Is it Better to Run Late at Night versus Early in the Morning?

morningYour daily running routine is a very personal thing.  Once you start talking about morning runs, midnight runs, and anything in between you can easily start getting into heated debates about the perfect answer.  Studies have found that there are benefits to each of them, but the answer is a little more complicated when you ask “What is the best time to run?” 30 runners were recently asked about their perfect time to run and every one swore that they had the ideal answer.

Early Rising Running

Perhaps you fall into this category.  Maybe you are envious of the ones that do.  In any case, the early morning runners are the epitome of the person we picture when we think about productive members of the human race.  This can be a great way to start your day, but you might also not be at your best.

The problem with running first thing in the morning is that your body is not fully ready to handle anything too physical.  Your lower body temperature, lack of nutrition, and stiff muscles can all inhibit your run.  Taking the time to eat a small meal and warming up first can have a huge impact.

So why should you run in the morning?  This is one of the biggest psychological things that you can overcome, even if you don’t get the maximum amount of physical exercise.  Forcing yourself to run before you begin your day kick-starts your metabolism, focuses your mind before work, and makes sure that you don’t waste any time in the morning before other things have a chance to demand your attention.  Nothing puts your day into perspective quite like running through your hometown as the sun is rising!

Midnight Runs

On the other hand, a late night run can give you a chance to enjoy your exercise without having to worry if you have time to get things done.  Your day is done and your miles can seem like a much more relaxing experience than if you try to hurry through a morning run.  You are also warmed up properly, have had plenty of nutrients put into your body, and are in a perfect physical condition for a run.

A midnight run might also mean that you have the opportunity to put it off and keep procrastinating.  Finding the motivation to run late at night can be hard to do after spending all day working and dealing with your day to day life.

What’s Best For You?

Which is best?  I can’t really say.  The answer lies in your daily schedule and your own physical and mental strengths.  If you prefer to clear things off your schedule first thing, try a morning run.  If you believe that you will be able to convince yourself to run when you day is done, stick with a late night jog.

In the end, there is not a concrete answer.  Each time has benefits, but really you should just decide when you are able to run and give it your all.  Whether you would rather run in the morning or at night, as long as you run, and run like you mean it, you will end up a healthier person.

This article was written for RunnersGoal.com by James S., a guest author.

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