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The Benefits of Evening Runs

Over the years I have seen my running schedule flip itself on its head. For a long time – I exclusively ran in the mornings. Rolling out of bed and hopping into my running shoes was what got me up every day. I fell asleep looking forward to my AM run. Over time, work became more hectic and I began having more morning obligations. This forced me to rethink when my runs should be taking place. 

At first I thought the idea of running deep into the evenings was crazy but after a few night runs – I embraced it and learned to love them. And after doing more digging into the benefits of night time running, I feel even more comfortable with my new routine. 

Some reasons why I love running at night: 

  1. It’s the best way to decompress after a long day. Like any other working adult – my work day is stressful. Most days, I’m being pulled in what feels like 100 directions and the “To Do List” never gets shorter. After a long day, my evening runs are now my reward. The day is over and I celebrate that with a run. 
  2. I feel even better in the mornings now. Most mornings I roll out of bed still with that “post workout” feeling. My body is energized and stimulated from the night before. Running at night also gives me more time in the morning to make a healthy breakfast and get some uninterrupted work done before others even start their day. 
  3. I sleep better. Tucking myself into bed after a good run is a feeling that will never get old. I fall asleep faster and I also achieve a deeper sleep. Studies show that people who exercise 1-2 hours in the evening get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. 
  4. My running schedule is more consistent. When I did morning runs, there were many times where I fell victim to the snooze button. If I didn’t sleep well the night before or if I was out with friends late into the evening – waking up and running became a tall task. In the evening – I’m up. There is no good excuse that can pull me away from running once work is over and my body still has energy left. 
  5. There is no better “Me Time” than running at night. Running in the city can be stressful and overstimulating. Running at night takes the “hustle and bustle” of a city out of the equation. It’s just me and the pavement. When I have no external distractions I can achieve a meaningful mediation that is hard to get when cars are honking and people are all around. 

I’m certainly not saying that night runs are for everybody. If you’ve found something that works for you – no need to fix something that isn’t broken. However, if you want to establish a more productive and consistent schedule for your runs – getting out there in the evenings could be the solution. Don’t knock it till you try it! 

About the author: Mark is the Operations Manager of the 2 AppRunCo stores in the Pittsburgh area. Mark loves running through the city and taking in all the cool views Pittsburgh offers.  If Mark isn’t in a shoe store, you can find him at all the local disc golf courses throwing around a frisbee.