It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas these days, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably got a wee bit more shopping to do. Am I right? Most years I have grand intentions of getting it all out of the way in November, but I’ve been a little slow to the chase this time around and there are still a few people to check off my list. I know Christmas shopping stresses a lot of people out, but to be honest, I actually really enjoy the process of wrapping gifts and writing cards while listening to Christmas music and drinking festive bevvies. Anyone else on the same page?
If one of the people you’re still shopping for happens to be someone who really likes working up a good sweat on the regular, I can help you out with that. I’ve put together a holiday gift guide for runners and triathletes, and it’s packed with a whole bunch of things I love using in my own athletic endeavours. Perhaps it’ll give you a few ideas.. or add a few items to your own wish list!
ALSO… consider this a bit of an early Christmas here on Eat Spin Run Repeat, because some of my favourite things are also up for grabs! Stay in it until the end of the post and you could win some pretty great gear – either for yourself or someone you know. Sometimes it’s fun to treat yo’self, right? 😉
A lot of runners and triathletes (myself included) haaaate carrying things along while training. But the truth of the matter is we need fuel for energy, keys to get back into our houses/cars, and phones for
epic running selfies err…safety. I’ve tried several running belts in the past, many of which slipped around on my waist, rode up, or just didn’t feel comfortable. The SPIbelt however, is something I’m totally willing to carry with me.
The Endurance Series one that I have is big enough to easily store my iPhone 5 and keys in the pocket (with room to spare), gels in the gel loops on the outside, and it has a built-in clips for attaching a race bib. It sits flat, doesn’t ride up, and nothing jiggles around inside. There are tons of different colours and other SPIbelt designs so you can be matchy-matchy with your outfit, as well as a model with 2 bottles attached if you want to carry water or sports drink. Seriously, these things are an athlete’s must-have and the price point is totally reasonable.
Vega training bundles
While we’re on the topic of carrying sports nutrition, do you know anyone training for a 10K, half marathon, marathon or CrossFit competition in the new year? If so, Vega’s put together some bundles specific to the demands of each.
I’ll fully admit that I used to be extremely minimalist about my pre-, during and post-workout nutrition protocol. By this, I mean I often didn’t eat much at all before sessions, rarely carried gels or sports drink while running, and waited too long post-exercise to refuel, therefore missing the optimal time window for recovery. Then I learned more about how to use a plant-based diet to my advantage, and my opinion changed very quickly!
I talked a couple of weeks ago about how Vega recently re-formulated the Performance Protein product, which now contains 30g clean, plant-based protein, bromelain (a digestive enzyme), turmeric and tart cherry (super potent anti-inflammatories), and probiotics. It comes in 4 flavours – vanilla, chocolate, mocha and berry – all of which taste awesome. All of the products in the training bundles are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and work as a system to keep your nutrition bases covered pre-, during, and post-workout.
ASICS clothes and running shoes
I could wax poetic about how much I love Asics shoes (and have done in the past!) but their apparel is pretty fantastic too. I’m the type that likes my workout clothes to be bright and colourful, and Asics totally delivers on that. If you or your fit friends are looking to build out a wardrobe that will make you WANT to train hard in the new year, I think you’re gonna be into this.
Right now ASICS is having some wicked holiday sales at asicsamerica.com (disclaimer: you need a US shipping address) on shoes and apparel, and I’m currently waiting for a few treats, including these beauties, to land on my doorstep:
Lululemon Scuba Hoodie III
GUYS. This hoodie is so cozy, warm, soft and generally pure awesome that I’ve got 2 and wear them ALL the time. Those of you who have long torsos like I do will know that the earlier Scubas have a major belly-exposure factor if you raise your hands above your head, but the Scuba Hoodie III is longer, made of cotton fleece material, and has a huuuuge hood so that you can bury your head inside. I’m excited to see what colours they come out with next!
I know socks aren’t the most exciting Christmas present for the average person, but just ask someone who has run a marathon with a blister about what a difference maker a good pair of socks can be! Bombas socks have a Blister Tab to prevent blisters and chafing, plus a whole bunch of other features that make them better than the average sock. They come in a bunch of different styles and fun, bright colours, and for every pair that you purchase they donate a pair to someone in need. If you’re into gifts that give back, this is one of them!
Bonus: Until December 31st you can get 20% off + free shipping on your first order of 4 or more pairs using discount code ESRR20.
Sibu Miracle Stick
Carrying on with the topic of chafing, there’s no denying it can be a big problem for athletes. One of my go-to solutions for prevention and treating of painful chafe marks is the Sibu Miracle Stick. It truly does work miracles! Whether it’s chest chafe from heart rate monitors, sun burns or otherwise irritated skin, this thing lives in my training bag and is used on the regular.
Bonus: From now until the end of December, you can get 20% off at Sibu.com on the Miracle Stick, as well as any other products in the online store. I’ve talked before about their skincare line and the benefits of sea buckthorn, the superfood ingredient found in all of them. It’s good stuff, I tell ya!
A GPS watch and heart rate monitor
One of the biggest ways in which I’ve changed the way I train this year has been using heart rate to gauge my fitness improvements, as well as guide my training intensity in workouts and races. It’s prevented me from overdoing it, and is certainly one of the factors I believe contributed to my injury-free season. My heart rate monitor of choice is the Polar V800 which I highly recommend if you or the person you’re shopping for is a triathlete.
The Polar V800 has multi-sport functionality as well as some really cool visualizations online using the web app, Polar FlowSync. I also have the bike holster which allows me to strap it to my handlebars, and the cadence sensors which help me maintain a consistent leg speed while riding.
These are a super inexpensive yet super valuable tool for the swimming and I use mine in almost every session. Triathletes ideally want to save their legs for the work to come on the bike and run, so a really strong pull in the water is a big asset. Paddles help develop upper body strength, and I got these ones on Amazon for a whopping $10.
A few other ideas…
- A foam roller or massage tools for hard-working muscles
- A multi-tool to stash in a triathlete or cyclist’s bike bag for tightening shoe cleat screws, adjusting bike fit, and a number of other in-a-pinch uses
- A swim accessories kit: goggles, swim cap, quick-dry towel, swim suit cleaner, flip flops, travel-size shampoo and conditioner, moisturizer, paddles (above) and pull buoy
- A subscription to Triathlete, Runner’s World, or Women’s Running
- A healthy snack box subscription from The Feed (customizable fuel boxes for athletes of all kinds, as well as healthy travel snacks, vegan, paleo and gluten-free snacks, and portable foods for pretty much any outdoor adventure!) Note that The Feed is currently only available for US addresses, but here’s a roundup of Canadian-friendly subscription services, including Toronto-based Munch Better or Vancouver-based Naked Snacks.
As promised, in addition to the special discount codes above for Eat Spin Run Repeat readers, I have 2 prizes to give away to 2 lucky winners! They are…
- A Vega Half Marathon Training Bundle and a shaker cup. The bundle includes:
- 1 Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer Tub – Acai Berry
- 1 Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator – Berry Tub
- 1 Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator -Tropical Tub
- 1 Vega Sport Performance Protein – Vanilla Tub
- Any SpiBelt of your choice. You can see the entire product line here.
In order to enter, here’s what to do:
- Mandatory entry: Comment on this post telling me what part of the holidays you’re most looking forward to, as well as which of the 2 prizes you’d like to win.
- Bonus entry: Subscribe to the Eat Spin Run Repeat quarterly newsletter
- Bonus entry: Tweet about this giveaway, tagging me (@eatspinrunrpt) in the tweet. Perhaps a little something like this..
This giveaway is open until Thursday December 10th at 6pm PT to residents of the US and Canada, and the winners will be contacted on Friday.
Good luck! 🙂