May 25, 2013
We’ve had bizarre weather lately, going from frost warnings to 30 degree humidex. But there are glimpses of sunlight, and high UV warnings are no joke!
I was browsing the Marathon Maniacs bulletin board the other day and noticed a good thread. Someone asked if they should be wearing sunscreen during runs. There was a very thorough reply:
Being 100% Irish, I can identify with your problem. We, the fair-complexioned, don’t tan, we stroke. / / / Anyway, I use Banana Boat SPF 50. I carry a tube in my fuel belt, and re-apply on the run after about 2 hours. / / / Also, don’t make the mistake that so many runners make. You must really lather that cream on, nice and thick. If you put it on sparingly, then you might as well not bother. / / / I wear an extremely wide-brimmed hat. But I will still slather the sunblok on my face. Before 11:00am, the sun come from the side, and easily sneaks in under your brim, and on to your face. Also, UVs can come from the deflection off of the pavement. / / / The great Deana Kastor has had bouts of skin cancer including the deadly melanoma. She has written about the need for runners to really lather up, and with the proper sun-blok. You might want to Google her. / / /
Of course we want the Vitamin D that comes from sun exposure, but we certainly DON’T want skin cancer or melanoma. If runners plan to be outside in the sunny summer months, sunscreen is absolutely necessary.
I didn’t know Deena Castor got skin cancer because of running. It’s a little scary that this Olympic medalist can fight through so much, but get stopped by the effects of sun exposure.
I used to avoid sunscreen on race days, but now I realize that was just silly. It would take very little sun-damage to artificially age me. People spend a lot of money on wrinkle-reducing skin-care products, but a little sunscreen now would make a world of difference instead.
There’s a joke from about a year back that runner’s look like Skeletor, the He-Man villain because of the droopy, wrinkled, sunburnt skin. Don’t be like Skeletor. This articles refers to it as “runner’s face.” But Mark Remy has the must awesome article on the topic.
I still get carded and hope to keep my ‘babyface’ for many more years.
If there’s one piece of advice I’d add to the great reply on the Marathon Maniacs bulletin board, it would be to keep the sunscreen out of your eyes. From experience, let me tell you that it BURNS! The easy solution is to apply sunscreen below your eyes and wear a hat and/or sunglasses to protect your eyes and forehead.