Long-distance running is a great way to challenge your mind and body as it’s just you and the road. When you run regularly you’ll begin to notice when one run feels hard compared to another, instead of just feeling hard all the time. That easy or hard feeling during a run isn’t all down to how you’re feeling, and there are suggestions that certain times of the day are better for long running. Here are the best hours for your long-distance run, and the times that’ll make it feel so much harder.
Going long in the morning
To get the best out of your run, then the best time to do it is in the mornings. The goal of long-distance running is to improve your fat-burning metabolism, so doing that in the morning is ideal. You’ve just undergone around 10-12 hours of fasting while you were sleeping and only a small pre-run meal is ideal in the morning.
This will allow your body to begin burning your fat to use as fuel. Core and ambient temperatures are typically lower in the mornings which means you’re less likely to overheat if you’re going out for a long run. Additionally, most races occur during the morning, so running at this time of day will help your mind and body get used to running so early in the day.
Speed sessions in the evening
When running long you still need to be able to run fast, and speed sessions are essential to making your runtimes faster overall. The best time to practice these is in the evenings as aerobic capacity, reaction time, and muscle power are at their peak in the evening.
Your muscle fibers will be warmed up by this stage of the day, which means you are less likely to get injured. You’ve likely had at least a couple of meals throughout the day at this stage too, those will help to give you the energy to keep going at a more intense level.
Don’t forget about rest
Keeping the training sessions coming is important, especially if you’re looking to get ready for an upcoming race. One of the most important things that many people neglect when training for a race is to factor in rest periods. If you begin to mix up your sessions between long and fast, you can take shorter breaks, but you still need to recover.
One mistake many people make is overtraining, which leaves their body in a constantly tired state, and they are unable to improve as athletes. Getting the right amount of rest can be just as important as doing the exercise to begin with. If ’you’re doing a speed session, you should leave at least five days between them, but in that time you can still do a couple of longer sessions.
As your race date begins to approach, you’ll need to work out a training schedule. It’s all about gradually progressing to be at your peak for the race day. Every three to four weeks you should build in a recovery week into your schedule to ensure you avoid any unnecessary injuries. The longer your race, the longer time you should leave from your final long training session. Try to get your last race pace run in about a week before your race so that your body has enough time to recover properly.
Running long in the morning is the ideal time as your body is going to be at its most effective for burning fat. Then you can dedicate the evenings to working on your strength and speed.