The triathletes were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of energy chews danced in their heads. And Mama in her aero bars, and I in my swim cap, had just settled down for a long offseason nap.
Well, we gave it our best shot. Without further ado, we've compiled the year's best holiday gifts for the triathlete in your life.
XTERRA Premium 10' Inflatable Black SUP Package$549 (Regularly $1,200) 1 of 16
If your triathlete is serious about open water swimming—or will just do anything to get in the water—XTERRA BOARDS has a variety of products to keep them aquatically entertained. The premium 10-foot black paddleboard package includes a board, paddle, pump, backpack and leash—everything they need to get into the water hassle-free. The convenience of an inflatable board (this one inflates in only four minutes) means your multisport athlete can transport the board by car trunk or just carry it on their back.
Stand up paddleboards can be used for anything from a paddling pleasure cruise on the water, to a safety measure during open water swim practice. And with XTERRA's holiday special on their best-selling SUP package, you can pick one up for your favorite triathlete for more than 50 percent off.
Roka Phantom Aviator Sunglasses$275 2 of 16
Perhaps no struggle is more frustrating for a triathlete than slipping, sliding sunglasses. Those fashion-forward aviators that you rock to brunch simply will not work while pounding pedals or pavement. So, instead, we must juggle our shades—one pair for putting in work, another for walking to work; never, under any circumstances, to be switched.
That is, until now.
Roka, one of the most well-respected endurance brands in the game, has solved this conundrum once and for all by—wait for it—providing sunglasses that are both functional and aesthetically acceptable. The Phantom, specifically, is a game changer. A performance aviator, the Phantom weighs just 20 ounces and is constructed with GEKO Pads on the nose and temples that prevent sliding altogether.
We've run miles and miles (and miles) without a hiccup, literally forgetting at times that we're wearing sunglasses at all—which, you know, is fine since we can now wear our performance shades while ordering a mimosa.
Misfit Speedo Shine 2$120 3 of 16
If your triathlete complains of inaccurate lap counting during pool workouts, the Misfit Speedo Shine 2 is about to make you a gift-giving hero. The first activity tracker designed specifically with swimmers in mind, the Speedo Shine 2 boasts loads of cool features in addition to its industry-leading accuracy, including: A vibration motor and multicolor lights to see progress and tell time underwater; a countdown swim timer that provides a gentle vibe alert when a workout is complete; text and call notifications; and Misfit Link compatibility, which transforms the Speedo Shine out of the water into a music remote, selfie trigger, presentation clicker or button to enable a variety of smart devices.
Did we mention it tracks running and cycling, too?
Oakley Radar Pace Sunglasses$449 4 of 16
The steep price tag on the Radar Pace may seem like a lot for a pair of sunglasses, until you learn how much tech Oakley packed into these bad boys. The Radar Pace features a real-time, voice-activated coaching system powered by Intel Real Speech. Although they can't help with the swim leg of your favorite triathlete's next race, these smart trainer sunglasses can coach them to peak performances on rides and runs.
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music GPS$250 5 of 16
TomTom's reputation for building the simplest, easiest-to-use GPS watches on the market continues with the slim and sleek Spark 3. Equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor and activity tracking for running, cycling, swimming, treadmill and gym workouts, what we really love is the 3 GB of on-board music storage (or about 500 songs). You can transfer your favorite playlist from iTunes or Windows Media Player, sync the included Bluetooth headphones and cut the cord forever. Also new in this latest version is Route Exploration, which allows runners to plan and upload 15 routes to their watch from TomTom MySports or Strava.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT$450 6 of 16
On the other end of the activity tracker spectrum is Garmin's new top of the line multisport watch, the Forerunner 735XT. This bad mother GPS'er does truly anything your triathlete could ask for: indoor/outdoor running, indoor/outdoor cycling, pool and open water swimming, strength training, hell, even cross-country skiing. About the only thing it can't do is make them take a day off, but it will alert them when they've been standing still too long.
The long list of features includes automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, a surplus of data like VO2 max estimate, lactate threshold and recovery advisor and an auto multisport feature for brick workouts or race day that lets you switch sports with the press of a button.
Pearl Izumi BioVizPrices Vary 7 of 16
Indulge your triathlete's love for neon with Pearl Izumi's line of high-vis accessories, perfect for keeping warm—and visible—during winter workouts. From arm warmers, hats and gloves, to thermal tights, jackets and jerseys, the BioViz line uses strategically-placed reflective material and true fluorescent colors to make your triathlete more visible on their next ride or run. Did we mention neon?
GU Salted Caramel Energy Gel (15 serving)$15 8 of 16
Triathletes need energy, and a lot of it, so skip those single serving packs and serve them up a bulk batch of energy-boosting GU. The salted caramel flavor is a holiday favorite (just ask the abominable snowman on the package) and using a refillable custom flask will save your athlete from crossing the finish line with a jersey pocket full of empty, sticky gel packs.
Mizuno Wave Rider 20$120 9 of 16
With two decades under its belt, Mizuno's Wave Rider knows a thing or two about logging miles. The 20th edition may just be the best version yet, landing right in that sweet spot of snappy but soft underfoot. A great everyday training shoe, the Wave Rider is versatile enough to go from tempo to triathlon with ease and should work for a wide range of runners and types of running. The heel wedge also provides more cushion than past models, and the softer heel collar helps avoid irritation during a quick (or wet) transition.
2XU Recovery Compression Tights$120 10 of 16
If your triathlete drags you all over the world for their races, you're probably well-versed in the pain of the day after. Luckily, 2XU's compression recovery tights minimize discomfort after rigorous competition, offering serious muscle support and enhanced blood flow for faster muscle repair. The powerful PXW WEIGHT fabric gives support where your triathlete needs it most—glutes, abductors, IT band, quad, hamstring and calf—to reduce muscle stiffness and swelling. Hey, maybe they can carry their own bag this time!
Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Care Kit$110 11 of 16
To a triathlete, a bike isn't just a bike; hell, it isn't even an investment. Bikes are part of the family, and you take care of family, which is why any triathlete will love the Ultimate Bicycle Care Kit. Featuring Muc-Off's award-winning bike cleaner, microcell sponge, soft washing brush, detailing brush, two-prong brush, microfiber cloth, drivetrain cleaner, bike spray and bio wet lube, this kit is basically a spa day in a box for your bike.
Believe Logbook$18 12 of 16
Forget the fancy Garmins and the new-school apps; sometimes, the best way to train with accountability is the old school way. This minimalist workout diary is the perfect tool for a race that is three to six months away, and will help your triathlete spell out their goals, plot their path and then start chipping away. Plus, it offers a snapshot of how their sport is woven into the very fabric of their (and your) life.
Roka All Black Cycling CollectionBib Shorts $190; Jersey $125 13 of 16
All black is the new black. You love them for their goggles and wetsuits; well, now esteemed triathlon brand Roka wants to get you through the next leg of your triathlon in style with their sleek all black cycling collection. With seamless, clean compression, aerodynamic paneling and hi-viz reflective taping, your triathlete will want every piece of this kit.
Training Peaks Gift Card$119 for a 12-month subscription 14 of 16
Forget what we said about going minimal; the best way to train is obviously with fancy apps and digital training plans. Enter Training Peaks, the complete web, mobile and desktop solution for smart and effective endurance training. Whether your triathlete is training for a sprint or an IRONMAN, Training Peaks offers extensive plans to help them track, analyze and organize their training. A 12-month premium subscription gets them access to more data than even they know what to do with.
Hot Chocolate Clif Energy Bars$23 15 of 16
Stuff your triathlete's stocking with some delicious energy boosters. Clif is a classic when it comes to energy bars, and these seasonal flavors (also available in Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie) are an extra tasty option. We're especially big fans of the hot chocolate flavor. It was just sweet enough to feel like a treat, but packed enough fiber and protein to keep us going.