If you are new to running, you may be wondering when is the best time to run. Do you only have time in the morning or during your lunch break? Are you a night owl who feels the more motivated at night?
While not everyone can choose what time of day to run during the week, you will still find benefits from running in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
See our breakdown of the pros and cons of running at different times of the day, plus our tips for maximizing your performance.
Benefits of running in the morning
Running in the morning has many physical and mental benefits. For those who struggle with motivation, stopping exercise first thing in the morning can be a good way to form a healthy habit.
On the other hand, it may be difficult to set your alarm an hour or two earlier in the morning and struggle to get out of bed if you’re still groggy.
Jogging or running in the morning can give you a boost of energy that will keep you active throughout the day and improve your concentration.(1)
A morning running routine can also lower blood pressure and improve your sleeping pattern.(2) It also speeds up a person’s metabolism, which improves burning calories throughout The day
Plus, running in the morning gives you your body a healthy dose of oxygen. The higher oxygen content in the morning air makes breathing easier.
Running in the morning can be more difficult than at other times of the day.
Immediately after waking up, your joints may feel stiff and your muscles tense and inflexible. This means you don’t have the necessary muscle control and coordination when you run.
Take the time to incorporate a dynamic warm up routine Yon the mornings before you run, so you don’t fight the resistance of your muscles while you run.
Run at lunchtime or early afternoon
Do you want to avoid afternoon depression? Going for a run at midday or early in the afternoon is a great way to break up the day and combat fatigue.
Midday presents the best conditions for a high-intensity race. You are not too tired after a long day of work and you have had breakfast or lunch to give you energy.
In addition, it will give you more energy to complete your tasks at work. Just half an hour of moderate exercise can relieve cognitive fatigue.(3)
Running after lunch can be very tiring.
Your body needs more time to digest depending on how heavy and rich your lunch was. To avoid having to deal with digestive issues (e.g. stomach cramps) during intense interval training, follow these guidelines:
- Wait about 30 minutes after a light snack before going for a run.
- If you ate a large lunch, wait 1.5 to 2 hours before your race.
- If running after eating doesn’t feel good to you, do your training before lunch.
However, it may be more difficult to run because its energy reserves are not completely full.
Nutrition guide for runners:
Do you want to know what you should eat before, during and after running? Find out in the nutrition guide for runners.
Run at night or in the afternoon.
For some of us, running at night or in the afternoon is the only time we have to exercise. It can also be a great way to blow off steam or relax after a long day.
While it’s best to avoid high-intensity running right before bed, running at night in general can help you catch more Zs.
Are you stressed at the end of a hectic work day and having trouble relaxing? A quiet endurance race can help you let off steam. You may also have more time in the evening to do a proper warm-up and stretch.
Traditionally, we’ve been told that exercising late at night can affect our sleep schedule due to the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
However, a 2019 study concluded that evening exercise can help you fall asleep, as long as it’s more than an hour before bedtime.(4) That means you should schedule your runs at least 2 hours before bed and avoid high-intensity exercises like interval training or running.
Find the best time to run based on your individual goals
No matter what time of day you run, there are advantages and disadvantages, as well as different training effects. Think about your individual goals when scheduling your runs. Do you want to lose weight, reduce stress, Be fasteror run further?
One study looked at optimal training times for men and women. For men who want to lose weight, evening exercise has been shown to increase fat oxidation and reduce systolic blood pressure and fatigue.(5) In the same study, morning exercise in women reduced abdominal fat, while evening exercise was good for muscle function.
The adidas Running app has a goal setting feature. You can decide between a daily, weekly or monthly goal. Set your target calories, distance, duration and more!
No matter what time of day you run, there are advantages and disadvantages.
These are the main conclusions:
- If you want to maintain your level of performance, you can train at any time of the day.
- Make sure you warm up properly.
- Midday runs are best for intense interval training to improve your performance.
- Training races for general. rest and recovery It is better to do it at night.
Basically, the best time to run is when it is easiest for you. Factors such as daily schedules, sleep patterns, work, free time, family and meal times often play an important role in planning your races.