Putting running shoes to the road when the night falls has a fair share of benefits, and it’s a reason why many professionals train either early in the morning or at night when it’s dark. For one, the air is generally cooler at night when the sun is out of view. This means a more comfortable run once your body heat begins to reach critical mass.
Body temperature is also higher at later points in the day, which can increase strength and reaction time. Not to mention, cortisol and thyrotropin—two hormones crucial to energy metabolism—hit their highest levels in the evening.
While having fewer cars on the road is a benefit, the limited visibility does make night running a bit riskier if proper attire isn’t worn. However, taking risks (albeit calculated ones) makes life fun. But with less people out and about, the meditative qualities of a night run are apparent as every sound becomes more vivid and present. In fact, running at night has been proven to improve sensory abilities.
By running with diminished visibility, the body has to rely more on instinct and feel. There are less visual stimuli clouding up the mind, meaning a person will likely run in a more natural manner at night. Studies have shown that people also tend to run quicker as a result. Night running is an excellent way to boost proprioceptive skills, which is the technical term for those enhanced sensory abilities and a better synced mind and body.
Perhaps the best quality of running at night is the fact that you’re done with most of your daily obligations. You’re free and without time constraint. The lack of urgency will not just be great for decompression, but will lead to a more consistent pace and stride. When it comes down to it, running at night might be the best way to run.