Break the Mold: Run in the Afternoon

By Mike Sommers, Field Marketing Stallion

You often hear people speak about running in the morning with a tremendous amount of gusto and enthusiasm. And for many years, I tried to assimilate myself to this group of uber-motivated morning people. However, after years of trying to pretend that this is enjoyable I had an epiphany; “Running in the early morning is the worst. The absolute worst”. All that being said, I understand that life sometimes necessitates a morning run in order to run at all during an overly busy day. But the question I have for you is, “if given the choice, would you still run in the morning?”

What is considered an afternoon run

An afternoon run is defined as any run starting after 12pm and before 4pm. Once you get beyond 4pm, you have entered early evening running. Although early evening runners are truly afternoon runners at heart that either procrastinate or have an inflexible workplace.

No one rolls out of bed ready to run

If you are a mere mortal like I am, you probably don’t wake up and feel ready to run. Maybe I’m getting older, but I can’t just roll out of bed and go any longer. I like to ease into the day and morning running just doesn’t give me that opportunity. It actually does the opposite for me.

Meditative qualities

Running has the incredible ability to break up even the worst of mental blocks. Whenever I have my most challenging hurdles at work or in life, I take them out on the path with me. I have come up with some of my most creative solutions on the run, but only when I’ve given my brain ample time to wake up. An afternoon run also doubles as a built-in brain break that leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to take on my next challenge.

Social flexibility

Have you ever passed up on an adventure simply because you’re planning on running the following morning? If so, here’s a life hack for you: “don’t turn down fun. Ever.” Turns out if you stay out for an extra beverage it doesn’t mess with your run the following afternoon! You’ll thank me later.

Sunshine = happiness

Running in the afternoon gives you the best chances of running in the best weather of the day. In the winter, it’s the warmest and in the summer it’s when the sun is highest. Who doesn’t love a good “buns and guns” run! Take advantage of the best weather that your city has to offer and get some vitamin d while you can.


Do you typically run in a high traffic area? Not a problem in the afternoon. Even the busiest of running paths are tranquil in the afternoon. Full disclosure: I live in Chicago and the lakefront path is crazy in the mornings and evenings with runners and bike commuters alike. And while the path is amazing; when it’s super busy it completely messes with my chi out there. Come afternoon, it’s a ghost town and allows me to truly get lost in my thoughts.

Exceptions to the rule

Like anything, there are instances where exceptions need to be made in order to get your run in for the day. The most common one is a busy schedule. If you have an adventure planned for the afternoon and evening that may necessitate an early morning grind. Also, doing your long runs in a group is a key motivator so come Saturday or Sunday morning getting up to get it done with friends is a reasonable thing to do…even for me.

So with all that said, “Are you ready to make the change?” Can you the break the mold and run when you want to and not just when you think you’re supposed to? I bet you can. And if you do, look me up when you’re in Chicago. We’ll have an evening adventure followed by an afternoon run the next day.


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