Here are some generic but unusual presents that won’t break the bank for your tri/cycling/running/swimming lover/friend/family member.
If you want to buy them a running watch then read <this>.
Otherwise, read on…
Joe Friel’s revised tri-Bible (the 15 Nov 2016 edition).
Even if your loved one already has a previous version they WILL want this version as well. I bought one for me and haven’t read it yet…Santa still has it
His ‘Faster After 50’ book is more concise and also a good present. Obviously the person you’re buying it for needs to be over 50.
Or you could buy a subscription to 220 Triathlon (it’s actually a good read). I got a survey from them recently essentially asking if I, and presumably other readers, actually read it. ie the suspicion being they don’t! Buy the book instead!
VeloToze – your friend/lover/family member won’t have these but as long as you know their approximate shoe size you are good to go:
- The Velotozee will make them faster in a bike TT; and
- They are almost totally waterproof (grin as they struggle to put them on!)
US prices seem much better for some reason. You probably want to buy the LONGER ones.
A new tyre.
Even if you know nothing about cycling rest assured that virtually all wheels are the same size so here are two options for a cyclist who uses inner tubes – ask if they have inner tubes just to set expectations LOW. NO TUBES = NO BUY:
- a quiet indoor training tyre like the Schwalbe Insider, cunningly coloured blue so your cyclist friend won’t mistakenly use it outside and ruin it.
- A super fast tyre for when it gets a bit warmer. You could even buy two (one for each wheel). MICHELIN POWER COMPETITION. This one IS the fastest ‘normal’ tyre in the world and you can pretend you read the research about its uber-low rolling resistance AND that you fully considered the issues around recent debates on tyre widths. THIS is what I want for Christmas. Unfortunately, Santa really is not playing ball and I’m getting a nice helmet and book instead 🙁 or 🙂 … not sure which emoticon.
I love this RUNNING light. It’s bright, it flashes and it makes a REALLY, *REALLY* loud noise to scare people or animals. Priceless. I have one and I use it. Review here from last year.
If you are tight or as a joke or as a ‘cracker present’ you could buy them some ProPlus caffeine tablets. They DO actually work.
You’ll probably get more enjoyment out of buying them some beetroot sports shots though. Again they DO really work but you will also have a smile on YOUR face as
- It turns their wee pink; and
- It tastes horrible.
You could just buy one I guess for a cracker if you do that sort of thing. I’d want a box though not a pesky single one in a cracker. I’d definitely be ungrateful about that.
A more sensible product that actually works too is CURRANZ (as shown above). There is a discount in this review that I wrote about the product and a purchase link with a discount code.
Alternatively if they do short races then just give them some baking powder from the kitchen. That will probably make them faster too for a variety of technical reasons that I won’t go in to. Also, again, you can giggle at the digestive issues that it WILL likely cause!
This is a slightly risky purchase, especially if your partner is super-serious about racing, as the event will have to be scheduled into their, more important, training. Heavens forbid races that get in the way of training!
Here’s one that I’m doing. There are ‘one or two’ others in your local area, no doubt 🙂 There’s a free entry competition on tri-talk and on my site for 2x free places worth £’00s closes in January though 🙂
Buying coaching as a gift is a nice idea for a couple of months (see above menus) but it’s fairly expensive and the nature of the coach-athlete relationship is tricky to get right if you are buying for someone else for more than a one-off session and assuming how they want to be trained. It is a thoughtful present though.
Probably better is a one-off technique session. NOT a personal training session to get them fitter. One that will make them more ‘correct’. I live in South West London and there I would go for Njinga near Sigma Sport (or any certified Watt bike trainer should be Ok) – not sure if Njinga do 1-2-1s, I imagine they do. You could ask at your local Atheltics/Running club for a run session with their head coach. You could also try a Total Immersion/Swim solutions lesson as they can also produce a video which is nice – they are quite expensive though. I did a similar videos session years ago in an endless pool at Fruitina in shepherd’s bush/White City near the shopping centre (New owners apparently: http://www.swimfarm.co.uk/ ).
You could buy a training plan – but that’s a bit rubbish really as some of them are free on the internet
Look at the SHOP/PRICE CHECK link menu above. Most gadgets there are good but are going to be a fair bit more expensive and you will run the risk of buying the wrong thing.
Here’s a good gadget for those runners who like running on treadmills.
The STRYD running power meter is also, apparently, a super accurate gadget that properly gives running speed. Sounds rubbish if you are not a runner. BUT if you run on treadmills it is the ULTIMATE present. Not cheap.
Special Heart Rate Monitor…On the Arm
This is a super heart rate monitor that is worn on the upper arm (well, wherever you want really). So for people who hate chest straps this is an ACCURATE alternative. It will most likely work with their watch or smartphone
If you need more on the Scosche Rhythm (here) is a review I did ages ago on it. It’s a good product. I have one.
If you can’t afford a power meter at over £500 then the POWERPOD is a much cheaper alternative that delivers most of the benefits at a fraction of the cost. Not one for the purists rather for the pragmatists. (Here) is a review of the POWERPOD, warts and all.
I snappily call this one the ‘Death Whilst Cycling – Avoider’. It’s a rather clever radar for your loved one that also controls special Garmin rear lights as well as telling them there is a car approaching. It WORKS surprisingly well and is relatively cheap compared to the cost of a funeral (apologies for the flippant comments about death…just trying to save a life).
You can get it: here, UK; or here, USA.
Swimming is great for cheap bits of plastic that are often fairly useful gadgets. Your swimming friend will most likely already have a pull buoy, kick board and some paddles. However the paddles shown below and reviewed (here) are different and they probably won’t have them. They are FINGER paddles and help with the CATCH. They are actually quite good IMO and have the benefit of being about 5 quid or, as it’s Christmas, about 40.
You can get it: here, UK; or here, USA.
Alternatively search for SPEEDO or FINIS and you will come up with some other unusual bit of plastic.
If they are super keen and quite good (or think they are). Then a Lactate Threshold Test/VO2max test for either running or cycling can be performed at your local ‘sports science university’!! funnily enough I DO have a local one 🙂 St Marys – but also many others eg , Loughborough, Bath etc. etc. Your athlete WOULD appreciate this. NOT CHEAP THOUGH. Jo Smith on the corner will NOT be able to do one properly…probably. Need to take blood samples. Or instead buy this product: BSX Insight … that can be re-used again and again and again and shared between friends.
If they are starting out in triathlon or running then buy them an annual membership to your local club. Running clubs are cheap in general. BUT tri clubs get EXPENSIVE once the cost of swimming is included (usually). List your club below for free publicity 🙂 I don’t mind.
EMFIT QS is a pretty awesome sleep monitor for athletes. Not cheap.
Any other suggestion on what you hope Santa will buy you. Genericd!
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