Running For Change

Who wears short shorts? Josh wears short shorts!

As I oblivious as I was to running technique and training skills, I was just as oblivious to understanding what appropriate running gear is. I simply thought a lite shirt, mesh shorts and sneakers were the way to go. Those things worked out at first, but only at first. What you wear is very important and can really impact the quality of your running, as well as the comfort and safety.
Mesh shorts are great to wear for when I am lifting and am not doing long periods of cardiovascular exercise which produces a great amount of sweat. I recall one of my first long runs on the track in my home town being very challenging. I had lost around 15 pounds and was putting in a 10 mile run.
My mesh shorts had lost their ability to stay tight around my waist because I had lost so much weight. Additionally, the amount of sweat I was producing was being trapped in the shorts and this was making my shorts heavy. Before I knew it, my shorts were falling off my rear and my father had reached into his truck to grab a bunji cord for me to wrap around my hips. That same day, my cotton shirt became too heavy with sweat to bare. I threw it to the side and paraded around the track for a few more miles with my special running shorts. I knew that when I got back to Boston, I needed to go to a local running shop and get schooled in appropriate running gear.
I went to a shop that is close to my apartment and asked to try on a few pairs of running shorts. A young woman was helping me and handed me a couple of nylon pairs. I knew that this material would dry and repel the sweat much more quickly than mesh gym shorts. I stepped into the changing room and put a pair on. The first ting I said to myself was “Oh my god”.
While the nylon material tackles the issue of sweat, the thin material does not leave much to the imagination. As I stood in the changing room and processed this experience, all I could think to myself was “Well, there I am”. This nylon material is… flattering. These running shorts do not seem to be that short, but when I stretch before my runs, their limited length is much more apparent. I can only imagine some of the faces of the people around me as I do these stretches. I have learned to accept these facts of appropriate running shorts and have become as comfortable as I can be with them.
As for shirts, I prefer shirts with no sleeves. It is not because I am a tough guy who wants to show off his small muscles to the ladies, it is because I sweat an incredible amount. Any chance for sweat to direct air contact I can have, I will take. No matter what, even appropriate running clothes begin to retain sweat and this becomes difficult to bare on long runs and in marathons. The sweat can also become cold and will give your body the chills in certain environments. I will typically take the long-sleeved shirts you often receive for registering for a race and will cut the sleeves off. This makes the shirts much more comfortable for me and gives me what I use as a tether with my guide runners.
As for running shoes, I am constantly checking out different brands. I am not very loyal to one specific brand, but I do prefer shoes with a good amount of cushioning. I am a size 13, so this can also limit my selection in any shop. Additionally, short socks which also have cushioning are a huge help. I like to feel like I am running on air as much as possible. After my injuries in late 2012 and early 2013, I have been using special inserts which work better than most stock inserts.
So that is some information about running gear. It is not that much of a juicey entry, but it is an important topic. I may feel naked half the time when I am wearing this stuff, but it makes a huge difference. Besides, YOLO.

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