Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pros and Cons of Morning, Midday, Afternoon Runs

Happy first day of Spring! Thankfully, it feels like spring today. And at least for a few more days anyway. Spring makes me happy. Not just for the warmer weather, but the buds of color. I always feel like winter is so stark and drab. So those first bursts of color seem all the more vibrant and exciting.


The one thing I am not loving right now is that it's pitch dark again in the morning. The sun isn't rising until around 7-ish, while I'm sitting in my office. Thankfully I have an east-ward facing window.


I've moved my morning runs to midday or after work for a couple of reasons. One, the time change kicked my rear. Two, I really don't feel super comfortable running alone in the total dark. Third, it's warmer when the sun finally comes up.

While I am enjoying the warmer temps of a midday or afternoon run, I am very much missing my morning runs too. I feel rather torn between the change of time for my running.

I think there are pros and cons to the various times of day for running.

Morning Run

Pros: 
  • It's quite simply peaceful
  • The run is done for the day
  • Fewer tummy probs (for me at least)
  • The sunrises (when it's farther from the time changes at least)
  • It's cooler, which is a must during the summer months
  • It's a great way to start the day, sets the tone
  • Little traffic
Cons:
  • It can be hard to peel yourself out of bed
  • Depending on the time of year, it's so dark you can't see the road
  • Running solo can feel a little iffy

Midday Run

Pros:
  • It's warmer, which is nice in the cooler months
  • It's a great way to change your mindset and take a break from work
  • It's a good energy boosters (and mood booster)
  • Vitamin D
Cons:
  • Sometimes things come up and you have to cancel the run
  • Gotta time the run around a snack and lunch so you don't eat your arm off
  • Usually time-constrained 
  • During the summer, it can be too hot
  • More homeless tend to be out and about
  • Heavier vehicular traffic

Afternoon Run

Pros:
  • Same as Midday in that it's warmer, so a plus in cooler months
  • Energy booster for the end of the day
  • It can be a great stress reliever after a long, hard day
  • Usually you can sleep sounder
  • Sometimes you can get a pretty sunset
Cons:
  • Heavy traffic
  • More prone to tummy issues
  • Fatigued from the day
  • Easier to talk yourself out of, especially if you have other plans
  • It can get dark on you, so back to dark morning issues
What is your preferred time to run or workout?