You’re focused on your training. You’re putting in your miles. There's a lot to do to prepare for a race. Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you hit the road.
There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself while you’re running outdoors. Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., regardless of the season. These are prime hours for exposure to skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- Wear protective clothing, including pants, shirts with long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Use sunscreen. Apply generous amounts to dry skin 30 minutes before you go outdoors, and reapply every two hours, and immediately after swimming or heavy sweating.
Pamper your feet
It's also very important to take proper care of your feet so they will get you across the finish line.
- Select a good pair of shoes that offer plenty of cushioning for support and have room for your toes to spread out. If your shoes are worn out, replace them. Worn down heels on your shoes could cause shin splints and heel pain.
- Wear cotton blend socks that absorb moisture and keep it away from your skin so your feet can breathe.
- Keep your feet dry and change your socks or air out your feet after you are done running to avoid getting a fungus infection such as athlete's foot. Powder your feet prior to putting on your socks.
- Cool your feet with ice packs or cold presses to help with inflammation of the heels and joints of your feet after the race.
- Stretch and massage your feet before and after running to help with pain in your heels and the balls of your feet.
- Prepare for blisters by using an anti-blister cream or stick, or wear two pairs of socks to prevent your feet from rubbing against the inside of the shoe.
You don't need to buy special clothing to run, as long as you are as comfortable as possible. Wear clothing that is breathable (allows air to circulate through the cloth and around your body). Several light layers often work better than one heavier layer. When choosing your layers, make sure that each one serves a purpose:
- The layer closest to your skin should wick moisture away from your body.
- Another layer should provide warmth (if needed) and support to keep you comfortable as you move.
- The outermost layer should protect you from wind and rain (without holding sweat next to your skin).
Stay safe, keep training, and we’ll see you on the road!