HomeAnswersIs it better to run in the morning or night?

Is it better to run in the morning or night?

This question is about Running
Sarah Achleithner, health and wellness writer
Some research shows the best time to run is between 4 and 5 PM [1]. This is because at night, the body experiences its peak core temperature, which translates to an increase in energy metabolism, flexibility, range of motion, speed, agility, and endurance [2]. And no need to worry about insomnia; research has shown that running approximately four hours before bedtime can improve sleep quality [3, 4]. 
Don’t fret if that timeframe doesn’t work for you - adaptations to training are greater at the time of day at which training is regularly performed [1].
woman with ponytail running along road against a fenced background

References: 

  1. Chtourou, H. & Souissi, N. (2012). The Effect of Training at a Specific Time of Day. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 26(7), 1984-2005. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825770a7 
  2. Teo, W., Newton, M. J., & McGuigan, M. R. (2011). Circadian rhythms in exercise performance: implications for hormonal and muscular adaptation. Journal of sports science & medicine, 10(4), 600–606. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761508/
  3. Saidi, O., Davenne, D., Lehorgne, C., & Duché, P. (2020). Effects of timing of moderate exercise in the evening on sleep and subsequent dietary intake in lean, young, healthy adults: randomized crossover study. European journal of applied physiology, 120(7), 1551–1562. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04386-6
  4. Youngstedt, S. D., Kripke, D. F., & Elliott, J. A. (1999). Is sleep disturbed by vigorous late-night exercise?. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 31(6), 864–869. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-199906000-00015

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