While running in the morning is nice in some respects – in the summer, it’s cooler, and then your run is done (unless you’re doubling up) – it does have its drawbacks. For me, a major one is that some people have found that it increases their susceptibility to injury.
When you run first thing in the morning, just 10 or 15 minutes after getting out of bed, your muscles are not warmed up or stretched out. They’re just barely getting used to movement after being pretty much immobile for 8 hours, so jumping out of bed and running for an hour can be quite stressful to them. I never ran in the morning before this summer, really, when it got hot and I had to work in the later morning; I also never really had typical runner pains. But once I started running in the morning, I started getting those pains that other morning runners had complained of. Things which maybe wouldn’t have been a problem – my hip, my ankle – started to bother me.
This week, I ran in the afternoon two days in a row, and guess what? They were better runs. I was more awake, my muscles were more awake, things hurt less, and I ran faster and better. Today, I had to do a morning run because of an appointment this afternoon, and I ran noticeably slower and more painfully. (I did 6ish, about 3 on trails.) So my vote is all for afternoon and evening runs when possible – although races start early, early in the mornings…
Thoughts? Has anyone else experienced this?
peace love and running!