Cross-country trips require careful packing. Even for those who pride themselves on never paying extra fees for luggage on planes, taking the right clothing for all occasions can lead to a lot of baggage.
Of course, if you’re running across the country, you need far less. Excellent sneakers, shorts, shirts and caps pretty much take care of it for Dean Karnazes.
An ultramarathoner, Karnazes has run 350 continuous miles. He did 50 marathons in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. Now he’s finishing the run of a lifetime on television.
He started running Feb. 25 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and is scheduled to sprint onto the Manhattan set of “Live With Regis and Kelly” Tuesday, May 10.
Considering it’s daunting to drive cross-country, and even flying leaves people tired, the notion of running more than 3,000 miles takes some explaining.
“First and foremost to me is, it is an incredible physical challenge,” Karnazes says. “If you look at my checkered past, I love testing the endurance of seeing how far the human body can go. This is a made-for-television run and different than anything I have done. My whole focus as an athlete has shifted to motivating and inspiring others to get more active.”
Karnazes describes himself as “a reborn runner. I had gotten out of cardiovascular shape,” he says. “I was a business guy and had a bit of a paunch, and I wasn’t happy with my level fitness.”
Karnazes’ main advice is to realize no one gets into shape overnight. He advises people to simply start running by taking that dreaded first step. A motivational speaker and author, Karnazes has a sponsor, North Face.
“It is fairly limited,” he says. “I wear all North Face, but to maintain my competitive edge I do wear testing. I test all different types of shoes.”
For novice runners, Karnazes recommends, “Go to a good specialty running store and speak with a knowledgeable salesperson, and try on a number of different shoes. Prepare to spend a good amount of money, north of $100.
“If you get a good shoe, you are going to be more comfortable,” he continues. “And, try a variety of different shoes. Most running stores will let you try it out.”
Besides getting the right fit and the right shoe for you, “once you kick out $150, you will feel really guilty if you don’t wear them.”
As far as clothing goes, Karnazes’ main recommendation is to wear wicking materials, which wick away moisture from skin. Such clothes can be found at Sierra Trading Post and Cool Clothing USA.
He’s not a fan of compression gear, which Karnazes describes as “very, very tight tights. It compresses muscles and prevents injuries. I don’t like it. My guidance to people is: Listen to everyone and follow no one. Experiment and find what works for you.”