fbpx

Triathletes Ultimate Gift Giving Guide


It’s no secret that triathletes need a lot of stuff for training and racing. As a long-time triathlon and running coach and athlete I have developed a list of favorites that are sure to please your triathlete for any special occasion; birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or just because. This list is chalk full of popular gadgets and must-have supplies for the triathlete or runner in your life, or yourself. This list has been conveniently divided into sections to meet anyone’s budget.

Low Cost Ideas (under $35):

Road ID ($20-35)
Safety first! Accidents are never expected…like when I was hit by a truck on my bicycle. It’s at this time I was grateful I have ID on me. Even though I was not knocked unconscious, I could have been. If you care about your loved one, buy them Road ID. This handy identification tag can let emergency personnel know who to contact and can even identify medical conditions like diabetes, asthma or medication allergies when you are not conscious to speak for yourself. This could quite literally save a life! They also have gift certificates. Check it out: Road ID Gift Cards

Basic Running or Cycling Socks ($5-22)
Check out the displays at your local running or cycling stores. You are bound to find a cute design that will bring a smile to any athletes face. Here are some of my  favorite local shops:   Bountiful Bicycle

Wasatch Running Center

RockTape

Most all athletes at one time or another have sustained some body injury.  RockTape has been a lifesaver for me with all my long course training.  I especially love all the cool prints they offer.  Check it out!

Wrist Wraps, Necklaces & Shoe charms ($10-35)
Many shoe charms can be customized with the name of a loved one to honor and wear on running shoes like many have done at the local Race For Grief event on Memorial Day  (virtual entry available). Or choose a favorite power word or saying for a wrist wrap or necklace. Check out these two great shops with lots of items to choose from:
Momentum Jewelry They also have fun themed gift boxes!
Charm Factory

Books ($15-35)
There are so many great books out there, I couldn’t even name them all, but I highly encourage you to asked your loved one and friends what they want. Or you could always buy gift certificates and they can shop for themselves. If you know they like cookbooks you might consider this one: The Feedzone Cookbook

Moderate Budget Ideas ($45 plus):

Wireless or wired Earbuds or Headphones ($20-99)
I hear good things about jaybirds wireless earbuds Jaybird Wireless Earbuds so you could look at them. If you are looking for a less expensive gift YurBuds have worked pretty well for me. Feel free to leave a comment on any you have found that are great.

Race entry ($25-125)
Any triathlete or runner would appreciate a gift race entry. Many races offer the option of getting a gift entry or gift cards. It’s the gift that gives back. Here are some of the local favorites:
Salt Lake Marathon – Use the code slcblonderunner19 to save 20%
Ogden Marathon – Look for the discount code coming out in January.
Get more race discounts


Noxgear Tracer 360 Visibility vest ($45 with code)
This is my very favorite light vest. It feels like you are having a party when you put it on and is especially great in the winter when it’s dark often. Be sure and use the code BLONDERUN to save 35%. They also have tracers for dogs!  Check it out:Tracer 360

Kodiak Cakes

Does your athlete like to bake?  Check out the great line of high protein products from Kodiak Cakes.  I particularly like their chocolate pancakes.

Running Shoes ($85-160)
As a long time runner, I can tell you there is no such thing as too many shoes. Runners need good shoes. Since shoes are highly individual I recommend getting a gift cert from local running store. One of my favorites in my area is Wasatch Running Center If you are not pleased with your current running shoes or aren’t sure what brand to look for I am personally a big fan of HOKA’s. They offer so many great shoes!

Compression Socks ($20-85)
Compression socks can really speed recovery and help prevent swelling. I really love the quality of ProCompression and they always have the cutest styles and prints. I know they have a sale going on most of the time. Check them out

Enso Roller ($52 with discount code)
Self myofascial release (SMR) techniques have been known to speed recovery. This practice increases blood flow, elongates tissue, can breakup adhesions, and release tight muscles for better posture and increase flexibility. This high quality, completely customizable roller really helps relax tired muscles and is the perfect gift. Be sure and use the discount code to save money and get free shipping. Check it out!
Learn more, read my Enso Muscle Roller Product Review.

Hire a Coach ($65 plus)
A coaches expertise is invaluable to elevate training and can be so helpful for all level of athletes. I offer one-time consultation gift certificates for $65; I also offer online training programs from 5K’s and up to Ironman events. Consultation sessions can cover swimming, cycling skills, running form, nutrition and race planning. Please inquire if you would like to learn more by messaging Coach Lora Erickson directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com

Xterra Wetsuits – Lava Pants or Shorts ($99 with code)
These buoyant pants and shorts are great for training indoor in the winter months. Especially for those new to swimming or those who struggle with kicking and their legs sink. This allows you to kick while maintaining streamline position. Use the code CO-BLONDE for 60% off (also works on wetsuits). What do you think? Xterra Wetsuits

Healthy or High Budget Ideas ($150-500 plus):


Hydration Pack ($65-200)
Running vests are particularly helpful for long runs or even hiking. One of my favorite packs is this Nathan VaporAiress Pack  It has pockets on the front with a sipper straw and magnetic button leading to the 2L hydrating sleeve conveniently tucked in special pocket. Others come with removable bottles in the front pockets. I especially love the cross-strap to keep it tight against me when I run so it doesn’t jump around. The side pockets are especially nice to carry a few extra things. This is very utilitarian. They also have many other packs to choose from.

Garmin GPS Watch ($65-$600)

While there is a large range of GPS watches I believe the Garmin brand watch is the best. GPS watches can track distance, speed and other metrics to help you train better. Prices range from $80 to $600 depending on how many bells and whistles you want. As an avid triathlete I highly recommend the Garmin 935xt with heart rate. Here is a great review that details all of the many things this watch can do. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/03/garmin-forerunner-935-depth-review.html This is my go-to watch and always on my wrist showing me detailed metrics from current heart rate, average resting heart rate, power numbers and even tracks my sleep. Garmin also has kids watches that track exercise and allow you to set chore and health reminders. No matter the watch, you can’t go wrong with Garmin! Learn more

Garmin Bicycle Computer ($65 – $600)
For the avid cyclist in your life, I would consider gifting them a Garmin Edge computer. The different models range from $200-600 but they make a great addition to a cyclists quiver. Many are touch screen with turn-by-turn navigation and connects to a host of devices from power meters to smart light networks. This is a must have! Check out this great review from DC Rainmaker on the Garmin Edge Explore

Xterra Paddle Boards ($500 plus)
To aide your swimmers in the water and stay near them in case of an emergency I highly recommend a paddleboard. I particularly love the blow-up ones. They are very portable and easily fit into a car. Use the code CO-BLONDE for discounts. I prefer the stability of the Yoga board. Check it out 

Happy Shopping,
Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Related blog posts: Beginner Triathletes Guide to the Off Season

6 Destination Races

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News

6 Destination Races

By Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Racing and traveling is a great combination and many runners are taking time out for “staycations” and “race-cations.”  Racing is the best reason to travel in my opinion and I have a personal goal of racing in all fifty-states in my lifetime.  If you are looking for some beautiful and scenic races here in Utah, check out these destination-worthy races:

Canyonlands Half Marathon aka Moab Half – March 17, 2018

This is one of my personal favorites.  Runners are shuttled up to the start and the route winds down the canyon running on the road along the Colorado River ending at the Swanny City Park.  It is a well-organized early season event in Southern Utah.  This long standing event started in 1976 and offers a 10-year club. The event really draws a crowd with hundreds of participants in the half marathon and five mile event (a unique distance you don’t see too often).  Moab is a half-day drive from Denver and 3-4 hours from Salt Lake. Lodging options range from camping to family-friendly five-star hotels.  There is plenty of hiking in the area with parks nearby; Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and a large amount of BLM and Wilderness Study Area Land.  People like to explore with jeeps, ATV’s, mountain bikes, hikes, rock climbing or explore the Colorado River with white river rafting!  Learn more: https://www.madmooseevents.com/canyonlands-half-marathon

Zions Half Marathon – April 28, 2018

People travel from all over the world to experience the spender of Zions with all the many trails and beautiful scenic red rocks.  The Zions Half takes place in Virgin, Utah.  While you are there take up some horseback riding, or check out the Buffalo Trails Trading Company Restaurant/Museum to learn about the area. Traveling with kids?  Make a stop at Fort Zion’s petting farm or explore the wilderness on some mountain bikes or camp-out at the Ranch after you tour the half marathon course. The event is held on the west side of the park on Smith Mesa featuring a new route this year.  Although this race is not technically a “trail race” it is mostly dirt. Be sure and register early as this race sells out quick. Learn more: https://vacationraces.com/half-marathons/zion/

Ogden Marathon – May 19, 2018

The Ogden Marathon is the biggest single outdoor marathon in Utah and is known for its outdoor beauty and scenery with world class views and competition; it’s no wonder the phrase “Get out a live” is a commonly associated with the area. It is also the home to the Hill Aerospace Museum and Union Station.  Take your little ones to Cold Springs Trout Farm and catch fish, or tour the Botanical Gardens.  The George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is also a big hit for the family; be sure to take quarters to feed the fish there. As for the race, it draws people from all over the country to compete as well as local athletes.  A well-known Winter Run Circuit series of races; 10K, 10 miler, Half and 30K, builds up to the full or half marathon events in May.  I can attest to the beauty of this course as it literally took my breath away running down the canyon. It is so beautiful!  I also love the charitable causes that surround this event with the Goal Foundations involvement and its’ benefiting programs.  Use the discount code blonderunner18 to save $10  Learn more: https://www.ogdenmarathon.com/

Bryce Canyon Half – July 14, 2018 

Although I have not personally done this race, it is getting rave reviews from all my running friends as one of their favorites, so it’s one I am adding to my must-do list.  This event offers a half marathon, 5K and Color Me Fun Run, so it has something for everyone.  It’s well organized with great local support and each aid station has a fun theme with locals compete to win “the best aid station”.  They also offer nice tech shirts, medals and great swag.  Many stay at the Ruby Inn or if you are a camper like me, make your reservations at the nice campground.  Runners who return year after year tell me the route has beautiful scenery and the first 7 mile stretch is downhill making times fast.  While you are there, explore the sandstone cliffs on foot, by horse or ATV.  Brain Head Ski Resort is also a reason to return in colder months. Learn more: https://www.brycecanyonhalfmarathon.com/

Top of Utah Marathon – Sept. 15, 2018

The Top of Utah Marathon starts at Hardware Ranch Elk Refuge and tours the beautiful area following the river down the Blacksmith Fork Canyon and eventually winds through down town Logan; home of Utah State University, my alma mater, where I competed on scholarship as a long distance runner and running many miles there, so I can attest to Cache Valley’s great beauty.  If you get a chance, explore the hikes up Logan Canyon or stop at the small Zootah at Willow Park with your children.  I always like to stop at Gossner’s cheese for a treat after the event. There is a series of races to build you up for the big 26.2 event. This event is great for first-timer marathoners to seasoned athletes alike.  Be sure and add this race to your to-do list.  Learn more:  http://www.topofutahmarathon.com/full-marathon-home/

Snow Canyon Half Marathon– Sat. Nov. 3, 2018  

This is another beautiful and scenic race through Snow Canyon State Park.  The downhill makes for a fast race on this USATF certified route.  There is a 5K option as well running on the surrounding trails. Take in an easy hike after the event at Pioneer Park or mosey along the well marked paths of the Red Hills Desert Gardens viewing cactus and local vegetation. Other note- worthy area adventures with children include the St. George’s Children’s Museum or hit the outlets or Kayenta for some shopping. ATVs, golf, duck ponds…you name it, they have it in this great desert mecca. Learn more: https://www.sgcity.org/sportsandrecreation/races/snowcanyonhalf5kkidsrun

Happy Running,

Coach Lora

Coach Lora Erickson is originally from Colorado and was recruited to run for the University and Utah & Utah State University where she finished up her degree in Community Health Education with duel minors in Chemistry and Nutrition.  Coach Lora is a certified running, triathlon, cycling and swimming coach and has been coaching for over 25 year. She has a true passion for health promotion  and especially loves to work with beginners.  She offers online and in-person coaching as well as small group and community classes. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

Ogden Marathon Discount Code

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Races

Ogden Marathon – May 19, 2018

The Ogden Marathon is the biggest single outdoor marathon in Utah and is known for its outdoor beauty and scenery with world class views and competition. This event draws people from all over the country to compete as well as local athletes.  A well-known Winter Run Circuit series of races 10K, 10 miler, Half and 30K builds up to the full or half marathon event in May.  I can attest to the beauty of the canyon as it literally took my breath away running down the canyon, so beautiful!  I also love the charity that surround this event with the Goal Foundation and it’s benefiting programs.  Use the discount code blonderunner18 to save $10

 

Learn more: OgdenMarathon

Go out and live!

Check out this whole list of discount codes

Ogden Marathon & Half Marathon Discount Code

March 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Weight Loss

I am super excited to Ambassador for the Ogden Marathon & Half Marathon.  I did the half marathon last year and it was so pretty to run down the canyon and I was honored to place 1st Overall Female Master’s.  What a great race!  Use the code “blonderunner” and get $10 off the Marathon, Half or Relay.  Let me know if you need help with training. Invite a friend! Such a great race! Have fun!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Get Registered!

 

 

Big Five Must-Run Marathons in Utah

February 27, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

St george marathon 1996

There are so many great marathons in Utah, it was really hard to narrow it down, but I’ve noticed there are some top features that really do set some races apart from others. The marathons that have been around for a while are usually the ones that have things in common that runners really like and keep them coming back year after year. Here are the top picks in chronological order among local Utahans.

Salt Lake Marathon in April

The Salt Lake Marathon has had its fair share of twists and turns over the years with course and management changes since its beginnings in 2004, but the race has attracted some of America’s top quality racers. “Since acquiring this race just before last year’s event, Life Time Fitness has received great feedback, especially in regards to the new marathon route,” says Jennifer Nelson, one of the race organizers. “Feedback has been that it is a beautiful, challenging course.” The course takes you through some of the most iconic parts of the city starting at the Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village, and past the towering Wasatch Mountains, through Memory Grove, Sugar House and Liberty Parks until it culminates at the finish line in the heart of downtown at Washington Square. Last year, nearly 7,000 participants toured this Boston Qualifier course. It is also certified by USA Track & Field (USATF) and sanctioned through the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and named a Utah State Half Marathon Championship race for the second year in a row. Divisions include open, masters and 18 age groups. They have also partnered with the Huntsman Hometown Heroes as the primary charity affiliate. They also offer a Full and Half Marathon,5K, Bike Tour (cyclists take to the closed marathon course before the runners do), Kid’s Marathon around the City Building (1K), and new this year, a 10K Skate. To learn more visit SaltLakeCityMarathon.com

Ogden Marathon in May

Locals know this race fills up fast, especially the half, so if you want to get in this event you better be ready when the registration opens. Not only is it well organized but it is a beautiful route (are you noticing a tread with good races and routes?). The Ogden Marathon was voted one of the “Top 10 Marathons in the World” by the Runner’s World Readers Poll in January 2010 and it is easy to see why. “Coined ‘Utah’s Spring Run Off’ the Zions Bank Ogden Marathon is one of the most scenic Boston Marathon Qualifiers in the country,” states race organizer Mike McBride. More recently, February 2015, Shape.com indicated that this event was the “5th Best Marathon in the Country for Beginning Marathon Runners.” So, if you are looking for a first time marathon, this is it. The course is slightly downhill with almost no uphill so it’s a perfect environment for new personal records. The Ogden Marathon is one of the most well supported races in Utah with over 1,800 volunteers on the course on race day! Participants rave about the well-executed planning and great communication this event provides. Over the 15 year history of the event; from the first event in 2001 with 650 participants, it has passed ownership to the GOAL Foundation. This year they will have a combination of over 10,000 runners made up of the full, half, relay, 5K and kids K events! Wow, I can see why they need all those volunteers! The GOAL Foundation really does aim to inspire others to “Get Out And Live!” To learn more visit OgdenMarathon.com

Utah Valley Marathon in June

If you are looking for a race with amazing scenery, you won’t want to miss the views of Deer Creek, the Provo River, Bridal Veil Falls and Provo Canyon that you can experience with the Utah Valley Marathon. It’s a beautiful course, with wonderful volunteer support! These are a few of the many reasons that this race was named the top 10 race in the country by Runner’s World Magazine. It is also a fast course. The Race Director, Hyrum Oaks says, “We commonly hear that people set their fastest times on our course, and the proof can be heard with our PR bell being constantly rung in our finish area after people set their personal best times.” They also give out Boston Qualifier shirts to runners that qualify on the course (how cool is that?). To top it off they will have Ryan Hall (the American record holder for the half marathon) coming to speak at the expo this year. It is no wonder that the race has grown from 240 participants in 2008 to over 7,000. This year they have also added a K9 Dash (5K) on Friday evening, the night before the main event. To learn more visit UtahValleyMarathon.com

Top of Utah Marathon in Sept

Living in Logan for some time as I attended Utah State University I can attest to the beauty of Cache Valley which is the location of the Top of Utah Marathon. The Marathon starts at Hardware Ranch, in the Wasatch Mountain just southeast of Logan and winds down the Blacksmith Fork Canyon’s gradual decline and then through small neighboring communities to the finish at Merlin Olsen Park in Logan. The course is a USAT&F-certified Boston Qualifier and has a net elevation drop of 1,045 feet and is getting great reviews. The race is organized well with great support and volunteers. To learn more visit TopOfUtahMarathon.com

St. George Marathon in October

Having been around for so long the St. George Marathon makes the list. This will be the 39th year of the event and holds a special meaning to me personally as it was the first marathon I ever ran back in 1996 where I qualified for the Boston Marathon. This race is especially known for being downhill and a beautiful course and I would echo many of the comments made by fellow racers; “Best organization in any marathon I’ve ran,” “Amazing supporters”, “ I love the way it is put together, the expo, the energy from the volunteers and the staff.” The event has reached such numbers that it now offers a lottery to get in. If you’re lucky enough to have your name drawn out you can experience this great course for yourself. All the amazing things I experienced many years ago are still in place, like the fires at the starting area, the great finish support and volunteer help as well as a great community feel. This race truly has a great hometown feel and there is a real sense of community when you are part of it. I don’t doubt it will be around for many more years to come. From its meager start in 1997 with 43 racers to it now nearly 7,700 that toed the line in 2014; It is no wonder they were voted the most organized marathon in the nation by Runner’s World Magazine in 2010. You simply can’t have an event continue for so long without being well organized. To learn more visit StGeorgeMarathon.com

Honorable Mentions:

Deseret News Classic Marathon – This event is well organized and is the oldest running marathon in Utah holding the first event in 1970. The prize money attracts some of the fastest runners in the country. If you are looking for good competition, this is a great event. DeseretNewsClassic.com

Big Cottonwood Marathon – So many people rave about this beautiful downhill route. If you are looking for some amazing scenery, you’ll want to check out this event. RunRevel.com

Moab Trail Marathon – We can’t leave out this Trail Marathon. If you tend to favor the trails over roads then be sure and check out the Moab Trail Marathon which captures the rugged natural beauty of Utah. They also offer a half marathon, fun obstacle 5K and kids K. MoabTrailMarathon.com

 

About the Author: Coach Lora Erickson aka “Blonde Runner” is a certified running and triathlon coach with over 30 years of athletic experience. She loves to work with all levels of athletes and trains people for all distances, in person as well as on-line. She also offers community health classes & corporate motivational lectures. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

Coached Training Programs Available for all distances

Coach Lora EricksonI have been running for over 30 years and have been a certified running coach for over 18 years including coaching triathlon for 10 years.  My passion is coaching and helping others get fit and meet their training and racing goals.  I offer both on-line coached programs as well as in-person and  group training programs for all distances including:  Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, short sprints, PT tests, Sprint Triathlon, Olympic distance triathlons, Half Ironman and Ironman distances.  I’d love to help you get fit.  I coach all disciplines including swimming technique, cycling skills and handling, and running mechanics as well as putting all of those things together.  Some of the programs I have coming up include;

Ogden Marathon & Half Marathon Training Program – Beginning the third week of January 2015

Lagoon Half Marathon & 10K Training Program – Beginning the third week of January 2015

Triathlon Team Training Program (Team Blonde Runner – TBR) – Beginning the third week in February 2015 (join anytime, beginners welcome)

Race For Grief 10K & 5K training program – Beginning in April – Race on Memorial Day

Underwater Swim Analysis offered once a month Learn more

Running Form Analysis offered once a month in warm weather months Learn more

Optimum Weight Loss Program – Individual Custom one-on-one Program – can start anytime

Corrective Exercise Assessment – scheduled individually

If you are interested in any of these services please message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com I’d love to help you. I work with all levels of athletes so if you are a beginner don’t hesitate to contact me.

Coach Lora Erickson

Learn more about my background