The holidays have arrived and while we are a little over a week away from Christmas, and there is still plenty of time for you to get something special for your special triathlete. Whether you are on a budget or have plenty of money to spend there are plenty of gift options that your active loved one would love and appreciate. I’ve provided some links to examples of gift ideas, but you can always head to your local bike/running shop for professional help in purchasing something for your triathlete. Here are a few ideas that may make great gifts.
Stocking-Stuffer ideas – <$30
Bike repair kit materials – I can’t tell you how many of my newbie-cyclist friends are lacking a bike tire repair kit on their bikes (You know who you are!). It drives me a little crazy when I hear them tell me stories of getting flat tires and either walking home or having to call a loved one to pick them up. Here are some of the basics to putting together a gear bag.
- CO2 cartridges and tire inflator
- Tool Tire & Tube repair kit
- Spare bike tire tubes
- Bike saddle pack
- Small wrench/screwdriver set
Athletic socks – According to my husband, “You can never have enough socks.”
Fairy Tales Lifeguard shampoo – Great shampoo for removing chlorine, salt water and minerals from your hair after a hard swim workout. Best part? It is safe for color-treated hair! I’ve found this at Target, and LOVE it!
Elastic shoe laces – Quick to tighten and they stay locked that way throughout your entire run. Took me a couple years before I got these, but now I love them!
Fuel belt – Last year I got this Ironman stretch fuel belt for Christmas (thanks lil sister!) and used it countless times throughout the year including during Ironman Wisconsin. It fit great around my waist and I was able to fit quite a bit of stuff in it for long bike rides or worked great to carry my cell phone on training runs.
Cycling Training DVDs – The winter season can get drawn out and boring, and a new indoor cycling training DVD can be a nice change to the usual indoor cycling sets.
Hand paddles – While most pools have kickboards and pull buoys available to use, hand paddles can be useful in training as they can improve swim technique and build strength. They come in different sizes. The larger the paddle, the more advanced the swimmer should be. Too large a paddle for a swimmer can overload the shoulders.
Race photo print and framed – The end of the year is a great time for triathletes to reflect on their hard work and race accomplishments. Research race photographers, find your athlete’s photos and get a race photo printed and framed.
Gift certificate for a sports massage – Normally gift cards/certificates can seem like you’re taking the easy route to gift giving, but this actually shows you put some thought into it. Most athletes would love to get this as a gift!
Transition bag – A good transition bag makes carrying all you gear to and from your car much easier. Look for a transition bag that has options for isolate compartments so for separating wet and dry gear after the race. A variety of external, easy-to-access pockets are also nice to stash water bottles, car keys and wallets. It amazes me the amount of gear and equipment triathletes bring to events. I tend to be an athlete that brings the bare necessities so I just need an larger backpack-sized bag. Other athletes like to bring everything but the kitchen sink, so key that in mind when shopping for your triathlete.
Cycling and running apparel – Consider the location of your athlete. Is your athlete active outside all year round? Think winter running and cycling gear such as thermal running tights, thermal headbands, gloves, Smart Wool socks, ice cleats. The options are endless!
Wetsuit – For those of us in the northern states, a wetsuit is an essential piece of equipment as the majority of our races are wet suit legal. Make sure you know whether your athlete would like a full sleeve or sleeveless. Full sleeve seems like an obvious choice as they are faster; however, it’s also a personal preference. For example, I prefer the sleeveless as I like to have the least amount of restriction in my shoulders when swimming. Fit needs to be a high priority when choosing a wetsuit. The sizing charts make it pretty easy to determine which size is best for your athlete, but make sure there is a good return policy in case there needs to be an exchange for a different size.
Skinsuit – For wetsuit-illegal swims, a skinsuit would be the alternative. They will minimize drag in the water and feel faster than a tri suit. Here is a list of USAT approved skinsuits.
CompuTrainer – Retailing around $1,630. Using your own bike this indoor cycling trainer allows you to ride real race courses.