Thanksgiving is over, and ’tis the season for holiday shopping! I love picking out the perfect gift for family and friends, but sometimes I need a little direction. It’s particularly challenging if I don’t share the same hobbies as a family member or friend that I’m shopping for. And triathlon can be a mystery to those not involved in the sport. Heck, even I was clueless when I started triathlon what I needed, or what I wanted when people asked about holiday gift ideas. So today I’m sharing some gift ideas for triathletes to get you started on your holiday shopping. I’m suggesting gifts in various price ranges for the triathlete in your life, with a link to my “under $50″ triathlete gift guide at the bottom. Feel free to suggest other gift ideas for triathletes in the comments below!
1. Go for Gadgets
Triathletes love gadgets. There’s no end to the amount of data we can collect an analyze – it’s an addiction, really. If there’s one thing I rely on the most in my training, it’s my Garmin 920XT watch. It not only tracks my pace and distance for swimming (in pools and open water), biking (indoors or out), and running (on treadmill or pavement), but it gives me info on my heart rate, cadence, and so much more. I was just happy to have a watch that counts my laps since I am notoriously bad at keeping track!
There are other watches that triathletes love, such as the Garmin Fenix, but I would say that the Garmin 920XT is the most popular triathlon watch out there these days. I rely on the heart-rate monitor so be sure to include that if the triathlete doesn’t have one yet.
2. Go for a Training Tool
The biggest and most effective training tool that triathletes need, especially if they live in a colder climate and/or work full-time, is a bike trainer. It’s a way to ride your actual bike indoors. It is a lifesaver for me.
I recently got a primo bike trainer – the Wahoo KICKR. I love it! It’s pretty cool – you take the back wheel off your bike and attach it directly to the trainer, so you not only don’t wear down your tire, but the trainer can be controlled with an app so the resistance changes automatically.
Wahoo also carries a model called the SNAP that leaves the back wheel on your bike, so check that out if you’re looking for a gift in a lower price point.
There are other models of trainers out there – from the basic to the “smart” trainers. I survived for years with a really basic bike trainer that didn’t have any frills, so you be the judge of what will work for the triathlete in your life.
3. Go for Knowledge
Remember in #1, where I said that triathletes love data? There is so much to learn, so why not get them a book chock full of useful info? I have the Triathlete’s Training Bible, which is a great resource. I’ve also heard great things about the Be Iron Fit book, so that’s another one to check out.
4. Go for Practical
Or you could combine practical with fun and give a favorite of mine, the T-Mat Pro, which is handy for setting up your tri gear at your designated transition spot.
5.Go for Feeding the Obsession
When I got into triathlon, I wanted to read about it, learn about it, know what all the lingo meant, and learn the major events and people in the sport. I tend to dive head first into things, but even if your gift recipient isn’t a tri-nerd like me, they’d still get a lot out of a magazine subscription to Triathlete Magazine.
6. Go for Safety
I’m a huge believer in wearing a RoadID with essential information in case of emergency. I’ve heard too many horror stories about people biking and running without identifying information and then having a medical issue or accident. Let’s all hope that nothing happens to the triathletes you know, but it can’t hurt to have more of a sense of security and gift them a Road ID. Last year I got my dad a gift card and he was able to pick out the band he wanted and then customize it himself.
They also have tons of charms and colored bands to personalize the ID wristband.
7. Go for Accessories
Accessories are a fun way to show off your triathlon hobby in “real life”. From jewelry to home decor, there’s no shortage of tri-related gifts. Here are a few ideas:
- An Ironman wine stopper (I totally need this!)
8. Go for Decor
I’ve been doing running races and triathlons for many years now, and where are my medals? Hanging on a lampshade in my home office. True story. So take it from me, a great gift idea for triathletes is a medal holder. These come in many sizes and styles, but I’m partial to the ones where you can also display a bib. There are so many choices.
9. Go for Local
Support your local small businesses! How about a gift card to a local bike shop? A membership to the local tri club or running club? Or a race entry to a race that is locally run and managed?
10. Go for Experiences
There are so many fun things to do and so many amazing places to go, but often there isn’t enough time or money to take advantage of all these fantastic things available to us. So how awesome would it be to get a cool tri-related experience as a gift? Here are a few ideas for experiences, rather than things:
- A racecation – treat your triathlete to a trip to do a race! Or gift them a “coupon” for hotel at the race location.
- A training camp – if they’re looking at a major race, or just want to improve their skills, a training camp is a great opportunity to spend the weekend honing your tri-skills with experts.
- Time to train – if you’re married to, related to, or living with the triathlete, give them a few hours at the pool, gym, or trail each week guilt-free to train.
- A ride together – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Plan an adventure for the two of you to enjoy together on bikes. It may not be their heavy-duty training day, but a way to experience the world by bicycle with a thoughtful gift-giver.
You can find more gift ideas for triathletes in my previous gift guide – all gifts ideas for triathletes under $50!
Good luck on your holiday shopping and other preparations! I hope you have a fantastic holiday season filled with quality time with family and friends.
What’s on your holiday wish list this season? What are some other gift ideas for triathletes that you can suggest for the list?
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