It's that time of year when you need to start shopping for your athletic friends. To make the holidays a snap, we compiled a list of gift ideas for multi-sport fanatics.
EASY ON THE WALLET
Profile Design E-Pack filled with goodies - $15 to $20
Make the ride just a little easier this winter. The latest iteration of Profile's star product has a longer Velcro straps to fit around larger bike components. Drop in an iTunes gift certificate and fill the pack with some nutrition. For holiday cheer, try one of GU's newest flavors, Vanilla Gingerbread.
The Athlete's Plate: Real food for High Performance by Adam Kelinson - $25
In Kelinson's words: "Make nutrition a part of your lifestyle" in 2011. The author offers some very basic rules to eat better, in ways that create a better environment for us all. His recipes make changing your eating habits easy and enjoyable.
TRIED AND TRUE
Trigger Point Ultimate 6 Kit - $140
Help your loved ones repair injuries and rebuild the body and with this complete kit from Trigger Point Performance Therapy. Athletes continue to rave about the versatility, design and effectiveness of these tools for stretching, strengthening, and loosening critical areas of the body.
Oakley Radar Sunglasses - $180 and up
There's simply no substitute for great design. The distinctive shape of the Radar glasses creates a true wind shield for the rider. When you pour water over your head in the middle of a hot race, the "hydrophilic" rubber on the nose and ear pieces actually stick better to your face wet than when dry. In addition, the optics are significantly stronger than typical sunglasses. A rock kicked up by a passing car won't break the shades.
CycleOps Power Fluid 2 Trainer - $330
Winter is just around the corner--it's dark in the morning and at night after work. This trainer will let your athlete maintain fitness when the weather won't cooperate. It's quiet enough to put in a bedroom and ride while you watch TV.
A NEW TWIST ON OLD FAVORITES
Timex Ironman Sleek 150-lap with TapScreen - $90
Make it easy to track pool workouts. The Trisports product team actually tested the tap function in their pool and confirmed that it will keep count of the laps when you push the button under water.
blueseventy Carbon Race goggles - $100
These goggles are twice as light as standard goggles and six times as strong as standard eye wear. So not only will your athlete swim faster, but that swift kick in the head from a friendly competitor won't destroy the eyewear in their "A" race. Plus the goggles are made with carbon fiber polymer.
INNOVATION AT ITS FINEST
Inviscid Design Speedfil Hydration System - $100
The new system by Inviscid Design took center stage at many of the major races this year. Extensive wind tunnel testing allowed the company to create a bottle with less drag, yet with more capacity for fluid. And it's easy to refill on the fly.
Lazer Tardiz TT Helmet - $175
Dollar-for-dollar, beaked helmets reduce a triathlete's drag more than the best aero wheels on the market. The Lazer aero helmet was designed specifically for triathlons and it shows. The adjustable knob on the top of the helmet allows the rider to leave the helmet loose to put on and then tighten to fit on the road. A drench port on top lets the athlete easily pour water on the head to keep the body temperature low.
SOMETHING FOR COMFORT
CEP Running Compression Socks - $60
Get your runner back on his or her feet faster after that long run with these socks. This technology continues to be a runaway hit for the second straight year. CEP was one of the original entrants with medical-grade material. It continues to lead the market with its patented, gradated pressure to speeds recovery.
Zoot WRKS Xotherm Jacket - $140
This jacket does double-duty to keep you warm and dry on both the run and on the ride. Zoot's multisport designers intentionally developed a cut to allow the athlete to feel just as comfortable on the aero bars as on the long run. They used a material that resists the wind but also breathes.
THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF
2011 Felt DA - Not yet priced
Felt has kept the price on their newest top-of-the-line tri bike under top secret wraps. They will only say its price is "TBA." Why such a premium? The bike will use the latest Di2 Shimano Durace shifters. Felt claims the bike is 14 percent more aerodynamic than the 2010 edition. In addition, it's 13 percent stiffer. The new frame has 25 percent more surface area but is only 2 percent heavier.
Special thanks to Tom Demerly at TriSports.com and Conor Fournier at Nytro Multisport, Inc. for their assistance on this piece.
Paul Tyler is founder of Triessential.com. Triessential offers an iPhone application with a different daily reason to train for the entire year. Add the gift of inspiration to your triathlete's stocking with a gift certificate for the Triessential iPhone app.