The Importance of Sun Protection

Here in the South, the heat is brutal all summer long. If I owned my condo and hell, I’d rent my condo out and live in hell. At least I heard the humidity is non-existent there.

All jokes aside, when I first started training for half and full distance races, I would get some bad burns when I put in those long hours on the weekends. It’s not like I didn’t apply sunscreen…it just wears off after a couple hours. That usually left me out in the hot Georgia sun to roast for another three to five hours unprotected because I couldn’t reapply. Sometimes the problem is exacerbated when you wear tri jerseys because it’s easy to miss small spots around your shoulder blades.

Finally, I got sick of getting really bad burns and having those “wings” from my tri jerseys. I had enough of lying in bed at the end of a long day writhing in agony and having trouble sleeping. I knew there had to be a better solution than carrying a bottle of sunscreen on me while I was out.

What I ended up doing was covering up as much of my body as possible. I knew the less skin exposure I had, the less chance there would be for burns.

First, I switched to wearing cycling jerseys to cover my shoulders for my weekend training. That covered the majority of my upper body. Next, I bought a few pairs of sun sleeves. I knew that would take care of my arms. Lastly, I started to wear cycling gloves regularly to cover my hands.

I didn’t need to add anything else for my lower body because I already wore calf compression sleeves. That just left a small area around my knees exposed. I would just make sure to spray that really well before I rode out.

After two years of doing this I can say I never get burned anymore. I can go to sleep at night after a long day of training knowing my back won’t cause me to be in agony from the earlier mid-day roast. Even though I am almost covered completely from head to toe, I don’t overheat while I’m out there because of the clothing’s wicking material. So I would strongly recommend this to anyone who has trouble with burns or has fair skin.

 

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