The holidays are swiftly approaching, and that means that it is time to start thinking about gift ideas. If you are looking to get a head start this year, we’ve got you covered. Now, if you aren’t a marathon runner—or, if you are and are just in need of some inspiration for some long distance runner friends—we’ve done hours of research to round up the best gifts for marathon runners this year.
We chose everything from gear to help them in their training, massage tools, and cozy items to keep them comfy between workouts.
We will be updating this piece as new products arrive, so be sure to check back before the holidays to see all of our top picks for marathoners. ul
Looking for some more options for that special runner friend? Check out our gift guide for all types of runners here.
Gifts for Marathon Runners During Training
Runners can never have enough socks. The Bagela Comfort No-Show socks are a safe bet for any runner that a fresh pair of cushioned compressions running socks are a breath of fresh air to a new marathon training segment. Super soft, plush, and blister resistant, the Balega Hidden Comfort socks won’t fall down, and keep their feet comfortable no matter how long the miles.
The perfect gift for every runner – personal bests. The coaching app that’s been sweeping the nation is Runna. Designed by Olympic runners, Runna offers the comprehensive training for any distance from the convenience of your pocket. Use code HALFMARATHON for two weeks of free training for your loved one.
If you know a trail runner who has been participating in more marathons, a great gift idea may be a running watch designed to tackle the wilderness. The Instinct is not only ruggedized to military standards, but also has a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter which help them to navigate through the most challenging conditions. Plus, it has up to a 40 hour battery life in Ultratrac mode, and even has smartwatch capabilities when connected to a phone.
As we progress deeper into the winter months, waking up can be a challenge. Training for a spring marathon involves logging miles before the sun rise. The Hatch Restore clock wakes them up with a gradual sunrise light and calming sounds for a gentle but effective morning wakeup routine. They can also set a nighttime routine with wind down sounds and soothing lights.
This year, we invested into a walking treadmill. For many runners, sitting all day will set them back on the strength and mobility they’re hoping to build up in training. A walking treadmill is a great way for them to keep moving while still getting their jobs done. This one is lightweight, easily movable, and has a remote so they can easily control it without stepping off.
While most runners will have a preference as to which racing shoe they prefer, this one is a great option for marathoners. It’s super cushioned as well as incredibly responsive, and it feels light on the feet. The strung upper also adapts to the shape of their feet over time so that they get a super personalized fit.
Long miles causes chafing. A runner can never have too much body glide. This anti-chafing stick is super effective, won’t rub off on their clothes, and is excellent for preventing painful rubbing, blistering and chafing.
While hats are a necessity for keeping warm during cold weather winter runs, getting the right fit can be tricky if you have long hair. This hat has a ponytail hole in the back that not only helps to keep it snug on their head, but also prevents any lumping and tangling. This hat is also reflective, and has four way stretch for a comfortable fit.
Affordable, comfortable, and light, these sunglasses are great for runners both on and off the roads. They come in a bunch of fun colors despite the classic style, and are fully polarized. Plus, you can even order them in their prescription if they need special lenses. Not sure of the style here? Try checking out the styles on Goodr, another popular eyewear brand for runners. Want something more premium? Oakley has invested into making better running sunglasses worth the money. We like the EVZero Blades.
There’s two reasons to get SHOKZ OpenRun Headphones. First, safety, These rechargeable earbuds alternatives rest outside your ear so they allow environmental noise to still be heard by the runner. Secondly, no matter where you live, you likely experience some sort of summer. Summer running with earbuds leads to damaged sound quality. Whether you like it or not, there are long runs where your headphones will stop right in the middle of your favorite podcast. The SHOKS are use Bluetooth, have great battery life, and are valuable for all types of runners.
This year, we upgraded from the COROS Pace 2. We’ve always been a bigger fan of the COROS GPS Watch than we have other models like the Garmin Forerunner, despite the widespread praise and popularity. In 2023, COROS has invested into better heart rate monitor technology, an improved water-resistant touchscreen, and collects the type of data that make it an all-around high quality fitness tracker.
While it’s no substitute for a headlamp, supporting the investment into safe running with reflective laces is worth every penny.
Gifts for The Nutritious Marathoner
Consistently rated as one of the best coffee machines on the market, this OXO brewer is great for the coffee-obsessed runner. It features a programmable wake up timer that will have coffee brewed when they wake up, and an insulated stainless steel carafe that keeps the coffee hot for days they choose to sleep in. Make sure every coffee before running is brewed to perfection.
More of a pourover fan or perhaps a tea lover? The Stagg EKG is not only an excellent kettle, but it looks beautiful in any kitchen. It has a goose-neck spout which allows them maximum water pouring control, and it has exact temperature control so they get the ideal brew every time. This pairs well with the COSORI Pour Over Coffee Maker.
Don’t get me wrong, we have a closet full of Gu, Honey Stingers, and other miscellaneous running gels. But, when it comes to the luxury brand of gels that are said to be the Holy Grail of running fueling – Maurten takes the cake. This is the brand that was responsible for fueling Eliud Kipchoge on his Breaking 2 effort. Not sure how much more we can say. One of the best stocking stuffers a runner can get.
There’s just not many cookbooks written for runners, by runners. No less, Shalane is an Olympic marathon medalist and the winner of the New York City Marathon.
Related: The 40 Best Running Books
Sleep is all the rage these days in the wellness community. We’re not sure where it went, but it’s back. This Liposomal Sleep formula has a combination of GABA, melatonin, and L-Theanine – three popular and natural supplements to promote healthy sleep and recovery.
For the Recovery-Obsessed Marathoner
While buying running shoes for a runner can be tricky, the brand-spanking new Brooks Ghost Max is a daily training marathon shoe you can’t go wrong with. This shoe is an ultra-high cushioned version of the beloved Brooks Ghost that was designed for walking. It is incredible cushioning underfoot, and the feel underfoot great on achy feet after a weekend long run. Plus, certain runners may actually like the shoe for for slow recovery runs when they need the extra protection and not just for recovery.
Related: Runner’s voted for their favorite running shoes of all time
Most runners have used a lacrosse ball on their arches before—especially if they have ever suffered from plantar fasciitis. This massage tool works just the same but with a couple upgrades. It has a base that prevents it from rolling away, and is made from resin which means that it is easy to clean, and you can freeze it for a cooling effect as well.
While the DryRobe was originally designed for swimmers, this oversized jacket is great for changing on the go no matter the activity. This model is insulated and has a fleece lining so it keeps you cozy while giving full coverage that allows them to change out of their wet, dirty, or sweaty clothes no matter where they are. Since it’s so warm, it also doubles as a wearable jacket after they are changed, dry, and cozy.
Marathon runners expose themselves daily to the elements, so their skin can always use a little pampering. This skincare bundle is focused on hydration and uses simple, clean ingredients that are great for sensitive skin. It also comes in super aesthetic packaging that dresses up any bathroom counter, and makes doing their daily skincare a treat.
Marathoning beats up your legs. There’s just no way around it. Even with a few hours dedicated to foam rolling and icing, your loved one may still end up with soreness the next day. But these Normatec boots can help them recover better and faster than ever before. They use a dynamic air compression massage to increase circulation and loosen sore muscles so they can feel refreshed before their next run.
Relaxing and restorative, these muscle relaxing bath bombs have a combination of epsom salts and essential oils that help combat fatigue, lactic acid buildup, and tension. They leave the skin feeling refreshed and smelling great thanks to the peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus oils.
Our favorite foam roller on the market. It’s firm in all the right places, versatile, with grooves to support flexibility and blood flow into even the tightest muscles. For the runner participating in their first marathon, the foam roller is the right investment to make before a massage gun or Normatec.
For Adventurous Marathoner
Rogue Expeditions has found a way to give runners access to the most surreal global running experiences without any of the stress of planning, coordination, or getting lost in the Swiss Alps. With trips in Ireland, Italy, Morocco, and Patagonia – there’s a trip for every location on your bucket list.
If you know a runner that prefers a smart watch for their training, the Apple Watch Ultra is the way to go. Ruggedization against the elements, a button for laps, and extra long battery life make this a great training partner for any marathon cycle. Plus it will give them super accurate training data—and they can wear it all day everyday. Great for races whether they be ultramarathons or shorter.
Another fan favorite. Stop running while holding all your belongings! The Flipbelt will allow you to store a phone, keys, energy gels, wallet, and beyond without the risk of it falling from an open zipper.
Give the gift of youth. Well, youthful looking skin at least. Supergoop! is one of the best sunscreens for runners. Lighweight, great for activity and Oxybenzone and Octinoxate free.
For Sentimental Marathon Runners
Whether they ran a PR or just a dream marathon course, this personalized marathon map is a great way to celebrate their accomplishment. It has a beautiful print of their marathon course along with their time, number, and the date completed. Whether it’s the New York City Marathon or your local neighborhood half marathon, these are great ways to commemorate running achievements.
There’s no better way to celebrate the fact that you’re training for your marathon than to tell everyone who shows up to your door that you’re probably not there for obvious reasons.
Runner of the world’s fastest marathon, Eliud Kipchoge, has a special line of clothing out with Nike this season. Unclear if this is something we can expect every year, as the five time winner of the Berlin Marathon, these are worth holding onto.
For the Fashionable Marathoner
This year has been a breakout year for Bandit Running. Between launching a dozen collections of Brooklyn-inspired running apparel, they’ve supported emerging athletes and made a whole bunch of fun content. These are the running gifts every marathon runner will be asking for. We personally own three different Bandit Running t-shirts.
Related: The 2024 Running Trends Report
The Roark Baja Shorts are the Nike Pegasus for Shorts: a workhorse. Quick drying, breathable, but wildly mobile – these shorts come with a set of features like rear waterproof phone pocket, gel pocket, and anti-microbial brief liner that make them a no-brainer gift.
This exercise dress started the trend for all exercise dresses, and it still remains as one of the best. Stretchy, comfortable, and moisture-wicking, it’s great for everything from recovery runs to running errands. Plus it comes in seven cute color and pattern options.
Ibex makes the best wool blend running shirts. Period. We were surprised by it as well. You can read our full review in the best men’s running shirts of 2023. But, it’s durable, breathable, and did we mention wool?
Cool as heck Italian running shorts. We’re a fan of the two hidden interior pockets. We’re an even bigger fan of wolves on shorts.
lululemon does a great job making some of the highest quality running products on the market today. That’s not to say they’re redefining the marathon shoe industry, but they’re making strides in making a shoe that considers more for women running than we’ve seen before.
There’s really nothing worse than cold weather winter running. Unless of course, you’ve been investing into gear that make it all less painful for that marathon running loved one of yours. We recommend it for cold runs, full of pockets, and comes in some fun fall colors.
Each year, Tracksmith comes out with limited edition gear lines for the major marathons. Let them sport their marathon colors with pride while also investing in some quality running gear.
The Best Gifts for Runners
We’re fortunate to have runners, joggers, and power walkers in our lives. As the holidays approach and you’re scrolling through pages of products on Amazon or Walmart, remember that the best gifts for runners are those they’ll use. You can’t go wrong with any gift that supports hydration, nutrition, recovery, or makes training easier on them.
If you’re not quite sure any of these match the taste of your favorite marathon runner, consider a gift card from one of these popular running stores and retailers:
Frequently Asked Questions About Gifts for Marathon Runners
What do you get a marathon runner for Christmas?
A great gift for a marathon runner boils down to a few different categories – helpful for training, helpful for recovery, apparel, or gadget. There are certain things a marathon runner won’t necessarily think to treat themselves to, like running safety gear, that make great running gifts. But, you should also think it’s a great opportunity to invest into high-quality versions of what the runner already has like a Maurten Gel over the Gu Energy Gel.
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