Sun Burns During Long Runs & Training

Skin Safety For Runners

Basal_cell_carcinomaTraining for marathons means running for hours, training daily and overcoming pains and injuries. There is one risk which some runners may overlook and that is the long term side effects of sun exposure.

For those who run only in the gym, this article is not for you, for those running outside read further about the skin cancer risks and solutions available for runners.

Sun Exposure Can Be Deadly

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the USA. Every year thousands of people get the horrible news that melanoma cancer was found. When melanoma is diagnosed at it’s early stages the cure rates can be near 99%, but if the melanoma spreads, it is one of the most deadly types of cancers.

There are several reasons why melanoma erupt. One of the reasons is exposure to UV radiation. The UV light coming from the sun, penetrates through the epidermis (upper skin layers) and deep into the dermis (lower skin layers) and the long term effect is on the go.

UVA are the long UV rays which reach earth all year round, and at all day time hours. UVB are the shorter rays, which are more intense in the summer and at noon hours. UVA radiation can penetrate most clothes and fabrics, so running with a long sleeve running shirt may prevent tanning but not UVA reaching the skin.

Skin Cancer and Marathon Training

High risk candidates for skin cancer may be surfers and beach sports participants. Though marathon runners are not the most obvious candidates, they can not be ruled out.

Runners who run for hours may avoid the mid day sunny hours, because of the heat, but they might miss understand there is UVA even in the morning and in the afternoon. When runners run at nice sunny winter days, they might think that cold weather means no UV.. But UVA strikes both summer and winter at the same level.

While office people, sit in the office most of the day, then they drive home their sun exposure is minimal. Runners who train daily, consuming miles preparing for their next marathon, may be exposed daily UV, which overall sums up to hundreds of hours.

UV Protection Clothes For Runners

The risks of UV exposure are well known, what is less known is that there are brand new fabrics today which can block up to 99% of the UV light.

The new clothes which block UV radiation carry a UPF rating, which means Ultraviolet Protection Factor. Like the SPF protection rating for UV blocking creams, the UPF is the rating for UV blocking clothes.

Not to many marathon runners apply SPF creams before each training run. The SPF creams protect for about an hour then they need to be reapplied. Sweat and humidity decrease the SPF protection level as the cream absorbs in the skin.

Men’s Favorite UV Long Sleeve Running Shirt

 UV Men's Favorite Long Sleeve RUNNING Shirt

  • ASICS exclusive lightweight quick-dry, anti-odor, permanent 50+UPF soft knit
  • Strategically-designed mesh construction for breathability
  • Flatlock stitch construction enhances comfort
  • Versatile thumbholes pull down keeping hands warm

Asics Men’s Favorite UV Running Shirt


With the new UPF clothes for runners, those training for marathon can now run and still be covered from UV dangers.

Women’s Favorite UV Protection Long Sleeve Top

UV Women RUNNING Shirt

Offers great freedom-of-movement; has breathable mesh panels to keep you from feeling stifled;

Has 50+UPF sun protection that won’t wash out; and maintains a feminine, form-hugging fit with princess seams down the sides.

Asics Women’s Favorite UV Protection Shirt


Cool weather or warm weather do not relate to UV radiation. regular running shirts can filter less than 5% of the UV. Only UPF running shirts with 50 rating can protect runners from the skin damage effects of UV radiation.

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