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Morning, noon or evening running? The case for each

Do you have a preferred time of day to run? Whether it's a morning, afternoon or evening run, we can make a case for each.

Rejean Chiasson
Rejean Chiasson
Photo: Jess Baumung.

Every runner has a time they prefer to run. For anyone who takes up the runner’s lifestyle, choosing between being a morning, afternoon or evening runner is one of the first decisions they make. Though most of us don’t just strictly run at one time of day, we usually have a preference. But with mornings and evenings being extra long now, and the temperatures climbing higher during the day, runners might be wondering about switching up their routine to take better advantage of the season’s conditions. Are you in that boat? Here’s the case for each:

Morning:

The perk: There are a number of factors that make morning the most appealing time to run. First of all, you’re up before everyone during the time of day that’s arguably the least demanding for scheduling. Think about it: There’s no social event to sway you, work hasn’t start yet, you’re less likely to get caught off guard by important phone calls, businesses aren’t open for errands. Plus, you get to start your day with a jolt meaning you’re awake and revitalized by the time you have to be productive. There’s also the possibility that running in the morning can lower your BMI.

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The pitfall: For those non-morning people, sleeping always feels more appealing than running. When you do get up, you realize you missed the run and have to reorganize the day to fit it in– or you just wait for tomorrow. Starting the day off with disappointment is no good.

Afternoon:

The perk: The afternoon is a great time to run. For many runners, it feels the best of both worlds because you don’t have to wake up super early and you’re free to do what you like after work. The sacrifice you have to make is relatively easy too — you give up the opportunity to have a sit down lunch away from the desk but it’s not as if you’re working through lunch. Many choose this time of day as a way to beat the afternoon slump in the office.

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The pitfall: That nicely styled hair from the morning will be ruined and there won’t be time to recreate it. Also, your workplace may not have a shower. And in summer, the temperature is at its hottest.

Evening:

The perk: If you’re slow-going in the mornings, there’s no pressure. You know you’re less likely to miss a run because it’s not dependent on you listening to an alarm. By running at the end of the day, you get a chance to go over the day’s dramas. This is a great time to reflect or problem-solve and it’s a great picker upper for those of us who feel beat at the end of a workday. When you get in from the run your, life stress is gone and you feel energized to do the things you actually want to do on your free evenings.

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The pitfall: Dinner with pals or after-work drinks do come up and you’re faced with having to choose. Many who feel tired after work just can’t get motivated to run at this time.