This's Sunday's run was a fun one. Around two hours, 12.5 miles and 2400' of gain. We had eight today, Greg, Vince, Kam, myself, Martin, Kevin and Melissa in the pic below, plus cameraman Dennis.
While posting the pic I noticed five of us wearing hats and two not wearing. Dennis, camera, was also hatless. Today was hot and humid, so humid it in fact rained a bit at the tail-end of the run. But the sun wasn't out.
In looking at the picture and realizing I look old with a beard, I begin to think about the trade-off for wearing a hat, which seems to be decreased rays on the noggin vs. increased retained heat under the hat.
Then I thought do hats hinder or help? Are they more protection for the face than a heat saver for the head? Under what conditions should a hat be worn? Should hats be worn in races? At what distance do they begin to make a difference? What type of hat works best? ( I think Kevin's green hat, which is lightweight and has venting is probably the best - I have the same hat from the Foxy Trail Half Marathon.)
I'm calling on an aspiring PhD student in exercise physiology to give me some answers. I did a cursory search on google for "wearing a hat or not during running", and didn't find much. The best was http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Running_in_the_Heat, which actually cites scientific studies. However, no studies are cited in relation to hats. As a bonus, I'll post the dissertation here.
Keep it sweaty.