Rain or shine, you’re getting your run in. But what about morning or night? Everyone’s schedule is different, and you should be running at the time that best suits you and your needs. Both morning runs and evening runs have their pros and cons, so choose the one that’s the best fit for you and coincides with your energy levels during the day.
We’re breaking down both the benefits of morning runs and the benefits of evening runs to make the decision easier for you.
Morning Run Pros:
Get your run out of the way early - If you get your run done first thing in the morning, you have the rest of the day to focus on work, cooking, grocery shopping, or binging that new Netflix show.
Wake yourself up - Get those endorphins pumping! An energizing workout first thing in the morning is just what you need to wake yourself up; no coffee needed.
Activate your metabolism - When you start your day off with a run, your metabolism will be jump-started and you’ll continue to burn extra calories throughout the day!
Better light conditions - Morning runs (at least, morning runs after 6-7 am) are generally better lit because you’re running as the sun is coming up. This makes it easier for cars, cyclists, and other runners to see you and becomes less of a safety hazard.
Morning Run Cons:
Waking up - If you’re not a morning person, waking up before your body is used to can be tough to adjust to, especially if you’re not getting to bed early the night before.
Stiff muscles - Since you’re just waking up and haven’t had the day to get up and move around, your joints and muscles may feel extra stiff from lack or range of motion! Make sure to do a quick warm-up before your run to get yourself in the swing of things. Static stretching is also a great idea. Try out some of these fun warm-up exercises!
Lack of fuel - When you just wake up, you’re more likely to be dehydrated and weak from not eating for the last 8 (or more!) hours. While most people eat and drink before their morning runs, it may not be enough to keep you going strong, especially if you’re trying to rack up some heavy mileage.
Evening Run Pros:
No change to your sleep schedule - This one is pretty self-explanatory: you don’t have to wake up early! Night owls, rejoice.
Blow off steam - An evening run can be a great time to unwind and de-stress from those long workdays. They can also give you a good chance to think through and process any difficult situations you may be facing.
You’re already warmed up - After a full day of moving around, digesting, etc., your muscles are all loose, limbered up, and ready to get out on the roads or trails!
Evening Run Cons:
Harder time falling asleep - Getting sleep at night is crucial, but evening runs can wreak a bit of havoc on your sleep schedule You may have been tired before your run, but getting those endorphins pumping could rewire and energize you at the worst time… right before bed.
Less family time - Most people use the evening hours after work/school for making dinner, then sitting down to eat and spending some quality time with the fam. Trying to squeeze in a run during that time can mean less time spent with your loved ones, which can be a bummer.
You’re too tired - This one is largely dependent on your work hours/profession. After a standard 8-hour workday, many people may feel exhausted and want to spend their night relaxing. This can make it hard to work up the motivation to do physical activity after work.