I love the holiday season – full of faith, joy, kindness, and giving. But sometimes, finding the perfect gift for a triathlete or coach is a challenging! In this blog, I thought I’d share a few low-cost triathlon gift ideas (starting at $5.89). Each item is part of my own triathlon gear and gadget collection — tried and true! One item will make you laugh (or groan) – guaranteed! Prices are those that were listed on the weekend prior to Cyber Monday! Click the item name (red font) to read more about and/or purchase each item.
THE ATHLETE INSIDE — O N L Y $ 5.89 ! ! ! (reduced from $24.99) ***** Thanks to Amazon’s deep discounting on Black Friday, this hardcover book is the least expensive gift on this list! The Athlete Inside is the story a woman (me!) who lost 200 pounds, and through the kindness of others, and found her way to the Triathlon World Championship. On Black Friday, The Athlete Inside was ranked #2 on Amazon’s best-seller list for triathlon books. Many triathlon legends, including the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, Gwen Jorgensen, have endorsed the book! And the best news? Your purchase supports a great cause! 100% of the sale proceeds are being used to help those with disabilities participate in triathlon (via USA Triathlon Foundation)!
LOCK LACES — $7.99 ***** I like to use lock laces for my running shoes for two reasons: 1) I can simply slip into my shoes which saves time when transitioning from bike to run, and 2) I don’t have to worry about getting just the right tension while tying laces. Once set, they’re set.
WETSUIT SHAMPOO — $8.49 ***** Since February (2020), all of my swimming has been in an Indiana lake due to social distancing. When I hang my wetsuit to dry, it stinks! I used this before retiring my wetsuit for the winter.
QUIXX GAME — $7.99 ***** This small game packs into your small suitcase while traveling with your family to out-of-state races. An easy game of strategy. Our sons also have this game and we play together over Zoom. Mega fun.
FLOATING BUOY THERMOMETER — $9.99 ***** This year, COVID forced many of us to switch from pool to open water swimming. In this article about transitioning from pool to open water swimming, Sara McLarty states that it’s ok to swim in water as cold as 50’F as long as you have the proper equipment. While swimming as long as possible in Indiana (late November), I monitored the water temperature with this easy-to-read thermometer. I’ve also taken this thermometer to races to get a sense whether or not the swim will be wet-suit legal prior to the official announcement.
MINERAL OIL — $9.99 ***** Mineral oil on a holiday gift list? Yep! With a toothpick, I dab a little drop on my “button cell” batteries before placing them in my triathlon gadgets (like my Garmin Vector pedals). Really helps with the connection!
Between $10 an $20
BLISTER RESIST QUARTER SOCKS (Balega) — $15.00 ***** I love these socks in the winter! They have just the right cushioning to feel comfortable and their quarter height keeps my ankles out of the cold without constricting my calves. Available in lots of fun colors!
BROADBEAM LED HEADLAMP (Optional Ventures) — $12.99 ***** This headlight aluminates a wide area and is MEGA BRIGHT!!! Perfect for those dark mornings in transition when you’re setting up your gear for the day. The only problem is that it is so bright that it blinds everyone around you! I’ve learned to wear it around my neck, rather than my head so the light faces more downward.
ELECTROLYTE DRINK (Precision Hydration) — $11.99 ***** I love this product so much that I’m an ambassador for Precision Hydration! First, it contains no calories, so I can adjust my electrolytes without impacting my calorie intake (and visa versa). Second, Precision Hydration offers a FREE online sweat test and hydration plan to help you figure out exactly how much electrolyte you need and then order the product that’s right for you. Finally, research has shown that there’s a performance benefit that occurs as soon as your mouth senses flavor, even if what you’re tasting has no calories or you don’t swallow! I love its citrus flavor. I use this product year round.
AGILITY LADDER (Yes 4 All) — $11.99 ***** Working on quick feet? This little tool helps with agility and coordination. I keep mine in the car, so it’s ready for my warm-ups no matter where I am. Before social distancing, I even carried it into the YMCA before indoor track workouts.
WETSUIT HANGER — $17.97 ***** I made the mistake of storing my wetsuit folded over the winter – and ended up with a permanent crease in one arm that feels weird when worn. When hung on a regular plastic hanger, my wetsuit took on the shape of the hanger. This shoulder-shaped hanger is perfect!
CYCLING ARM WARMERS (Trek) — $19.99 ***** I added arm-warmers to my cycling gear a few years ago. On cool days, I can turn any short-sleeved bike jersey into a long-sleeved jersey! If I get hot as the ride progresses, I can simply roll them up an put them in my back pocket. An added benefit is their bright color which makes me more visible to cars. Note: Trek also makes leg warmers that turn cycling shorts into pants. Also on sale for $19.99.
Between $20 and $35
THE TRI BLEND WINE — $35.00 ***** “The Tri” wine is a blend of 16% Petite Sirah, 54% Malbec, and 30% Cabernet Franc. The inspiration behind the blending was the percentage of time that World Triathlon Champion, Katie Zaferes, spent in swim, bike, and run when she won the 2019 Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland. I had the pleasure of meeting Katie after the race!
TOUCHSCREEN CONVERTIBLE “GLOVE-MITTENS” (Trailheads)” — $32.00 ***** I love these glove-mittens! At the start of a run, I use the mitten covering to keep my hands warm, but after I’m warmed up, when my hands get hot, I peel back the mitten and just run in gloves. Perfect for running in 40’F – ish temperatures. Note: These are men’s gloves. I ordered a small and it fits well.
ULTIMATE GYM BAG 2.0 — $25.99 ***** I have three of these bags (in different colors) — one for each sport. My “bike” bag holds my helmet, bike shoes, glasses case, electronics case, arm warmers, cycling cap, and two sets of gloves. Very roomy. But what I like most are the two pockets where I can put my 24-oz water bottles – one with Precision Hydration Electrolyte Drink and the other with water. The long strap allows me to hang the bag across my chest, making it VERY possible to carry all my gear while also pushing my bike.
THERMAL SWIM SOCKS (Blue Seventy) — $ 33.75 ***** I thought it would be weird to swim with socks, but it’s not! I wear these socks when training in cold water (to 50’F). Not only do they keep my feet warm, but they also make walking on rocky beaches more comfortable. I also wear these while sitting in ice baths after taxing run workouts.
THERMAL SWIM GLOVES(Blue Seventy) — $ 33.75 ***** If your hands are stinging in cold water, this purchase is worth every penny! These gloves also provide a bit of a strength workout since they add extra weight to your hands when they’re wet.
SWIM BUOY (New Wave) — $29.95 ***** I receive my swim buoy as a Christmas gift a few years ago. When I’m swimming in open water, it tethers to my waist. While swimming, I don’t even now it’s there. However, it helps the boats (and my husband who is watching from shore) be able to see me. I also hold onto it while resting between intervals.
PEE-SPOUT (Freshette) — $24.42 ***** MEN, DON”T READ THIS!! My husband said this was too personal to list here, but seriously, this was my best purchase of 2020. I wish I had discovered this years ago! Officially, it’s called a “feminine urinary aid,” but I call it my pee spout. On long runs and bike rides in the country, it’s wonderful! The spout collapses into the funnel which makes it small enough to fit into my bike jersey pocket or in the pouch of my run belt. Then, when nature calls, you extend the spout, pull down the front of your pants – just enough to slip in the funnel (so nothing shows), and pee! No leaks whatsoever! On the bike, while straddling the frame, I slant my bike to one side, aim the spout to the other side, and go. No spills on me or my bike. I keep the spout and a few tissues in a sandwich bag and then return both to the bag when finished. Ladies, buy this gift for yourself — or have a good laugh by giving it to a friend!