7 last-minute gifts (that you can get in time for Christmas) for the runner in your life


Have you finished your holiday shopping? It’s okay if you haven’t. You’ve still got five days! If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your favorite runner, we’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

For the early morning or evening runner

Not everyone has the availability to run during daylight hours, especially at this time of year. If your favorite runner is up before the sun or logging miles after work, visibility is essential. Noxgear’s Tracer360 is a lightweight reflective vest that fits over your regular running gear. The bright LED lights — which can be set to one of six colors — make you visible from up to a quarter mile away. As of this writing, the vest is on sale for $39.95 (a 42 percent discount) on the official Noxgear site and will ship and arrive before Christmas. The vest is also available on Amazon, with Prime shipping, for $49.95.

The best pullover ever

Nike’s Element half-zip pullover is a classic for men and women. A bit thicker than a regular shirt but not as bulky as a fleece, it’s the perfect outer layer for our not-too-cold California winters. I own a few of these and even the oldest, which doesn’t even have the current version’s thumb holes or reflective details, has held up over seven or eight winters. The fabric is super soft and comfortable, it comes in just about every color, and it’s available pretty much everywhere, including REI, Kohl’s, and Amazon.

Because runners need to cross train

We all know cross training is essential. Cross training supplements your running by working and strengthening muscles you don’t necessarily use to run, and can help prevent injury or aid in recovery. My absolute favorite way to cross train locally is at Ride54, where — when my budget allows — I take indoor cycling and TRX classes. Head in to the locally-owned fitness studio, located in The Village at River Park off of Friant and 41, to purchase a class pack for your favorite runner.

Something pretty

When you make a purchase from Endure Jewelry, you’re supporting a local, independent, female-owned business.¬†Clovis’ Sunny Arada designs jewelry and clothing for runners who want to commemorate a running milestone or show off their love of the sport. A selection of hoodies, Two Cities Marathon jewelry, and cuff bracelets is currently available at Fresno’s Fleet Feet. Gift certificates can be purchased online at the Endure storefront.


Something practical

I guess barefoot running is a thing, but most runners I know appreciate a good pair (or eight) of socks. Balega’s Enduro No Show sock is, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of socks. It’s neither too thick nor too thin, provides excellent cushion for those longer runs, and is available locally at Fleet Feet. But as much as I love my Balega socks, they are nearly matched in comfort and performance by the Puma socks I buy in packs of eight at Costco. I was distraught when they disappeared from Costco for a bit this fall but they. are. back.


Because runners need to eat

The new year is a good time to pledge to eat at home more often, commit to a new diet, or try out that meal planning thing that seems to work for so many people. A new cookbook is just the gift to get someone out of a cooking rut.

For the vegan runner, try Spirited Vegan’s Thanksgiving Cookbook. Despite the title, the egg-, dairy-, and meat-free recipes can be made and enjoyed throughout the year. You may even find some appetizers (pomegranate guacamole) and desserts (pumpkin swirl cheesecake) to serve at your New Year’s Eve party. Bonus: The book is written by Farin Montanez, a local writer and runner who blogs at Spirited Vegan.

For the paleo runner, try Nom Nom Paleo’s Ready or Not!¬† It includes more than 150 easy-to-prepare, paleo-compliant recipes as well as ingredient guides, meal plans, and shopping lists. The best part of this book is the illustrated step-by-step instructions for recipes like maple sage breakfast sausage, pot sticker stir fry, and rustic chocolate cake. It makes meal prep a breeze for those of us who need a little extra guidance in the kitchen.

Maybe your favorite runner doesn’t adhere to a special diet and just wants to eat good food. Get that person Dinner: Changing the Game. The idea behind this book, written by New York Times columnist Melissa Clark, is that each recipe can be served as a standalone meal. Here you’ll find recipes for meals like red lentil dhal, blood orange chicken, and creamy caramelized broccoli soup.

If you’re on a budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a thoughtful gift. Or any money at all. A custom running mix is a gift pretty much everyone can appreciate. I’m sharing my current favorite running mix here as my holiday gift to you, my readers. Happy running!


The following popular retailers guarantee delivery in time for Christmas — if you order before the shipping deadline!

Athleta Purchases of $100+ — ordered by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on December 20 — will receive free shipping and arrive in time for Christmas.

Lululemon Order by December 20 for delivery by December 24.

Nike Order by 2 p.m. on December 20 to receive your order by December 24.

Oiselle Free 2-day shipping on orders placed through December 19.

Patagonia Orders of $75+ receive free 2-day shipping; orders must be placed by December 21.

REI Order by 9 a.m. (Pacific) on December 20 for delivery by December 25.

Running Warehouse Order by 10 a.m. (Pacific) on December 20 for guaranteed arrival. (For California residents who qualify for Golden State Overnight shipping, the order deadline is 10 a.m. on December 21.)

Tracksmith Free 2-day shipping on orders placed by noon (Eastern) on December 20.


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