Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, according to the British Skin Foundation. And rates continue to rise.
At least 100,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and it kills more than 2,500 people a year in the UK – that's seven people a day.
Athletes who train and race outdoors are at particular risk, say experts. A study (UV Light and Skin Cancer in Athletes) during one Ironman World Championships in Hawaii showed the average UV exposure of three triathletes was about 20 standard erythema (or sunburn) doses.
But the British sun can be just as damaging. Many tri suits now offer high-tech UV protection like "coldblack" technology that also reflects heat from dark fabrics. Sun cream will only work effectively if it’s applied properly, while alcohol based formulations will prevent vision problems and eye-sting.
For long training sessions and races, it’s a good idea to opt for a once-a-day application that is water resistant and offers 10 hours of sun protection, like P20 (official partner of British Triathlon).