Fans of the early morning rise and grind often state that it’s easier to get a run in before the day starts. That way no matter what comes up later, you won’t have to worry about running out of time. A low-intensity morning run can also serve as a de-stressor. Running both reduces your body’s stress hormones and stimulates endorphin production. However, it can be more difficult to prepare for an early morning run because it’s taking place after you’ve spent the previous 6-8 hours in bed, fasting. Therefore, you’ll have less energy and you’re more likely to get injured if you don’t warm up properly.
Regardless of the time of day, trying to squeeze in a tempo run can be difficult for anyone with a demanding schedule. If you push the pace too hard in the morning, you might find yourself out of energy halfway through the workday. Alternatively, if you have a hard day at work, you might find your pace lagging during your evening run. If you’re feeling chronically fatigued, you may want to consider lowering the duration or intensity of your run.
Ultimately, you run your best when you feel your best, so what it really comes down to is answering this question: are you an early bird or a night owl? If you’re early to rise, morning runs are probably for you, but if you like staying up late, you might want to get your run in later in the evening.
On the bright side, no matter what time of day you hit the asphalt (or the trails) running has been shown to improve duration and quality of sleep. This means that no matter when you run, you’ll be better rested for your day at work or school, and better rested for your next run too! So, while both of these schedules come with their own drawbacks and benefits, what it ultimately comes down to is deciding on a running schedule that makes sense for you, and having the tools to be able to stick to that schedule consistently.