If you run regularly, you might be wondering if there’s an optimal time of day to lace up and head out for a jog. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, as anytime can be the right time for a run. 

Here are some of the pros and cons associated with running in the morning, afternoon, or evening.


Going for a run first thing in the morning can be a terrific way to start your day. Not only are you more likely to have roadways and trails to yourself, but you’ll also get to enjoy the beauty of the sunrises that your sleepy-head friends are missing out on. 

Morning runs give you a chance to clear your head and wake up your body, so you’re better equipped physically to meet the demands of the coming day. 

Some experts even suggest that running early in the day encourages you to make healthier meal choices at lunch and dinner, as you’ll be reluctant to give back the gains you earned by getting off on the right foot in the morning.

Note that there can be some downsides to hitting the road in the morning. In many regions it can be brutally cold in the early hours, meaning you’ll need to put on extra clothing or running gloves

You might cut your valuable sleep time short if you commit to jogging early, and you risk feeling the effects of soreness and tight muscles throughout the day following a strenuous run. 

Still, many people find that getting a jump on their exercise by taking a morning run has benefits that make the challenges worth it.


Running in the afternoon can be a great way to break up your day and mentally reset from any difficulties you might have faced in the morning hours. 

The weather is typically at its best midday, and with more people out and about you may feel safer than you would during quieter times.

That being said, one of the big issues with going for afternoon runs is figuring out how to time your meals. You don’t want to run on an empty stomach, nor do you want to head out feeling stuffed after a large feast. 

It also can be more tempting to skip a planned afternoon jog if you find you are too bogged down in responsibilities when the time to run rolls around. 

Work on planning your meals and managing your schedule to overcome these challenges if afternoons are the best time for you to go on your daily run.


As with an afternoon run, heading out in the evening can help you clear your mind of the day’s concerns. 

There’s also evidence that both body temperature and lung function are at their peak at the end of the day, making you more physically primed to perform better. 

Additionally, running at night gives you a way to expend any pent-up energy from the day so you are more likely to have restful sleep.

There are, however, a few cons to running at night. When you jog after dark it may be harder to see road hazards, so try wearing a headlamp to illuminate your path. 

On top of that, it’s often more difficult for drivers to see you at night, so plan to run on trails that are a safe distance from roadways or wear reflective clothing to make you more visible. 

There’s also the hazard of procrastination; if you purposely push jogging to the end of the day you may find that it's easier to make excuses to get out of your commitment to run.


Regardless of what time of day you choose to run, there are perks and challenges to be aware of. 

Take everything into consideration, and then try heading out at different times to see what works best for you when it comes to taking your routine run.


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