Here they are from most expensive to least:
- Power Meter ($$$) - If you know a triathlete or cyclist who is serious about their training they either have a power meter or want a power meter. There are several different brands -CycleOps, Quarq, and SRM to name a few. (I do not own a power meter, so I have no experience or brand loyalty to any of these companies.) Power meters are either crank-based or wheel-based. Depending on the kind you get, there might be other costs involved like getting it built into the wheel and then making sure the power meter is compatible with the bike computer. My suggestion if this is something you want to give someone is to surprise them with a homemade gift certificate and then let them help pick it out.
- Coaching ($$-$$$) - I think coaching is a great gift for busy dad triathletes (shocking, I know!). I see a lot of dads working full time jobs, taking care of their families, and then trying to squeeze in training in between and often not getting the most out of the time they are putting in. A good coach will help optimize the time available for maximum performance and health. The nice thing about coaching is that you can give one month or 12 months or anywhere in between. This might be a great way to give someone a chance at seeing if they would enjoy being coached without feeling like they have this huge commitment. I know some good coaches if you are interested. :)
- Race Entry ($-$$$) - In our house Kel and I always have the annual discussion of who is racing what. Some of this is about logistics, but a lot of it is about finances. What better way to show your guy that you support him in his love of triathlon then footing the bill for a race entry. The cost can be anywhere from $20 to $1500 depending on the race. Even better, why not get a couple race entries for a local race and do it together!
- Massage ($$) - Does this really need an explanation? Even the toughest of guys could use a little loosening up. Massage is an excellent recovery tool for any athlete.
- Free Training Day (free) - I love this one! Why not make up a homemade gift certificate for a totally guilty free all-day training day! It could read something like this: "This certificate entitles you to one full day of training however you choose. All typical chores will be done for you while you are out. There will be no guilt trips or knowing stares involved. When you come home from your long day of training there will be a recovery meal waiting for you (after your long hot shower, of course), and a massage to be had later in the evening. Enjoy!"
- Bike Cleaning (free) - Every year for Mother's Day Kel gives me an entire season of bike cleaning and basic maintenance. While I am fully capable of cleaning and lubing my own bike (as every good triathlete should be), he is just so much better at it, and I think he kind of enjoys it, to be quite honest. It's a total win for us because he doesn't have to spend money on a gift for me (a true miracle in his eyes, I'm sure) and I have a clean bike all year! If you are giving this to your husband, make sure you actually know how to clean and lube a bike. It's really not that difficult and what a treat to your man to say you will take care of the dirty work!
These are just a few creative gift ideas for the athlete in your life. If you have others, please share!!