If you’re reading this article, you are most likely looking to get more out of your weekly run routine. Maybe you’ve hit a plateau? Maybe you’re feeling an energy drain? Maybe you’re not seeing the results you want quickly enough.
Running is great exercise. And when combined with a healthy, balanced diet… it burns fat faster than most workouts, while also building lean muscle.
But did you know that you can maximize your efforts by taking into account the time of day that you choose to run?
By taking certain factors into account, you’ll be able to better determine what time of day you’ll get the most from your run (this includes calorie and fat burn). These factors include:
In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of running at night vs in the morning, so you can educate yourself and decide which routine is best for you.
Running at Night typically takes place an hour or two after dinner… sometimes after sunset, depending on the season. For some, it relieves stress and improves sleep later in the evening.
Running in the Morning typically takes place right around sunrise and before you start your morning routine. Many people feel it elevates their mood for the rest of the day and is also a peaceful way to kick things off.
To sum up what we’ve learned here, we’ve created this infographic comparing the pros and cons of running at night vs in the morning. You may find that one, or all, of the comparisons ring true with regards to the time of day you prefer to run.
When deciding which time of day is best to run, you should keep in mind your unique set of circumstances. For instance, your physicality, work schedule and run location will all factor into interpreting what we’ve discussed here and figuring out what works for you.
- Go running at night if:
- Your work schedule allows flexibility and you have no evening obligations
- You’ve eaten a health course of meals all day long to properly fuel your run
- You live in a place where the evenings are typically cooler
- You run in well lit areas or have proper reflective gear
- Increasing distance and stamina is important to your training
- You are not a morning person
- Go running in the morning if:
- You enjoy waking up early and having time to yourself
- You are not rushed
- You want that “natural high” to wake up and start your day off on a positive note
- Running for weight loss or maintenance is a priority
- You have obligations after work most days or a family to care for
- You want to decrease your chances of skipping the run later in the day
At the end of the day, developing a running routine you’ll stick with is a habit that requires planning and accountability. You know yourself better than anyone, so being honest is the first step in being successful.
When deciding whether to go running at night vs in the morning, you have to ask yourself if you’re an early bird or a night owl. From there, you’ll need to examine your typical day and lifestyle to determine which time of day will provide the most consistency for your routine.
After that, ask yourself the other questions like:
The list of pros and cons outlined here should help you determine which plan is right for you. In the meantime, be sure to equip yourself with the proper running gear to help you keep unforeseen injuries at bay. This article on compression socks is a great read, especially if you never thought about wearing them.
And don’t forget to share your personal experiences from morning or evening runs in our comments section.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 25 years. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs.
She is an avid runner and incorporates walking, hiking, golfing and kickboxing into her weekly workout routine to keep things fresh and maximize calorie burn. She lives in the beautiful Sourland Mountain area of New Jersey, which offers many challenging and scenic trails.