Fact: Marathon runners are more likely to develop melanoma: the most severe type of skin cancer.

Do you put sunblock on every time you step out for a run?  Chances are you don’t, and you’re not alone. According to a recent study done in Australia, only about 56% of marathoners regularly use sunscreen, and compared to non- runners had a higher amount of atypical moles.  Another interesting fact is that we all know we can get sick after a long run or a race, but this decreased immunity also leaves you more vulnerable against skin damage.

Here are some tips for running in the sun:

1. Try to get your runs in when the UV is at its lowest, avoid running between 11 and 4 when the UV tends to be high.

2.  Always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 that has broad spectrum protection, even if it appears to be cloudy out,just because the sun isn’t out doesn’t mean they UV rays can’t get you.

3. Put on your sunscreen well before your race to allow it to sink into the skin and become active.

4. Wear a hat and sunglasses (your eyes need protection too!)

5. Sunscreen start to lose effectiveness after about 2 hours, so if you’re doing a longer race reapply if you can.