I had already been dealing with melanoma for ten years when I decided to Tri. Prior to registering for my first Tri, I kept myself indoors. I only worked out at the gym, anytime spent at the beach was under an umbrella, and I limited outdoor adventures with my husband and friends. Embarking on this Tri life was going to be different and force me out of my vampire tendencies. Long hours out in the sun would now likely be unavoidable so I had to put some serious thought into how I would go about my training and what kind of gear I need to remain sun smart and safe. Here are a couple of tips from my routine:
*I try to get the majority of training done earlier in the day– I’m usually home from training sessions by 8:30am at the latest (yes, that means wicked early wake up calls, but suck it up and go get yourself a coffee pot with a timer!). Do your best to stay out of the sun between peak hours of the day (between 10am and 4pm).
*I leave sunscreen in places that will cue me to slather it on before I walk out the door – I have some on my bathroom counter, by my toothbrush and I leave some on the keychain shelf just in case I need some extra as I grab my keys on the way out the door.
*I get handfuls of sample sunscreen tubes from my dermatologist. They usually have baskets full of them in the waiting room, if not, all you need to do is ask! Stash them in your car, purse, bento box, training bag, running belt…that way you always have some for training days.
*REAPPLY! This is so important! As much as I hate slowing down my momentum, I always keep track of the time I’m outside and stop at least every 45 minutes to reapply sunscreen on any exposed areas. On race days I use a stick sunscreen -- I prefer CeraVe zinc sunstick (you can pick it up at places like Wal-mart) – I have it in my helmet at transition, do quick swipes over my face and arms, then tuck it into my jersey pocket to reapply again at some point on my ride and again during my run!
*Make up with sunscreen- there are plenty of foundations and face moisturizers out there that have SPF. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, especially not when I’m training or racing, but I have seen other women rock some killer red lips and plumping mascara at races (and still have it all intact as they cross the finish line!) so if that’s your style please be sure your makeup has some SPF in it!
*Sunglasses – I used to hate having things on my face when I would run, BUT our eyes are also at risk from the sun’s harmful UV rays, so I wear them ALL the time now. The sunglasses you wear on long training and race days should block 99-100 percent of the sun's UV rays -- check the tag on the packaging.
*Wasted space in my closet? Nope! A malignant melanoma diagnosis entails quite the assortment of sun protective clothing – people always know what to get me for birthdays and Christmas! My closet is full of sun safe apparel, hats and visors. If I pull out a cycling jersey that has short sleeves for a long training ride or my ‘Tri’s and Mai Tai’s’ tank to run in – no problem I have cooling sleeves and boleros to add some sun safe flare to my outfit for long training days! Before I learned about Tri Sirena’s sun safe apparel I had been using rash guards and would wear them under my cycle jersey or out on a run to add some extra protection to my arms, chest and shoulders! There are so many options out there for sun safe sports apparel, of course my favorite being my Tri Sirena SPF50 jersey!
With the amount of time that we all spend outdoors swimming, biking and running, our regular exposure to the sun can be cause for concern, and all it takes are a couple of preventative measures to keep your risk of skin cancer down. Trust me, I totally get it -- the clothing, gear and sunscreen can add up – but our skin is one of our most vital organs, and we need to treat it that way and protect it. It's all we've got while we're here!
Written by Lynsey Capone-Smith
Follow Lynsey's journey on Instagram! @rylyn.tri.hi
What was your favorite tip of Lynsey's for every day sun protection? Tell us in the comments below!