Don’t Forget the SPF

More than a few times over the past few weeks I’ve had friends say to me “Wow, you look so tan! Did you go anywhere fun?” No, definitely not. I mean, Brooklyn’s fun and all but I’m hardly going to spend my summer on a tropical beach vacation without a regular paycheck. I do have to admit that I’ve spent a few nice days laying out in the park with a good book and maybe I took off on a day trip to Long Beach while the rest of you were at work, but that wasn’t nearly enough to look like I just spent a week in the Caribbean.

And I realized:

I’m tan from running so much. No, more specifically, I’m tan from running so much in the middle of the day. And let’s take it another step: I’m tan from running so much in the middle of the day without wearing sunscreen. Yes, there’s a lot that’s wrong here.

My schedule has completely changed. Up until a couple of months ago I usually ran in the evenings or [occasionally] early in the morning before work. I didn’t see a need to protect my skin because the sun wasn’t strong enough to do any real damage at the times I usually went out for a run. Now, though, mid-day seems to be the most convenient time for me and so I run out the door when the sun is at its most intense, thinking I’ll be able to outrun those damaging rays. But I’ve finally learned my lesson. It took a few bad sunburns that resulted in goofy tan lines – you can clearly see the outline of my singlet and I have this white band on my left wrist that is exactly the width of my Garmin – but I learned my lesson. Now I don’t leave the house without putting on plenty of my Coppertone Sport 50 SPF sunscreen, which is “Ultra Sweatproof” and “won’t run into eyes and sting.” I’m not sure I can speak to those claims but it seems to do the trick.

And yes, this brings me to another issue: the dangers of running in mid-day heat, especially in the height of summer. So be sensible about when you run and don’t overdo it. If it’s too hot, alter your schedule to run during cooler times of the day. And be sure to keep yourself hydrated before, during and after exercise. If you aren’t certain about where any water fountains might be along your route, bring something to drink with you. For more tips on beating the heat, there are a few good articles in the Running in Cold or Heat section of

And I’ll try to do a better job of following my own advice.


One response to this post.

  1. Funny – my wife always makes fun of me for my “invisible shirt”. I’m definitely rocking the singlet tan too.


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