/ Running, Morning or Night?

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Jeromecooper - on 02 Mar 2012

Not that it should make any difference, but I've found a trend that when I run at night my times are generally alot better than when I run in the mornig before work.

Does anyone have an explanation for this? Or am I seeing something that just isnt there.

Generally run about 10 or 15 km every other day.
Boogs on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:

I used to do a fair bit of road work and definitely ran smoother in the evening when my body was warmed up . Used to run a lot at around 4am after a night shift to help me sleep too , You don't half see some sights at that time around the subways of Easton, Eastville & St.Pauls (Briz) I can tell thee .

It was all about finding the correct pace and rhythm for me & I usually struggled first thing in the day .
koalapie - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper: Likely to do with your circhadian rhythms (however you spell that) or sleep cycle in general speak. I'm pretty sure there is good evidence to support peak performance late afternoon early evening, from memory it's the time your body is most awake (assuming you control for other factors) and possibly to do with your body temperature being at it's highest. Other factors would be extra recovery time for muscle regeneration and glycogen storge if you havn't recovered from the previous session. Also looser muscles and a 'warmed up' neouromuscular system from walking about during the day as has been mentioned above. Psychological factors such as stres could also contribute, but you could argue that could work either way. I'm sure there are many others...
Milesy - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to koalapie:

I never run in organised 10ks etc because they are always in the morning and I run like a bag of spanners in the morning. Between 6 and 8 at night is my running time, especially after the gym. If there was an organised 10k at night I would be a machine. I also run my best when it's cold in winter etc Between 0C and 10C.
Steff - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:

could be due to many things: diet, sleep patterns, motivation (for me the most important), warmed up muscles ...
Mike7 on 04 Mar 2012
With you spine having been stretched during sleep, if you run in the morning your skeletal system will feel the exertion more.

Bio-mechanically it's better for your body to run later in the day.
Dave 88 - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:

In Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography, he talks about running 7 marathons, on 7 continents, in 7 days, and how he struggled on some due to the time of day. There is a brief explanation of why this is but I forget. If you can find the book in the shops, it's at the end of that chapter, might be worth a look. It was something to do with metabolism and available energy.
Axel Smeets - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to koalapie)
>
> I never run in organised 10ks etc because they are always in the morning and I run like a bag of spanners in the morning. Between 6 and 8 at night is my running time, especially after the gym. If there was an organised 10k at night I would be a machine. I also run my best when it's cold in winter etc Between 0C and 10C.

I'm exactly the same as you where this is concerned. Have given up running organised 10k runs as they're all in the morning.
Niall_H - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:
> when I run at night my times are generally alot better than when I run in the mornig before work.

I'm the other way around - morning runs go really well and evening ones feel like I've got weights on. Of course that doesn't help explain what you're experiencing...
yorkshireman - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Niall_H:

I've always been a morning runner, but more for pragmatic reasons than anything else.

When I lived in London, I would run to work in the mornings - gets the commute out of the way, the training in and is less likely to be cried off because of working late or after-work pints.

Now I live in the country, the trails I run on are currently packed down with snow as XC ski tracks so if I run later in the days they're slushy now, so I run early when its still hard. It means its freezing (usually -10 to -2) as the sun doesn't break over the mountain tops until later.

Running might be harder in the morning, but at least your body adapts over time and I guess I'm just used to it.
KarimS - on 04 Apr 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper: Going back to my undergrad psych modules on sleep/wake cycles I recall some research suggesting that people tend to follow one of two distinct patterns, 'early birds' or 'night owls'. Everyone's physiology goes through regular cycles over a 24hr period, making us alternately energetic and alert and then dopey and lethargic by turns. You're bound to run better in an alert state, so it sounds like you're a night owl.
Uluru on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to yorkshireman: I'm a morning runner too. My times are a lot better before midday than after.

Maybe it's like you say, I do most of my running then so I'm used to it.

I'm definitely not a morning person though. I love a good sleep in.
Clarence - on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:

Not that I have been running long but I run a fair bit better straight from work about 6pm. If I run the same circuit (~5k) in the morning before work I am generally 5-6 minutes slower and need much more of a warm up before I start. Maybe it is just that I am looking forward to my dinner rather than starting a soul-destroying day in the office?
IainRUK - on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper: Evening.. but racing in the morning is always OK.. you get your body up for it..
Tall Clare - on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to Clarence:

So you did do the Couch to 5k then?
Clarence - on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

I did about four weeks and then just went straight to 5K, mainly because I wasn't getting tired enough to be bothered walking. Despite being a fat bloke I didn't have any problems but I did get a pair of proper shoes after having my gait analysed which may have helped. I'm not fast but I am determined!
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Thickhead - on 05 Apr 2012
In reply to Jeromecooper:

Generally prefer evenings before dinner but long runs in the morning after breakfast has settled, hence racing is no problem.

If I go first thing before breakfast normally fairly sluggish and if it was a 10K race or similar I would come last as I would spend a fair time having a dump half way round.

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