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Sunscreen for Triathletes
CREATED: 05/22/09 by dwitt616 REPLIES: 8
dwitt616's ravatar dwitt616    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 50
Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 2:40 PM

So I'm a pretty pale guy. Irish, Scotish, German - just not a lot of sunlight up in those areas.

Anyway, I've worn sunscreen all my life, but it seems to me, triathlons present an additional challenge or two. Aside from being in the sun for 3+ hours (albeit in the earlier hours), you're swimming and sweating (a lot - if you're like me). What's a sun-conscious triathlete supposed to do?

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any specific brands? Spray or Lotion? Is there a need to reapply in T1 or T2? Are there refined techniques that people would care to share?

I'm hoping for a lively debate :)


wombat's ravatar wombat    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 269
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 2:59 PM

As a Finnish-Welsh-German, glow in the dark, blue-eyed strawberry blonde, I recommend Banana Boat Sport. I applied the lotion at 5 am on Saturday morning and spent all day in the sun at Kinetic. Following day I applied the lotion at 5 am again and spend most of the day out in the sun on the Eagleman bike course. After two days in the sun, I went from glow in the dark white to eggshell. Only pink/slight burn was on the back of my hands, due in part to my washing my hands immediately after appyling lotion to my body.

For my half attempt this fall, I plan to liberally lotion two hours before the race, then spray during transitions. I may also wear long sleeves during the bike.

starcaro's ravatar starcaro    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 60
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 3:54 PM

I can't speak to being that pale - I can be okay with a normal application before a race, there was an interesting article in the NYT this week about what the numbers mean. They mention that a lot of times its not how guy the number is but how much you acutally apply. Turns out you are suppose to really slather the thing on to protect you as much as it says it will. You can read it here:

finnegen's ravatar finnegen    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 56
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 5:55 PM

Being Irish, I’ve used Coppertone Sport SPF 30 at races, Hurley and Gaelic Rules Football matches and found it works well.

itri_45    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 22
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 6:28 PM

I'd like to add another question to daniel's - are there any that don't burn your eyes?


drewpugh's ravatar drewpugh    JOINED: 4/7/09    POSTS: 41
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 6:59 PM

Daniel - I also prefer the Banana Boat Sport, seems to stay on very well even though I sweat like crazy.

Duc - You might want to try sunglasses instead of putting sunscreen in your eyes. Just a free tip, I'm helpful like that. ;-)

jiml's ravatar jiml    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 21
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/22/09 8:28 PM

I like this stuff:

and this stuff:

It holds up ok in the water but isn't completely waterproof.

mccannjl's ravatar mccannjl    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 216
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/23/09 6:05 PM

people, people! There's only ONE product that will stand up thru 3 sports...recommended to me by several Ironmen finishers:

BullFrog SPF 36 quick gel. it dries instantly and it stays put ALL DAY LONG.

I got mine at REI, or Campmor, or one of those places. It rocks.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 685
RE: Sunscreen for Triathletes
POSTED: 5/26/09 5:21 PM

i have to agree the bull frog is the way to go, known by surfers for years to be a good product.

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