serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Why You Should Run in the Evenings

posted by Chris Barber

I asked the question on twitter, “Do you prefer to run in the mornings or the evenings?” and I got a lot of great responses.  95% of runners said that they liked to run in the mornings because that way they know they can fit it in their day.  @Josiegal44 said:  “I love early morning runs right before the sun comes up. So peaceful before the day gets screwed up.” Makes sense, but I mitigate that by being an excellent planner.  Another reason @TheRealLance pointed to: “mornings! For me my legs feel like a ton of bricks in the evening (they consistently feel great in the morning).”  I disagree, my legs are loose and ready to go at the end of the day.  My man @Scis30 said: “evenings. Something to look forward to all day (most of the time).”  The lone runner who said he likes running in the evenings. This ones for you Scis30.   Since everyone apparently already runs in the morning I’m going to key you in on some benefits to running in the evening.  That’s what we’re here for, for you to learn from…and maybe entertain.


Looser: It’s a fact that you are looser and more limber in the evening.  Use your limberness for good instead of evil and go on an evening run.  You start off the run ready to get a great work out in.  Using the first 2 miles to wake up is for suckers.  You’re not a sucker are you?

Clears Your Head: There are so many things that go on during the day that we don’t stop to think about.  Often we go through the day putting out different fires and answering numerous emails but don’t ever stop and think about what we are doing.  How it may be effecting our corporation, business, or personal life?  Try running in the evening.  The mess of ideas and tasks will clear themselves up real quick.  You’ll probably come up with some new tasks and ideas too!  I personally can’t do run to clear my head because running is my job, so instead I just zone out in front to the TV to really clear my mind.  Preferably by watching Saved By the Bell.  You know how many ideas I’ve gotten from Zack’s crazy schemes?!

Evening Sun is Stronger: You probably work inside all day and need some sun.  Do your exercise when the sun is strongest and get an efficient suntan.  Now you’re leveraging the Sun!

More Energy: While you are sleeping you are not eating and gaining energy.  If you run in the evening you will have all of the energy you ate during the day to burn.  Better yet, you’ll be able to burn all that extra “energy” you had during the day too.

It’s Cool to Be Sweaty: It’s cool to show up places at night right after doing a run.  As long as you aren’t dripping sweat no one will care.  They’ll actually be a little impressed.  Impressed by your swag!

Makes you Cleaner: Running in the evening forces you most likely to shower twice a day.  Twice the cleaning the cleaner you will be.  Can’t we all use an extra shower a day?

So try running in the evenings, you may like it…



  1. Amy Reinink says:

    I’m SO much more of an evening runner, for all the reasons you mentioned above! A morning run is always bracing, but I don’t necessarily need to shake myself up as soon as I wake up. At the end of the day, if I’m gonna be a functional human being for the rest of the night, I need my post-work run!

  2. Chris Barber says:

    That’s true. The feeling after a evening run makes you want to either get some work done or do something fun in the evening, rather than sitting out the couch and watching tv.

  3. marnee says:

    Sunsets, darkening skies, and night creatures are way more interesting.

    1. Chris Barber says:

      I like it marnee. I saw an owl fly down and grab a rodent on a dusk trail run last week. It was pretty sweet.

  4. I totally agree! I love running at night, or at least in the afternoon / evening. One big reason is one you mentioned – clears your head. That movement in my back clears out all of the stress knots that develop during the day!

    Great post.

  5. SDrunner says:

    Thanks for the comment.. Great post and points about running in the evenings. I have had a few good runs in the mornings, but most of my recent runs in the evenings have been so much better:

    1. Chris Barber says:

      Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Tudor says:

    Hey Chris, I’m also a night runner, literally, I usually run after midnight, it’s a habit of mine born from my generally nocturnal way of life, but recently I’ve stumbled upon a problem, my digestive tract gets upset(not painfully, more of a heavy feeling) and a lot of times running kickstarts a need to defecate(even if i did exactly that before running), the heaviness prevents me from running at my full pace (sometimes when I have absolutely no sort of problem I do about 13k, I can’t be sure, in 60-65 min, not sure about the distance but i know it’s a lot and that I’m almost sprinting the entire second half) it’s really become a problem because I can’t seem to be losing weight anymore, I’ve maintained it(152 pounds and 5’11”) I’m aiming for 8% body fat so I still have a long way to go, my eating habits consists of…well I pretty much eat a lot:)), I admit i don’t eat too regularly, in general i eat 5-7 times a day, about every two hours, I’m not looking to eat less anymore, I’ve lost 22 pounds in 2 months(and got quite a bit more ripped) with this “program” of eat a lot, work out a lot more, oh yeah, before this problem I used to run at least 5-6 times a week, any tips an how to fix? I’d be grateful:)

    1. Chris Barber says:

      I’ve had the same problem Tudor. Of course, continue to use the bathroom before you run. I used to run with a girl that would always have to defecate about 10 miles into every run. I could always see it on her face; however, being a female, she never wanted to admit to me what the problem was. Once she started letting farts/sharts out she would finally ask if we could stop somewhere for a minute. Seriously, I don’t know why she was trying to hide it, I could smell what the problem was.

      As for your problem, I would say be a Boy Scout and be prepared. I have pooped in some pretty public places on a run and have had to run back with only one sock. Bring some toilet paper with you to use on the trail. If you are running in an urban environment, bring $5 to buy a Gatorade at the gas station you use the bathroom at. Although, I never like to stop during a run, this is a stop that will give you an overall better work out. Learn to poop like a dog, anywhere.

      I would also try not running fast to get home. The times I have defecated in my pants on a run (what? yeah, that’s seriousrunning) it was in a race when I was trying to push (pun intended) myself. When on a training run I find that it is better to slow down a bit and try to hold it until the feeling goes away. The only problem is when you do too good of a job holding it and you have nothing to release once you’re done with your run. Kinda sucks but better than the alternative.