Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seven stocking stuffers in the seven days before Christmas!

We're in the home stretch before Christmas. If you're anything like me, you've bought all your gifts and are ready for Christmas morning. For some reason though, there's always a scramble to find something for the stockings. I don't know why this always happens because, in our house, the gifts in the stocking are just as exciting as what's under the tree. Therefore, with just a week left before the big day, here are some ideas for last minute stocking stuffers. You don't have to buy them online, just pop over to your local running store or sporting goods shop like REI. The fitness enthusiast in your life will thank you for it!

1. Nutrition items. If your runner has a favorite nutrition item, throw a few in their stocking. You can get most popular fuels in running stores or REI and even at the grocery store. Take a peak in their fuel belt to see what they like. Or, use this as a chance to give them something new to try. You don't have to go crazy. Items like Honey Stinger chews, Mamma Chia squeezes and Jelly Belly Sports Beans can all be found in the grocery store.

2. LED lights. These are a running must-have, especially in the winter when the chances of your runner hitting the roads in the dark are greater. Most running stores carry LED lights that can clip onto your outer layer. There are steady lights, flashing lights, red lights, green lights. Really, the possibilities are endless. Check out Knuckle Lights that you hold while running (just don't hold on too tightly as that can add unneeded tension to your run), available at most Dick's Sporting Goods. Other lights such as those from Nathan can be picked up at REI as well as your local running store.

3. Anti-chafe product. We runners chafe. It's an unfortunate side effect to an otherwise healthy addiction. There are a million anti-chafe products out there. Ask 10 different runners and they'll probably give you 10 different products. My favorite is RunGoo which is made locally here in Encinitas and can be found at a bunch of California stores and beyond. You can also buy it online but it may not arrive in time. Other options that can be found at most sporting good stores are products like Body Glide and Sports Shield from 2Toms.

4. Magazine subscription. While print materials are becoming less and less popular, there's something exciting when my Runner's World arrives in the mail. I love taking 30 minutes to read through all the latest-and-greatest news, events and inspirational stories each month. I also like to refer back to my older issues when I know there's something that will help a client's or my training. Sign up your runner for a year of magazines from Runner's World, Running Times, Trail Runner Magazine or any other health and fitness magazine. Buy one issue to place in the stocking with a note that a year's worth of info is on the way!

5. Massage tools. Any runner can benefit from regular massage. And while seeing a massage therapist that knows how to work with runners is your best bet for staying loose and preventing injury, it's not always feasible. That's where having an arsenal of massage tools comes in handy. Tools like the Moji 360 Mini Massager, The Stick and products from Trigger Point such as the GRID mini foam roller, are an absolute must for athletes and non-athletes alike. You can find these products at most running and sporting goods stores. The only limitation is the size of your stocking!

6. Gift cards. Back in the day, gift cards had the reputation of being impersonal, boring and lame. Not anymore and especially not for runners. We runners are a peculiar bunch and we like what we like. We have special socks, shoes, clothes, hats and gloves that we use and we only want certain ones. And forget about sizing. We like things to fit in a certain way and often have to try things on before we buy them (especially running shoes). Instead of making yourself crazy trying to figure out the size, color, brand, fabric, etc., get a gift card to your local running store such as The Running Center in Carlsbad, and let your athlete choose exactly what they want. Just Google "local running stores" to find one in your area that gets good reviews.

7. Gift certificate for coaching. Coaching isn't just for elite or professional runners. Anyone can benefit from having a professional take a look at their form, assess their training plan, give advice and recommendations and so much more. I offer gift certificates for private coaching, my running programs and nutritional counseling. If your loved one is looking to take their running to the next level, tackle a new race distance or wants to give running a try, think about getting them a gift certificate for some one-on-one sessions with me or a spot in one of my upcoming running programs. And nutrition is just as important as the training, which is why I offer gift certificates for nutritional counseling as well. And you don't have to be local to San Diego to work with me. Just email me and we can discuss your options!

Nothing tells someone you love them than giving them something that helps them lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. We all know being active helps you live a long and happy life. Therefore, by supporting their fitness you're saying you want them to be around for a long time :) That's the best gift ever!


  1. Nice list and nice suggestions! EnergyBits would fit in a stocking, too... :)

  2. Energy Buts most certainly fit in a stocking! And since they come already wrapped, it's really a no brainer 😉

  3. That should say Energy BITS!! Sheesh!