Dean Karnazes' top 5 tips on how to stay comfortable while running

August 11, 2015                 2m read time
Dean Karnazes

He may claim that “there is magic in misery,” but ultramarathon man and ZOZI Guru Dean Karnazes has learned some tricks over the years to lessening the inevitable discomfort that comes with running extreme distances in extreme situations. (Or even that 5K you signed up to run this weekend.) Read on for his best running tips on how to stay comfortable on the trail.

1. Wear lightweight wicking clothing

First off, you want to stay physically cool and comfortable during your run, so make sure that you wear lightweight wicking clothing. I’m a big proponent of performance wear by The North Face—in particular their line called Better Than Naked, which helps thermo-regulate your body temperature. Along with a top and shorts, wear a pair of arm sleeves. They’re really nice because they’re easy to take on and off. If you’re overheating, you can pull them off and tuck them away until you cool down and want to warm up again.

2. Protect your face and peepers

Next, think about your face and your head. I’m a fan of visors because they protect your eyes and your face from the sun, but, unlike caps that hold the heat in and at the top of your head, they’re highly breathable. Sunglasses are also important. I’ve worn a lot of different glasses but I really like Oakley’s Radarlock. They’re photochromic, which means they adjust to the light.

ZOZI Guru Dean Karnazes running through Death Valley Dean Karnazes

ZOZI Guru Dean Karnazes running through Death Valley

Dean Karnazes


3. Run smooth

And one more suggestion: BodyGlide. It’s an anti-chafing balm that you can use anywhere that your skin will rub against clothing, shoes, or other areas of your skin. It really does help prevent both chafing and blistering when you’re in for the long haul.

4. Listen to stories on the road

A lot of people listen to music when they run, I say try an audio book. I love audio books—I probably have 400 on my playlist. When you’re running for long distances, the time goes by so much quicker. Right now, I’m listening to a book called “Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter” by Thomas Cahill as research for a book that I’m writing about ancient Greece.

Some people do worry about running with buds in their ears. I do a lot of trail running so I’m not concerned about cars or traffic, but if you’re a road runner, or transitioning from trail to road, you can always pull out one of the ear buds.

5. Keep your throat happy

The final secret on the tip of my tongue: Suck on a lozenge. Many runners complain of dry mouth. Lozenges help generate a lot of moisture, keeping your mouth and throat feeling comfortable.

Dean Karnazes

An internationally renowned endurance athlete, Dean Karnazes jogs 20 to 30 miles a day—and doesn't think twice. He's been dubbed one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the world by TIME magazine and one of the fittest men on the planet by Men's Fitness. He's an inspiring motivator, a New York Times best-selling author ... and he's accomplished some of the world's most amazing feats, including running 50 marathons—one in each of the 50 states—in 50 consecutive days, ending with the New York City Marathon, which he completed in three hours flat.

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