Couch to 5K
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Morning or Evening?

I know many of you don't have a choice due to other commitments but if you DID have a choice would you choose to run in the morning or in the evening? Those of you who have tried different times of day what would you say are the advantages and disadvantages to both? Does it take longer for your muscles to warm up if you head out for a run straight from bed or do you find it helps wake you up for the rest of the day? If you run at the end of the day do you find you stiffen up if you relax or go to bed too soon afterwards? Thanks in advance for your help.

12 Replies

I have thought about this as well. I have read that your body is warmest 5pm - 7pm so less chance of injury which is appealing. However, I think if you exercise in the mornings, first thing, it burns extra calories and kick starts your metabolism.

I am personally doing my runs after work, before dinner. Because it's only 30 mins its easy to fit it whereas I had to do the gym before work at 6am because it's such a long process driving there, changing, workout shower etc etc so doing a 30min run works for me at about 6pm :) I would also worry that running before work wouldn't be that productive for me because I would be half asleep and not putting in 100% ha ha.

Hope that helps! Everyone's different i guess! :-)



I've been running in the mornings before work for the past 3 months or so. I'm an early bird anyway so this suits me. I'm up and out of the door within 30 minutes (albeit at 5am!!!) and I actually much prefer it at this time.

The air feels crisper, fresher and cooler, the roads are quieter (I run streets as opposed to parks) so less likely to have to stop for traffic when crossing roads and it also feels like it sets me up for the day. I feel more energetic although I do start feeling tired around 3ish.

However, I went out for a run last night, first time in ages. I was due to run today but I never run on a Thursday (long story summarised below) so I went out last night instead. I headed out the door at 8pm, it felt quite muggy and close. Felt my lungs hurting after a few minutes and almost turned back home but carried on. It was tough because it was warm. By the time I got home, close to 9pm, it was getting dark. I got in, showered, and sat down. I was tired (because I was up at 6am) but wide awake as I had endorphins pulsing through my veins after a 3mile run.

So in conclusion, I much prefer running in the morning.

As for never running on a Thursday. I'm doing a 'weight loss challenge' at work with a couple of my colleagues. If I run on a Thursday morning, I get back home, drink a glass of milk, a pint of water and a pint of squash. By the time I get to work and weigh, all that extra liquid adds to my weight and it skews the results... Silly, but true.


My experience it's better for myself to run after dinner, only 30 minutes it's good. I come back and take a nice shower, a tea and slowly calm down and have good night of rest.

If I run in the morning I start up the day full of energy but around 2-3 in the afternoon my eyes want to close and I end up in bed way too early.

I think it's a personal thing ;) Good luck!


I find it MUCH easier to run late at night than first thing in the morning. No idea why but for me it is much much easier. So agree it is a personal thing


I'm glad you asked this question. I always used to prefer running in the morning but after graduating and joining a running club, it was inevitable that I'd end up running in the evening and I do sometimes find it difficult to juggle that with the rush home from work, what best to eat etc I quite often end up with my stomach feeling uncomfortable or feeling very tired, then the run wakes me up too much and I can't go to sleep until quite late.

Today it has been very hot and muggy and I couldn't face running this evening so I've decided to get up early and run when it is cooler.....I hope it helps and I don't find that I'm just old and knackered :-(


I always run first thing in the morning, I have tried a few times to run late afternoon but found it much harder. I think its because I've eaten during the day. I also find that living in a city the air quality is better (less traffic fumes) early in the morning, as I'm asthmatic it really does make a difference. :)


Definitely morning. I have more time to run in the evenings but I'm much more sluggish and struggle more. Even with a hangover I seem to run much better in the morning - further and faster (sounds good doesn't it - I'm still SLOW by the way irrespective of the time of day!)



I mainly do my runs in the evening about 6:30-7pm as I have to wait for my partner to get home to look after our son however I am able to go on a Saturday morning for my 3rd run of the week and to be honest, I do find that easier for some reason?

On a different level, I find that my morning run makes me feel uplifted and ready to start the day so that's probably another reason I prefer that run! :)


I'm really struggling with this question as well. At the start of c25k I always ran first thing in the morning, as I am a morning person and by the time the evening came around I couldn't be bothered :) Then a friend who ususally runs in the evening persuaded me to try it and it was great.

But now on Week 8 the runs are longer, and when I go first thing I am running on two cups of coffee - and i get tired, I think because I am not hydrated enough and un-fueled. At the moment, though, the heat in the evening makes it impossible (I seem to run best at around 12 degrees c :) ) but I am better hydrated and fueled.

I wish I had a good answer!


Definitely morning before work as I'm an early bird anyway so this suits me. I'm up and out of the door at 5am and I like it as the roads are quieter ( me, the paperman and a few people with their bikes) . Running in the morning makes me feel more positive although in the night I am in bed much earlier. However with day temperatures raising to 42 + and evenings humids I do not have a choice ! lol.


I'd love to run early in the morning, especially at this time of year, but my body just does not like 'out of bed, straight into action'. So I do run in the morning but have breakfast first and then go an hour later. It gives my body time to wake up, I can do a few chores - ironing usually- while my breakfast digests, then I can run, shower and be ready for a mid morning coffee.

I have not tried running in the evening but it does not appeal. Usually feeling quite tired by 7pm.


Definitely in the morning for me, after only a light breakfast. I've tried running in the evening, and still do it sometimes, but I often feel uncomfortably full, even if only after a light meal. I definitely feel lighter and better able to 'fly' in the mornings. Light breakfast, run, shower, espresso (I limit myself to one a day or I really will be flying!). And that's it on running days. Sorted (for me anyway).


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