For runners, having a favorite time of day to run is never a question of what is better, but more of what feels better. Morning runners have their many reasons why they choose to run during those early times of day.
Evening runners have the same number of motives on what makes them run after the sun has set. Both set of runners feel the same physical, mental and emotional satisfaction doing their running activity at the time they like the most.
However, the best time of day to run had long been the subject of debates not just by runners and kibitzers alike but by scientists too. Minus the rhetoric and other incidentals, science had finally come up with a scientific finding.
According to research, the most optimal time of day for exercise is during the time when the temperature of the body is highest, which is around 4 to 5 in the afternoon.
Other studies confirmed this result. Performance was found to be better at this time of day when people achieve better in physical tests. This includes factors like endurance, aerobic capacity, reaction time, and strength.
The time period was found to be within 4pm and 7pm.
It would seem that evening runners have been correct, after all, in doing their running routine at the end of the day. However, they could be off the body clock by some hours if they do their running on late evenings.
Of course, morning runners vehemently dispute this.
Morning runners can flood everyone, scientists included, with a barrage of reasons why running in the morning is better, research findings notwithstanding. In real terms, research also showed that people who exercise (or mostly run) in the morning are more consistent in their regimens compared to any other group at any time of day.
The body may have the inclination to be physically better in late afternoon or early evening. However, some research (and many random proofs all over) also indicates that the body is able to adapt to any physical challenge at any time of day if necessary.
These days, running is among the most popular exercises done in the morning. Its devotees swear that the exercise helps lift their mood in starting the day right. The discipline alone is one good plus point. (You sleep early to have the right energy for the next morning.)
For evening runners, doing the running at the end of the day is also one of the best ways the erase the stress of the day three ways – physically, mentally and emotionally. The high one gets in running is enough to counter any downside events during work.
From a scientific viewpoint, this is one time when the body is at its physical peak, the muscles are in their most optimum even after work. Even the lungs work better at this time. You had completed your day’s quota of business, the next action of running should be relaxing.
Are early morning runs better than evening runs? As per science, evening runs could be better. Mentally, it depends.