Most of us are probably aware of the diminished ozone layer, which acts as a natural sun blocker, filtering out the more harmful UV rays. It is possibly even more important to be aware of this in Britain where the sun often isn’t really that hot.
The reduced ozone layer means that even if the sun doesn't feel that hot it is still necessary to have some protection, especially if you are out for a long run. Of course if you are going abroad to sunnier climes, do make sure you have adequate sun protection, especially as in Britain we are often so unused to strong sunlight. Here are some suggestions of things you can do:
Wear a Running Cap or Visor
This is a pretty obvious one, but a good running hat will feel light, airy and will wick the moisture away. Sun protection for the head is incredibly important and one of the key factors in helping to stop sunstroke. The Ronhill ones come in different sizes. If you feel a cap is too bulky, try wearing a visor.
Wear Running Sunglasses
As well as giving the eyes the obvious protection against the sun, they also protect against wind and any insects. It has also been shown that even slightly screwing up your eyes on a sunny day can have a negative impact on your speed, so wearing sunglasses could help you in the search for a PB!
Here are some options. The Sunwise Windrush come with 4 different lenses, including a clear glass lens for using on windy days or if you are running somewhere where there are lots of bugs. Waterloo is made of photochromic glass which adjusts to become lighter or darker depending on the strength of the sun.
Obviously your liquid intake becomes even more important on sunny, hot days. Make sure to drink more water before and after your run. Do remember, however, that it is also vital to replace the salts which you have sweated out during your run as well as the liquid. There are a number of ways of doing this and it is really down to personal preference. Here are a few examples of electrolyte replacements. Try one out and see how you like it.
Wear a Protective Running Top
There are quite a few short sleeve tops made of material with UV protection. If you are going somewhere hot, and you have a tendency to burn, consider wearing a t-shirt rather than a vest. Or if you really like a vest, there are vests for example the Montane snap tank, that have a wider shoulder that will offer more protection than a conventional vest. A good quality running top will wick the moisture away, and that in itself really helps to keep you cool.
Do use a good quality sunblock – remembering your ears and the backs of your knees! Key areas that will definitely catch the sun if you are running and can easily get forgotten.
Enjoy the sunshine :-)