe not a best fit for that particular athlete in your life, but the vast majority of runners can use a sweat test kit because it helps with that personalization.

I should also mention any of the things I mentioned in the video today will be down in the description below. We'll have links straight to things, so you can just hop right over and check out purchase whatever it is you'd like to do. But all down the description below you can check those out.

Number two is a particular favorite of mine this time of year, and this is definitely something that any runner can use and that is Yak Trax. So these little things go on the bottoms of shoes and they provide traction in the snow. If you live in a cold climate and you get snow, perfect.

It's something that I didn't buy for myself for -- Oh God, I don't even know. I ran competitively for 18 years before buying them. And here I am, 20-some-odd years and I've only had them a few years. I don't know what I was doing all the time without them. They're invaluable tool in the winter time. So if you live in a cold climate, you have a runner that goes out and, you know, doesn't have that kind of traction yet, they're perfect.

They go on any shoe, not shoe specific. They are shoe size specific. So you'll need to be a little sneaky about figuring out what the shoe size is of the runner in your life. But otherwise absolutely perfect wintertime tool. They don't really expire. You can just keep using them season after season. So it's a gift that really does keep on giving.

The next potential gift for your runner is something that I don't think we think about enough. But again, it's useful all year for people who get up in the morning, get up early, but is especially useful this time of year and that is safety gear, some kind of like light up vest like this from noxgear. You can see the video we've overlaid here. This was shot at like seven in the morning. It's still dark outside.

So really great visibility gear is huge. Safety is paramount when you're out, when it's dark, really, any time it's great to wear it because cars simply don't pay attention to runners, even in areas that are supposed to be pedestrian friendly.

I live in an area that's very "pedestrian friendly", so to speak. Cars are still oblivious to pedestrians all the time, so some kind of safety gear is absolutely essential and useful for everybody. So even if it isn't the noxgear, the light here, you know, reflective stuff, belt vests, hat, whatever it is, reflective gear also going to be useful.

I just really like this. I think they made a great product. I don't know there's any way to improve upon it. And it just it does absolutely what you want it to do. You are in no way invisible. You absolutely are visible with this product. So that's why I think it makes a great gift.

This next one is a little specific to your runner and the one you can do last minute, but also be pretty meaningful. And that's a race entry. Now, I'm not necessarily telling you to go out and buy a race entry for your particular runner for a particular race, but it may be the case of just stick some money in an envelope, tell them it's for a race entry, whatever it is.

We always need cash for more races. How much? That's a tough question to answer. Big races are going to cost more. Little races can be as little as $15 to $25. I would say on average, most running races are in the $30 to $50 range. Again, bigger races with more swag, more participants, better courses. The longer the races as well increases the price.

And the reason that longer races increase in price is because you have to shut down more streets. Permits are higher. It requires more people or requires more stuff. So keep that in mind depending on what your runner is into, whether it's 5Ks, half marathons, marathon, 10K, whatever it is, prices got go up. I would say top end probably $50. If your runner is into triathlon, that's a whole other <...> cheap triathlons start at like $90 to $100 and then go on up as you get an Ironman.

But we're talking about runners, so that's kind of good place to start. And again, an easy last-minute gift. And then my last gift here is actually a set of gifts or an optional set, a variety of things. After this gift, I'm actually going to tell you something that you absolutely should not you buy your runner. So stick to the end of that.

But this one is massage tools. They come in tons of shapes and forms, the basic ones to start with, I like this is called TheStick. There's tons and tons of versions of this. This is the original, TheStick, and kind of the most universally applicable to most runners of all different disciplines. The yellow-handled one. There's also red-handled, blue-handled their varying flexibilities.

The yellow one is the medium, kind of like in between. Not too tight, not too loose kind of one. I carry this everywhere. This is my second one. I bought my first one ten, 15 years ago, something like that. And it made it all the way into last year and I had to get a new one. I can't imagine working out without this anymore.

Along those lines is other things like foam rollers. You need to know your athlete, whether they want a foam roller or not. This is a foam roller from a company called Rollga. It has these divots in it, which is good for your spine so you can roll and not compress your spine. There are other companies. So Rollga, I think Chirp has that divot on their rollers as well. That's a good thing to look for if you're looking into a foam roller instead of just getting a plain flat one.

And then there's also like little stuff like lacrosse balls. They're super useful, not expensive. Last time I checked, it was like something like $10 for a pair of them. And you wouldn't think that it would be all that useful. It's just a ball, right? But because of the firmness and the size of them, you can actually get some really good pinpoint massage on yourself.

So massage tools are very useful. Again, you want to check, see what they've got, what they don't have. But you know, even the massage tools I've been given, where I go, "Yeah, I don't know if I could use this or not." I always end up using it because maybe one of the tools I have doesn't quite get what I'm after and "oh, this new one, this will do it."

So absolutely great gift. And they come in tons of varieties and sizes and all kinds of budgets. So they are going to be a great pick for your runner no matter what you end up with there.

Now, my last point here is what not to buy a runner and this is I can't emphasize this enough. This item is something you should never buy your runner, pretty much. And that's shoes. Don't buy shoes. And the reason I say that is that unless you absolutely have a very specific request from the runner in your life about a very specific shoe and a very specific color and style, whatever their preferences are, you can go down the wrong path quickly.

Even if, you know, "hey, they wore the previous version and that was the new version." Maybe the new version doesn't work with them. You just don't know. And when you're in the wrong shoe, that can lead to injuries. Or maybe it's not the right fit.

And you get just simple things like chafe toes or you get black toenails because it fits not right or whatever. It seems like the perfect gift because it's one of the few pieces of equipment that we absolutely need as runners. We need some kind of shoe, some kind of something to have on our feet.

But it's such a specific item that it is best left alone to your runner specifically. If you wanted to go that direction, you can get a gift card to your local running store and say, "Hey, go get whatever shoes it is that you need." You can go that direction. But actually buying a pair of shoes themselves, unless you have a very specific request, I would stay far, far away from doing that.

So those are my five gifts to buy runners as well as the one gift not to buy. If it's already out, it'll be up here on the screen. This is coming out before it. But I'm also going to do a video on stocking stuffer for runners. So things that are a little bit cheaper, a little bit more budget-friendly, but also really useful for your runner. So stick around for that. If this video is just coming out, it'll be next week. If that art video is already out again, they'll be popping up on the screen here shortly. Hopefully I'll see you or the runner in your life next time on the next episode of Runner's High.

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