• Question: Do you think that the time someone runs at effects the way they act when they are running. For example say someone is running in the morning do you think that they are going to be ready to run compared to running in the night or afternoon right before they go to bed? Also do you think that having music effects your performance when you are running?

    Asked by 533webn36 to Noel on 13 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Noel Brick

      Noel Brick answered on 13 Jun 2018:

      This is a great question. The answer is not completely straightforward.
      First, yes, time of day can affect performance. Circadian Rhythm, our body’s natural daily rhythm, often means we perform better on tasks like running, or lifting weights later in the afternoon or early evening. So, we might feel like we can run faster during an evening run compared to an early morning run.
      But our habits also make a difference. If we tend to run early in the morning, our body does adapt. Most races begin in the morning time, so it is a good habit to train in the morning if your race also takes place in the morning time.
      Other factors like sleep quality and diet can also influence this. so, running before breakfast might feel harder and be slower than running after breakfast (but give time for your food to digest!). Running after a poor night’s sleep is also much harder versus a night when you have slept very well.
      For me, I tend to do my slow, easier runs in the morning. But when I want to do a fast run and push really hard, I tend to do those runs in the afternoon or evening time.

      Music can be very helpful. Many studies have shown that music can make running feel easier because the music can distract us from how we might be feeling physically. We can also synchronise to a beat, so we tend to run faster in time with a faster beat. But it is also useful to train without music. Most races don’t allow runners to wear head phones, for example, because it can be dangerous if you can’t hear traffic.

      Thanks for a brilliant question!