As the weather begins to improve, going out for a run suddenly seems a lot more appealing! If you wear contact lenses or glasses, it can be a bit confusing to know what the right approach is. To help, we’ve compiled our top 5 running tips for contact lens wearers.
1) You can run in your contact lenses
'Can I run in my lenses?' is a common question. The truth is that most runners with poor eyesight tend to wear contacts. Often glasses can get in the way, lead to discomfort and obstruct your vision. It’s not much fun constantly readjusting your glasses as they slide down your nose, so contact lenses leave you free to focus on running.
If you’re out running on a bumpy surface like a dirt trail, having completely clear vision is important to make sure you avoid tripping up on a loose stone or any other potential hazard. As contact lenses don’t steam up and have no frames to impede your view, they're brilliant for keeping you aware of your surroundings while running on uneven ground.
2) Ease yourself in if you’re new to running
When starting out running, it is easy to be over-enthusiastic. Going too gung-ho could cause an injury, so it’s important to channel that enthusiasm correctly! If you haven’t run before, or just for a while, it's a good idea to slowly ease yourself into the habit. Set yourself realistic targets and aim for small improvements from week to week, allowing for plenty of rest.
It's better to try to run twice a week rather than running every day for a week and then feeling burnt out, or being injured, for the next two weeks. It’s also advisable to warm up with a few minutes of fast-paced walking, before moving to a slow jog before you reach full speed. Finish with a 5-minute cool down where you slow down to a jog and then to walking pace. This will help you steer clear of injuries and generate some real momentum!
3) Wear the appropriate contact lenses
Most runners that wear contact lenses tend to go for daily contact lenses. This may be because they usually wear glasses and only use lenses for sports. If you do, they won’t have any protein build-ups that that a longer-wear lens could have developed. Without the chance of this, runners can enjoy clearer and more comfortable vision when wearing dailies.
Soft lenses are also very useful for runners who may be sweating a lot as they can stop sweat from running down into the eye and causing an uncomfortable stinging feeling. Good options include Aura ADM 1 Day, 1 Day Acuvue Trueye and Dailies AquaComfort Plus.
Ultimately, you should wear what is most comfortable and it's worth consulting your optician if you are unsure.
4) Don’t get water in your eyes while wearing contact lenses
You may be entering a triathlon and having to swim, entering a ‘mud’ or obstacle run, or even just prone to pouring water over your head when you’re too hot. While wearing contact lenses it's important to avoid getting any water in your eyes.
Water can cause your lenses to become dislodged, causing blurry vision and discomfort. It can also make your lenses warp and starve your eye of oxygen, which can lead to infection. If you are entering water for any part of your exercise we would advised wearing a well-fitted pair of goggles to prevent any water from getting in, and to throw the lenses away straight away when you've finished.
5) If you’re entering a race, enjoy yourself
It can be quite nerve-wracking before a race, especially for the first time, but the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself. Just by entering and running, you’re achieving something, so there’s no need to worry.
If you’re running for a charity then it’s worth remembering that they’ll be grateful for you for raising money and entering and, no matter where you finish, you will have helped a good cause.
Just have fun and don’t be afraid to push yourself a bit, but don’t overdo it; taking part and exercising is what really matters.