With only a few days to finish your Christmas shopping, the pressure is on to find something special for the athletes on your list.
Last week I recommended gifts for the cyclist in your life. The following five items in this list are guaranteed to surprise and delight all athletes, no matter their sport. As well, these are all great, last-minute ideas that won’t sell out before Dec. 25.
1. Lesson, fit or analysis
It doesn’t matter what sport you play, they all include the need for some sort of fit, lesson or analysis. For the cyclist on your list you could buy him a bike fit to improve his comfort and speed, a cycling clinic to improve his knowledge and strength or a V02 Max test so he can establish a baseline fitness to compare throughout and after his training season.
If your athlete is passionate about her sport, she will want to improve with each season so any of these ideas can be regifted year after year without ever getting old.
2. Books or a yearly magazine subscription
Staying up to date on the current trends, clothing and training are important to any athlete who takes her hobby seriously. Buying her the latest book or a yearly magazine subscription is a fantastic gift that keeps giving all year long.
If you want to be environmentally friendly, you can find most books and magazines online or in ebook format, which can download to an iPad, tablet or electronic reader.
3. Body tune up
Although training and competing for a sport is usually a healthy way to spend your time, the many hours spent perfecting a sport will leave most athletes feeling sore and fatigued. A gift certificate for a massage or any type of healing treatment such as acupuncture or even a spa treatment will definitely be appreciated.
You can never have enough shoes. Every sport has its own specific shoe, which should be replaced often.
Many serious runners own several pairs of shoes for the different types of running they do, including track, trails, long runs and tempo runs.
Beyond the fact that shoes wear out, manufacturing companies have finally caught on that they can make these functional shoes more fun with bright colors and different designs. Many athletes will be wanting to replace their shoes more frequently to keep up with the latest colours.
If a sport requires a specific shoe, it needs a specific sock. Sports socks are designed specifically to improve performance; although this relationship has yet to be tested, we still buy them.
Most running socks start around $15 and can go as high as $75 if you are looking at the knee high performance racing socks, which compress and support your calves as you race. And like the shoes, they come in lots of bright, playful colours, making them a fun gift to give and receive.
Kristina Bangma is a coach, personal trainer and writer with a love of riding and racing. Email questions to email@example.com.