It’s one of the most horrible feelings in the world – you wake up, lift the blanket and the winter cold rushes in ... you are trapped! The last thing you can think of right now is going for a run. Later sure, A LOT later.
But then there are the others: those who embrace jumping out of bed at 4.30 in the morning, their gear neatly prepared for the morning’s 10km wake-up run.
Both types of runners believe there is no better time to run than the one they have got used to, but is there an ideal time to run? The answer is more complex.
The Morning Run. From a strictly fact-based view, mornings are the worst time to run. Your body really needs a gentle wake-up, but you are forcing it into a brutal fight to kick into gear.
Studies have shown that the body is more prone to injury and even strokes and heart attacks in the morning.
The reason is easy: if you look at your body as a complex machinery, all the gears, bells and whistles have cooled down as you sleep. Think of a cold car engine that’s suddenly force on to a highway at top speed, the chances are it will eventually break. Experts regard mornings as a perfect time to gently wake up your body. If you must run, take it very easy, don’t overpower and make sure you include extensive warm-up and cool-down periods. There is good news too: if you run regularly in the morning, these risks will considerably come down, and, as an added bonus, you will sleep better. In short: your body will just get used to your early-morning exercise.
The Day Run. No surprises here: depending on your personal bio-rhythm, running during the afternoon is the ideal thing. Your body has had the chance to warm up, stretch its literal legs and is hungry for more.
Your body temperature usually reaches its peak around 4 to 5 pm, and that’s when the engine is anxiously waiting for the gas pedal to be pushed to the floor.
Needless to say that nutrition during the day plays an important role in your ability to perform and work out in the afternoons and early evenings: A well-balanced, healthy diet, a little coffee and a regular intake of fluids (water, tea) will go a long way on that afternoon run.
The Evening Run. This is a tricky one. Evening runs is considered some of the best exercise you can get because it follows a holistic approach. You don’t stress yourself out trying to find time for the run (with stress being the last thing you want to take on a run) and you can slowly run into the sunset or winter night.
Many runners feel that activity later in the day helps them to break down their stress level and really end the day on a good note.
There’s nothing better than the satisfaction of completing a great run and feeling that lovely tiredness after a hot shower. However it’s not easy: scientists have found that evening runners have a larger tendency to skip a run, though, which means you need a lot more will-power to drag yourself out instead of dropping on to the sofa after a long day..
No matter whether you're a morning, day or night runner – the 2015 Wings for Life World Run offers it all. Check out all great running locations above!