… is a slot for Kona 2011? A lovely new Shiv or P4? A sub-35 minute 10K? Dream on. But you can avoid the usual last-minute gift pitfalls with our tri alternatives for the multisport athletes in your life.

Swap ‘Magic’ gloves from the pound shopLast minute gifts

For Pearl Izumi Barrier Gloves, £44.99

They’re not as cute as your traditional Christmas gloves, and cost about 20 times as much, but when we tried out winter bike gloves for our next minitest (in Issue 24, on sale January 11 – don’t miss it!), these were clear winners. Soft, windproof, pretty waterproof, grippy, padded, and best of all a lovely snotwipe section to make your Christmas cold easier to bear.

www.pearlizumi.com; www.madison.co.uk

Last minute giftsSwap Novelty days-of-the-week socks

For 2XU Compression Race Socks, £25

We know the bargain-bin towelling socks are a tempting option at this stage, but if you can get hold of some of these instead, the triathlete in your life will be much happier. Using Invista Lycra for durability and a circular knit for 360-degree compression, they’re designed to reduce tissue damage and muscle fatigue during long races. Also good for DVT if you’re lucky enough to be flying south for winter.


Swap Mr Men pyjamas

For Skins RY400 recovery tights and top, £69.98 and £59.98Last minute gifts

What these babies lack in loungability, they make up for in snugness and smugness. What could be better as the family lie around watching Mary Poppins in their stained dressing gowns and new cartoon-character pyjamas than smugly showing off your triathlete’s body* after a hard Boxing Day ride. Aesthetics aside, lab and anecdotal evidence shows this recovery gear really does help tired and sore muscles get ready to go again, and we’ve found sleeping in them is the best way to get the benefits. (*Warning: do not exceed three mince pies before wearing this outfit)


Last minute giftsSwap Now That’s What I Call Christmas Vol 2,274

For Ministry of Sound Running Trax 2, £9

OK, this is one for the people you won’t quite get to see on Christmas Day; it’s released on 27 December. With three CDs of bangin’ mixes, including all your favourite popular music tunes from Calvin Harris, Eric Prydz and ‘Mr’ Dizzee Rascal and many more, you can’t fail to get moving to this. It’s what all the young people are listening to, you know.


Swap A stocking-shaped chocolate selection boxLast minute gifts

For Box of 24 Accelerade gels, approx £32

We all like to kid ourselves that chocolate is a great fuel for training but come on. If your favourite triathlete will be putting in some miles over Christmas, they’re going to need something a bit more specific. Word of advice: only do this if you know the person you’re buying for is watching their weight, training really hard, or has plenty of other available sources of selection boxes.

www.accelsport.com; various retailers

Swap The Dr Who AnnualSave up to 45%!

For A year’s worth of Triathlon Plus

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Almost literally. We don’t have crosswords, photo stories or a sexy redhead assistant, but we do have training advice from pro triathletes, training plans in every issue, the best gear testing in the business, and some seriously impressive tales of real tri success. And right now you can get a brilliant deal on it too – get yours while it’s hot!