The longer, sunnier days are a welcoming sight to any runner. You have more flexibility in choosing your running hours and that extra vitamin D is a great mood booster especially when all of us were affected by the pandemic. While some of us have been running throughout the colder months, many are just about to start again hoping to get back in shape quickly!
Having the right gear for a summer run is important for your overall comfort. Some would go out on a limb to say that it can actually improve your performance. In this article, we’ll take a look at four things you need to stay cool and protected as you lace up for the warm weather!
Men, hold on. This applies to you too! Underwear for running isn’t just about sports bras. While most articles highlight investing in proper running tops or pants, underwear is just as important. Selecting the right running undergarments helps prevent chafing. In warm weather, you sweat more. This moisture creates a lot of friction between your skin and clothes. As they rub each other, your skin chafes and causes raw, painful blisters over the next few days. No matter the gender, you need to look for underwear that is breathable and sweat-wicking.
Cotton is breathable, but definitely not sweat-wicking. Avoid it at all costs! The common materials used for running clothes are polyester and nylon. These fabrics check all boxes and you really can’t go wrong with them.
We can’t talk about summer running without mentioning sunblock (not that you can skip this in the winter, though). Long-term exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging. It can also cause skin cancer especially if your skin burns easily. Even if you have dark skin, you will still need to apply it. It is recommended that you look for sunblock with at least SPF 30!
Running hats aren’t like ordinary baseball hats. Sure, they serve the same function by protecting your face from the elements, but their designs have a functional purpose too. Proper running hats are made of sweat-wicking fabric and tend to have openings to allow your sweat to evaporate, thus keeping your head cool. Some hats even come with UV protection.
If you’ve reached this point in the article, I’ll assume that you don’t have a lot of experience running. Hence, here I recommend a hydration belt so that you don’t panic at the first sign of dehydration as you explore new routes! Hydration belts wrap around your waist and usually hold up to a 20 oz. of water bottle. You should aim to drink 100-200ml of water every 15 minutes especially if you were not properly hydrated prior. If you need your phone with you, there’s usually a secure pocket big enough for your essentials. Think of it as a cool fanny pack for running!
We’ve talked about the right fabrics for running, but that doesn’t guarantee a chafe-free experience. I emphasize this point because this can really ruin a runner’s experience, especially if they are beginners. Anti-chafe creams do wonders. If you have Vaseline laying around, that works too but it may feel a bit “heavy”, as it wasn’t formulated for this purpose. Apply a generous amount on commonly chafed areas such as underarms, Achilles, inner thighs, and nipples.