3 Things All New Runners Should Know, as told by Kazem Yahyapour

Kazem Yahyapour is the co-founder of the Tobacco Road Marathon in Durham and the City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh. In the 2nd episode of our podcast, we learn Kaz’s wild backstory. To combat his chronic health issues, he dove right into running and never looked back. Kaz went to the big sports store and told the shoe salesman his size, went home, and put one foot in front of the other. He ended up with over 20 blisters on one foot! That was 10 years ago, and he has been a Boston Qualifier 10 times since then. Kaz has a great sense of humor about learning some running basics the hard way. Here are the tips he’d offer to save you from reinventing the wheel.

  1. When it comes to shoes, ask an expert.  A lot of people make the erroneous assumption that their casual shoe size is also their running shoe size. Kaz ultimately sized up a size and a half! Go to a local running store and work with someone who knows what they’re doing to find the perfect fit. An expert can also analyze your gait and suggest a motion control or stability shoe if you need it. These little choices can vastly improve your comfort level on the road or trail.
  2. Prepare for chafing. Body Glide. It’s your new best friend. Unless you like rashes.
  3. Find clothes that you feel comfortable in.  Technical clothing is great for regulating body temperature by wicking sweat, and it may be designed to move with you rather than rub you raw. But, basically, just wear what feels comfortable to you. If you keep getting blisters or chafing, try wearing a different fabric or cut. Layering can be helpful, too. Keep in mind that you’ll be getting warmer as you run. And please, don’t wear 100% black when you’re running in North Carolina’s warmer weather!

Do you have any running gear tips to share that might save someone else from learning the hard way? Leave them in the comments!

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