Recommended techniques to protect the skin from the sun running long distances in the summer?.

  • Running in the night is not an option.
  • Reapply sunscreen is hard due to sweat
  • What's the question? In the title you ask about how to run in the sun, but in the body you ask how you apply sun screen.
    – Alec
    Dec 30, 2016 at 18:59
  • @Alec safely in the sun means to protect from the sun. Applying sunscreen is one option that works for short distance running, AFAIK It doesn't work for long distance running, which was what I have explained.
    – marcanuy
    Dec 30, 2016 at 19:12

3 Answers 3


Sun screen lasts for two hours. Spritzing more on at the two-hour mark (or simply setting up your run to be back at your car at the two hour mark and taking a quick break to reapply if you're not competing) is an option. Avoiding running when the sun is the highest (10 AM to 2 PM) helps. Lastly, UV-blocking clothing is readily available. A long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a hat with flaps and a visor paired with sunglasses protects most of your vulnerable areas, and aren't too difficult to get in breathable fabrics so that you still remain cool.


Looks like I've been breaking the 2 hour rule for most of those high spf sunscreens, but haven't been sun burnt because of it so far probably because its not the only thing I do. In addition to sunscreen you can...

  1. Stay hydrated. When dehydrated you get sunburn faster - much faster.
  2. Cover up. I always use a hat and long sleeves. Lately I've been using a neck gaiter that is supposed to keep you cool as well. Compression shirt, sleeves, pants are supposed to help too - hot weather version.
  3. Run in shady areas. Luckily here in the eastern states there are alot of forests and parks with lots of shade.
  4. Run while the sun is low like Sean Duggan says.
  5. Leave long runs for the winter time. Keep it to two hours and do more speedwork and more runs each week to make up for it.
  6. Double long run limited to 2 hours long. One Sat and one Sun or one in the morning and one in the evening.

Actually it looks like I just repeated much of what Sean has said too. The best thing to do is to run in the dark early morning or late at night - make time for it! The sun is not very forgiving.


Where you live will have a big impact. In the mid latitudes of North America I only need to worry about sun exposure during the summer months. Your mileage may vary in areas that get more intense sunshine (pun not intended). Here are some things that work for me:

  1. Apply sunscreen before you run.
  2. Wear a hat with a visor and keep a shirt on. The head, face, neck, and shoulders are the main areas you need to worry about. I don't like the hat with flaps; too hot. I would try something with a wide back brim to protect the neck.
  3. Run early or late in the day.
  4. Find as much shade as possible. Choose shaded routes and run on the shady side of the path or road.
  5. Run a loop route instead of an out-and-back. You can always cut the run short if all of the above still result in too much sun exposure.

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