Here's The Best Time To Go On Your Run Every Day

If you're hoping to optimize your run by picking the perfect time of day to lace up and head out the door, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that whether you want to run in the morning, mid-afternoon, or night, there are benefits. The bad news is that no specific time that will make every run feel easy and speedy.

Running in the morning has few physical benefits (your body is still waking up, so you're likely to be running at your slowest pace), but it has a lot of mental perks. With rewards like an increase in energy and a productivity kickstart, to the simple satisfaction of getting your run out of the way first thing, morning runs can be a great start to the day. Just make sure that you start slow and give your body time to wake up and warm up before picking up the pace (via Healthline). 

A lunchtime run is efficient for many office workers, especially ones who go home to busy households and who spend mornings getting kids ready for school. A lunch run may also boost your productivity in the afternoon, helping you avoid the sluggish feeling that many people get after eating a fast-food lunch at a desk while staring at a screen. However, there are no performance benefits to running halfway through the day (via Runner's World).

Is there any science around the best time to run?

While running in the morning may be the best for overall health and productivity, when it comes to performance, research has shown that running later in the day — late afternoon to early evening — will likely produce your fastest results (via Runners Connect). The only downside may be mental: If you've had a long day of work, an evening run may feel more exhausting than it actually is, so if you don't feel your speediest at the end of the workday, don't blame yourself: Mental fatigue is just as tough to push through as physical fatigue (via Runner's World). You may also notice that running later in the day makes you more susceptible to in-run stomach issues, since you've eaten at least two meals before getting out the door. (You may need to rethink that lunchtime burrito.)

Ultimately, the best time of day to go on your run is the one that will actually help you get out and run. If you're not a morning person, you may find that early-bird running is difficult or unpleasant, and then start making excuses to skip it. In that case, even if morning is the best time to run from a scientific perspective, it's clearly not the best time for you, personally. Find the time that feels best for you — you'll run more consistently when you discover your personal preference.