Most runners spend at least a portion of their runs outdoors, especially as the weather gets better in the spring and summer months. Running outside is a great way to get through those challenging runs by having more to look at than the treadmill in front of you at the gym, which is a great tool to keep your mind active. While there are many benefits to running outside, doing so increases your exposure to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Over time this exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer.
It is recommended to wear sunscreen while spending any time outside but many runners find the greasy feel of sunscreen unpleasant. Wearing a pair of running arm sleeves with a high UPF factor is a great solution. These sun sleeves are made by a number of manufacturers and can block 97.5-100% of the sun’s harmful rays. If you are a casual runner or a pavement-pounding veteran, the sun protection that running arm sleeves offer is one of the top reasons to have a pair in your running kit.
How often do you start a long run when it is a little chilly outside and then end up around mile 4 regretting that extra layer you put on? It happens to the best of us. Even if you take off that long sleeve tee, you’ll have to carry it with you for the rest of the run. Which leaves you with two choices, be too hot or deal with the annoyance of a shirt tied around your waist and slog through the rest of your run.
This is where the beauty of running arm sleeves comes in. If you had a pair, you could start your runs comfortably warm, and then just slip them down toward your wrists when you warm up. Worst case you have to take them off, which is easy to do while staying on that 8 minute pace. They can easily be tucked into your amphipod belt or case and be out of your way, adding little extra weight to carry. This works great if your run travels through some forested areas that are noticeably cooler than the uncovered portions of your route.
Some runners use compression sleeves for arms to help reduce swelling induced by longer runs. This swelling is due to muscle vibrations and tears, which induce an inflammatory response. This draws excess fluid into the arms. Wearing compression arm sleeves helps prevent arm swelling.
Compression arm sleeves can also be used as a recovery tool. After a long run simply put on a pair of recovery compression arm sleeves. These compression sleeves increase blood flow, which helps the removal of lactic acid that built up in your muscles during your run. This speeds the amount of time it takes to recover from a long run and also reduces muscle soreness.