Running is a great way to better your health by increasing lung capacity and heart strength. However, all of that training and sweating often times takes place out doors and is building damage to the largest organ of your body, your skin. May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and with more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed and 2.2 million people treated in the U.S. each year, it’s important for the Run Oklahoma community to be aware of prevention and early detection.
- Run during hours when the sun is less intense. Generally it is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you train during those hours, find shady places to run.
- Put sunscreen on before your running outfit, not at the race site. This will give it time to soak in, and keep you from applying it less thoroughly or forgetting it altogether because of pre-race excitement. Use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen. Look for stick formulations, sport, or water-resistant versions.
- Run in a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Polarized lenses help beat the glare.
- Always keep sunscreen in your race bag.
- Have a friend posted somewhere in the second half of the race to hand you a small, one-use, wipe sunscreen (or keep a small packet in your pocket), so that you can reapply it to your face, neck and arms as you run. You can do that without really breaking stride. Sunscreen starts to lose effectiveness at about the two-hour mark, or even sooner if you are sweating heavily.
- Before post-race festivities begin, reapply sunscreen, and give yourself a quick massage in the process to help relax your sore muscles.
- Post-race clothes should include a lightweight but long-sleeve T-shirt and sweats. Darker colors offer ideal sun protection. Or opt for special sun-protective clothing.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self examination of their skin, so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. Learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self examination. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.
Miles Against Melanoma – Race Discount
In September,Miles Against Melanoma is hosting a 5K race and will have medical students from Stephenson Cancer Center available at the race to hand out sunscreen samples to all runners. For skin cancer awareness month, Miles Against Melanoma has offered a generous discount to the Run Oklahoma community. You can receive $10 off race registration now through June 1st with discount code RUNOKC. Sign up today and you have plenty of time to train to run your first or fastest 5K in September.
Miles Against Melanoma 5K
When: September 12th, 8:00 AM
Where: Mitch Park, Edmond