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2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

by Meghann on December 10, 2012

It’s that time of year! Time for the 2012 edition of “Holiday Gift Guide for Runners!”


See: 2009, 2010, 2011.

This year I thought I would do something a little different. Instead of giving generic gift ideas, I thought I would breakdown what I usually wear on a run (from head to toe), to give some ideas on what a runner typically uses on their daily runs (and what will be helpful in the future!). Everyone loves a good gadget, but sometimes it’s some day-to-day stuff that every runner really needs.

Here we go!


(yes, Maddie counts as a running accessory, too! 🙂 )

The Head


Hair ties: Scuni No Slip Grip Evolution Jelly Ponytailers


(link above is for Amazon, but they can also be found at your local Target)

Yes, these hair ties are a little pricey, but let me explain – THEY. ARE. AWESOME.

I have really thick, heavy hair and before I was going through a pack of regular hair ties every two weeks because each one of them would end up looking like this after a single use.


There’s nothing worse than a stretched out hair tie. They stopped holding my hair up and were just pitiful.

I randomly stumbled upon the No Grip Jelly Ponytailers at Target one day and haven’t looked back since. Not only do they hold my hair up, but they don’t stretch! One hair tie seems to last forever and it took me a full year to go through a 14-pack of these babies (mainly because I lost them).

I accidentally left a jelly hair tie at my sister’s place a few months ago and she couldn’t stop raving about how much she loved it. She ended up buying a pack of her own jelly hair ties because she wanted to have back ups in case she lost the one I had left behind. If you have problems with hair ties sliding down during runs, then I would 100% suggest adding this to you christmas list this year. They make great stocking stuffers!

Headband: Sweaty Bands


If I’ve learned one thing in my four years of running, it’s that every runner has their favorite headband company they swear by on runs. I swear by Sweaty Bands. Not only are they super cute, but they don’t slide from my head. They’re the only headband I wear, period.

Runners LOVE headbands, but only if it’s the brand they swear by. I would suggest finding out which headband your runner swears by and picking out a couple in their favorite colors (glitter is always a winner!).

Headphones: Sony MDRE9LP/PNK Earbud Headphones


I’ve tried fancy, schmancy earbuds in the past, but always come back to my good ole Sonys (I usually stock up when Target has a sale, however I just discovered they’re cheaper on Amazon- score!).

We’re runners – we sweat, a lot, and earbuds don’t last forever. It’s always nice to have a back-up pair just in case something goes wrong. Also, they make great stocking stuffers.



Music: iPod Nano


I have a 5th Generation iPod Nano, but iPod Shuffles are a great, reasonably priced alternative. iTunes Gift Cards are always a great gift idea for runners (we’re always looking for new music to rock out to) and, for the runners who love to listen to books on the run, may I suggest an subscription? I just joined a couple of months ago and love it. The books download straight to your itunes library and it’s nice knowing I have two new books to look forward to every month.  

Arm Pouch: Nike Running Arm Wallet/Phone Case


My mom gave me this Nike arm pouch for Christmas two or three years ago. It’s not ideal for anyone who likes to change the song on their iPod while they’re running, but that’s never bothered me. I love that it’s roomy enough to hold my iPod, house key, and ID/ money if I need it to. I’ve tried pouches that go around the waist, but always come back to my trusty arm pouch for storing stuff. It doesn’t bounce or get in the way and I usually don’t leave for a run without it.

There are other arm pouch options out there that grant a little bit easier of access to the ipod that other runners might appreciate. I found this one on Amazon that would do the trick, you just have to make sure it’s made for the right generation of iPod, phone, etc.


Watch: Garmin Forerunner 10


Full review is HERE and HERE

The Garmin Forerunner 10 is a great basic watch for any runner who just wants to press a button and run. It gives you final time, mile splits, pace, and distance – that’s it. It’s also reasonably priced, starting at $129..

Top: C9 by Champion Women’s Seamless Babydoll Tank

C9 by Champion Women's Seamless Babydoll Tank.jpg

I have this shirt in 6 different colors. It is my favorite thing to run in. Unfortunately it’s not currently available at Target. Just wait – it usually returns for their spring/ summer running collections.


Custom race shirt from

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 11.50.27 AM.png

I created this Meals and Miles shirt a couple of years ago and love it. It’s a fun one to break out for races. I need to order one that has “Meghann” on the front, there’s nothing better than having random strangers shouting your name and offering random words of encouragement in a race! And the great thing about is the design you create never fades. Two years later and it looks the same as the day I ordered it! 🙂

Sports Bra: Brooks Women’s Epiphany Sports Bra


I own the tank version of this bra too. I love the cut, colors, and functionality of the sports bra. It’s high impact and provides great support for anything from fast sprints to marathons.

Bottoms: Lululemon Run: Speed Shorts


(The new chevron design is on my Christmas wish list this year! 😉 )

The Lululemon Speed Shorts are hands down my favorite pair of running shorts out there. I personally own three pairs and would love to have more. I love the length, the built in bloomers, the small pocket on the back, the wide waist band (see this post why I swear by wide waistbands for running ) and the cute designs.

When I’m not wearing the speed shorts, I also dig the Lululemon Run: Pace Setter Skirt


This is my go-to skirt on race day. I’ve worn it for multiple races and always receive compliments on it. It’s also very comfortable to run in. The grippy pieces on the shorts under the skirt keep the shorts from riding up and how could you not love the ruffles on the back? I die!


For capris, I’m currently a fan of the Brooks Women’s Infiniti Capri


Love the grippy bottoms on these. They’re also a little thicker of a capri for those colder morning runs when you’re not 100% committed to full tights (I’m not a fan of full tights).

Underwear: Lululemon: Light As Air Hipster


Yes, running underwear. I usually go sans panties when I’m running with shorts with built-in underwear, but prefer to have a little coverage for capris and running tights (TMI: I tend to chafe with the capris and tights without a barrier). The running underwear is really light so I don’t feel like I’m wearing them when I run and they have the same moisture-wicking properties as the rest of the Lululemon line. If you are a runner who chafes (or knows a runner who chafes!) these make a great – yet understandably awkward – gift.



Socks: C9 by Champion® Women’s 3-Pack No Show Stripe Socks


In my opinion, runners can never have enough socks and the champion socks at Target are the best bang for your buck in a good athletic sock.

Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 10s


Runners go through shoes every 4-6 months (give or take). When in doubt, give shoes. Or a gift certificate to the local running store for said shoes (hey, running shoes aren’t cheap!).

I am personally a fan of the Brooks Glycerin series. I’ve been running them for 3 years and haven’t given up on them yet. They’re a great neutral shoe with a lot of cushion, so you feel like you’re running on air.

So, there you have it – a breakdown of what this runner wears on every run from head-to-toe. I hope that helps generate some gift ideas for the runner in your life (or some to add to your own wish list!).

Let’s keep the ideas flowing! Break down your own list of what you can’t leave the house without in the comments below!

*this post contains Amazon affiliate links.

1 Annette @FitnessPerks December 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I love the idea of working head to toe! great idea!

I do want some sparkle this Christmas!
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Les Mills CXWORX Instructor Training Recap

2 Dana December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

High five for some reasonably-priced workout gear! I get so discouraged/mad at magazines and blogs and people who keep recommending these really great shorts for only $60, or these amazing socks for $20 a pair. Looks like I’ll be heading to Target with my Christmas money this year!

3 Jessica December 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I NEED some of those hair things!! I have the same problem with them stretching out.

P.S. you look really nice in the first set of photos.

4 Dori December 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I use the same Sony headphones! I fell in love with them when I bought a pair at a Target in Florida two and a half years ago (which I grossly still have) but have since owned quite a few more. I never did find them at Target here in NY/NJ, but Bed Bath & Beyond sells them so I usually stock up there. My fiance loves them too, we have quite a few colors. I introduced them to him and he couldn’t believe how much louder the sound is than in other brands he’s used.

I also swear by the Lululemon Speed Shorts. I haven’t found any other shorts that fit as well and are so comfortable.

5 Krissy @ Shiawase Life December 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm

You are so cute in that Champion top! I have one but I definitely look preggers in it…haha.
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..ZERO WEEK.

6 allie December 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I love this list! those hair ties though- i saw them and thought they would be a total lifesaver because i have a ton of hair that never stays in place. they stayed put for sure, but too well! i could never get them out without ripping out my hair too. any tricks to using them??

7 Meghann December 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

ouch! That was a concern of mine when I bought them, but I’ve never had a problem with the hair ties pulling my hair out. Maybe other readers have some tips?

8 Lisa December 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Same HERE! I was so angry with them. Everytime i took it out i lost some hair, never again!

9 Rachel December 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

goody hair ties make a rubber wrapped tie that works wonders for me – i have thick hair and any other band would pop apart when i tried to tie my hair back – these are stretchy, and i guess since they are only wrapped with the grippy rubber they don’t pull

this is the link to those bands :
Rachel recently nightmare

10 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer December 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I’ve been searching for those tanks everywhere! Darn target for changing your lines with the seasons… I also need some lululemon underwear. just to tell people I have lululemon underwear
Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer recently posted..Santa North Pole Dash 5k & Olympic Lifting Seminar

11 Maureen December 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Those hair ties look awesome! I go through hair ties like it’s my job, two uses and they are totally stretched out. The one piece of gear I don’t leave the house without is my Road ID. For me, it’s a must have for any runner/cyclist who does most of their workouts outdoors.
Maureen recently posted..Race Recap: Race for Recovery Virtual 5K

12 AmyBrown December 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for such a thorough and descriptive review! Very helpful and informative. I will now go to Target and check out their C9 gear I have obviously been missing out on–socks, in particular!

13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I am so glad those tanks might come back out!!! I emailed target customer service trying to get them but they just said they don’t have them available!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..BBC–Week 7

14 Glenneth December 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

i love the brooks glycerin 10s. wearing them right now. makes my feet feel so good.

15 Megan December 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Love your list – especially the graphics and breaking down literally what we wear on a daily basis. Great idea!
Megan recently posted..Surf City | Week 10 & Giveaway Winner!

16 Jen @ Jens Best Life December 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the recommendation of the jelly hair ties! I go through SO many hair ties because of the exact same problem — my pony tail starts at the top of my head and ends at the bottom. Can’t wait to pick these up!!
Jen @ Jens Best Life recently posted..I’m Lazy

17 Erin @ GoBananasBlog December 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I don’t run without a Bondi Band. Even while wearing a hat. I just love them. Top of my Christmas list is something Carrots ‘n Cake reviewed. The flip-belt looks so cool and I can’t wait until I get mine!!!
Erin @ GoBananasBlog recently posted..Santa’s Cabana

18 Nicole @ HealthyGirlAdventures December 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I just started running. Now whenever asks what I want for christmas I’ll show them this post. It has everything I want. I really only wanting running gear so this is perfect.
Nicole @ HealthyGirlAdventures recently posted..Winter Weight Loss Challenge Week 2

19 Laura December 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm

love this post! i completely agree with you that those target running tanks are the best! I only have three and i swear I do laundry just to wash those things! I wish they’d have them year-round. I tried to buy another alternative to one–it was a thinner strap and more of a v-neck, and it was not supportive at all! felt like my boobs were going to fall out at any moment, and i’m not even that well-endowed! Please keep your readers updated if you find them back in stock. that’s so frustrating when stores discontinue stuff! my boyfriend swears they’re maternity shirts, but I disagree. they’re the only ones I find comfortable while running..and you can easily pull them up to wipe your face and they stay put! also, i’m going to try the hair ties. it is so frustrating to have to stop running to readjust your falling ponytail. i usually have to wear two ponytail holders and have been loving the no slip/grippy ones, but they’re not this material. i’ll have to try! thanks for all you do–great post!

20 Beth December 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I love Champion and Target everything. I just bought that skirt to wear to the Holiday Half yesterday and it was perfect. I may need a black one now b/c yours looks super cute! Great list Meghann!
Beth recently posted..Holiday Halfathon Race Report

21 Briana December 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Sweatybands are the best ! I buy one at every marathon as a tradition! I also recommend Gu’s for fast energy and little portable hand warmers to tuck in your gloves for winter runs! You can get them at any camping store or even Cosco!

Great list! I love your model poses – very professional!
Briana recently posted..Thankful Thursday: Chuie runs Heartbreak Hill

22 Kathy December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Hey…I really liked this and good finds to read more about. Thanks!

Totally agree with the hair ties by the way…they work best to hold hair ~ especially a lot of thick hair. 😉

23 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian December 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Sunscreen! I wear the Olay brand moisturizer on my face every day (SPF 15) and a continuous spray, sports version on my body (SPF 30). I also love my Nathan quick draw handheld for long runs.
Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian recently posted..RumChata, RunChata

24 Christine @ BookishlyB December 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I need to get some cuter things for my hair, although more for yoga rather than running.
Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..A Super Awesome Giveaway and Top Ten Tuesday

25 BroccoliHut December 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Great gift guide!! I am definitely picking up some of those hair ties–mine stretch out within just a wear or two as well. The baby doll tanks will definitely be on my wish list too…oh let’s face it. I want everything on this list!

26 Jean December 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Ahh, I’ve been coveting that workout top forever and was so disappointed when I finally made it to a Target and they didn’t have any! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.
Jean recently posted..Snow Storm Catcalls

27 Stephanie @ Steph's Miles December 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I love Lululemon’s Run:Inspire and Run for your life crops!
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28 Erin (TexanCouture) December 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Love your headband and I had no idea running underwear existed. Hello I’ve been going bare spandex butt all this time!
Erin (TexanCouture) recently posted..Twinkle twinkle, little bat. How I wonder what you’re at?

29 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats December 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Love the list. Quite a few of these things are on my wishlist this year. And I agree, runners can never have enough socks!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..How runners can save the world

30 Kristy December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

If only lululemon wasn’t so damn expensive! I’m heading over to Sweaty Bands to buy one right now! Hair in my face is one of the most annoying things that can happen to me on a run!

31 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

“Runners love headbands” <– SO TRUE. At first I thought it was just me (I tend to wear headbands a lot during regular everyday activities), and then I got to the race expo for my first half marathon and was bombarded with all different kinds of headbands everywhere. Love em.
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32 Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

Do the sweaty bands have something to keep them from sliding down the back of your head? I have yet to find something that will stay on my head with all the jumping I do while working out. Drives.Me.CRAZY.

And if you want to try another running underwear I suggest patagonia or athleta. Freaking. Awesome!
Melissa @TryingtoHeal recently posted..Oh Nuts! Macadamia Nut Cherry Banana Bread

33 Meghann December 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

I’ll have to check out Athleta. I only bought the Lululemon because I saw them in the store one day and had randomly heard people raving about them in the past. 🙂 The sweaty Bands have a velvet inner layer that prevents them from sliding (at least on my head). 🙂

34 Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 11, 2012 at 10:59 am

I have a few of the athleta ones, but love my patagonia ones more, which I got at REI. I’ll have to look at the sweaty bands; I follow them on instagram but have never seen them in hand before. I usually wear the gummy ones from target, but have to use three pins to even keep those from falling off my head. Ugg.
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35 Andrea December 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I am obsessed with Sweaty Bands! I have waay too many and keep buying more! We buy one to go with every race outfit!

I love Raw Threads shirts! (I love the Disney ones and the collegiete ones)

I also love BeeCause charms for your shoes. I have a Gators one, a running one, a quote one, and one my friend custom made for me.
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36 Christine December 16, 2012 at 8:17 am

Are you wearing a one inch or 1.5 inch sweatyband? I am not sure what thickness to buy

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