The Ultimate 2016 Gift Guide for Endurance Athletes


Athletes are hard to purchase gifts for (just ask your significant other). Most people who are not athletes have no idea what you might need, enjoy, or actually use. That’s why you get things like runner wind chimes or a bicycle-shaped corkscrew. Those poor gift givers know you are into endurance sports and want to get you something related to what you love to do, so help them out. Leave this article open on your computer. “Accidently” email it to them. Better yet, tell their closest friends what you really want and let nature take its course.

Now, before getting to the gift list, I’m going to be totally upfront with you. Every time I talk about products someone barks about advertising or infomercials, so I’m breaking this list into parts. The first list consists of products I think are useful and cool from companies CTS does not currently have partnerships with. The second list includes a mixture of gift ideas from CTS and CTS partners, because the great people who buy those products make it possible for us send out free content three times a week.

The Ultimate 2016 Gift Guide

Spurcycle Bell

bell_1765_2_raw_frontthumb_f685d5bf-15d4-4b19-9b9f-31f3765af004_2048x2048 The first time I heard this bell it was when Coach Jim Lehman rode up behind me on the bike path. Instead of a tinny, weak clang I heard a loud and musical ding. The Spurcycle bell is a high-quality, well-crafted product, and it doesn’t rattle when you hit bumps or ride gravel. For the style-conscious, it is also small and understated on the bars.

Cycliq Fly 6

doublesize_fly6-v For most of my life on bikes I considered reflectors and flashers to be something only kids and commuters used. I’ve changed my tune recently, however, because new products are so bright, so light, and so easy that there’s really no excuse not to use them. One of the products I like is the Cycliq Fly 6, which combines a red rear flasher with a camera that continuously captures footage and saves it if you want it to or if you’re involved in a crash.

Lezyne SuperDrive 1250XL

product-led-super-y10-zoom1 The Lezyne Superdrive 1250XL is overkill for my commute, but I like the fact I can use the same light for commuting and railing a singletrack descent on a moonless night. With six modes to adjust the brightness and consequently the run time, I love the versatility of this light and its price. You get a lot for $119-$149.

Handlebar Mustache Socks

idigo__77978-1474048548-500-659 There are a ton of boutique athletic apparel, t-shirt, and sock companies serving the endurance sports industry, but I like Handlebar Mustache socks because of Brett and Ashley Richard. They make creative designs, they’re good folks, and they listen to Johnny Cash.

EVOC Stage 12L Hydration Pack

85217272b4e7187cce0880e98f060661_xl_1024x1024 A great hydration pack disappears until you need it; a bad one is like strapping a sweaty monkey to your back. The EVOC Stage 12L is very well vented, rides well on your back, and has a ton of thoughtfully-designed features tucked inside. I also like the size. Twelve liters is bigger than a stripped down race pack and smaller than a bike packing rig, but it’s great for anything from a few hours to a full-day epic.

Trail Gaiters

how-to-wear-50 Jason Koop, CTS Coach and author of “Training Essentials for Ultrarunning”, said Dirty Girl Gaiters should be on the top of any runner’s wish list, whether they’re a boy or girl. High quality doesn’t have to be boring!

Trekking Poles

112177_carb_distance_carbonz_open_web Another recommendation for runners and hikers are Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles. At just 9 ounces and full carbon, they are lightweight, fold up into your pack when you don’t need them, and deploy quickly easily when you do.

CTS Products or Partner Products

Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, By Jason Koop and Jim Rutberg

Training Essentials for Ultrarunning by Jason Koop CTS Coach Jason Koop has written the definitive training book for ultramarathon runners. Training Essentials for Ultrarunning is your best guide to preparing for ultramarathon. Unlike so many “it worked for me” training books, Coach Jason Koop’s proven program and guidance are based on sound sports science, the most current research, and years of experience coaching the sport’s star runners to podium performances.


  • The science behind ultramarathon performance.
  • Common ultramarathon failure points and how to solve them.
  • How to use interval training to focus workouts, make gains, reduce injuries, and race faster.
  • Simple, effective fueling and hydration strategies.
  • Koop’s A.D.A.P.T. method for making the right decisions to solve a race-day crisis.
  • How to plan your ultra season for better racing.


gps_bike_computer_elemnt_front_v2_1 Every GPS unit has something it does exceedingly well and a lot of other things it does just like it should. The Wahoo ELEMNT uses ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to you training devices and smart phone, has good navigation tools, auto-uploads and syncs to Strava, TrainingPeaks and others, and has a big and easy-to-read screen. The things ELEMNT does exceedingly well, though, are setup and smart trainer control. Using the Wahoo ELEMNT app you pair the ELEMNT with your phone in seconds, and then set up the device using your phone instead of a maze of menus on the device. Another breakthrough feature is the ability to use your ELEMNT to control your Wahoo smart trainer. Bundle ELEMNT with 3 Months of CTS Coaching

Free Cycling Training Assessment Quiz

Take our free 2-minute quiz to discover how effective your training is and get recommendations for how you can improve.

CTS Gift Certificate

gft-2t Let the endurance athlete in your life decide what they want by giving them a CTS Gift Certificate. They can use it to come to the training camp of their choice, or apply it to coaching or in our newly redesigned online store.

Barfly Fenders

img_3976-2-600x600 It takes a hardy cyclist to train consistently through the winter, so help make it a little easier for the cyclist in your life by helping him or her stay dry. Barfly fenders are stylish and fit a wide range of bikes, and most important they keep your butt dry (or at least drier).

CTS DVDs and Video Downloads

All of your favorite Train Right DVDs and Video Downloads are available now in our new online store.

Bonk Breaker Bars/Drink/Chews

sports nutrition If you want to get an athlete something you know they will appreciate you for, get them food! Bonk Breaker has all-natural, GMO-free sports nutrition products that taste absolutely amazing and allow athletes to perform at their best. If you care about the athlete in your life, give them Bonk Breaker.

Coaching and Camps


Oh, come on, you didn’t think I could write a products article without promoting the cornerstone of what CTS offers, did you? Right now you can give yourself the gift of fitness by signing up for coaching for just $1 for your first month. And we have a range of free gifts for you when you sign up for a 2017 CTS Camp before December 31, 2016.

Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach of CTS


FREE Mini-Course: Learn How to Maximize Your Limited Training Time

Learn step-by-step how to overcome limited training time and get faster. Walk away with a personalized plan to increase your performance.

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Comments 1

  1. I want my bike friends to buy me some “go faster up hills”
    I didn’t see it advertised. How much does it cost? Merry Christmas

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