Runner and Triathlete Gift Giving Guide

As an endurance athlete, sometimes the hardest part of the Holidays is getting the people you love who want to get you gifts that are relevant aligned with a place to buy those gifts. It is tough to get a gift from a well intentioned person that seems like it is related to running or triathlon and really, it just isn’t something that you want or need. How do you say, “Did you get a receipt with this” to your grandma? It just isn’t done.

So I decided to give you a simple way to drop the hints to your family and friends. This guide will be organized along price breaks so that anyone with any budget can buy you what you need. These suggestions may just help you get what it is you really, really want. These products are all things that I use, and I think that are worthwhile. So let the Running and Triathlon Gift Giving Guide begin…

Free Stuff

One thing I love is the presence of my family and friends at my races. Ask them to come and spectate at one of your races. They can bring signs, cowbells, and generally get rowdy. Another suggestion would be to have them commit to training with you or completing a race with you. One of the best way to bond with a family member or close friend is to train for a specific event with them and crossing a finish line. I remember the friends that I finished each race with. One of the most memorable marathons I completed was when I finished with my brother Joe. Sometimes the best gifts are free.

Under $19.99

Hammer Gel ($19.99) — I love Hammer’s products and their gel is no exception. The flavor is really good in almost every case, and they default to the most natural ingredients available. While you can always order direct from, I think the better deals are available on Amazon.

Cycling Gloves ($19.99) — These gloves are economical enough that you can buy several pairs. If you lose one or two, you can replace them cheap enough. I don’t ride with them when I am riding my tri bike, but I do with my road and mountain bikes. I use them with the roadie to cushion my hands and with the mountain bike to protect my hands when I fall.

Training Related Books ($14.95 – $19.99) — There are plenty of books on the market to help you improve your performance. If you follow the link in the text you can see I have assemble a pretty decent list of good recommendations related to endurance sports. From guides to help you improve your nutrition, how to reach your optimal body weight, how to formulate your own training plans, and how to make improvements in your performance. I love to read and to educate myself on how to improve myself and my performance, and that may be the next step for you to start making the strides that you deserve.

Road ID ($19.99) — This gift can actually save your life. I wear one as a dog tag when running or biking. Especially when I am on the road for work and in cities where I don’t know anyone, I always have one on. The Road ID provides first responders with your vitals so that they can contact your people and in some cases, provide you with the correct treatment. Think about it — you get hit by a car either running or cycling or you fall and bang your head and are passed out, do you really want to go to the hospital as a John or Jane Doe?

$20.00 – $100.00

Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor ($83.25) — Heart rate is an essential metric for training, regardless of how serious you are of an athlete. With that information, you know how hard you are working and the improvements you are making because of your training. There is plenty of information available on how to train with heart rate and the various zones that you can identify. This is a great resource if you do not already have one.

26.2ismycooldown.comTransition Bag ($99.99) — I have this bag and I love it. It is big enough to get everything you need into the transition area from your car. Being organized is one way to help make sure you get everything to your race and to minimize the stress of the day. There are no sizes or colors to get wrong — this is a great gift for the triathlete in your life.

$100.00 – $199.99

Garmin Forerunner 305 ($129.99) — You guys know I love Garmin Forerunners, and I used the 305 for years. It works well and has all the functions that you need in a running or cycling GPS. For a little more money, you can get it with a heart rate monitor. You can even download all the data to evaluate your workouts with as much frequency as you want. I think that for the extra cash, you want the Garmin over the Polar HRM any day of the week. This is a fantastic option for the money.

Giro Ionos Helmet ($189.00) — Man I love this helmet. This helmet is light and saved my melon once. I loved the first one so much that I ordered a second one when I crashed on it. There are sizes and colors to choose, so make sure you talk to your cyclist or triathlete about the colors they want. If you really want to surprise them, default to the colors on their bike and match those.

And now, the price is no object category

Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR’s ($1,995.00) — These wheels are the best of the best. If you want to buy these wheels for someone, remember to find out what speed the bike is, if it is Shimano or Campy, and if they use 700 or 650 wheels. I would almost suggest you involve your cyclist or triathlete in the decision making process. These wheels are the absolute best of the best.

A New Bike (Any Price You Want) — This really has to be the triathlete or cyclist’s ultimate dream. There are lots of brands out there, and I know I am very particular about the bikes I ride. I am sure the triathlete or cyclist in your life is exactly the same. What you should do is set a budget, add $1,000.00 to it (for fun), and then take your special someone shopping. Really, your name will be repeated to all of your athlete’s friends again and again. You will be heralded as the most amazing gift giver in the history of the universe. You can send me an email later thanking me for the amazing idea.


The holidays are a great way for you to save money — buy them something they will eventually buy themselves anyways. You should follow my guide and know that awesomeness will follow. Your athlete will thank you and I hope they will eventually thank me too.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...