I type this in Google, and the first search result is a YouTube music video of a song named “Running in the Night”, that has really nothing to do with the running I’m talking about here. Clearly, actual ‘RUNNING in the night’ is not a hot topic that people are talking and searching about.
As many of you probably know, I’ve been running for about 14 months now. I initially started running in late 2017 for the first time. At that time I did not know nor care about pace, distance, form, time of day or diet. For me, at that time (and to a large degree even now) running was about freedom. And for that reason, I decided to run whenever I got the time.
But here is the thing.
Unlike many other runners that I’ve seen, this ended up me getting into the habit of running 99% in the night. Although it didn’t feel odd to me then, it does feel a bit strange when you don’t see many people running in the middle of the night. In contrast, you do see many people running early in the morning in parks and streets.
So for this post, I had made it a point to research about the science behind running and also what actually is the benefits of running late at night. Having run more than 350 Kms total, here is the reason why I believe night running is better than running in the morning.
It takes guts to run in the night
Before we go about discussing why night running is beneficial, we got to address the fact that running in the night is not as safe as many think. Most runs that I do are late after sunset between 7PM and 11 PM. This means that there is literally no source of light in the night except for the moon, and if you are lucky, some street lights along the way. This makes it a daring thing for many people to do. After all who knows if there is a monster hiding near the bushes, ready to devour any crazy man running in the middle of the night, with a pair of headphones listening to electronic music from NCS?
Although there is very little probability that would be the case, there are high chances that a stupid dog would chase you because it thinks you are a thief who is running post-burglary. There have been many times when I have just walked the entire course just in order to make sure that my ass doesn’t get bitten. Not only that, you really don’t know if there is a thug waiting in the corner to beat you up and take your stuff.
It surely is a daring thing to run in the middle of the night, which furthermore makes it cool.
You learn to not be self-conscious
When you wake up very early and run on the streets, there are not going to be many people who would stare at you and think you’re nuts. But when you do HIIT with a series of sprints at a time of the night when traffic is at its peak, you’re surely gonna get some confused looks. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. One of the things that we need to have is the ability to not care too much what people think of us. I had talked about this in a video on my YouTube channel by the name “Stop Caring Too Much What People Might Think”.
It actually makes you sleep better
If adventure and self-improvement isn’t your thing, I’m sure you are not somebody who hates to have a good night’s sleep. A study was done at the University of South Carolina, and they found that exercising before bedtime improves sleep and also increases energy levels when you wake up the next morning, having well rested. In this day and age where people are literally taking sleeping pills to be able to sleep at night because of depression or other medical conditions, running at night is going to make your mood way more positive than if you take a pill. (I’ve written about overcoming depression in a blog post “How to Deal with Depression?“).
There certainly are so many other benefits like night running helping break down stress levels and ending the day on a good note and so on. The takeaway from this post, therefore, is that if you can’t wake up early in the morning to run, just go ahead and do a night run.
That’s all I have for you today. Until next time. Adios!