Runners often see sunglasses as a fashion accessory rather than a piece of running kit that can help performance. But as your running improves and you spend more time on your feet, you need to consider the extra exposure your eyes will have to the elements. Wouldn’t you like to know how you can protect them and get more out of your running?
A good pair of sunglasses should be worn to protect you from various elements but the following added benefits can also enhance your running experience:
- Ultraviolet radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) protection is paramount for any person spending a lot of time outdoors and runners are no different. UV exposure is damaging to the eyes in the same way that skin is damaged – wearing UV protective sunglasses is like sun block for your eyes. UV radiation from the sun can cause eye cancers, cataracts and ultimately loss of sight. Seasons and time of day can affect the risk of UV. When the sun is low in the sky in winter or at the start or end of the day, light and UV rays can directly enter the eye horizontally, which can be more damaging than when the sun is high above in the sky.
- Extreme changes in light
Light protection is different to UV protection as this protects the eye from visible bright light that is not damaging like UV but causes stress and strain. This is what makes the eye squint and uses up energy and causes tiredness. Lens tints affect the amount of light that can enter an eye and darker tints are better as light levels increase. The colour of a lens can also change an athlete's psychological mood and generally a red tinted lens is better for road running, as contrast is increased giving better vision, as well as making the runner feel more powerful.
A good pair of sunglasses can offer you physical protection from dust, dirt, insects and pollen to assist in maintaining eye comfort and concentration levels. Hay fever sufferers need to keep dirt and pollen out of their eyes to avoid discomfort. Polycarbonate lenses offered by adidas are shatterproof and scratch resistant to offer the ultimate protection.
- Prescription running glasses
These can be crucial and yet plenty of runners are still not aware such things exist, struggling on with normal glasses. Running sunglasses offer wrap-around protection and are lightweight and comfortable. It is often difficult to get prescription lightweight glasses that fit properly for running and wrap-around lenses can make prescriptions more expensive. adidas has a range of sports sunglasses that be made to your prescription, or take prescription lenses. Contact lenses can cause some runners difficulties over a period of time and should always be used in conjunction with sunglasses to prevent drying and ensure protection. adidas sunglasses allow your prescription to be clicked in or out as required, while still offering all the benefits of decent running glasses.
- Eye fatigue
This will affect running performance and your overall feeling of tiredness. Squinting happens even on an overcast day as general light levels are still high, and this causes a lot of tension which can cause headaches and tightness of the shoulders. Wind makes the eyes stream with water as the eye attempts to stay moist, which is made worse by wearing contact lenses and dry eyes can become incredibly painful.