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Timing Your Runs: When is the Best Time to Run?

I have often wondered when is the best time to run. Is it early in the morning, late at night, or during the day?

The ideal time to run depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Morning runs can boost metabolism and set a positive tone for the day, while afternoon runs can improve work performance. Evening runs can reduce stress and aid in better sleep, while night runs can beat the heat but require extra safety measures. Consider weather, environment, and safety when choosing a running time.

Group of runners running at night

The Science of Timing Your Runs

Timing is a crucial factor when it comes to running, and it affects various aspects of your performance, including endurance, speed, and overall performance. The timing of your run can also affect your circadian rhythm, which regulates your body's internal clock. Therefore, it is important to choose the best time to run that aligns with your body's natural rhythm.

Running in the Morning (6-7 am)

Many runners prefer to run in the morning, and there are several reasons why.

Running in the morning helps kickstart your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. It is also a great way to clear your head, reduce stress and improve your mood, setting you up for a productive and positive day. Running in the morning also means that you have completed your workout early, giving you a sense of accomplishment that can help you stay motivated throughout the day.

However, there are also some disadvantages to morning running. One of the main challenges is the need to wake up early, which can be difficult for some people. Additionally, running in the morning may require you to adjust your sleep schedule, which can be challenging for those who are used to staying up late. Finally, morning runs may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who struggle with low energy and motivation levels in the morning.

Running in the Afternoon (12-1 pm)

Running in the afternoon can be a good option for those who are not early birds. It's also a great way to break up your workday and relieve stress by going an a short run at lunch. Running in the afternoon can also help improve your performance as your body temperature tends to be higher, which means that your muscles can perform better.

Running in the afternoon can be challenging for many people. One of the main disadvantages is that the temperature is typically at its hottest during this time, which can make it difficult to maintain a steady pace and increase the risk of dehydration. Finally, running in the afternoon can be challenging to fit into a busy schedule, particularly for those who have family or work commitments.

Running in the Evening (3 - 5pm)

For some runners such as myself, prefer running in the evening. This is because running in the evening can be a great way to unwind after a long day and reduce stress. It is also an excellent way to burn off any excess energy and clear your mind, which can help you sleep better at night. However, it is important to be mindful not to run too close to bedtime as this can affect your sleep quality. So, it is best to finish your workout at least two hours before you go to sleep.

There are some potential downsides to evening running. One of the main concerns is the decreased energy levels later in the day, which can impact the quality of your run. Additionally, running in the evening may be more difficult to fit into your schedule, particularly if you have family or work commitments in the evening. Finally, evening runs may not be suitable for those who live in busy areas, as running in the dark can be dangerous.

Running at Night 6-8pm

Running at night can be a great way to beat the heat, especially during the summer months. It is also a great way to clear your head and reduce stress after a long day. However, running at night can also be dangerous, so it's essential to take the necessary safety precautions, such as wearing reflective clothing, carrying a torch, and avoiding poorly lit areas. Running at night can also affect your sleep quality, especially if you have trouble winding down after exercising.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Time to Run

When deciding on the best time to run your personal preference is important but, you should also consider your schedule, the weather and environment.

Your schedule and personal preferences

It is important to choose a time that works for you and your lifestyle. For example, if you have a busy schedule, running in the morning before work may be the best option. On the other hand, if you are not a morning person, running in the afternoon or evening may be more suitable.

The weather and environment

Running in extreme heat or cold can affect your performance and health, so it is important to choose a time when the weather is mild. If you are running outdoors. It is also important to consider the safety of your running route. Choosing a well-lit, well-populated route can help reduce the risk of accidents.


The best time to run depends on several factors, including your schedule, personal preferences, and environment. It is essential to choose a time that works for your lifestyle. Running offers numerous health benefits and choosing the best time to run can help maximise your health and enjoyment.

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