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When is the best time to run – morning vs evening

Publish date 12.09.2022

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When is the best time to run – morning vs evening

You want to start running. It’s simple, yes? You have to buy the right clothes, and shoes, you are motivated and ready for a new adventure. However, early on you may hit a problem, or rather a question: when is the best time to run?

Some people disregard the time of day. It all depends on when you prefer to run. Some are early birds and run in the morning, while others have more energy and motivation in the evening. However, are any of these times of day better?

You’re probably thinking: “It doesn’t matter. I run when I want to. After all, the results will be the same.”

Are you sure about that? In this article, you will learn if it is better to run in the morning or evening – the advantages and disadvantages and more. Are you curious? Let’s go! 

When is the best time to run – in the morning or in the evening?

Running in the morning 

Advantages 

  • A morning run will give you energy and a good mood for the rest of the day, 
  • It will give you motivation for the whole day – you will believe in yourself and your set plans, 
  • Large cities usually have low smog at this time – so you will be able to run better and breathe less polluted air more freely,
  • After training, you will be happy to eat a bigger breakfast and not be immediately hungry, 
  • It is proper preparation of your body for competitions – they are usually held at early hours. You will already be used to running in the morning and it will be easier for you to adjust,
  • Fewer people run in the morning – so you will be able to run freely even on the most frequented routes by runners, 
  • Morning = lower temperatures – this temperature is conducive to exercise,
  • If you are a fan of nature, especially sunrises, then this is a very good argument for running in the morning, 
  • Do you care about regularity? You are much less likely to have something come up in the morning and have to abandon your workout than in the evening,
  • It is a good way to stimulate your body, 
  • A morning workout will provide you with better oxygenation of your brain, 
  • Your body produces more cortisol in the morning, so energy will be quickly extracted from fat.

Disadvantages

  • In the morning, a very intense workout can leave you without energy for the rest of the day. In the evening, there won’t be such a problem, because you can go to bed and rest afterward,
  • In the morning, the nervous system works less efficiently – so you may notice problems with reflexes, concentration or motor coordination, 
  • Want to run in the morning? Remember that you need to give your body time to wake up – that’s about 30 minutes + you need to do a warm-up, for which you need to spend at least 10 minutes, 
  • When you are sleep-deprived you may have shallow breathing while running and feel pain in your muscles quickly
  • If you are a chilly person then the morning temperature may not encourage you to run and you will stay in a warm bed under the duvet, 
  • In winter, in the early morning, the sidewalks are slippery and the paths are not covered with snow.

How to motivate yourself for a morning run?

  • Sleep for 7-8 hours – if you get enough sleep you will be happy to get up for your morning workout.
  • Set your alarm clock 5 minutes earlier so you can rouse yourself and give yourself a moment to get used to the thought of getting up.
  • Prepare yourself a light breakfast the day before so you don’t have to think about what to eat and waste time preparing it.
  • Prepare yourself with appropriate clothes. Leave them on a chair.
  • Set a training plan and a goal you want to achieve, this will keep you motivated so you will be more willing to get up in the morning. 
Running in the morning

Running in the evening 

Advantages

  • If your work or daily routine allows you to run in the evening, the best time for this activity is around 4-6 PM. It is the most efficient time of the day.
  • At this time of the day, your nervous system is more efficient – you have better motor coordination and reflexes. 
  • Your muscles are already a bit warmed-up after a long day and ready for a bigger effort as e.x. an interval run. 
  • Throughout the day you have provided your body with food and fluids – an hour before your evening run eat something light. 
  • The joints are more flexible. 
  • After a long and hard day of work, this may be a perfect way to relax and let off steam. 
  • When you come back you don’t have to think about the rest of the day and the chores you need to do.
  • It is good for reducing cortisol, which collects in the body throughout the day.

Disadvantages

  • You can’t afford a big meal after training. You are going to bed soon, so it will be bad for your stomach. Decide on something light such as yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal.
  • After a long and hard day, there is often no motivation to train, you feel like lying down and spending the rest of the day like that.
  • Depending on the time of year, it may already be dark – making it necessary to equip yourself with a flashlight and reflectors. 
  • If you live in a remote area then you may be afraid to run in the evening. 
  • Training right before bed will keep you awake. Train at least 3h before going to bed. 
  • It doesn’t affect your metabolism as well as running in the morning.

Running in the evening or morning - what is better

Better to run in the morning or evening? – what are the conclusions?

We have presented you with the pros and cons of running in the morning and in the evening. When is the best time to run? Is it better to run in the morning or evening? You have to decide for yourself. It all depends on your body and preferences. 

However, you can conclude that you can run in the morning when you go to bed early and like to get up in the morning. Moreover, you want to rouse yourself, prepare well for the competition and in the evening you have other plans. 

If you like interval and intense running, you are a night owl, you want to relax after a whole day and you have problems getting up in the morning, then you definitely should choose to run in the evening. 

When is it better for you to run? Your body knows better

If you want to know when to run then you should be certain when your body is going to be prepared for exercise. Running in the early hours definitely will be a better option for people who like to get up in the morning. What’s more, you have to eat a light breakfast to be more efficient during running. 

I know that running in the morning can be tiring and it’s very often hard to get up from bed. If you want to be motivated then you should think about your goal – the big and small achievements.

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