Morning/Afternoon/Evening - when is best? - Couch to 5K

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Morning/Afternoon/Evening - when is best?

princessbecky profile image
princessbecky

I have scheduled my runs on Sunday's, Tuesday's and Thursdays/Friday's.

I have found that I am really struggling when running in the mornings, as it is first thing and completely exhausts me especially if I'm running on empty. (Probably pretty self explanatory why - but find it even harder to run straight after eating!)

Evening runs after work but before dinner are better, as there is still some energy in the tank, I don't care about being a tomato for the next two hours AND there is dinner waiting for me when I get back.

Afternoon runs (lunchtime) would be a big no no for me, as at the moment it is way too hot and I generally feel like I'm overheating whenever I run as it is, so don't want to make it any worse.

I just wondered what other people do, just to even slightly ease this challenge?

Princess B x

26 Replies
Millsie-J profile image
Millsie-JGraduate

I like to mix it up a bit. But early morning when it is hot weather!

Hidden profile image
Hidden

I work full time and with commute that means 12 hours away from home each weekday. Weekdays I run after work immediately I get in, weekends first thing. Basically any time I can fit it in. Aim for 3 a week but sometimes only manage 2.

Hidden profile image
Hidden

Whatever works for you, that's the correct way.

There's a school of thought that morning is best. The logic being that it fires everything up for the rest of the day, leaving you energised for the day. It also means your metabolism is running faster so you can get away with more calories, and your joints are warmed up so you can move more easily.

Of course all that is irrelevant if, like me, morning exercise seems 10 times tougher than the same thing later in the day.

A good excuse for evening exercise, especially outdoors, is that it tires you out while at the same time oxygenating your blood, creating ideally conditions for sound sleep.

princessbecky profile image
princessbecky in reply to Hidden

Yeah I just feel like an exhausted tomato after a morning run and it takes me a couple of hours to start feeling normal again!

Yes running in the evening does help me sleep actually :)

HiddenGem profile image
HiddenGemGraduate

I mix it up but prefer evening with my tea to have when I get in x

something to look forward to! x

I much prefer to run in the evening - sometimes I don't go out til 8.30-9pm at is is too hot otherwise. I just feel tired for the rest of the day if I go in the morning so the only morning run I do is Park Run. I started running in Feb/March when it was dark as I was quite self conscious 😳 but I am a lot more confident now.

I would love my end goal to be able to do the park run! When I tried to sign up before finding the C25K programme, I was daunted by the application questions like how many hours of exercise have you done in the last week? (none being my answer!) so glad I didn't join yet, as I literally can't run for longer than a minute at the moment

I signed up for Park Run just after I graduated from C25K. Honestly, before C25K I could not run full stop and one minute felt like hell but stick to it and you'll do it. Slow and steady all the way. I can now run for about 50 mins without stopping and without feeling like my lungs are on fire!

Tomas profile image
TomasGraduate

A nice early morning run to start the day in the good way. I like this to be a gentle one to wake up slowly, maybe 4 miles at a conversational pace.. Followed by a quality workout, maybe 10 miles at a hard pace, in the early afternoon, and then a nice gentle recovery run, say 6-7 miles at a relaxing 6 minutes per mile pace in the evening. I know some keen people run far more, but I like to take it easy and give my body a chance to recover between runs.

Of course, I also take a full day's recovery whenever the 1st of the month happens to be a Sunday. Recovery is important!

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate in reply to Tomas

Now Tomas , behave. You know you only run like that when you're doing your marathon training!

Tomas profile image
TomasGraduate in reply to JaySeeSkinny

Guilty as charged, JaySeeSkinny . In non marathon training mode I chuck in an extra recovery day to coincide with the summer solstice. 😉

nikkiwabit profile image
nikkiwabitGraduate

I don't do mornings full stop lol (although admit weekend mornings when swim training because that is when the reservoir is open).

Admit I am retired but when working did 4pm - 2am shifts by choice, so mornings still a no!

I like the idea of you running back for dinner :)

oh yes, I think that is what motivates me more! A nice plate of dinner to look forward to!

I tried a morning run once as I wanted to be one of those people who get up and out with the dawn chorus but it was a big no no for me!! Beetroot red is my normal 'after run' face colour but that stayed with me until afternoon by which time I needed a power nap!😂 I'm sticking to evenings as it's cooler and I get a good night sleep! 👍🏻

Personally I prefer early morning and home for breakfast 😁 I find it energises me for the day. I can't exercise too late or I don't sleep 🙄

JaySeeSkinny profile image
JaySeeSkinnyGraduate

Definitely mornings! I'm really a long sleeper but I found if I don't get my exercise done first thing it doesn't happen. I never know when I can get out of work and am too tired when I get home. So I don't give myself any choice, up 3/4s of an hour earlier than necessary every work day for either a run or a walk.

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator

Can I ask.. are you pushing too hard.. early morning run.. at this stage.. just a gentle slow and steady... ?

I find the early runs are best... always have... :) Put everything out the night before...clothes for work too...maybe a light something about 45 mins before you go.. my routine has always been a cuppa and two digestive bikkies.. Make sure your route is planned...It does mean an early start but if you take it very, very gently then it could be a kick start to the day...? :)

Relax into it and enjoy?

ChunkyMonkey profile image
ChunkyMonkeyGraduate

Im sure there is no right or wrong- I find first thing works for me - up a drink & a banana & out the door (before I change my mind!!! Or something happens to change it for me!). It does make me feel great for the rest of the day

I usually run at lunchtime but it has been too hot lately so I was out at 6am today. I run on empty but it's better than running boiling hot - I just can't do that. It's hard though cos I have awful legs like logs so even in summer I have to wear full leggings :-(

The morning seems to work best for me (although I am only 3 runs in, so perhaps that will change). I can safely say running when the schools let out is not a good idea. I did my first run around that time and was heckled by kids, haha!

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Rachel_Runs

The kids do get to know you.. I do early runs.. and sometimes meet the High school children on my way back in.. they all know me know and are very supportive!!! :)

Rachel_Runs profile image
Rachel_Runs in reply to Oldfloss

Aww that's lovely!

AJ46 profile image
AJ46Graduate

It's all in the mind. I find morning run great, especially with current warm weather. But l'll accept that l wish l had 30mins in bed instead of heading to work immediately. Am fine with evening run too. Never try afternoon yet

loubeelou76 profile image
loubeelou76Graduate

Hi I'm not an early bird but I run in the morning. 6 weekdays and then 7 ish weekends. I have run once in the evening but nearly died! However once I've graduated I know that I can't carry on just mornings.

I thought I was the only one who mixed it up. On a weekend, it used to be in the morning when the weather's good. Weekdays, it's always after work.

I know this sounds odd, but when I get up first thing, I like to take a shower. For some reason, the thought of then going on a run and taking another shower 1 hour later makes me feel wasteful.

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