A blog by runners. For runners.

Gift guides for runners: ideas for moms and dads

gifts-for-mom-and-dadAll parents run after their kids. It’s a universal fact. But some of us choose to keep running even when we get down time. Sounds crazy, right? Well, running is such a great stress release, there are days when — at least for me — it’s absolutely necessary to get that jog in so I can decompress. Otherwise, running sometimes feels like a necessity. It’s training to keep up with the little ones as they grow and their energy levels skyrocket.

Here are 10 great gifts to give moms and dads who run:

  • Jogging stroller: Children can ride in jogging strollers from around 6-8 months in age to age 3 (or however long they’ll sit still). That makes a jogger a great gift for parents-to-be and even seasoned veterans. There are many different strollers to match a wide variety of price points and specifically desired features. Our editors has reviewed my personal favorite, the BOB Revolution SE.
  • Hats and gloves and underwear: While receiving these sorts of necessities might not be such a thrilling stocking stuffer in general, running accessories made from smart, sweat-wicking fabrics are perfect. My child makes a habit of walking around the house and trying on stray socks. They often get lost, so I’m always in need of a backup pair anyway.
  • A gym membership: Even if only for a trial length in the cold months, a gym membership can be an awesome gift for parents. Especially if you find one that features childcare, which many do these days. The facility doesn’t need to be fancy, just provide a place where parents can go to log some miles, take a couple classes, lift a few weights, or even unwind.
  • Babysitting: Consider handing your running parent friends or family a small coupon book good for free babysitting. Think of Sunday morning long runs (2 to 3 hours, to include the run and a long shower) or a weeknight hour every now and again. Perhaps theme it with specific races you know they enjoy. It might sound silly, but I’d love if someone gave me this simple gift.
  • A (professional) massage: Between training for running events and lifting or lugging kids around, parenting can be a big pain in the back. A sports massage can help milk the lactic acid out of those sore muscles and give parents an excuse to take a few minutes of rest for themselves. It’s hard to do when a body is in constant motion.
  • Identification bracelet: It’s the sort of gift a runner never gives him or herself, but an identification bracelet can help ease the mind of both parents. Though the case is usually just an extended workout, sometimes when a partner doesn’t return at a usual time from a run, the worry begins. It’s just a small, thoughtful step toward safety from which the whole family benefits.
  • Post-run sweats: A quality pair of lounge clothing can make a Sunday afternoon super comfortable and cozy, especially for a set of parents who just finished 20-milers and are now rolling around on the floor with energetic kids. And casual sweats need not be frumpy — think bright, stretchy fabrics in cuts that flatter, like Lululemon.
  • Grocery gift cards: I am making this list entirely too personal, but whereas some families worry about adding more children and, therefore, another mouth to feed — our concern was more about our own two growling stomachs. Athletic families eat a lot of quality foods and whole ingredients. Over time, that stuff (including training and health supplements) adds up. It might seem impersonal, but I guarantee a grocery gift card will be a hit this holiday season.
  • A family photo: I always make it a point to get a photo of my entire little family unit after a race. Usually my husband and I look quite gross and smelly, but we proudly hold our daughter and smile regardless. Consider printing and framing that sort of photo for running parents in a special personalized frame. Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that has the most impact.
  • Car organizer: Call me practical, but when we added our daughter to the mix, our car got out of control messy. With trips to the gym (or even just the park), long runs with friends, and races to trek to — finding a way to store an extra pair of running clothing or stow shoes and other stuff is a must. This back seat organizer has enough compartments to tame even the craziest of car explosions.

More WJR gift guides for runners
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