Weekend Reading: Meaningful Gifts for the Endurance Athlete in Your Life

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noted a shift in the way I look at gifts. Sure, I still buy little niceties like a sweater or bottle of wine for people, but these days I’m not buying as many wrappable items for the people who mean the most to me. I want my gifts for these people to be experiential and meaningful, and you just can’t get that from a sweater. Endurance athletes are notoriously hard to shop for because many friends and relatives have no idea what we need or want. So here are a few suggestions, some wrappable and some not:

Power meter: For the goal-oriented cyclist or triathlete this is an essential piece of equipment, but they can be a hefty investment. In my view a power meter is worth every penny, even for riders just looking to stay fit or participate in some gran fondos. Greater precision in training leads to improved performance, and I’ve never met a cyclist or triathlete who regretted getting faster. There are a ton of power meter options available these days but after 20 years of working with power and power meters I recommend PowerTap for a wheel-based system and SRM for a crank-based system. You can get advice, unbeatable pricing and coaching/power meter bundles from CTS by calling 719-635-0645.

Gear: Although the endurance athlete in your life probably has a room-full of gear, it’s important to realize that much of that gear wears out and should be regularly replaced. I think a new helmet is a great gift, because even if it’s not needed immediately, athletes should replace them annually and they rarely think about it until they crack one. I recommend Giro Helmets because they’ve protected my head so well that I can still remember how many times they’ve saved my skull. Buy the runner in your life a new pair of shoes. It’s easy because running shoes wear out after a few months, so you can just buy the exact shoe they’re already using and they’ll love you for it. Sunglasses are also a great choice, because nearly every athlete loses/scratches/breaks a pair during the course of the year. My personal choice is Smith Optics because they’re durable, fashionable, and have the easiest interchangeable lenses.

Indoor trainer: An indoor trainer is another essential piece of equipment for a cyclist or triathlete – even if they live in a warm climate year-round. They’re obviously great for training indoors during bad weather, but they’re also important for pre-event warmups. I recommend Kurt Kinetic trainers, particularly the Road Machine. And you can take advantage of the current CTS Coaching Special (also available via gift certificate), which bundles a Road Machine trainer and accessories with any 12month coaching package. I also recommend getting Kinetic’s inRide power meter, which transmits your power to the inRide app and can then upload directly to your TrainingPeaks account.

Coaching: Athletes are happiest when they are performing at their best, so the way to make an athlete happy is to help them improve their performance. I know I’m biased, but for my money the most effective way to improve performance is through coaching. Give the athlete in your life 6 months of coaching, or give them a gift certificate so they can choose the package that’s right for them. All coaching packages can be viewed here and coaching specials are here.

Training Camp: Think of it as an endurance athlete’s version of a spa weekend, only with more exercise. Training camps are one of the most popular gift items for CTS customers, because you’re giving someone the opportunity to get away and completely immerse themselves in the sport they love. Camps provide valuable instruction, great workouts, the chance to just focus on being an athlete for a few days, and the opportunity to meet and talk for hours with coaches and athletes who share a passion for sport. View the 2015 Camp Calendar.

Here are a few more:

Raceweight Weight Loss Program: Particularly useful after the Holidays.

Have a Great Weekend!
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

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