Running down the perfect gift for your runner

This holiday buy specially constructed clothing that will keep your runner safe, warm and visible. Photo: Gifts for Runners

Runners, from those who run for fun to those who run marathons for fame and glory, have very special needs.  Specially constructed clothing and safety equipment keep your runner safe, illuminated and dry.

Warm-up with down

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The Nike Aeroloft 800 Running Vest ($180) is as weightless as the feathers inside it. The ultra lightweight 800-fill goose down vest packs heavy-duty warmth for cold-weather runs. But it is breathable too with ventilation between every row of down, keeping you warm while you sweat it out. 

Nike Aeroloft Down Running Vest

Nike Aeroloft Down Running Vest

The vest fits the contours of your body with elastic mesh shoulders and a tapered waist.

A back pocket lined by reflective striping is large enough for a phone or wallet. Best of all, the pocket turns into a pouch, complete with hand strap, that the vest packs into. It is sleek and stylish too.

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The down fill is subtle, slim and ideal for layering.

The Nike Aeroloft vest is available in four colors in men’s and women’s cuts.

Light-up the night

Forget mere reflectivity. The New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket ($175) will actually light up the night. You’re visible three different ways with this ultra-modern running layer. It even glows in the dark.

New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket

New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket

Just 10 minutes of direct natural or indoor light charges to luminosity the jacket’s yellow accents: a logo on the front and graphic print on the sleeves and back.

The jacket’s low-light visibility shines from the fabric’s color: fiery coral for women and gecko green for men.

A 360-degree reflective trim makes sure you’ll be noticed in oncoming light too. Front pockets with welded seams give the jacket a streamlined finish and flawless fit.

The polyester and spandex fabric stretches with you for complete comfort.

It’s the perfect jacket for running those dark winter nights and pre-dawn mornings.

Pair it with New Balance’s Glow In The Dark 1400 ($90) shoes to really shine. Like the jacket, the lightweight flats actually glow in the dark. In yellow with green for men and green with orange for women.

Gimme shelter

Brave the elements in the Asics Storm Shelter Jacket ($130) in three colors each for men and women. Wind and rain don’t stand a chance.

Asics Storm Shelter Jacket

Asics Storm Shelter Jacket

The removable hood snaps closed and adjusts with an elastic cord and toggles. Thumbholes in Lycra keep sleeves in place, and Velcro cuffs keep water out.

A plaid pattern with contrast details gives you 360 degrees of reflectivity. The outer waterproof shell is fully lined in mesh with zippered vents for breathability and has an adjustable hem.

Two outside covered, zippered pockets keep your belongings dry, and a generously sized inside pocket also has an MP3 port. All that and the fit is flattering too.

For truly inclement days, pair it with the Storm Shelter Pant ($80) in black for men and women. The waterproof pant has sealed seams, zippered vents and reflective details.        

Watch and learn

The new Garmin Forerunner 620 ($400) and 220 GPS ($250) watches are like virtual trainers.  Both watches have an accelerometer to track distance and pace; no companion sensor needed.

But the 620 also estimates a runner’s VO2 maximum, predicts race times, dishes on running form, and offers advice about recovery based on heart-rate data when paired with a monitor.

The watch essentially “learns” a wearer’s physiology, then gives feedback. Garmin’s new HRM-Run ($50) heart rate monitor also has an accelerometer that measures torso movement to gauge cadence, along with total steps, vertical bounce, and the amount of ground time in each step—all indicators of running efficiency.

Both the Forerunner 620 and 220 also offer run-walk alerts, are water resistant up to 50 meters, and sync data wirelessly via Bluetooth. The 620 also syncs through Wi-Fi. Each watch comes in two color combinations.

Shades of USA

Oakley Team USA Fast Jacket XL ($240) and Radarlock Path ($240) sunglasses are inspired by America’s Olympians. As the official eyewear company for Team USA at the Sochi Olympics, Oakley is donating some proceeds to the non-profit U.S. Olympic Committee.

Oakley Team USA Radarpath sunglasses

Oakley Team USA Radarpath sunglasses

The lightweight, durable frames have earstem covers and changeable nosepads that tighten their grip as you sweat.

The Fast Jacket XL comes with two easy-to-switch polarized, UV blocking lens sets designed for bright and low light.

The Radarlock Path is available with vented or regular lenses.

Both are built with serious athletes in mind.

Stockings for their stockings

The new Zoot Ultra 2.0 CRx Compression Socks ($60) are about as techy as a sock can get. They promise to decrease lactic acid build up by 29 percent while lowering a runner’s perceived effort by 25 percent during a workout.

Afterward, they reduce recovery time and soreness.

Zoot Ultra 2.0 CRx Compression Socks

Zoot Ultra 2.0 CRx Compression Socks

Graduated compression, with more squeeze at the ankle than the calf, increases circulation and blood flow, which gets more oxygen into your muscles. Say goodbye to blisters and hot spots thanks to new NanoGLIDE yarn in the heel and toe, with extra support for the Achilles tendon and arches too.

Every inch of these socks are engineered for maximal performance. Zoot’s Ultra 2.0 CRx Socks come in five colors each for men and women.

Recipes for runners

“The Runner’s World Cookbook” ($27) includes 150 recipes for active athletes culled from the hundreds of kitchen-tested dishes the magazine has published over the years.

Chapters are broken down by type of meal and the book also includes a guide to choosing the right ingredients. Brown rice or bulgur? Or perhaps you’d like to try farro? The “How to Eat Like a Runner” section introduces at-home chefs to the best ingredients to fuel their training.

The Runners World Cookbook

The Runners World Cookbook

But the handiest part of the book is color-coding at the top of each recipe that categorizes dishes by diet and use. Tabs denote vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals for runners following those diets. Prerun, recovery, fast and low-calorie tabs help runners find recipes for different stages of training.

An index at the back of the book lists every dish in each category too. With recipes from 33 authors, including chefs, food journalists, and elite runners, there’s a meal sure to suit even the pickiest eater.

Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ show about running. Her work has been seen in Newsweek,,, ABC-TV in New York and over two dozen other outlets. She has finished seven marathons and four triathlons. Follow Karla at Read Run, Karla, Run in Communities.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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