Is it dinner time yet?

I mentioned yesterday that one thing I love about summertime is being able to run as late as 8:30 in the evening because there is still daylight. It’s also good that it’s light later, as this allows it to cool off a bit before I hit the road. However, running later in the evening often throws a wrench into my normal dinner routine.

In the winter it’s easy. As soon as I get home from work I change and head out for my run, so that I can finish before the sun goes down. Then dinner follows shortly after. It’s a no brainer. In the summer I’m often left trying to figure out whether to eat before my run or after it, since I’m running later in the evening. Barry and I don’t always run on the same days, which further complicates matters.

If I eat after work and before my run, I’m left running on a full stomach (even if I eat light) and you can forget about speedwork. If I eat after my run, I’m often eating after 9 PM which is close to my bedtime. I’ve read that eating close to bedtime can negatively impact your sleep and can cause slower digestion which allows your body to absorb more calories. That’s not scientific fact, as far as I know, it’s just stuff that I’ve read in the past.

Have to get your beauty sleep

For me, eating a late dinner on a day Barry isn’t running also means that he is left waiting around to eat and vice versa if he’s running and I’m not. Or we end up eating separately.

There are pros and cons to each option and I find myself flip flopping from one day to the next based on what I feel like that day. Yesterday Barry ate dinner around 6:30 because he needed to go to bed shortly after 7. I didn’t eat until 9:30 because I waited to run until 8 or so. Today I headed out for an easy 4 miles (9:47 average pace… funny how some days that’s an “easy” pace and other days it feels impossible) around 7 and then Barry and I ate dinner together when I got home. I think I prefer dinner after I run as opposed to eating beforehand.
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FYI: Yesterday I realized I had that word recognition feature activated on my blog for people leaving comments. Sorry you were having to fill in those word phrases to post your comment! I deactivated it and immediately received two spam comments within the hour. Therefore I am now invoking comment moderation 🙂 Just wanted to give you a heads up on why that changed! I may end up putting the word activation back up (sorry, I know it can be annoying if the word doesn’t show up clearly) if there are too many spam comments coming in.

What time of day do you typically work out during the week?

What time do you typically eat dinner in the evening?

If you are an evening workouter (that’s a word now) do you eat dinner before or after?

8 Comments

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  1. We tend to eat pretty late; often both KMN and I end up at the gym after work (or one of us is working late). We try to keep things prepped and easy to throw together (or use the crockpot), but dinner is often after 9 PM. We’ll continue snacking into the late afternoon/evening so that we don’t get too hungry, too early.

    While neither of us have sleeping issues, we’ve never experienced a problem from having dinner so late…

    1. More often than not we eat late, too. It just works better in the summer. I usually snack right after work to keep me going.

  2. We have the same dilemma. I can’t say that one works better than the other for me…it just kind of depends on the day. I like eating at 5 and then running at 7 or 8, but I can’t always get my act together to eat at 5!

    1. I can only imagine what it’s like to face this dilemma while having two young kids.

  3. Growing up on a farm we always ate late after Dad finished milking the cows, and I’m just kind of used to that still. Bill often runs after work, so that works well so he can go out and run while I make dinner. Some evenings I have late clients so we have no choice but to eat late then.

    I’m a morning runner whenever possible!

    This whole spam thing drives me nuts, too!

    1. I don’t mind eating a later dinner. We often did growing up, too, because everyone was always going in different directions with sports and other activities.

  4. I love knowing that you flip-flop between the two because I do, too. One night this week I ran before, and another night I ran after. I’d prefer to run before I eat, though. We eat dinner at at a more regular time during the summer 5:30-6:00, usually.

    1. I also prefer running before I eat, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out.

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