Ahh, it’s that time of year, Valentine’s Day! And I am here with your Valentine’s Day Gift Guide featuring the best 7 gift ideas for runners in 2022.
I’m not a HUGE Valentine’s Day fan. I honestly just look forward to it because January to March tends to be my least favorite time of year. So, it helps bring some brightness and anticipation to the gray, dark, uneventful time of year known as winter. (Gosh, and I don’t even live in the frigid North anymore.)
So, if you’re looking for something to brighten up your winter too and rev up your running, I have some awesome gift ideas for runners. Treat yourself or share this article with your partner. Or, buy them for a mother runner friend…or keep these ideas handy for birthday or Mother’s Day….
I’m lucky enough that I have brands send me products to try. Honestly, many of them aren’t things I use or feel compelled to recommend. But the products on this list impressed me, so I must spread the word!
Before I go on, check out some of my other gift guides:
- Amazing Gift Ideas for Runners in 2021
- The 2021 Galentine Gift Guide
- Must-have Fitness Gift Ideas for 2020
Okay, let’s get started! Here are my top 7 gift ideas for runners for this Valentine’s Day
Your Valentine’s Gift Guide for Runners: 7 Gifts for Runners
Okay, this gift idea for runners is seriously cool. The Defender Ring is a stylish, high-quality ring with a sharp point or blade disguised in the design.
I’ve had taking self-defense classes on my bucket list for years—usually, my interest is piqued when an attack happens in a place I run. Thankfully, I’ve only been in one situation where I felt very unsafe running. I had a group of drunk men chase after me and grab my bottom. Thankfully, I outran them and they went on cavorting—ending up being more annoying than dangerous. I count myself as lucky and took self-defense classes several years later.
This ring gives me added protection. My favorite Defender Ring is the Rose design in rose gold. The minimalist self-defense ring features a chic rose design that discreetly hides a sharp blade. Twist off the rose and the point is revealed.
If in a dangerous situation, unscrew the rose top to uncover the sharp blade. Use your instincts to jab an attacker in the face or neck to defend yourself while collecting DNA.
The ring is beautiful and more practical than running with a pocket knife or even pepper spray. Personally, I’ve always worried that I’d fumble with the spray if in a fight or flight situation.
I’ve even worn it on the few occasions I’ve had to run to the store after dark for added security in the parking lot.
I argue the ring is a great gift not just for runners but any woman.
Another seriously cool gift idea for runners this Valentine’s Day is the Achedaway Cupper—just released this year.
The cupper is so amazing I did a full cupper review here.
But here’s the low down: it brings cupping therapy into the convenience of your own home—no physical therapist needed! The smart cupper combines a smart powerful cupping technique with red light therapy and massage to alleviate sore and tight muscles and expedite healing.
Specifically, Achedaway’s cupper aims to:
- promote blood circulation to reduce inflammation,
- induce lymphatic drainage to expel toxins,
- stretch fascia, and
- relieve muscle stiffness, soreness, tightness, and knots.
I had the perfect opportunity to try it out on a tight hamstring that’s nagged me for years and has acted up as I return to run. With consistent use (every other day), the tightness faded during my runs.
I’m very excited to add this tool to my arsenal of keeping me healthy as I return to running and hopefully chase some serious goals. (Pro tip: Ask your physical therapist how best for you to use it!).
If it’s good enough for Shalane Flanagan during her Project Eclipse and Keira D’Amato as she trained to set the American record in the marathon, then InsideTracker should be good enough for us! Use code WHITNEYPRO25 for 25% off!
InsideTracker is the ultimate biohacking—telling you what your blood levels are so you can feel and perform your best.
Buy the best panel for you (such as the Shalane Panel), make an appointment at a nearby Quest Diagnostics for the draw (or pay extra to have them come to you), and get a mobile-delivered, science-backed action plan of nutrition and lifestyle interventions to improve the markers that matter most.
InsideTracker has a unique database that pulls the latest research together to make the best recommendations for YOU, as a mother and a runner.
Personally. I’ve been saved…and burned…by bloodwork. When my running tanked, bloodwork revealed very imbalanced levels that were making me feel terrible.
However, all the recommendations from my GP did not fit my life as a female and runner. For example, the recommended levels of iron were much lower than what my body needed to perform.
I bet you’ve gotten bloodwork and seen the huge ranges that your levels should lie within. These ranges are created based on millions of people whose lifestyles and demands aren’t the same as yours. InsideTracker has the stats to know what’s best for you and they tell you how to get there. What’s more is it includes links to the research to support their suggestions for you.
Shop InsideTracker’s panels here and give yourself or a loved one the gift of health and being your best YOU.
Shalane’s Latest Cookbook
Speaking of Shalane, I’m a huge fan and user of Shalane and Elyse Kopecky’s cookbook Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
Now, the duo has a new cookbook called Rise & Run featuring recipes for the meal most mother runners (who wake up hours before the sun to get our workouts in) look forward to most: breakfast!
Related: How to Become a Morning Runner
Even more than delicious, nutritious, and simple recipes, Rise and Run gives advice from America’s most decorated distance runner to establish a morning routine that sets the rest of our crazy days up for success:
- How to get a great night’s sleep
- Advice to clear your head and be present
- Injury prevention tips
- The best warm-ups and exercises for your morning routine
- Plus a training manual filled with Shalane’s advice with a special section on the marathon distance
Verilux Happy light
My goal for 2022 has been to prioritize my mental health. With this, I’m trying many things I’ve wanted to do for my mental
health but haven’t such as journaling, meditating, and using a “happy lamp.” Because—remember when I talked about how much I hate the gray days of winter??
What is a HappyLight®? A happy light looks like an iPad but plugs in and emits a bright, full-spectrum light that mimics the Sun without UV rays. As the company Verilux states, it’s sunshine in a box.
Using it for 30 minutes a day (I aim for ten minutes while working or putting on my makeup), can boost energy and lift your mood. I tend to feel lethargic on dreary days. Since using this lamp, I haven’t been dragging despite the weather—or even lack of sleep!
Below are some of the potential benefits of a HappyLight as observed by users and researchers:
- Energizes You Naturally.
- Resets Your Sleep & Wake Cycle to Your Natural State.
- Enhances Mood During Seasonal Changes.
- Helps Make Healthy Routines a Habit.
- Inspires You to Get Outside.
- Brings the Sunshine Indoors (Even When It’s Raining)
The other day, I found my daughter at my desk with the Happy Light on—she was feeling agitated so thought it may help improve her mood. I guess that means she’s bought into it helping me so she wanted to see if it would help her.
Give the gift of the Happy Light to yourself or something you love (or live with…). It’s a great gift idea for her or a great gift idea for him.
WHOOP fitness tracker
WHOOP is a repeat product on my list because, well, I really love this fitness tracker! It’s actually more than a fitness tracker—it’s an overall health tracker.
WHOOP measures metrics such as your heart rate, sleep, and respiratory rate to give you a score on how hard you worked and how well you recovered. It’s a useful tool to stay healthy and optimize your performance.
But it’s also told me what habits aren’t serving me well—like having wine or eating a large snack before bed. My WHOOP has also clued me in that I don’t recover as well when I’m PMSing and warned me when I may be getting sick.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment I will make when training again (after my recovery from a plantar fascia tear) is getting more sleep. I rarely get more than 7 hours a night which isn’t optimal when not training—and will spell trouble when I am…It’s no wonder I’ve suffered setbacks over the past couple of years when trying to run competitively and parent and work…
Most elite runners use a WHOOP. And while you may be thinking, “but I’m not an elite”—you’re also a hard-working badass mother runner who needs to know when she’s running the redline so you can prioritize sleep, nutrition, and recovery.
Give the gift of WHOOP to yourself or others and save $30 off any membership with my WHOOP link.
Lift. Run. Perform. strength app
I am recommending this as a cool gift idea for a runner or yourself as I have done Mary’s program, interviewed Mary for The Passionate Runner podcast I host, and know her work is top-notch. I haven’t used the app yet but can only assume it’s effective and amazing. So check it out!
And, if you want to continue to level up your training, check out my customized run coaching services or free training plans!