April 16 2018
The pressure to succeed got the best of me—until I learned to race without fear.
Most runners invest a lot of time and energy protecting their muscles and joints from the rigors of their favorite pastime, but how much thought do you give to protecting your eyes? Wearing sunglasses is probably the most obvious way to enhance your vision. But you may need to pay more attention to that sunscreen and makeup dripping into your eyes, too.
There are some very practical reasons why you should don a pair of your favorite shades—they help keep dirt, dust and pollen out of your eyes, which is always helpful no matter your distance. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from harmful UVB and UVA rays, and they prevent you from squinting and scrunching up your face, which creates extra tension and also uses precious energy.
In his book Meb for Mortals, the superhero runner everyone roots for, Meb Keflezighi, confessed his additional reason to cover his eyes: “I usually wear sunglasses in a race if it’s a sunny day. This is not because of the sun but to help keep my head at the right level,” he wrote. “If you’re wearing sunglasses, when you lower your head, they’ll start to slide down your nose. When that happens, it’s a cue to return your head to a level position, looking 20 to 30 meters down the road.”
There are plenty of affordable, stylish and high-tech sunglasses made just for runners on the market. To help decipher which pair may be best for you, follow these shopping tips:
Depending on your perspiration level, you may or may not find that you need to deal with sweat getting in your eyes. If you do, then makeup and sunscreen may be dripping into them too. The best choices for products are ones that perform double duty and are water-based, not oil-based, to avoid clogging pores that need to sweat.
BB and CC creams with tinted moisturizers provide lightweight, sheer coverage. Try Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector SPF 35 or Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30.
Optometrists have ultrasonic cleaners, which use sound waves to vibrate the water to powerfully wash away even the smallest amounts of dirt and grease. If your local optometrist is a Maui Jim or Zeal retailer, they will clean your sunglasses free of charge and even tighten them up, so you leave feeling as though you have a brand-new pair!
Your shirt is not the best way to clean your specs—always use the provided microfiber cloth to keep them clean and clear.