For some, the sun scorching your face while running may be what you desire. However, for those with fair skin or who do not like to wear sunglasses during trail running, an important piece of apparel is certainly a running hat/cap. They are also quite useful while exercising in the rain too, which is quite common during British summers. However, not just any cap will do. While you can still adorn your old baseball cap, there are great fabrics today that make it easier to reach peak performance. They do this without making you feel bogged down by a sweat-drenched cap on your head. Here are some of the reasons why wearing a runner’s cap in a high-temperature environment might be the best decision you have ever made.
They Feature a Flexible Bill
The typical trucker-cap has had the same retro design for years. However, this stiff bill can be a problem for a sports enthusiast. When exercising on an outdoor trail, the cap is prone to be blown off by the wind. However, runner’s caps have a fixable bill that makes it easy to tweak in case the sunlight is low and getting in your eyes.
When it gets too windy, the bill will flex instead of capturing the wind and blowing off your head. Besides that, when you do not need to wear the cap, its flexible bills make it easier to tuck into your hydration belt or exercising shorts. Besides that, it is important to pick one with a sliding adjustment at the back. It should not simply be an elastic or plastic tab. It needs to be something that you can grab and adjust fast without losing your pace. This is especially important when taking part in a competitive race where every ounce of energy and focus needs to be on the race and not on the cap.
It Keeps You Cool or Warm
A runner’s hat is not just great for protecting you from the sunlight; it also keeps your head cool, which means you need to hydrate less often. This hat is also great when you want to keep warm when exercising in cold weather. When you wear the runner’s cap in hot weather, it will wick away the sweat from your head, which helps you to cool down much faster and lose less sweat. This does not just keep you cool but it ensures you are losing fewer fluids, which can cause you to become woozy, even when you are rehydrating often. Besides that, it will keep the sweat out of your eyes, which can distract you from performing at your best. In cool weather, you will want to maintain breathability while at the same time ensuring that you are not losing too much heat, which can eat away your energy. A runner’s cap is designed to help you achieve that. Besides that, when exercising in cold weather for long distances, the sweat will tend to ooze down your face, a runner’s cap wicks away quickly before it has a chance to build up and drip down to your eyes. To achieve this temperature regulation, exercising caps feature a light material and mesh insets.
It Keeps You Hair Out of Your Face
If you have long hair, you know how important it can be to keep it away from your face. Not only will you keep cool, but you will also keep hair, mixed in with sweat from sticking to your back, which can feel uncomfortable. There are caps designed for this exact purpose.
They keep you cool when pushing your ponytail further away from the neck and back. This way, you do not develop an uneasy itch on your skin that can take away focus from your goal of maintaining the pace and winning the race. Not only is hair sticking to your neck or back going to create an itch, but it will also reduce how much surface your skin has to lose sweat. As a result, it could make you hotter than you should be and depending on how hot it is, cause heat exhaustion.
Besides that, having hair away from your neck and back could have some anti bacterial benefits since they thrive in damp areas.
It Looks Good
A runner’s hat can be more than just practical exercising apparel. It can also be a fashion statement. Today, you have more than one option when picking your runner’s hat design. This can help you stand out and look cool when exercising.
There is a science to it too, in sports, how you think you look plays an important role in how you perform. This is called ‘enclothed cognition’. Research suggests that when we perceive that we look good it can boost our confidence. In long races, sometimes it only requires an extra jolt of confidence for you to perform at your best. Knowing that your hat makes you look good and keeps you cool may help to reduce your worries and get you to the finish line in good time.
It Improves Aerodynamics
In the cycling world, using aerodynamic helmets has been shown to reduce the time by making it easier to cut through the wind. This is also true for swimmers who shave their heads or wear a speed cap.
While aerodynamics is not something a runner would usually think of, having an aerodynamic cap could help you shave off a few seconds to the race. Combined with other factors such as wild wet hair being caught in the rain, a cap could give you the few-seconds advantage you need to finish first. It can be especially useful when the wind is rushing against you. The flexible and aerodynamic design of the runner’s cap bill will keep water out of your eyes and help you cut through the wind. It might be just what you need to win a race after all the hard training.
There are many reasons why a runner would want to wear a cap. However, the most important one should be protected from the sunlight. Even people who do not have fair skin still need protection from the sun for their eyes. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can affect vision and cause serious skin burns. At the end of the day, you want to pick a cap that is so effortless to wear that you forget you even have it on.
Always go for lightweight and breathability first when picking the cap you will use when exercising. It is especially important to keep it as light as possible. During a race, any extra ounce of weight on your head can feel like a ton and could potentially slow you down. Besides that, take time to compare the various prices, you should not have to pay too much for the chance to wear a comfortable exercising cap.