Friday, November 30, 2012

The 2012 A-Z Holiday Gift Guide...

Last year I published my Top 20 Holiday Gift Guide.  This year I decided to one-up that and give you my A-Z Holiday Gift Guide for the athlete in your or in your family.  Some of these are repeats from last year, but that must mean I really love them!  Here we go:  

A:  Adamo ISM road seat.  Treat your bum this Christmas to this salmon-shaped bike seat for your triathlon bike (or the Podium ISM seat for road bikes).  I've had this on my tri-bike for 2 years and although it took some getting used to, there's no turning back to regular seats once you do.  It effectively relieves perineal pressure for both men and women.  



B:  Bubba Brand insulated water bottle.  I'm extremely picky about my water bottles, so I was thrilled to find this.  I just bought the 24 oz Envy tumbler, which comes with a straw - perfect for driving so I don't have to tip the bottle.  The bottles are insulated for warm or cold beverages, BPA-free, and dishwasher safe.  

C:  Coffee maker (individual size) for traveling.  For those of us who don't typically make a full pot of coffee, the individual coffee pot makers are wonderful.  For travel, the mini individual coffee makers are ideal.  Hamilton Beach's the Scoop coffee maker is stainless steel, small for travel, and makes a 14-oz or 8-oz cup of coffee.  Best of all, you don't have to use the K-cups (which is better for the environment).  The Scoop comes with two scoop filters that lets you measure your own ground coffee perfectly.  

DDigital helmet camera from GoPro.  So this is on my ultimate wish list...The GoPro Hero3 helmet cam bike pack.  Don't ask me why...I just think it'd be fun! Take stunning video and pics of your bike rides with this camera mounted to your helmet.  Let the YouTube videos rip!  

E:  Exercise ball and bands.  Going to the gym can be expensive and difficult, so why not bring the gym to you?  Exercise balls and bands from Gaiam are a great way to work your core and get a good resistance workout from home for only the fraction of the price of a gym membership.  

F:  Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Skincare Cream.  My grandpa started buying this cream for me years ago and I didn't learn until some years later that it's actually not tested on animals.  Good job, Papa!  This cream works wonders on dry, chapped winter skin and I use it all the time, especially on my hands.    

G:  Garmin 910xt.  Of course this makes the list.  I have the Garmin 310xt and although I love it, shiny new technology is always tempting.  The 910xt is less bulky and more streamlined.  Best of all, the 910xt is the first Garmin to provide swim stroke count and pool laps...no more counting in the pool!  (I just hope it doesn't require me to do flip turns!)...  

Garmin 910xt
H:  Handkerchiefs or bandanas.  Yes, you heard me.  These are one of the most practical things you can have, yet few people nowadays do.  I have a ton of handkerchiefs and bandanas that I use when I travel:  for napkins, to wipe off airline trays, clean up messes, tie my hair back, wipe off sweat or keep it out of your eyes, provide padding for breakable items...the list goes on and on.  Try some colorful handkerchiefs or bandanas for stocking stuffers this year. Bandanagram has customizable bandanas/handkerchiefs, including ones for triathlons and marathons.  Or you can go with the good ol' fashioned farmers handkerchief like I have.  

I:  iTunes gift card. May sound lame, but every athlete has their workout playlist(s) and if you're like me, your music is very mood-specific.  So new tunes are always a necessity to keep your workout mojo in the groove.  I could never have enough iTunes gift cards!   

J:  Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones.  I got these for my birthday this year and they're fantastic.  Great sound quality and they stay put when you're running.  Plus, the bluetooth feature lets you talk on the phone if you get a call while running.  The headphones also come with various pieces and hooks for the perfect fit.  

K:  Kettlebells.  These nifty little training devices have gained a lot of popularity lately and with good reason:  they offer an effective cardio workout with strength, balance, and flexibility.  The advantage over dumbbells or other weights is that the kettlebell contains a handle that allows you to control its center of gravity and gives you more variety of exercises.  Livestrong has a good article on selecting kettlebell weights and the top kettlebell exercises for athletes.  

Kettlebells...
L:  Luggage accessories.  Most athletes travel to a lot of races.  Luggage accessories can make the chaos of travel more bearable.  Try a digital luggage scale to avoid extra airline fees for heavy baggage (if you're an over-packer like me!).  Or how about a bike chain luggage tag for the cyclist or triathlete, or some personalized luggage tags.    

M:  Massage therapy.  While it's nice to get a professional massage and, in fact, often necessary for athletes. sometimes it's nice to have some massage therapy in your own home.  To relieve muscle tightness and increase circulation, try a foam roller for massage before or after a workout.   You can also try a massage roller stick.  I'm a big believer in both of these and have been able to work out a lot of knots by using the foam roller.  

N:  Noise canceling headphones.  Again, ideal for any traveler (especially if you need to get some sleep on a noisy plane).  Cnet.com provides a good review and comparison of noise canceling headphones.  

O:  One More Mile t-shirt and hats.  These were a favorite of mine last year and they're a repeat this year.  It's nice to add a little giggle to your runs...

One of my favorite One More Mile shirts that my mom got for me last year...

P:  Protein powders.  This isn't a sexy Christmas gift, but it's a necessary one for athletes for any time of the year.  Here are some of my favorites (all vegan of course):  Garden of Life Raw Protein.  I think this is the best protein powder out there.  It's raw, contains sprouted protein, has probiotics and enzymes, is dairy and soy-free, has a neutral flavor, and has 17 grams of protein.  I mix this in my complex smoothies that contain a lot of ingredients.  Nutribiotic Plain Rice Protein (with 12 grams of protein) and Plant Fusion unflavored protein (22 grams of protein) are both great for shaking up in some vanilla soy, almond, or rice milk for a quick smoothie.  

Q:  Quilt made out of race t-shirts.  Quirky but cool.  If you have a closet full of race t-shirts that you don't wear, why not turn them into a t-shirt quilt to memorialize all those races? 

R:  Rescue Chocolate.  What's better than chocolate?  Saving a life while eating your chocolate!  100% of the proceeds from Rescue Chocolate go to animal rescue organizations across the country.  And this chocolate is delicious.  Makes a great stocking stuffer (just don't hang it above a roaring fireplace!).  

S:  Smoothie shaker by Blender Bottle. This is a must have for on-the-go or making a quick smoothie at home with milk/water and your favorite protein powder.  The patented wire wisk moves freely through the bottle as you shake it to blend your drink.  I have the Classic Mini and love it! 

T:  Transition towel.  Why use your ratty old beach towels in transition?  I found these fun transition towels (in small and large) with various designs and sayings. There's also one with a race day checklist...now that's multi-tasking!  
Triathlon towel with the race day checklist...

U:  Under Armour ColdGear Fitted Long Sleeve Mock running shirt.  I received one of these last year for Christmas and love it!  I like that it's fitted and not bulky.  Plus it keeps you really warm.  Also available in men's.  

V:  Vega Sport products.  Developed by vegan Ironman triathlete, Brendan Brazier, even the non-vegans among us will love these.  My favorite recommendations are:  Pre-Workout Energizer (light, delicious, and contains ingredients like green tea and yerba mate to get you amped up for a workout); Electrolyte Hydrator (free from sugar, artificial sweeteners, and calories.  It just contains awesome electrolytes and minerals); Endurance Bar (I ate these during Ironman and they were great on my stomach!); Endurance Gel (I'm not a gel fan, but these are great.  Free from high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin, so it's not sugary); and Protein Bar (I live on these things. They are delicious and have 15 grams of protein).   

W:  Watch - the Timex Ironman 30-lap watch.  I've had this watch for years and I love it.  It's a great watch for the weekend, swimming, or if you just want to get away from your GPS technology for awhile.  It's comfortable and easy to read and use.  

X:  Xmas triathlon lights.  I found these at a race expo one year and thought they were adorable!  String lights with running shoes, swim goggles, and bike wheels.  Great for Christmas decorations or a party.  

Triathlon lights...so cute!
Y:  Yoga for Athletes DVD. I've owned this DVD for several years (and don't use it as much as I should).  It's  not your typical yoga video.  It provides yoga exercises for 16 different sports and different muscle groups within those sports.  You can choose workouts from 20-60 minutes or combine different muscle group workouts.  Great for beginners and experienced yogis alike.  

Z:  Zensah High Compression Shorts.  I've already recommended Zensah compression leg and arm sleeves.  Well I love all things Zensah, and the high compression shorts are no exception.  I wore these for the run portion of Ironman last year and loved them.  They don't ride up and provide all the benefits of compression to your upper legs.  

There you have it!  I hope Santa brings you everything on your list; but, regardless, the best gifts of all this season are those of health, happiness, friends, and family.  


2 comments:

Jen said...

This. Is. Awesome. Thanks! I've forwarded a link. :)

Life Through Endurance said...

Hey Jen...thanks so much! I hope you forwarded the link to people who can get you some of the stuff on the list. ;0)