Shop Holiday: Gifts for runners

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Listening to his or her endless talk about PRs and early-morning training runs probably seems like gift enough this holiday season. Bet the runner in your life would like to find something cool under the tree, too. These gadgets, clothing and safety equipment will put you in the running for best giver ever.

•This snap-on, hard plastic iPhone case from Run Pretty Far not only offers protection but will remind your favorite runner how much she loves to rack up the miles. Designed to fit the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5 and Samsung Galaxy 3. $25;

•Medals are nice, but a customized necklace or keychain will allow your runner to really commemorate that special race or event. These vintage-style ornaments bring to mind an old-fashioned, hand-stamped ink postmark. The pendant comes on a 24-inch, silver-plated ball chain; the keychain has a 11/4-inch split ring. $24-$30 at

•Pittsburgh winters are cold. Nike's Dri_FIT Knit Long-Sleeve Half-Zip running shirt keeps runners warm and dry by wicking sweat away to the fabric's surface. It sits low on the hips and features textured mesh on the sides for added breathability. $110 at True Runner's Shadyside store (, 5407 Walnut St.

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•Pounding the pavement wreaks havoc on the body, yet massages aren't cheap. The Rumble Roller Beastie Ball lets you dig into those sore, achy muscles anywhere, anytime. $34.95 at Elite Runner & Walkers (, 5992 Steubenville Pike, Robinson.

•Farmer's Almanac is predicting lots of ice and snow this winter, which puts outdoor runners in a slippy-slidey bind. A pair of Kahtoola MICROSpikes can come to the rescue on slick surfaces. Just slip them over your shoes and you're good to go in even the worst weather. $64.95 at REI Pittsburgh.

•A runner's diet can affect how well he or she runs. "Runner's World Cookbook" offers 150 quick and easy recipes from the magazine's expert staff. And it's not just for meat-eaters -- also included are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. $26.99 at Penguin Bookshop (, 420 Beaver St., Sewickley.

•Training to be a Runner of Steel takes lots of hard work. Both Steel City Road Runners Club ( and Elite Runners ( offer free 16-week training programs for May's 2014 Pittsburgh full and half-marathon. For more personalized attention, consider a program like those offered by In Motion Athletics and Fleet Feet Pittsburgh. Prices range from $100 to $170 and include two workouts a week (one for speed work, the other a long group run) with USTAF-certified coaches. (412-606-6325) and (412-851-9100).

•Safety is always a concern for those who run outside after dark or early in the morning. Increase your runner's visibility with a waterproof Nathan Light Spur safety light. Battery operated, it clips onto the heel of your shoe. But it's so lightweight, you won't feel a thing. $20 at Fleet Feet Sports, 1751 North Highland Road, Upper St. Clair.

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