Running With Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses or Natural Vision

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” – Mark Twain

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your perception is out of focus” – Martin Musson

Single Vision vs. Progressive Lenses.

If you have to run wearing prescription eyewear here’s some tips.

Progressive Vision Lenses

  • Progressive lenses, graduated lenses, bi or tri-focal lenses may be just fine for normal activities of daily living, but can significantly alter the relationship you perceive of where and when your foot is going to strike the ground when running.
  • The focal distance at the lower portion of these types of prescription glasses are often meant for close focal length, such as reading, and they aren’t focused when looking at the near ground that your foot is about to land on.
  • They are especially weird when you change your vision from straight ahead, long distance to near distance where your foot is about to land because of focal length change.

Single Vision Lenses

  • Single vision lenses create no specific issues relating to clarity of focused vision for long distance or near distance for runners.
  • The near distance ground that you are about to land on or run over should be focused and not change the perception of where and when your foot is going to land.

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Clear or Dark Lenses

  • Totally depends on conditions such as:
  • Brightness of sky – clear, cloudy, rainy etc.
  • Day time / night time – dawn, dusk
  • Inclination of the Sun – low or high in the sky
  • Sensitivity of eyes – young eyes vs. older eyes
  • Snap-on dark filters fit over prescription glasses and are much less expensive than prescription sunglasses.
  • React-to-Light lenses are great because they are clear in low light conditions and darken as brightness increases. (Photochromic lenses).
  • Dark lenses can have the “cool factor” but create light sensitive eyes, over time, if worn repeatedly in low light or non-bright conditions.
  • All glasses, clear or dark, are annoying when they get rained on or sweated on. Clarity of vision is impaired.

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Contact Lenses

  • Clarity of vision is not impaired by rain.
  • Different focal lengths can be inserted. Useful for those who enjoy checkpoint running (Orienteering) where map reading is a necessity. One eye can be used for reading the map and setting the compass and the other eye is used for clarity of running and distance with or without a lens.
  • React-to-Light contact lenses are available. (Photochromic lenses).