Running at night in our genes

I regularly run at night, but many runners won’t. Women especially have concerns. I called my friend at the National Institute of Running Sciences for more information.

Dr. Ayer O’beck, a running researcher, says they’ve done several studies the past few years. He says the major reasons people don’t run at night are as follows:

  • Personal safety issue – 37%
  • Afraid of tripping or running into something – 21%
  • Hate missing evening TV shows – 12%
  • Moonlight interferes with brainwaves – 7%
  • Past unpleasant encounters with werewolves or vampires – 5%

Dr. Ayer O’beck adds, “You’re missing an opportunity if you don’t run at night. Our studies show night training improves race times around 12%.”

“No way, Doctor!” I insisted. “That’s statistical insanity!”

“Jim, these statistics are not insane. And why are you yelling?”

“Sorry, Ayer, but I don’t get the 12% difference.”

Dr. O’beck explained that cooler conditions at night allow runners to train harder. In addition, there’s a primal fright factor about things that go bump in the night. This instinct causes you to run faster. Also, running at night is part of human evolution. Modern man has corrupted it by forcing workouts during daylight hours.

“What? We were born to run at night?” I asked.

“It’s obvious,” Dr. O’beck said. “Just look at the Olympic symbology of the torch-carrying runner. Torches were invented for nighttime training runs. Everyone ran at night.”

“I didn’t know ancient people even trained. I thought they were too busy just trying to survive.”

“Heavens no. Most of the time food was plentiful, life was easy, and you didn’t have to go to a job for 8 hours a day. Running was what they did to keep busy. In fact, ancient peoples spent most of their daylight hours discussing shoes, running outfits, and whose torch was best.”

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