Many runners prefer hitting the pavement at sunrise, but if that’s not your jam, there’s nothing wrong with logging your miles after dark.
Whether your schedule is simply better suited for evening miles, or you’re a night owl at heart, there are tons of benefits to becoming a nighttime runner.
Running will feel easier1 of 11
In the late afternoon and evening, you're at your physiological peak. Your body temperature is higher, so your muscles are warmed up and supple. Some studies have even shown that lung function is at its peak in the evening. Since your muscles will be primed to go fast, try saving speed workouts for later in the day—even if you're usually a morning runner.
You'll get more sleep2 of 11
With a later alarm, you'll be able to log some extra Zzz. And since sleep is essential when it comes to recovery, you might even get a little faster and stronger. Just make sure to hit the sheets at a decent time post-run!
It's a great way to de-stress.3 of 11
Traffic, a cranky boss, and a never-ending to-do list? A good, sweaty run might be the best way to leave behind the pressure of a busy workday.
Your mornings will be more relaxed4 of 11
While sunrise runners may need to speed through their shower and grab a banana on the way out the door, you can take your time! Running at night allows you more flexibility in the morning for things like coffee, a hot breakfast and your favorite news show.
You'll feel like you're flying5 of 11
When it's dark, it's harder to gauge speed in relation to the objects around you, so you feel faster. Just make sure to wear reflective clothing and remain aware of your surroundings.
Social opportunities abound6 of 11
Many local running stores and clubs host evening workouts and social runs. Whether you're looking for a coached track workout or an easy run followed by happy hour, you're more likely to find social meet-ups after standard work hours.
You'll sleep better7 of 11
The increase in body temperature from running will act like a hot bath and lull you to sleep. Add in a post-run shower and a carbohydrate-rich meal and you'll be in la-la land before you know it.
It works with your schedule8 of 11
It may be the only time of day that works with your schedule. If you're a parent to young children, you might only be able to run after the kiddos are asleep. A run, no matter the time of day, is better than no run at all.
You'll make healthier choices9 of 11
After nailing a tough tempo run, are you going to reach for greasy pizza or a plate of salmon, veggies and whole grains? If you're like a lot of runners, it's probably the latter. Ending the day with a run might encourage you to choose smaller portions and healthier foods.
The conditions are better10 of 11
Whether you're vying for a treadmill at the health club or you want to avoid the exhaust on the nearby highway, nighttime running can be less hectic. And if you live in a warm climate, nighttime can be one of the coolest times of the day.
So the next time you hit the snooze button too many times, try out a nighttime run and you may just become a faster, stronger and healthier runner!