Evening Running: All You Need to Know About It
Benefits and Risks
Evening jogging is a popular form of moderate exercise. It does not require any additional equipment or a gym membership. We are going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of running.
Description of the Benefits
If you want to lose weight, relax, or just relieve stress, an evening workout can assist you attain your goal for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to find time to run in the morning, no matter how much we want to. Few working people can force themselves to wake up an hour or an hour and a half earlier than needed, just to go out for a run, much less do it every single day.
Secondly, the evening time is optimal for relieving stress accumulated during a long working day. In the morning, we are still full of energy and after running, we may experience fatigue that will affect our working ability.
Thirdly, an evening run helps get rid of excess calories consumed per day. Accelerated metabolism promotes faster calorie burning during sleep.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Sports activities in the evening can be harmful if you choose the wrong time for training. Exercising too late at night can have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep and body recovery. It is difficult to fall asleep after physical activity, because it takes time to calm the nervous system.
The choice of an evening run is quite risky, because there is a high chance that your plans will fail due to a number of reasons: much work, a hard day, an interesting film, a café with friends, etc.
Also, you should take into account the time of year. Thus, in summer, you will experience no discomfort while running, but in winter, there will be some negative factors – darkness, cold, and bad weather.
Choosing a Suitable Place to Run
Most people pay little attention to this, but you should approach the choice of your route carefully. Avoid running on busy roads and highways. Also, it is obvious that you should not look for adventures in the dark alleys – it is very dangerous. However, running close to a large cluster of vehicles can be harmful, because you will breathe exhaust fumes.
The easiest option is to find a park or an ordinary playground with a football field near your house. You can also create a route with waypoints in beautiful places of your city – in this case, you will enjoy your running session more and spend time with pleasure.
Most Beautiful Running Routes in New York City
The running events that take place in the Big Apple, such as the world’s largest New York City Marathon, Sunset Marathon, etc. have made the city attractive to both residents and visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Central Park that is located in the heart of Manhattan is one of the most beloved places among runners due to many reasons, such as numerous loops and locations, picturesque views, paths ranging in the level of difficulty, etc. A full loop through the park is about 6.1 miles long, but one can choose shorter distances.
You should know Central Park runner etiquette that dictates that the left/innermost lane is for those who run clockwise and the middle lane is for those who run counterclockwise. Cars are not allowed in Central Park since June 2018, so this place has become safer and more comfortable for the runners, riders, and skaters.
You should pay your attention to these two"iconic" routes: the "perimeter" path that includes climbing (if you run counterclockwise, you will encounter a pair of hills on your way), and the route incorporating the Reservoir. The Reservoir loop offers amazing views with Manhattan skyscrapers in the horizon. You should stay to the right and run counterclockwise.
Try running loops around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The 1.6-mile path located in the center of the park from 85th St to 96th St is a perfect choice for running in the evening, especially at sunset.
Battery Park. You can get there by Subway 1 to South Ferry, about 30 minutes from Midtown. Begin your running journey by the Staten Island Ferry, then make your way to the south and you will see the Statue of Liberty across the water. Run up the Battery Park City Esplanade where you will pass by public art installations, such as "Resonating Bodies", "Eyes", "Ape & Cat", etc., and the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place.
Riverside Park and the Hudson River Greenway. It is a popular route among walkers, runners, and cyclists. Once you reach Riverside Park, you will see Grant's Tomb at 122d Street with the colorful mosaic tile benches that are a pleasing example of folk art. You can finish your run with an oatmeal raisin cookie from Levain Bakery located in 167 West 74th Street on the Upper West Side.
Running Routes in Los Angeles, California
The "city of angels" with its amazing scenery from the mountains to the beaches has great running options for the advanced athletes, beginners, and those who just want to enjoy nature. Here are some of the most popular and challenging routes for running in Los Angeles. It is rarely too hot or too cold here, which makes L.A. perfect for those keen on outdoor sports.
The Strand (200 SANTA MONICA PIER SANTA MONICA, CA 90401). This popular 22-mile paved beachfront path stretches across some of the most popular and beautiful beaches in the country, including Santa Monica and Venice. The route starts at Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades, and ends at Torrance County Beach in the South Bay. If you want to get most out of your run, you should head closer to the water on the sand, alongside cyclists. Also, you can choose the route along the 14.3-mile northern stretch between Will Rogers State Beach and the Venice Pier, where you will enjoy the scenic views of the Santa Monica Mountains.
If you run along the Santa Monica Pier and the Venice Boardwalk, you will see the famous sports destinations of the city, such as Muscle Beach, Venice Skate Park, and outdoor basketball courts.
Griffith Park. This is a perfect place to run for those who are seeking a challenge and feeling adventurous. Griffith Park boasts over 50 miles of trails through the hills. You can stick to the roads or go off the beaten path to enjoy nature. There are numerous places of attraction in the park, such as the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, the Greek Theater, etc. Try the route from the Greek Theater up to the observatory and then head back. Also, you can choose the trail to the peak of Mount Hollywood. While running, you will enjoy the incredible views of the city and local wildlife. Do not forget to bring enough water with you. Remember that you run on the trail, not the paved road, so watch out for rattlesnakes on your way.
Runyon Canyon Loop (2000 N FULLER LOS ANGELES, CA 90046). Runyon Canyon Park is a must-see when visiting Hollywood. The trail provides scenic views of the Hollywood sign and panoramic views of the city from Inspiration Point and Clouds Rest. Besides, it offers a challenging workout, because you will encounter some uphill climbs. You can choose between three options for running. Fuller Gate is the easiest trail for running and hiking, so it is suitable for beginners. The Star Trail is steeper and has a medium level of difficulty. The last is the Hero Trail that is the most difficult and challenging.
If You Live in San-Francisco
Nice year-round weather, beautiful scenery, and varied landscapes make San-Francisco a unique running destination. The city dwellers are known for leading healthy and active lifestyles, so thousands of runners take part in many marathon races that are held here each year.
The Presidio Loop. This route is suitable for those who like to run on various kinds of terrain. The 7-mile loop includes trails, planks, hills, sand, and paved road. The route begins near the Golden Gate Bridge, at the Warming Hut on Crissy Field. You will run around the Presidio that used to be a military installation and is now a large park with numerous trails for hiking and running, to the sand of Baker Beach. The benefit of this route is that it is challenging. You will encounter four hills on your way. This route is beloved by many local residents because of its charming scenery and geographical diversity.
Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach. Golden Gate Park in San-Francisco is the left coast version of Central Park in New York. It runs right up to Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is a good place to relax from the busy city, feel the cool breeze, and jog along the water line while breathing the clean and salty air. If you run along the paved trails, you will reach Golden Gate Park and see the Conservatory of Flowers, one of the most treasured historic landmarks of the city.
You can run to Ocean Beach and back, or try another road back in the park to enjoy new scenery and places of attraction, such as the world-class de Young Museum and Stow Lake. This route includes few rolling hills, but they are manageable for every runner. If you have little time, go by the shortest route to Stow Lake that has a mile-long dirt loop around it. You will hardly find a more spectacular spot to run a few miles. Note that Golden Gate Park is especially popular among hikers and runners on weekends.
Marin Headlands. The Marin Headlands are famous for their views of the Bay Area. It is not surprising that this route is very popular among runners, hikers, and cyclists – the views of San-Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the top are fantastic. The trails extend for miles, so you can run as far as you want. Just do not forget to bring water with you, because you will not be able to purchase it there. If you own a car and want to have some flat running, you can drive to Rodeo Beach. You will run along the 1.5 mile loop around Rodeo Lagoon and enjoy incredible ocean views.
Running in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is one of the best running cities in the United States. No matter the season, the weather, and the time of day – there are a lot of runners hitting the roads of the city from sunrise to sunset, all year round. If you are a tourist, you can join one of the numerous running clubs and groups that are open to the public, as well as go out for a run on your own.
Charles River Esplanade. This spot is extremely popular among runners due to 23 miles of paths for running and walking. If you choose this route, you will not only get out of the downtown crowds, but also enjoy beautiful views of the postcard Boston skyline. You can use numerous bridges along the way to reach the Cambridge side and then return on the Boston side. The route allows you to make various loops ranging from three to twenty miles based on bridges alone. There are water fountains by the river and free bathrooms, but they are closed in winter. This route is completely flat.
The Emerald Necklace. Such a lovely name for a route, isn’t it? This greenway stretches for 10 miles from the State House to Franklin Park. There are a lot of great locations here, including the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a beautiful linear park, where you can see numerous statues of Boston’s well-known figures, a pretty park called The Fens, Jamaica Pond, and Franklin Park – Boston's largest public green-space that includes a zoo, playgrounds, miles of running and walking paths and offers other options for recreation and training. You can make a great loop by heading into The Fens, and then the Riverway Path, and reach Jamaica Pond.
Freedom Trail Route. The Freedom Trail is a 3-mile route around the city of Boston and Charlestown. This route includes some of Boston’s most popular historic sites.
The most famous places of interest here are the Boston Common, the oldest public park in America, the New State House (the Massachusetts State Capitol Building), the Old State House and Boston Massacre Site in front of it – the engraving that depicts the drama of one of the pivotal events in American history, Old North Church, also known as Christ Church – the oldest building still standing in Boston today, etc. If you choose this route or one of the routes mentioned above, you definitely won't get bored while running along the streets of the city.
Tips and Tricks
Every action should be deliberate. This also applies to physical activity – if done incorrectly, any exercise can do harm to your body. Following the rules stated below can help you get the most out of your evening run.
|Workout Length||You should remember to avoid overtraining before going to bed, because it can affect the quality of your sleep and general well-being. At first, start to run for ten to fifteen minutes and gradually increase the time. The maximum time should not exceed thirty minutes. You should take short breaks. But you should not stop suddenly, if you want to have a rest – just gradually slow down your running pace, moving to brisk walk.|
Most beginner runners make a common mistake. They come home from work, eat an evening meal, rest in front of the TV, and only afterwards they go for a run. But it is extremely wrong. After such a rest, the body’s biorhythms are already in a passive state and their "restart" puts a great stress on the body.
The best time for running is between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. At this time, the body is relaxed enough to have the opportunity to relieve stress, but not too passive yet.
Every man to his own taste, but to keep your body active and energetic for the longest time possible, we recommend you incorporate motivational music into your playlist. For your convenience, we offer you a prepared playlist: Listen.
|Should You Have Dinner?||
In the evening, it is not desirable to run on an empty stomach, unlike in the morning. However, you shouldn't have a substantial meal. You should better eat a salad, a soup, or a light snack. Your menu should include protein and carbohydrates to help your muscles recover after running.
A light steamed omelet, with boiled chicken or beef is a perfect choice. If you do not want to have dinner, just eat some fruits, for example, an apple or a banana. You can make a homemade yogurt that will satisfy your hunger and help maintain your energy levels.
|Choice of the Route||
Do not overstrain your body before sleep. Try to find a flat surface to run on. Very steep slopes or the surface that requires you to jump up are not the best options for an evening run. You should run only forward on a flat surface. It is possible to find a small park on the plain in almost every city.
By the way, small stadiums are also not very good for running, because in this case, you have to run in a circle. If the stadium is large, it is quite suitable, but if the circle is small, you may feel dizzy while running. You should better choose a long, flat, and straight road.
|Remember To Warm Up||
A warm-up is definitely an essential part of any training routine. If you want to get maximum results without doing harm to your body, you should take a few minutes to warm up.
Warm up primarily your legs. Exercises with a jump rope or a ball are perfect for this purpose. Use your hands to rub and massage your leg muscles. This helps increase blood circulation.
Before you start running, walk a short distance at a fast pace, gradually increasing your speed.
|Proper Breathing Patterns||
It is crucially important to breathe properly while running. During physical activity, our body needs more oxygen than normal. One of the common mistakes most people make is that they begin to breathe through the mouth when they feel the lack of oxygen. But it is wrong. You should breathe through your nose, because your body gets the maximum amount of oxygen only this way, while keeping your heart rate and respiration rate at proper levels.
Proper breathing through the nose is especially important in case you want to lose weight. The more oxygen in the muscles and tissues, the better the metabolism.
If you start to breathe through your mouth while running, it means that you are breathing incorrectly, and as a result, your body does not get adequate amount of oxygen. In this case, you should gradually decrease your pace, but do not stop suddenly.
|Record Your Results|
Make your choice!
If you have never been a runner before or took a short break from running, then you will definitely have sore muscles after the first session. If your muscles do not hurt, it means that you are either fit enough, or did something wrong. But you shouldn’t worry about it.
Follow the basic rules and listen to your own body. You should not be led by pain.
Remember that muscle pain will stop disturbing you only when the tissues are fit enough to withstand the loads. The pain will go away in 2–3 days, leaving only a pleasant feeling of fatigue that will help you fall asleep fast and deeply./p>
Take some time for yourself, and in a couple of weeks you will realize how much your life has changed. Your body weight will normalize, your nervous system will start to function better, and your heart will strengthen. Besides, a half-an-hour run helps burn fat, relieve stress, and get rid of bad mood.