It can be difficult to find a gift that strikes the balance between, “This will be helpful to you in your athletic endeavors” and, “Remember how you can’t run right now? Because I’ve just given you a gift for running? Which you can’t do right now. Because you’re injured.”
But rest and recovery come with their own expenses and gear, and there are plenty of things you can get to help the injured runner in your life feel supported on their road to recovery.
#1: KT Tape (or their tape of choice)
KT Tape is a supportive but flexible type of tape that worked miracles for me when I was dealing with ankle and foot issues. When I was still depending on tape to get me through runs and workouts, I was flying through KT Tape, which at $20 a pop isn’t particularly cheap (making it a great gift!).
It comes in a ton of fun colors and patterns, which honestly did help perk me up a little even though I was rehabbing an injury.
The base model of KT Tape is obviously the least expensive, but I recommend the Pro version for a few reasons.
First, if you sweat much, it falls off pretty quickly. The base model KT Tape starts falling off of me after about 20 minutes of running. Plus, I wanted to make KT Tape more cost-effective by stretching it through multiple days (and showers) and the regular tape will (obviously) not hold up to that. I typically got two to three days of continuous wear out of the Pro tape, which is super helpful if you’re supposed to be taped up even when you’re not exercising. Unless your runner is wearing tape to swim, you won’t need to buy the “EXTREME” version.
KT Tape is available on Amazon for $16 per roll, which is significantly less than Target or most sporting goods stores.
#2 Resistance Bands
Bouncing back from any injury involves strengthening exercises, and 100% of the exercises my physical therapist prescribed me used a resistance band. These are stretchy elastic bands that come in a variety of tensions (and therefore level of difficulty).
You can get bands that are loops or just one long piece of elastic. I’ve used both types. The loops are really handy for hip strengthening exercises, and the long, straight ones have been great for stretching and ankle and foot strengthening.
#3 Gift certificate to their physical therapist
Unlike most other doctor’s offices, physical therapists often offer gift certificates. Copays pile up when you’re going to PT twice a week (or more!) for months at a time, so this is a gift that’s both thoughtful and practical.
Going to PT can also be a nice tune-up or maintenance gift for someone on the end of rehabbing an injury or someone who is just generally injury-prone, so this is a great gift option for anyone athletic in your life. Many PT offices also offer massages, which are more expensive but another great treat!
Make sure to ask your runner where they go if you don’t already know – most people are ride or dies for the PT they’ve found that works for them. Once you know where they go, call the office and ask about their gift certificate options.
If you can’t get a pre-made gift certificate from them, check out Canva for some easy-to-design templates so your runner still has something fun to open.
Anything I missed? Let me know what you would want as a gift when you’re dealing with a running injury and can’t get out and actually, you know, run.