Chances are the triathlete in your life has everything they need—especially if they’re the type who reads a magazine and website devoted to “serious triathlon.” Still, just because they own a bike that cost more than your kid’s first car and enough race t-shirts to clothe a small African tribe doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want to stuff their stockings with stuff they’ll love.

So if you’re strapped for ideas, just hang out with us for the next few weeks. From our office to your home, we’ll be sharing the books, gadgets, and great products we’d like to see coming our way this holiday season. Likely, it’s what the slightly obsessed triathlete in your life might want, too.

For the Aspiring Sports Scientist

Human Kinetics’ Running Anatomy (Patrick Milroy), Cycling Anatomy (Shannon Sovndal, MD), and Swimming Anatomy (Ian McLeod)

These new books are textbook-style visual guides to the role of the musculoskeletal system in each of the triathlon disciplines. They include specific activity-oriented exercises to help triathletes maximize their performance and train the entire body. Written by experts in the sports, each book addresses the issues of conditioning each muscle group; the exercises provided will help athletes focus better during their workouts, and design programs based on a more full understanding of the body.


For The Resolution Maker

Return to Fitness, by Bill Katovsky

In this book from the founder of Tri-Athlete Magazine (yes, back when it was hyphenated), Katovsky shares the story of how he reclaimed his health after a decade-long period of illness and injury. From a detailed breakdown of how our bodies change as they age, to tips on how to get the best ab workout without expensive equiment, the book offers practical advice and tools for readers who want to get off the sidelines and back on the course. (Da Capo/Lifelong Books)

return to fit

For the Story Seeker

Runners on Running: The Best Nonfiction of Distance Running, Various Authors

Though this book isn’t on triathlon specifically, its collection of 30 stories by legendary runners like Kathrine Switzer and Hal Higdon will help entertain the triathlete in your life during that winter training hiatus. Edited by Rich Elliot, the stories get to the soul of running by helping fire the imagination and define pivotal moments in the sport. In it, your triathlete will find a mix of voices and experiences grouped into seven themes: spirit, body, mind, mentorship, racing, bonds, and the heart.

runners on running

For the Busy Bee

The Time Crunched Triathlete: Race-Winning Fitness in 8 Hours a Week, by Chris Carmichael

The Time-Crunched Triathlete uses the power of high-intensity interval training and tri-specific workouts to make athletes faster at triathlon rather than over-developing their general endurance sports fitness. Carmichael’s program develops fitness where triathletes need it most, using brick workouts to develop triathlon-specific speed and skills. The book offers intermediate and advanced training plans for sprint and Olympic race distances.


For the Light-Hearted

Happiness is a Sharp Chainsaw, by Vito Bialla

This little book is a self-published memoir by the man responsible for growing Zoot, one of the foremost triathlon apparel companies in the U.S., from its humble Hawaiian roots to mainland market fame. Read a review by his friend Elisette Carlson, and then check out this excerpt to see if his prose tickles your funny bone too. (You’ll get bonus points for making a purchase that helps injured members of the U.S. armed forces and their familes, as proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Semper Fi Fund.)