Many people love running first thing in the morning. And for good reason -- running at dawn is a wonderful way to begin an active day and kickstart your metabolism. But if you’re more of a night owl, running at night has plenty of benefits of its own. Read on for all the reasons why evening running is awesome.
You’ll get more sleep. If you often have late nights, morning runs can feel extra brutal. An evening run will allow you to spend a little more time in bed in the a.m. If you work out at night, try to leave at least a few hours before bedtime -- run too late and it might take awhile to settle down and drift off.
It may work better with your schedule. Do you start work at dawn? Have kids that love to wake up at 5 a.m.? Sometimes your routine might make a morning run difficult. If you have more time and flexibility in the evening, you’re more likely to fit in a run (and enjoy it!).
You’ll feel stronger and faster. Groggy, pre-breakfast miles never feel very good. Running at night allows you to fuel throughout the day and fully wake up. And your body temperature rises as the day goes on, so if you’re hoping to run fast, your muscles will be warmed up and ready to go in the evening.
It’s a great form of stress relief. Whether you had a tough day at work or a long commute, a good sweaty run can really melt away the day’s stressors. If you’re looking to be extra efficient, consider “run commuting” home from the office. Catch a ride (or take public transportation) in the morning, bring along your running clothes, and at quitting time -- hit the road!
It may be safer if you run after work, the streets and sidewalks will likely be more populated than the pre-dawn hours. If you feel uneasy about running solo, running a bit later in the day might put your mind at ease. If you opt to run very late, consider using a treadmill!
You’re more likely to find running buddies. Many local running clubs host evening meet-ups during the week. And if your friends or co-workers enjoy logging miles, you might have a better shot at convincing them to join you a bit later in the day. The next time your office mates are trying to plan a happy hour, suggest a group run instead!
In the summer, the humidity is lower later in the day. Temperatures might be higher than the wee hours of the morning, but the silver lining of a night run is that the humidity is (usually) lower. Lower humidity means your sweat will evaporate faster and you’ll feel cooler!
If you’re not able to run in the morning, the evening may be a great option. No matter when you choose to run - consistency is the most important thing in building a training routine.
Megan is a writer, RRCA certified running coach, and new mom living and training in rural upstate New York. She competed in DIII track and cross-country at Wesleyan University and now focuses on the half-marathon and marathon distance.
Main Photo Credit: sirtravelalot/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Samo Trebizan/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: alessandro guerriero/shutterstock.com