Letters to Marie #2 [On Best Time For a Run]

Dear Marie, 
Deciding to go out a run is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. Sometimes I feel too tired when I get home to lace up for a run. There are times when I would rather catch up with sleep too. Doing most of my work from home also means that I have lots of other things that also seeks my attention. But like any fitness enthiusiast, I constantly have to struggle to get things done and also do my runs. 

So when is the best time to go for a run? The simplest answer to this is, whatever time of the day works best for you. To determine this, you might have to answer a couple of questions. 

One, what time of the day do you think you have time for a run? For most married people, the answer to this question is the mornings when the kids are still asleep or just about to wake up to prepare for school. For the single professional, it could be the early afternoons or early evenings when they want to shake the stress away and avoid the traffic situation and be stuck sitting inside a car or stuck inside a bus or a train getting home. Hence, you need to know what time of the day you could best squeeze in your runs. 


The second question to this would be what time of the day do you have more energy? Just because the mornings might be the best time for you in terms of availability, you might also have to consider your personal productivity. Are you a morning person? Are you a night owl? A lot of people fail to consider that we are not all made the same. Some people work around morning schedules and their productivity goes with the rising and setting of the sun. For night owls like me, early evening runs or extremely early morning runs work best for me because it is at these times that my mind is wide awake. 
The follow-up to this would be, what is the security situation around your neighborhood? This usually is not considered much but this is something that women have to contend with more than the men. Do you live in an area where it is safe to walk late at nights? Is there adequate street lighting? Is it generally safe to walk or run at any time of the day? I know some people who are stressed out doing early morning runs because in the Philippines there is this nasty habit of letting the dogs out while the humans are inside their homes asleep. So are you okay being chased by dogs in the middle of the night? This used to not bother me at all. But having experienced two vehicular accidents at two ultra marathon events. In the last five years made me reconsider that public safety is as important a concern to think about on the best time to go for a run. 
But if you will press me on what’s the best time considering all three things, I would push for an early morning run while the sun comes up. These days, most people don’t even get enough Vitamin D which one could get with regular exposure to sunlight. And you also need Vitamin D to help process the absorption of Calcium into the bones. And without proper exercise or the effort of moving those muscles along with the pull of gravity, the Calcium won’t properly sink into the body. Hence, you get more benefits out of running in the early morning. It’s also a great way of getting to know your neighborhood too because you get to see who wakes up early and who heads off to the office early. Yet, I do not wish you to dismiss the joys of running in the early evenings. There are certain benefits to it too. While you may miss out on the benefits of Vitamin, running in the early evenings can benefit those who want to be more productive with their work when they get home and do more work done before hitting the sack. The benefits of running have shown to clear the mind and also increase cognitive functions of the brain. So for all you know, the morning runs will help your overhaul health, but the evening runs would benefit your brain more in terms of clarity and creativity. 
So that’s about it for now. If I were you, I would map out the distance between your house to the office via Google Maps. That would give you an idea how far it is and Google Maps even provides you a general estimate on how fast you could cover the distance via walking. Wouldn’t that be something? Getting enough exercise reaching the office and feeling energetic and also reaping the benefits of training up for a marathon? I think that is a great idea to work on! 
Till then, apologies on the delays on this one! 
– TR

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