Couch to 5K

Do you always run at the same time of day or alternate? And does alternating affect you at all?

I always run in the morning, before breakfast and this works really well for me.

Last week I went swimming on a rest day in the afternoon 1.5 to 2 hours after eating and afterwards I felt dreadful my blood sugar levels must have really dropped as I was shaking and felt awful. I wasn't dehydrated but didn't have any carbs for lunch, mainly protein although I did have a large bowl of cereal for breakfast.

So, I'm concerned now that if I go running in the afternoon/evening I'll start to feel like this and won't be able to complete a run. Maybe the answer is to eat carbs at lunch?

I don't want to be limited to just running in the morning - any advice gratefully received :)

9 Replies

Hi Minuette,

I personally think its good to alternate your runs. My last few sessions have been in the morning.

And, I've also done some running in the afternoon but I make sure that I have a banana or porridige in the morning, topped up by mid morning with a plum or necterine which seems to help my sugar levels. Then I'll eat my carbs after the run.

If I'm running in the evening say afterwork. I'll eat a banana an hour before the run and this seems to give me a bit of an energy boost :)


The only time of day I haven't run so far is the evening. I think if you run before breakfast you need to make sure you had some carbohydrates for dinner the night before so there is a store of glycogen in your muscles. It's like putting petrol in the tank before going for a drive.

I try to eat carbohydrates at every meal. I don't believe in 'low carb', I think it is a silly and potentially dangerous fad, although I know not everyone agrees. What I do restrict is the type of carbohydrate that hits the blood stream quickly - i.e. sugars and refined carbohydrates - white bread especially. If you stick to wholegrains and foods that are digested more slowly like pasta, couscous and oats then your body isn't subjected to the same sugar rush and your chances of getting diabetes fall. I often finish a meal with a couple of squares of chocolate, the best time to have a sweet treat is as part of a balanced meal, not on its own.

I also aim to have some carbs after a run (now I'm running further, anyway). I might have some toast or a banana if the children have left me any :)


I run in the morning. normally around 9am after dropping the kids to school. I always have a bowl of cereal or toast & a cuppa at least half hour before I run & I take a bottle of squash with a dash of salt (I read this is how to make it a sports drink) to drink through the run.

the couple of times that I have run in the afternoon/early evening I have got stitch. & as Ive had 5 kids, need to make sure I have emptied my bladder!

Im more of a morning person so running in the morning suits me. also I get very hot & bothered & need to shower afterwards so doing this later in the day seems pointless to me.


Shelley that sounds like a similar schedule to me, but without the kids thing as mine are either at work or uni now so fend for themselves (kind of!!)

I also get hot and bothered and VERY red, so this gives me time to shower and calm down before getting on with the day :)


I have one child who still needs taking to school ~ just one more year then he goes to big school. that will be 17 years of school runs!!

Im the same, get very hot, sweaty & red faced & need an hour to get face back to normal :)


For the first few months I ran like clockwork same time, same days. I think the routine helped me keep going...its Friday, Its 6:00a.m. and Its WkX Run Y! One less thing to think about and worry about. I am a worrier you see :-)

More recently though I can go pretty much any time any day and not feel too concerned about it.

When I can I love morning runs though it really sets me up for the day whereas doing them in the evening feels a bit more like I am fitting them in because I have to do one. I would go before breakfast from choice like you though it is harder to fit in the longer runs that way except at the weekend.

A recent adventure is lunch time runs from work and they work out well, some quality thinking time and working the stress of the moring (If there was any) out of the system.

I wouldn't overthink things though on the basis of a bad run. It might have been none or all of the reasons you think. Once you have done a few and if there is a pattern then you have something to work with. In the mean time put it to one side and just keep on keeping on!


I almost always run 6 ish in the evening after work, before food, normally I have a small snack at work at around 4.30, banana or yoghurt or similar.

This suits me, sometimes at weekends I run at other times but I could never get up early enough to go before work, early evening is my preference


Thanks everyone :)

I do prefer to run in the morning, but I realise that there will be some times that I'll need to run in the afternoon so I think I may have a banana or something like that to keep me going beforehand. I've never actually done a run in the afternoon so I'll have to experiment and see what happens!


I cannot really talk about how alternating affect you on the long run, as I only (in total) did 3 runs.

But those I've done at 8pm, at 7am, at 11am, at 3pm... Whenever I had time (the 8pms being the ones right after I came home from work) and whenever the weather felt like running weather to me (sunny, not too warm, as it was the past days in the afternoon around here).

I think it also depends on where you run. I did all my runs on quiet streets. Either through woods and fields or the one in the evening on the road out of town when noone was around anymore anyway.

So far I preferred the afternoon runs: The weather was nice and warm, I didn't feel stressed or pressured at all. In the evenings it was a "I need to get this in"-feeling, in the morning it was harder to get out of bed for the run. Although afterwards it feels amazing and is a great start of the day!


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