Welcome! Forums Running Forum 2-a-days

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 12 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #5208


    good or bad idea?

  • #20608


    I think the accepted wisdom says that you shouldn't need 2-a-days till you get up to 70 mpw… as an old runner with a busy schedule I have used them to fit in miles when I can, knowing it is not the most effective training technique. On the other hand if I didn't fit a few extra miles in (usually 6) as a 2-a-day, I would not be running much at all… I think it works for me, I've boosted my mileage this year and so far(knock on wood) I am injury free, which I think is the big reason for running doubles.

    A well-meaning friend suggested that as slow as I am I should be considering the time I spend running. That way I could sompare my schedule to competitve runners who are probably running 70 mpw in the time it take me to do say 45 (or less :o). That was depressing… any way I do what I can… another continuing experiment of one…


  • #20609


    I agree that it is accepted that 70mpw is kind of the cut-off for doubles. 

    In the past however I have run doubles on 60mpw.  I do that by running a morning run the day of a hard workout…usually.  By that I mean do a 3-5 mile run in the AM then maybe a workout including a 2 mile warm-up, 5 miles of speed, then 2 mile cooldown.  This is how I kept my mileage up in the 60 range while not runnning over 5 miles much on my easy days.  It's a good way to lead a normal life with many hobbies and still get in some quality workouts and higher mileage. 

    With my current marathon training I have found that I am no doubt far more fit on 70 miles a week (6 days) with nearly all singles.  Because my daily run average is now MUCH further I feel that I have much more overall fitness.  I now have a usual 14-15 miler mid-week and a 20+- on the weekends.  On 60mpw my midweek would be 7 miles and long run at most 15.  It's easy to see why I feel stronger on my current training. 

    The only time I currently run a double is to keep a high mileage day while allowing more recovery.  2 short runs is easier on the bod than one long run.  Thererore you will benefit more from one long run. 

    So in agreeing with Rita doubles are not for 40mpw…in most cases.  I might still do a morning run before a hard workout as stated above.  Stay with almost all singles with lower mileage.  It will also give you more time to enjoy the other things in life. 

  • #20610


    Depends how they are used.

    In general, for most people, it would be better to do all your day's running in a single run if possible because two runs of 5 miles will not give you the same aerobic benefit as one run of 10 miles. Of course, sometimes, we don't have one span of time where we can fit in a 10 miler but we might have two separate spans of time where we can fit in a 5 miler. Also, while the training benefit of two 5 milers isn't as great as that of a single 10 miler, recovery from two 5 milers can be faster than from a single 10 miler. Many other factors come into play. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to determine whether they are a good or bad idea for your distinct situation (this is by no means a comprehensive list of questions that could be asked).

    What are you training for? If you're training for a 5k, two shorter and faster runs might hold more benefit than if you're training for a marathon. This would make the negative of less aerobic benefit less of a negative, although I'm still convinced a single run of 10 miles would be better than a 5+5 double.

    Where are you in your training? Sometimes, when building mileage, a person can use 2 a days to build up more quickly. Then, once up to the volume one wants to maintain, the 2 a days could be phased out in favor of longer individual runs.

    What is your total training volume? If you're running 50 miles a week, two runs a day for even a couple of days a week could create some very short runs that, while being of some benefit, would be of more benefit if added on to the end of other runs. If you're running 150 miles a week, two runs a day would be a virtual necessity.

    What are your scheduling constraints? Understanding that everyone has different priorities and different schedules, you have to take a look at your own schedule. The great thing about running once a day is that you don't have to spend extra time changing, showering, etc. twice. The great thing about running twice a day is that you don't need one big block of time to get your running in. Maybe you can fit in 5 miles during your lunch break and another 5 miles between work and some other commitment.

    How is your recovery going? If you're recovering well, you'll get better training benefit from singles. If you're not recovering well, while I'd first suggest looking at your pace, doing doubles is one way to place less stress on your body and recover more quickly.

  • #20611


    2-a-days are great, if your body can handle it; and you have time to incorporate it.  think about it, the more time you spend associated with running (workouts, stretching, other excersises, icing, massages, sleeping, eating right; eliminating other stresses), the better you become.  Imagine if you had no financial worries, little stress, and only had to work 20 or less hours per week?  Your body could easily handle more miles (if you build up to it), and two-a-days would benefit you.  It's hard to get over 75 miles per week withut two-a-days.

    for two-a-days, usually one run is easy, the other is hard.  So, if you're planning to do it; build up to sevens days a week running, then pick one of you're hard days (not your long run day), and add a second short and easy run.  If you can handle that, increase mileage a little, and you can add a second two-a-day

  • #20612


    for me, seven days week never seems to work… there is always a family member who need my undivided attention, or I'm just exhausted… I have tried it (last year) and after about 10 days I had a day where I just went back to bed after getting the kids to school, called in “almost dead”… my body just stops when it has enough… and while the extra shower & changing time does seem redundant, I have short hair (for a woman, straight simple style) and I rarely dry it except in the dead of winter…

    I'm hoping that once the kids are out of school I can move my work schedule a bit later in the day and get a longer run in before work… since I would rather run in the morning but again, my energy levels seem to stay up better if I have enough sleep, especially the 4:30-5:30 hour… I can get going one morning a week earlier but more than that I start to unravel…

    in fact I've found that six days a week works fine for some of the time but I need a two day off week about every other or every third week… sometimes it's work or family & sometimes it's me… the best thing is that I've tried not to let it worry me… and I think because of the pressure I've taken off of me to 'get the miles in' or 'run x days this week' I've gotten more miles in & I'm enjoying it more…

    so while there are guidelines ( training volume, goals, personal schedule, etc) you really have to listen to your body… seems that almost every injury I've had in the past six years or so has been when I pushed it a bit more when I KNEW I was tired… so for me it has become a test of stringing together healthy months of slight increases and backing off when the rest of my life butts in…

    and yeah, I'm waiting for the “no financial worries, little stress” part of my life, I think I missed it (like 40 years ago)…

  • #20613

  • #20615

    Great article by Pfitz, thanks for that, clears up alot about doubles.  Personally, I have never done them, but my weekly mileage has never topped 75 miles, close a few times, but not higher.  I take that back, I have done a few doubles on really long run days, say 20-22 miles in the morning, and then maybe a few in the evening just to shake the legs out a little.  Unless one is a serious competitor or just has a ton of time on their hands, I'm not sure they are necessary for most of us, me included.

  • #20616


    Unless one is a serious competitor or just has a ton of time on their hands, I'm not sure they are necessary for most of us, me included.

    That actually sounds like a pretty good summary. For most people, running once a day will do just fine. Doubles are usually best for those of us who have already maxed out pretty much everything else and are just trying to squeeze out those final few seconds or those final one or two positions. I'm not sure if that's the definition you are using for “serious competitor” but, to me, it seems like a pretty fitting definition.

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