Desperation Christmas Presents: Swim-Bike-Run Gadgets

Injinji running Socks review
Injinji Running Socks – Awesome

Desperation Christmas Presents


By the age of 10, we’ve run out of useful things to buy our kids apart from the smartphone you said they’d never have.

But as an adult 30 y.o., you have more gadgets than anyone could ever possibly need. Which causes problems for those who love you and who want to buy you stuff.

This post is for them.

Something they can buy you that’s useful and that you might, just might, not have.

Me? I might get a Dry Robe but at £150, for what is effectively a towel, I’m not so sure. (Buy: Amazon) Made worse by not having been to an outdoor pool for about 6 weeks.

Swimming Presents

  • Form Swim Goggles – this is really cool tech if your partner has either a top-end Garmin or an Apple Watch and loves swimming. It beams stats into your goggles whilst swimming either in a pool or in a lake. (Buy: Direct )


FORM Swim Goggles Review | for Garmin & Apple Watch

THEMAGIC5 Review 🏊‍♂️ Custom Swim Goggles | Magic5 Discount


  • Vasa Swim Erg – Indoor swimming machine. You don’t love your partner this much, it’s very expensive.

Vasa Swim Erg – ‘Properly’ Record the ANT+ Power Data as you swim

Cycling Presents

  • This is the coolest bike computer. If your partner loves the Apple Watch they will love the Karoo2. If your partner claims to ‘hate’ (strong word) Garmin then they will love the Karoo2. These have sold like hotcakes and all you can do right now is get a gift voucher from the manufacturer and join the queue. (Buy: Direct)

Hammerhead Karoo 2 | Pre-orders OPEN

  • Two new tyres – Continental GP5000 are the ones most vaguely performance-orientated cyclists use much of the time. You will have to figure out by looking at their current tyre if your partner needs a TUBLELESS version GP5000TL and also determine what is their preferred tyre WIDTH – it’s probably written on the side of the tyre as either 25mm, 23mm, or it could be wider than 25mm. (Buy: Amazon & others). It’s not really a daily commuting tyre.

Continental GP5000 Review – You Definitely NEED These – Conti Grand Prix Tire – Tyre

  • The anti-death-by-car machine. It’s called the Garmin Varia radar. It flashes a changing pattern at naughty cars bearing down on your loved one at speed and also alerts your loved ones to cars approaching from the rear on their bike computer’s display which saves them from looking over their shoulder, wobbling and falling off (under a car). Expensive? Sure. Beats dying. Works with almost all half-decent bike computers and Ride With GPS…not only Garmin. This is perhaps the product I recommend above all others…I’ve told ALL my cycling friends to get one, none have yet and I DO keep nagging them. The danger might be that if we all got one a plane might mistake our peloton for the flashing lights of Heathrow Runway 3. (Buy: Choice of sites)

Not Worth It – Garmin Varia RCT715 Review…but..

  • Bike Power Meter – these can be expensive and you will have already heard your partner moan about not having one – £/$250 should be enough. The cheapest options that are accurate and still sensible are one-sided cranks. Sounds techie? Not really, it’s the bit that the pedal fastens onto and you really can change one with an Ikea tool in 2 minutes. 4iiii or Stages are the brands to go for. More details in this post…

Obvious Choices 💪 best Beginner Power Meter

  • Wahoo Kickr Trainer – my preferred indoor trainer. $/£1000 ouch. This post has some cheaper ones for half the price.

Obvious Choices 🔋 Best Indoor Power Trainer Winter 2022-23

  • STRAVA or Zwifft annual subscriptions. You know where to go for the gift card.


Tubolito Review | lightest fastest smallest strongest?


  • Cold hands? Buy them full-length ARM WARMERS (warms the blood going to the hands, I am getting some more of these) and Seal Skinz lobster-claw gloves (creates a warm air pocket around the fingers) #ItWorks….if dry.


Running Presents

This is a great one for the winter in colder climes. Even if your partner has a cheaper treadmill, this product can transform it into an accurate Zwift-wonder. It accurately reads the treadmill speed and transmits the runner’s speed and cadence to zwift – or anywhere else for that matter. Really keen tech-runners can also utilise the treadmill incline that’s also broadcast.

This comes in at a decent $89 with my discount code THE5KRUNNER, when using directly at North Pole Engineering (NPE). This is also able to work with the Apple Watch. NPE does another cool product called HEARTBEATZ which lets you broadcast the heart rate from your Apple Watch to ‘somewhere else’ like zwift.


the NPE Runn Review 2023 Update & Discount | Zwift Treadmill Sensor + Garmin

Triathlon Presents

  • The Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best triathlon watch. But really your partner wants a $12,000 TT bike but we both know they were on the naughty step FAR too often this year to deserve one. Save yourself $11,500 and get the watch, they can always return it #UngratefulSo&Sos. (Buy: Wiggle + Various)


the Garmin Forerunner 955 Review – Solar ☀️ for triathlon? 6 full months of use.


Tech Presents

  • Sports Straps for your Partners Apple Watch – I like the quality of NOMAD and the Watch Strap Co (WsC). Here is a post that’s WAY too long about lots of types of SPORTS Apple Watch Straps. (Buy: Nomad and Buy: WsC). There are some GOOD straps here…not cheap and many are of better quality than the original Apple ones.


Best Apple Watch Band for Running ? Sports Strap – Definitive Guide | Workout | Fitness | Adventure |

  • Lumen Fat/Carb – This is interesting for athletes & dieters but perhaps more interesting than the science that underpins it. I’ve lost 1kg using this in the last 4 weeks. Mainly because I’ve done the same amount of exercise but eaten less. Still, it IS interesting if you like to BioHack your body to figure out what’s going on. Honestly folks, athletes REALLY do NEED to eat carbs. (Buy: Direct, use code the5krunner for a discount)

Lumen Review 💲 Is It Worth It 💲 and big discount


Garmin HRM-PRO Review & Discounts


  • Polar OH1+ – the best arm-worn heart rate monitor (Buy: Amazon, Wiggle & Others). Slightly rubbish strap that comes with the awesome sensor but I use mine regularly nevertheless.

Polar Verity Sense Review | the best, in detail


Running Presents

  • Injinji running socks – they look stupid but are great for long runs and reduce toe blisters. I love them, as will you because they are a relatively cheap present. Use the money you save to buy something nice for yourself. (Buy: Amazon)

Injinji Running Socks – Finally curing the running socks debacle


  • STRYD is a running power meter. I always include them in a list of presents. A new way of running and which gives accuracy to pace for those that run the old way. (Buy: Direct) Ideal if you want to see less of your partner as it gives them MUCH more data to understand and analyse on the computer.


STRYD Review, 10,000km Update – (Dual-) Running Power ⚡ Pod


the Coros PACE 2 Review


Wierd Nutritional Stuff

HVMN Ketone Review (BHB) – 60 min race booster


Christmas Spoiler 2: Here’s What Tri/Activity/Gadgets I Bought and what Santa tells me I can look forward to


Tech that changed my sporty life in 2019 – well, at least a bit

Feel free to add suggestions below.


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4 thoughts on “Desperation Christmas Presents: Swim-Bike-Run Gadgets

  1. Timely, especially if gifting remotely. The major US shipping companies have started warning buyers to expect delays due to holiday shipping volumes, but that may just be an upsell for expedited services.

    +1 on Injinji. Without them daily step streak and return to running would have not been remotely possible for me. Ten identical pairs with the left sock going into one stuff sack and the right sock going into another after laundering.

  2. I have two pairs of Injinji socks; a thicker pair for cushion and a lightweight for fast runs. They have easily been my go to sock for everything.

    Here’s another great side effect of these socks. I’ve devolped a tailor’s bunion on my left foot from years of bad choices in shoes(including socks). The Injinji socks, because of how they’re built have helped me reverse some of the damage, and pain.

    I second these socks, they’re amazing.

    1. yes. would be good to have lots of pairs but they are too expensive for that. I reckon i’d like about 8 pairs….lots of cash for that. I think I have 3 pairs with a surprise 4th coming in a few weeks !

      1. Yeah, way too expensive. I think I paid $15 each. Still, I may pick up another two for the warmer weather this year as I’m going to be trying a different spring/summer routine than I’ve had in the past.

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