Summer is on its way and with it comes beaches, BBQ’s and mission summer body – no one wants to feel uncomfortable with their shirt off. Running is a great way to shred the fat and show what lies beneath – a lot of us hoping that it is a six-pack that all guys are envious of and girls dream of.
For those of us starting mission ‘summer bod’ by incorporating running into their fitness routine, we’ve researched the best time of day to jog to help you get he most out of it.
What Is The Best Time Of Day To Run?
The best time of day to jog has been a long, heavily-disputed debate amongst fitness fanatics and pro-runners.
Research suggests that running in the evening has many benefits, as this is when your core body temperature is at its highest. Performance is believed to be optimal when body temperature is high. Studies have found that participants have performed better in the evenings at performance-based, physical tests such as endurance and aerobic capacity tests.
Morning runs, like evening runs, also have their perks. Studies show that its it easier to keep motivated when running in the morning, so runners could see their distances improve.
Running in the morning also has the added benefit of waking you up more naturally. When we say naturally we mean without coffee, which most of us have to have in the mornings to be human. As your heart rate increases due to morning exercise, blood flow increases delivering oxygen and other vital nutrients to muscles and organs.
Studies have also found that morning runs improve your sleep quality, adding to the good feel factor you get the day after a run.
Overall, it may seem that morning runs are more beneficial. For us, its just great to get it over a done with, knowing that you have the rest of the day to just chill out and enjoy a better quality of sleep that evening. But running morning or night is still better than not running at all.
Need Help Deciding?
Like with most questions there is not set answer, so below are some useful questions to ask yourself to help determine what time of day suits you to go for a run.
1) What Time Works for You?
You ideally want to pick a time of day that works around your schedule, a time of day that you can run everyday you train. Research has shown that being consistent when it comes to training has many benefits; you are less likely to cut a workout short and less likely to skip a workout. Dedicate a time of day, whether it be morning or night to train for your target distance. For example, if you work 9 to 5 and are busy most evenings then go for morning runs to be consistent – find what works for you.
2) Getting What You Need?
Morning runs put a short time-frame around nutrition for a run. We all know getting a good meal before a run is fundamental but some people struggle to eat enough food and fully digest it before they set off for a run. If you’re one of those that struggle to eat enough before a run then try having a light snack before your morning run and then have a big breakfast after.
3) How Safe is Your Route?
Safety needs to be a massive factor when it comes to running, you need a route that is safe to help you feel relaxed. Running in the dark can be daunting to some runners, so some choice to run in the morning. However, there are many well-lit areas and clothing options available to help keep you safe while running. So if you feel you’re confined to a specific running time due to it becoming dark then consider changing your route and investing in running equipment, such as a Hi Vis running top or jackets.