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6579 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2012 9:35 AM by linuscatch
hfgilder Rookie 1 posts since
Mar 15, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 15, 2012 2:25 AM

Run in the mornings or afternoons?

I was running 8 miles almost everyday. I took a "break" for about 3 months. I wasnt achieving the weight loss I was when I first started. Could that be because I went from running in the morning to running after work? Would that make a difference? Is exercising in the morning better? Im planning to start up an exercise plan again. Any advice?

  • ydiez Pro 161 posts since
    Nov 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 15, 2012 3:37 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    Well, as was stated in this post,losing weight by running is not easy at all, and dieting is also very important. Nevertheless, taking into account how much you use to run, I think you should still be able to achieve some weight loss eating mostly anything.


    I think some more information on your general fitness state might help others provide better advice, I have no information concerning the time of day when runs take place, my only advice would be to eat a little after finishing your workouts to help your body recover. I personally also try to eat two hours before hard workouts or races so as to have enough "energy". You probably also want to factor running into your diet, here is a article on this by runner's world (and always remember to get some professional opinion on dieting whenever in doubt)

    Current PB:

    5k: 19:53 (December 31st 2014)

    10k : 42:30 (March 9th 2014)

    Half Marathon: 1:32:40 (February 1st 2015)

    Marathon: 3:33:31 (March 15th 2015)

    Completed my first marathon! Feeling like getting some more!

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
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    2. Mar 15, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    There are many factors to consider, and really they are highly individualized, so I am not certain how to offer advice.  Basically, if you have the time option to find ways to boost your metabolism throughout the day, that might be a benefit.  I personally think that exercising in the morning is better, and doing both morning and evening is a sure thing for increasing energy and weight loss.  This is difficult given other responsibilities, but doing double routes two days a week (even for fewer miles for example) would make a big difference. 

    If it is an absolute choice situation, then I would opt for AM over PM.  If PM running is a must, try to consume the majority of your calories early (prior to 4:00 PM) if losing some pounds is an important goal. 


    Hope this helps and wishing you many productive miles!

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
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    3. Mar 16, 2012 10:01 PM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    Time of day could matter if you're working out at a different intensity. Are you running at the same pace and effort after work as you were in the mornings? For example, if you're tired after work, you might be dialing back the intensity without realizing it.

    Also, it may seem obvious...but are you eating more (particularly in the evenings) when running after work? Even 50 or 100 calories more per day makes a significant difference over time.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

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  • dm2beach Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 2, 2009
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    4. Mar 22, 2012 9:02 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    I am no expert. But I am 59 been running for 30 years...for weight in the beginning. Then just loved it. I find my workout time means nothing. But I was convinced for a long time that it did matter. I have tried mornings and late day. So what I do now is mix it up. Mornings a few days late day others....if nothing else it mentally sooths me.

  • mikebertie Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 19, 2011
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    5. Mar 23, 2012 7:10 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    I'm not sure the time of day makes all that much difference...although it can help a bit.


    The first key is actually pretty simple, but you have to focus on it. Count the calories you are taking into your body. All of them. Then subtract your workout calorie burn from that to get to the consumption for the day. If you want to lose fat, your ballpark calories should equal 10-12    calories per pound, or per pound of lean body mass if overweight. Another option is    15 calories per pound of target weight (since 15 calories per pound is maintenance). Then, make sure you are under this amount.


    There are a few other things that many people do who successfully lose weight that you might ensure you are doing. (1) Weigh yourself every morning. I don't even pretend to know why this helps, but it can. (2) Eat breakfast...perferably one that is heavily weighted from a percentage perspective to the protein side. (3) Aerobically workout for an average of an hour each day (you obviously have this covered).


    In addition, I would ensure that the evening meal occurs at least 2 to 3 hours before your retire for the night, and that it too is heavily weighted towards the protein side and away from carbs and fats (those are for mid-day consumption).


    Ensure that you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.


    Working out in the morning when you first get up (without eating) has been shown in some studies to aid in weight loss by further "teaching the body to feed on fat". Since it has been 8 to 10 hours since your last meal, the body has to fuel itself with a proportionately great percentage of its fuel needs from fats as opposed to carbs. (although I personally believe that all the above is more important).


    Hope this helps...

  • Lochbain Amateur 36 posts since
    Apr 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Mar 23, 2012 7:44 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    If your goal is weight loss then time of day makes very little difference. If you burn 600 calories at 6 am or 6 pm you have still burned 600 calories. Most people plateau when losing weight. You will exercise and diet and it seems like the weight won't drop off. What you need to try is high intensity training. If you go out and just run for 8 miles at a 9 minute mile all the time then your body will adjust to it and will not be burning as many calories as it once did. So when you are running find some landmarks (I like power poles). Run all out from pole one to pole two, jog from pole 2 to pole 3, repeat. This form of high intensity training has been shown to not only burn calories during the workout, but provide a residual effect throughout the day. But why just run to loose weight? Just run because running is awesome.

  • ron6788 Pro 85 posts since
    Oct 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Mar 26, 2012 5:21 PM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    I agree with Lochbain on all points.  In addition to increasing your caloric burn by increasing your speed, you can try running your 8 using hills.  This will increase your effort and your burn, as well as building up some new muscle.  BTW, I think you're already running plenty of distance at 8 miles a day, although you can always increase your burn by upping the mileage, too.

    Education 5k ..........................................................:.25:39

    Mayapple trail 21 mi .................................................4:10

  • 64spokes Pro 60 posts since
    Apr 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Mar 26, 2012 10:34 PM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    I know this may not be practical, but I've read (albeit related to cycling) that 2 half lengh workouts are better than one.  That is, ideally a 4 mile run in the mornign and a 4 mile run in the afternoon will make the best use of your post-run raised metabolism.


    Like I said, it might not be practical

  • UrbanWarrior Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 5, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 5, 2012 2:11 PM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    If you have slept well, starting the day with a run is energizing.   And you dont hit your end of day lulls. 


  • leonb33 Amateur 9 posts since
    Apr 6, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 7, 2012 12:27 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    I personally find it hard to run in the mornings although when I do run in the mornings I feel that I have more energy throughout the day.  The problem with me running in the morning is that after I run I am not hungry for about 2 hours which is then mid morning.  Then I get extremely hungry and eat a meal then say 2 hours later I eat lunch.  You can see where this is going.  If I was to watch my diet better the morning runs would be perfect but as it stands running in the afternoon for me is better.  In reality I don't think the time of day has a lot to do with whether you are going to lose more or less weight.  Running in general is a great exercise and top it off with a good diet and you'll stay healthy and lose weight.  If you mix in some cross training in between your runs I think you might find that to help you with your weight loss plateau. 

    If you want to learn how to improve you running form, speed or technique check out

    Great running form article

    Injury prevention article

  • linuscatch Pro 143 posts since
    Sep 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Apr 7, 2012 9:35 AM (in response to hfgilder)
    Run in the mornings or afternoons?

    Like others who have responded I am no expert, but exercise at the time of day you feel best to get the most from it.  If you are slow to get going in the morning then maybe your workouts will be limited by that.  I prefer to run in the morning during the week.  After waking about 5 AM, i have a half cup of coffee, let me body wake up, and then take off for my run.  Note that i do not eat until done running. 

    A lot of people run in the evenings, but I find that too many things pop up during the day that either sap my energy, or cause me to work late resulting in a missed run. 

    The weekends also give you a lot of options so I make sure to get a run in both days since there is more flexibility with time.

    So figure out what time of day works for you and just do it!  It's not the time of day that will make the difference in achieving your goals, it's the commitment to doing it regularly.

    Good luck, and happy running!

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