What's the best time of the day to run?

From running first thing in the morning to clocking up the miles after dark, there are benefits to training at different times...

What's the best time of the day to run?

EARLY RISERS

Facing the day head on

One of the best things about running early doors is having time on your side and riding that huge endorphin wave for the rest of the day. After a substantial night’s sleep, shaking off the cobwebs on a morning run can work wonders for your mood, especially during the darker months. If getting out in the morning is a struggle, our 10 ways to wake up early should help you get out of bed.

Fat burning

If you're trying to burn fat, running first thing is a great place to start. When you wake up you're often in a fasted state having gone without food throughout the night. Heading out for a run before breakfast will encourage your body to burn fat stores instead. Fasted training can be beneficial for both weight loss and as an endurance training aid, but it shouldn't be a permanent tool. Find out more about fitness nutrition with our lowdown on fasting and running

Improve your endurance

Training when you're tired can help you achieve the results you're looking for on race day, as you will become accustomed to running while feeling lethargic. When the going gets tough, it pays to get acquainted with feeling like you're pushing through treacle. Most races start first thing in the morning, so if you're used to running early in the day you will be less likely to have a shock to the system when you're stood on that start line ready to take on the world! 

Get enough rest

If you're considering embarking on early morning rambles, make sure you get enough rest. If you've only had four hours sleep, a 6am run could mean a less productive day at work, so it pays to be smart. Snoozing shouldn't feel shameful if you feel particularly sleepy, as rest and recovery are important pieces of the training puzzle. 

MIDDAY MOVERS

Productivity boost

Squeezing a cheeky run in during your lunch break will save you heaps of time, free up your evening and could be the ultimate productivity boost you’ve been looking for. Packing some miles into your lunch break can also help run off any stresses as well as breaking the day up, meaning your afternoon is easier and much less stressful.

No shower, no problem

‘My work doesn’t have a shower!’, we hear you cry. Our tips on faking a shower after your run will have your lunch time meanders covered. If you’re worried about your locks getting hot and sweaty, read our post workout hair hacks 

NIGHT OWLS

Added energy

Heading out of the door after a jam-packed day can actually provide more of a boost than you might think. Your muscles will be warmed up and you will be well fuelled thanks to the food and drink you’ve consumed during the day. In contrast to running on empty you will be full of energy, meaning you can pack some more power into those miles. 

Time to get social

Unlike getting up on your lonesome at the crack of dawn or fitting in your workout in the middle of the day, running at night provides more opportunity to get your friends involved. There are numerous running groups who meet up to run during the evening, too. Read our great reasons why you should join a run club and run with some welcome company!

Stay committed

One of the hardest aspects of running after work is sticking to your original plan. Sometimes heading home for a relaxing evening is much more appealing, but just remind yourself that that victory will be even sweeter after a run. If you're in training for an event, think ahead to race day and remember that every single run adds up to that finish line glory.

Don't forget to wind down

One thing to be aware of when running at night is having too much adrenaline in your system and feeling wired before bed. This can impact your sleep, which means that your recovery time will be shorter, leading to feeling run down and making you more susceptible to injury.

If you're pushed for time, wind down with our tips on how to get to sleep easily

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