July 17, 2012

Six things for surviving the sun on the run

Being a pale-skinned, major sweater, I avoid the sun as much as possible. I'm a night-time runner mainly for this reason. But, there are times when running in the sun aren't avoidable. Hello, the majority of races!

So, even the girl that runs in the dark as much as possible needs a plan of attack for the scary, giant ball of flames in the sky. Here are my six must-haves for making runs in the sun bearable.

1. Sunblock

This is a non-negotiable item. I have pale skin. I live in Florida where it feels like the sun is sizzling my skin (and it probably is). I must have a strong sunblock and preferably one that doesn’t run into my eyes when I sweat buckets while running.

It took some experimenting (and some painful, watery eyes) to finally find the one. And, I’m in love.
The one

When applied properly, I’ve never gotten a burn, and it doesn’t run into my eyes. What more could a running girl want? Oh, it also doesn’t feel greasy or heavy. It does make you shiny, though. Oh, well. There are things worse than shiny ... sunburned, for example. 

2. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a must for me. I have sensitive eyes, and I’m a big baby if I don’t have sunglasses. I don’t have sport sunglasses. I just use one of the six pairs I use on a daily basis (As mentioned previously, due to being a big baby when I don’t have sunglasses, I have plenty of backups. I always seem to be sitting, stepping on or crushing sunglasses, unfortunately. Due to this, I buy cheap sunglasses. So, I’m a little nervous about spending big bucks on a sport pair.)

For the most part, the cheapos do the job. They are big and block the sun (my main requirements). Occasionally, I have them fog over, but I deal with it … for now. I may take the sport glasses plunge someday.

3. Bondi Band  

I normally have trouble with hair bands being comfortable, staying in place and actually blocking some of the massive amounts of sweat coming out of me. The Bondi Band is different: it’s comfortable; it stays in place; and, it blocks so much sweat (I’m a sweaty girl).
Bondi Bands (and medals) make me happy.
This delightful device helps bunches with the sunblock-running-into-eyes problem because it blocks so much of the sweat that would normally run down my face.

They come in fun colors and some have fun sayings. No matter what they look like, though, this is something I won't be running without.

4. Tech shirt

These things are the greatest invention. Remember the days of wearing regular T-shirts for working out? They’d get so sweat-logged and heavy. It was disgusting. So, you can bet that all of my running shirts are tech shirts. 

I’m still working on finding an absolute favorite, but my current favorite is the Under Armour HeatGear short-sleeve T-shirt. It keeps me really cool, and it is a decent length. It doesn't hurt that it's one of my favorite colors.

5. Water bottle

Water is a necessity when the temperatures are hot. I have two water-carrying options: handheld bottle and the water belt.

I use one or the other on most of my summer-time runs. I know some people don’t like to carry anything when running, but I really don’t mind this Nike bottle (I think it is discontinued). It has a strap and a case (so you can stuff things inside: keys or GU Chomps are my favorites). The downside: it really doesn’t hold that much water (less than 10 oz.). So, unless you’re not running a long distance or you have options for refilling it along your route, I’d recommend the water belt.

This Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack is perfect for long runs. It has two, 10 oz. bottles, plus a zip pouch (that I usually fill with keys and GU Chomps). It sits low on my hips, and I really don’t notice it since it stays in place while running.

6. Brain 

I take my brain with me on every run; I just need to remember to use it when it comes to the heat. Never keep pushing if you feel too hot, dizzy or nauseous. Stop. Walk some. Get in the shade. Drink some fluids. No run is worth serious health issues.

What are your running must-haves for the sun? Did I leave something off the list? Tell me.


  1. Good tips! I should wear more sunscreen. Maybe I will try this kind. I hate when it runs in the eyes. Stings somethin fierce.

  2. I love Neutrogena sunscreen! I need to remember to use my brain sometimes too. ;)


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