Before we get into today’s post —> Welcome to another edition of Running Coaches’ Corner! This is a fun weekly link up hosted by Debbie, Susie, Rachel and yours truly to talk all about running and training tips and tricks! This month, we are focused on summer lovin’.
It definitely doesn’t feel like spring down here in Texas anymore (unless you count all of the random rain and storms), and the hot days are making it harder to avoid the sun on my runs. Recently, I was doing some window shopping online for some new summer running gear (you can never have too much, right?!) and came across some UPF gear, which I continued to dig and realize that there’s not a lot of information about it and why UPF running gear is so important to add to your wardrobe in the summer months!
What does UPF running gear mean?
UPF is short for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which similar to sunscreens, have ratings that indicates how well the clothing will reflect the sun’s radiation from your skin, similar to what sunscreen does. There are two types of radiation from the sun —> UVA radiation and UVB radiation. UVA radiation can’t be felt and is what causes damage to the skin. Because runners spend so much time outside while running, having UPF running gear can make a huge difference in protecting against UVA radiation.
Why should I choose UPF running gear over sunscreen?
You should actually choose BOTH. UPF running gear protects the area of your skin that it covers, so you still need sunscreen for those other areas. One of the things I recently learned is that sunscreen generally protects against UVB rays, not the harmful UVA rays, unless it says broad spectrum. Look for those words when you buy sunscreen!
Because summer running is hot, wearing a full-body suit of UPF running gear just isn’t realistic. The best thing to do is to combine the two together to keep yourself protected.
UPF running gear is better than sunscreen because:
- It serves as a shield against the sun (sunscreen is applied on bare skin).
- You can easily pack it if you are traveling.
- It doesn’t result in a killer sunburn or skin damage if you forget to reapply.
What are some good options for UPF running gear?
There are different ranges of UPF, with the higher number indicating how much better it is at protecting you from the UVA rays. They range from 8 to 50+. Depending on where you live (ahem, Texas), you may want higher UPF running gear. Some options to choose from include:
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