5 Simple and Affordable Things to Do For The Runner In Your Life


Whether your run­ning part­ner is some­one you reg­u­lar­ly train with, or your part­ner in life who hap­pens to be a run­ner, there are lots of lit­tle ways to show them that you care and offer sup­port for their cho­sen sport. Here are a few ideas that cer­tain­ly won’t break the pig­gy­bank and don’t even involve you touch­ing their cal­loused, cracked, and per­haps bleed­ing feet (although, if you’re very brave, a footrub would nev­er be turned away.)

 GU-ey Love Notes

You know how some cou­ples leave lit­tle love notes around the house for one anoth­er ‘just because’? Run­ners like those too—only instead of paper with ooey gooey sen­ti­ments all over it, they like the real GU—or Cliff block shots, Mama Chia pack­ets, or what­ev­er oth­er nutri­tion­al fuel your run­ner prefers.

 Would you like fries with that?

Most run­ners are lying if they say they’ve nev­er day­dreamed that they would round a cor­ner and find their loved one cheer­ing for them along­side the road or—even better—standing with a replace­ment water bot­tle and run-approved snack. You have the pow­er to make this dream come true.

Sim­ply ask their route ahead of time, remem­ber the water and snack, pick a spot in the sec­ond half of their run, and put your pride aside for a moment to let out an excit­ed whoop when they come into view. You might feel a lit­tle sil­ly for a moment, but the relief-turned-excite­ment-turned-grate­ful look in your runner’s eyes will more than make up for any incon­ve­nience you may have endured.

 Blad­der Patrol

Dry­ing out the blad­der of a hydra­tion pack is one of those things that isn’t real­ly all that hard, but it’s just annoy­ing enough—especially when you’re tired after the long run you prob­a­bly just used it for—that run­ners often skip it. The result can be bad, rang­ing from funky tast­ing water the next week to mold.

Do your run­ner a favor and grab the sweaty hydra­tion pack off the back of the chair they left it on on their way to the show­er, and remove the blad­der; flip it inside out and prop it up on a bot­tle of wine (which, con­ve­nient­ly, you can drink togeth­er lat­er to cel­e­brate their long run, just an idea), or shove a rolled-up hand tow­el into it. When your run­ner gets out of the show­er and sees what you did for them, brace your­self for a hug and pos­si­bly tears of grat­i­tude. They often get emo­tion­al after long runs.


If you’ve nev­er bought your run­ner a cof­fee, or at least brewed a fresh pot while they are in the show­er cry­ing from var­i­ous chaffing spots fol­low­ing a par­tic­u­lar­ly hard or long work­out, then you’re not liv­ing up to your end of the deal. If you’re liv­ing with a run­ner, this ‘favor’ trumps restock­ing toi­let paper after using the last roll as far as most run­ners are con­cerned. It is per­haps the sim­plest ges­ture that will get you the best results.

 You! Tub. Now!

Draw your run­ner a bath the evening of a long run. Don’t ask if they want one, just do it. Make the water as hot as you think they can stand, add a cup or two of Epsom salt, turn on some music, put a tall glass of ice water next to the tub, and lock them in the bath­room for at least 15 minutes.

Just like clean­ing out the hydra­tion blad­der, this is not a hard move, but just incon­ve­nient enough that it’s easy to slough off.  Your run­ner may protest and insist they don’t need it, but we guar­an­tee they will feel bet­ter after a nice long soak. The hot water will relax their tired mus­cles, as the Epsom salts will draw out toxins.

Truth is, there’s an end­less list of things you can do to sup­port the run­ner in your life that don’t cost an arm and a leg or involve you hav­ing to run the miles along­side them. You know your run­ner best, and it may be as sim­ple as ask­ing them ques­tions about their run, lis­ten­ing sin­cere­ly, and engag­ing in their excite­ment for a few moments. Any effort to show your sup­port will like­ly be eager­ly and grate­ful­ly received. Thanks for being someone’s sup­port team—we are all bet­ter with one!

By Audra Run­dle