Running twice a day to save gas

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  tgrunner 11 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #7469

    Hi,

    I am living at a reasonable distance from work (7K), which allows me to commute by running. So since last winter, my wife drops me off at work on Mondays (with cloth and lunches for the week) and Friday evening she picks me up from work. This regime gives me single runs on Monday (pm), Friday (am), longer run in weekend and two runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. My weekly mileage is currently approx. 50 miles (max. of last year was 60) and I have one day off in the weekend.

    What I read about training twice a day, suggests that it is only necessary, when you have a weekly mileage that is way higher than mine. Obviously one of the runs on the double days should be a recovery run.

    For my fall marathon I will have to take a longer intensive training run on one off the double days. I am concerned about recovery. Any thoughts or personal experiences/advice.

    Thanks

    Ralph

  • #25119

    I did something similar (60 mpw with some doubles) to fit the miles into my schedule two years ago… at the time I was 52 and a rather slow woman (even slower now that I don't do any speed work)… my attitude was that if you consider the TIME it takes better runner to put in 70+ mpw it might be close to the time I was taking to do 50, so to add those extra miles I needed to implement doubles..

    another way to look at it was that running short doubles was better than not running the extra miles… 

    the upshot was that when I started into my speedwork in the summer I was fitter than I'd been (even had dropped some weight) in years and that fall I got my BQ, which was the goal at that time…

    right now I've added 3 miles first thing in the morning (along with my usual 6 miles at lunch) to see if I can get back down in weight as I gained some after Boston last year when I was not running much while trying to recoup from heel bursitis/PF/other shin & calf issues.. so far in the last 6 weeks I've dropped about seven pounds… my long run is up to 16 miles with no heel/PF/leg issues

    so while it might not be the BEST(most efficient) way to train, it fits my life and my schedule and seems to be helping attain the goal of the moment… good luck with you goal of the moment..
    -Rita

  • #25120

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Rita hit on a good point. While running the same volume all at once would be ideal, adding in the extra runs can be beneficial if those runs don't cause a sacrifice in the volume of the other runs. In other words, if you only intended to run 7K per day through the week, the additional 3 runs of 7K would be pure benefit.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about recovery when doing a more difficult run on one of those days. In fact, I have actually found that I run better when doing a hard afternoon/evening workout after an easy morning run. Just make sure the morning run is truly easy. If you give yourself some time to adapt to running twice a day with two easy runs a day for a while, you should find yourself doing just fine.

  • #25121

    Thanks for the replies, Rita and Ryan. I think the crucial thing is that the extra runs should be easy and not impact the quality runs. So 2 x 7K is not equivalent to 1x 14K. At this point I still have trouble going truly easy (this is a recurring theme), but I got another 2 weeks of base training to learn this part. Due to the high summer temperature/humidity here in Ottawa my quality run will probably take place in the morning making the PM run the recovery run.

    Anybody knows of research that would shed a light on when 2 runs of length X would create the same training effect of 1 run of length Y (2 x Xk = Yk)? Just curious.

    Thanks

    Ralph

  • #25122

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Anybody knows of research that would shed a light on when 2 runs of length X would create the same training effect of 1 run of length Y (2 x Xk = Yk)?

    They won't. The training effect will always be different. In some cases and for some purposes, those 2 runs will be of greater benefit. In some cases, of less benefit. They will never bring upon the same effect, though, because they are at the root two very different things.

    Unfortunately, knowing when the benefit is comparable isn't as easy as plugging numbers into a formula, either. The reason for that is because there are countless variables that would need to be a part of that formula.

  • #25123

    Running to work got me thinking… How many hillrunner's out there actually work at a place that this would be feasible?  Shower facilities, accomodating co-workers/ superiors?  I've been thinking about riding my bike to work lately (it's only 5-6 miles) but I'd have to do a sponge bath in the bathroom to get ready.  Wouldn't it be cool if employers made things like this more possible?  Maybe there are more out there that do and I just don't know about it.  Just curious.

    Ralph- smart move and great dedication!  Sometimes it is frustrating to me to hear people make excuses about why they can't do something, heck, I frustrate myself when I make excuses about why I can't do something.  But then I see someone like you making it happen…. cool stuff.

  • #25124

    About a year ago I accpeted a new job, and in large part the decision was focused around the fact that I could run to/from work. It was one of the best decisons I've ever made…..I knew that spending 40 min's behind the wheel of a car twice a day, 5 days a week was affecting me – but I did not know how much until I removed it from my life. I live and work in the city now…and it has changed my life.

    Truth is, I honestly believe that as a whole society, we need to rethink things. As a runner, this works for me. Time to make changes, serious ones, on an individual level.

  • #25125

    This is a good thread.

    I have been thinking about running/biking to work lately just to get my runs out of the way.  The hardest thing is having clothes at the office if I run.  At the end of the day I figured it was more of a pain in the butt than anything to get the logistics down. 

    Not to mention the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much my post work runs meant to me being sane.

    So….no I don't think I will be running to work very often.

    Biking is out of the question.  I have health insurance but I don't feel like using it!  It's one sacry 3 mile stretch.

  • #25126

    Yes, I certianly don't think this is a scenario that works for everyone. It was a big change in my life, when I took this job and decided that I was going to leave the automobile in the driveway as much as possible. It did take a little tweaking to get the logistics down. Essentially, I do not run to work (at least not often) but rather my wife drops me off on her way to work and I brink my running gear with me. I change at the end of the day and my commute/run home is also my daily workout. I have 15 different routes I use consistantly depending on what type of workout I'm looking for, and that number is growing. The next day when my wife drops me off, she just waits a minute while I run in quick to throw the previous day's clothes left in the office into the car, which she can bring home that night.  I have and extra hour to hour and a half to my evenings by eliminating the drive home before hitting my run.

    When I first started this job, gas was in the mid 2 dollar an hour range and I saw an immediate savings of 300 a month….I'm guessing its closer to 400 – 450 now.  Plus, no time stuck in traffic, no near death collissions on the freeway, and no wasted comsumption.

    As I say, its not for everyone, but it works for me. I make slightly less money here, but being able to run home from work more than makes up for it in multiple ways.

  • #25127

    ed
    Participant

    If I could run to and from work every day I'd be on the cover of runner's world – I am 34 miles one way!

    Dang – that would put me at 340 miles per week!!

    OK – that aint happening.

  • #25128

    Before I took this position, I was commuting 32 mi's one way.  It was a concious decision to change things. Like I said, I understand it is not feasible for everyone. We do not have kids. Picking up and moving into the city (once accepting a job in the city) was only an option because I have flexibility in other areas of my life.

    But I still stand by the opinion that changes should and need to be made on an individual level. We are all runners, most of us here are health and fitness minded. Its a little extra work to get things together to run to/from work…..but its great rewards. On days where I don't run, I get on my bike to get here.

    For me, incorporating running into that change was a no brainer. I already ran 40-50 mpw year round. We even sold one of our vehicles, and now that gas is a dollar fifty more that it was when i was driving to work….I know it was the right decision.

  • #25129

    Basically, the problem is just getting the logistics right, e.g. right clothes/shoes at work when going back and forth for a couple of days is quite challenging when the weather is less predictable. As soon as you've accomplished that, your commute is converted into training.

    And I also considered biking, but like SBSpartan I would have to face some dangerous stretches of road. Nevertheless, I had to experience that running is also not without dangers, as I landed on the hood of car that slowly rolled into position for a red light right turn. Crosswalk showed the walk sign to me, but obviously the driver was not looking. No harm done, thanks to a big bus preventing the red light right turn. On a side note: it seems that running on a crosswalk is considered reckless and careless.

  • #25130

    hahaha…thats funny…I am running to and from work to save gas!!!  also…you know to throw some extra miles in!

  • #25131

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I've actually thought a lot about this topic. I do work at a place that is conducive to running, with locker rooms and showers. In fact, I do run during my lunch breaks. I also live within a reasonable distance of work (though it may not be all that reasonable for everyone). My problem, though, is that I don't have a good route to take. The only direct routes to work involve highways with heavy traffic and no sidewalks. The indirect routes that would get me away from such a dangerous situation would make the distance unreasonable.

    When I was buying my house, I actually wanted to buy one that I could run to work from. Unfortunately, the only houses within my price range that fit this request were very old, very poorly maintained houses. In short, I would have had to gut any one of those houses and start from scratch. I can do some basic things around the house when necessary but nothing as big as those houses required. So I was stuck buying a house in a location that was not conducive to running (or biking, I would definitely do that if it were a safe option) to work.

    Of course, I have an added variable now. With day care being at my work place, I'd have to figure out how to bring a little one along every time. Probably not a very feasible thing. It's no big deal to me if I have to run or ride bike in a surprise rain storm but it may be a bigger deal if I'm stuck at work with a 4 month old and no way to get home without both of us getting soaked.

    In the end, if I could make everything work, I'd jump at the opportunity to commute on foot (or by bike). Unfortunately, it just wasn't a possibility to me. At least I did get myself close enough to work that I can get to and from work on less than 1 gallon of gas.

  • #25132

    About a year ago I accpeted a new job, and in large part the decision was focused around the fact that I could run to/from work. It was one of the best decisons I've ever made…..I knew that spending 40 min's behind the wheel of a car twice a day, 5 days a week was affecting me – but I did not know how much until I removed it from my life. I live and work in the city now…and it has changed my life.

    Truth is, I honestly believe that as a whole society, we need to rethink things. As a runner, this works for me. Time to make changes, serious ones, on an individual level.

      Absolutely agree 100%.  So many people really do not understand.  I choose to live in a town that is extremely bike-friendly.  I also choose to work and live within the same community.  Everywhere I have lived here has been an easy commute for work by bike.  I see people commuting by bike here through the whole year, in all types of weather.  I usually skip biking when the weather is windy or poses a significant threat of thunderstorms — I am to the point, though, that gas prices will make a bus pass a comparative bargain for days when I prefer to not bike.  There are shower facilities at work, but I do not need them for commuting by bike.  I suppose I could run it back and forth, instead, and have clothes there to change into.  However, at the present time other circumstances render it impractical, I am better off just running outside of my commute and continuing to bike the commute. 

  • #25133

    Basically, the problem is just getting the logistics right, e.g. right clothes/shoes at work when going back and forth for a couple of days is quite challenging when the weather is less predictable. As soon as you've accomplished that, your commute is converted into training.

    And I also considered biking, but like SBSpartan I would have to face some dangerous stretches of road. Nevertheless, I had to experience that running is also not without dangers, as I landed on the hood of car that slowly rolled into position for a red light right turn. Crosswalk showed the walk sign to me, but obviously the driver was not looking. No harm done, thanks to a big bus preventing the red light right turn. On a side note: it seems that running on a crosswalk is considered reckless and careless.

    True statement. The logistics are really the most difficult thing, as weather can be unpredictable. In the end, I had usually put my daily run in regardless of weather conditions anyway( except for cold temps mixed with rain – that I will not run in), so treking the 5 miles home in this unusually harsh winter was par for the course. Usually I just take in a little of the local news in the morning with my cup of coffe to plan what gear to with bring to work for the run home.

    (for the locals on the board) Milwaukee is truly a great city to run in, and is getting better in terms of what it has to offer for residents. There are many hidden jems in the downtown that most people have no clue about…some of which I woudnt' know about had I not decided to start commuting home via a jaunt  😉

    As runners I'm sure we all agree life is more than sucking exhuast on a turnpike. For me, this was the right step – no pun intended.

  • #25134

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    No doubt, I think the whole Milwaukee metro has some great places to run. I've been to other cities and had a lot of trouble finding routes anywhere near as good as what we take for granted around here. My work place actually is very near a bike trail and my home is very near two trails, one which connects with the Oak Leaf system in Milwaukee County and another that connects with the Glacial Drumlin, which of course connects with plenty of other trails on its way to Madison.

    Unfortunately, while we have a lot of great running options around here, we also have a lot of routes that are very difficult to traverse via foot or pedal. Places that lack sidewalks or decent shoulders, combined with heavy traffic often with drivers who aren't at all concerned about the safety of walkers/runners/cyclists who are trying to share the road. I know we all choose where to work and live but, sometimes, the pro of living and working in locations that are conducive to foot- or pedal-based commuting simply is outweighed by other cons so one is left making the most of what is available. For me, it's as short of a commute as reasonably possible.

    I've actually thought about whether the benefits of running or biking to work would be worth changing jobs but I simply found pretty quickly that jobs with the benefits and flexibility of my current job are hard to find (for a reason, no doubt) so I'm left taking the (at least relatively short) commute by vehicle.

  • #25135

    It's no big deal to me if I have to run or ride bike in a surprise rain storm but it may be a bigger deal if I'm stuck at work with a 4 month old and no way to get home without both of us getting soaked.

    FYI, Burley makes some great weather-tight bike trailers for toting tots, groceries, etc.

  • #25136

    Ryan – yea, i do realize that having children changes the flexibilties afforded to those of us who either don't have or have seen them leave the roost.  Working downtown I am also lucky enough to be able to jump on the paths along the lake avoiding vehicle congestion….

    I went to college an U of Wisconsin, madison, and enjoyed running in that city as well. Many of the towns in greater WI do no offer the same running environments as Milwaukee and Madison – leaving unsafe surfaces and running lanes on the shoulders of hwy's.

    Hearing about the glacer drumlin and oak leaf as you mention reminds me of the Madison/Milwaukee/Chicago relay. Good idea for a race….our team found it rather unorganized and very difficult to follow, But a good concept, as well as a great way to see some of the unique running trails S Wisc has to offer.

  • #25137

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I realize there are child carriers for bikes and I have a feeling we will be investing in one. Unfortunately, while that solves the weather problem, it doesn't do so much for the busy highway with little to no shoulder. I wouldn't want to ride bike by myself on that highway, I definitely wouldn't want to take her out there.

    Madison and Milwaukee definitely have more good alternatives than smaller towns, which I think should be understood. Smaller towns just don't have the resources to build such facilities.

    So, you have run the relay? Likewise, the team I was on had a bit of trouble following the course but I thought it was a lot of fun. Speaking of, if you're not on a team this year, I know a team that's looking for another runner. 😉

  • #25138

    I realize there are child carriers for bikes and I have a feeling we will be investing in one. Unfortunately, while that solves the weather problem, it doesn't do so much for the busy highway with little to no shoulder. I wouldn't want to ride bike by myself on that highway, I definitely wouldn't want to take her out there.

    Which is why I led off with “FYI” — I know nothing of the potential routes between your home and work except what you have stated here.

  • #25139

    ed
    Participant

    If I could afford to live in a safe neighborhood close to where I work in a home like I have now – I would likely do it.  If there were more jobs in my field close to where I live I could land one of them.  Trust me, every job opening in my field closer to my home gets my resume.

    I choose to give my children what I did not have and that is a gun free neighborhood.

    Also, I tend to produce gas when I run 🙂

    When is the Mad-Mil-Chi relay?

  • #25140

    I realize there are child carriers for bikes and I have a feeling we will be investing in one. Unfortunately, while that solves the weather problem, it doesn't do so much for the busy highway with little to no shoulder. I wouldn't want to ride bike by myself on that highway, I definitely wouldn't want to take her out there.

    Madison and Milwaukee definitely have more good alternatives than smaller towns, which I think should be understood. Smaller towns just don't have the resources to build such facilities.

    So, you have run the relay? Likewise, the team I was on had a bit of trouble following the course but I thought it was a lot of fun. Speaking of, if you're not on a team this year, I know a team that's looking for another runner. 😉

    There's more to it than facilities, smaller towns don't have the right attitude either.  In a small town cars have the right away.  I used to run on frontage roads in San Antonio.  That'd be asking for trouble where I live now in small town WI.  In fact, I'd probably get a ticket.  I was stopped once by a police officer and told to get on the sidewalk (funny thing is like many streets in my town, there wasn't a sidewalk).  I've been scolded for running alone and then yelled at for running side-by-side and in a bike lane, which would be okay if it was coming from an oncoming biker, but it was some fat lady in a car.

  • #25141

    I'd agree that smaller towns (generally) don't have a running conducive attitude…so much as my exp. Between college in Madison and living in Milwaukee, I lived in a smaller wisconsin town and running was near miserable. Again, another reason why I choose to live in downtown Milwaukee…..now if we could get a light rail system in the city, well, I guess thats a different forum (although the wisconsin citizen's devotion to thier vehicle is a direct reflection of why this has been squashed so many times, among other running/pedestrian related shortcomings.

    We were actually looking at putting together an fast team to try and break the course record on the relay this year, but I will be out of town that week and others were to frustrated with the logistics of it last year. I believe the relay is the first week of June…..

  • #25142

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ed, the relay is the first Friday/Saturday of June. The team I'm on is looking for someone who could carry a 6:30 or faster pace for 3-4 legs to improve the competitive prospects of the team.

    Sue, I know what you mean with that attitude but it unfortunately exists everywhere. Even using sidewalks and crosswalks, I get people saying I don't belong on the streets. I once flagged down a police car immediately after someone intentionally made a run at me with his truck and the police officer told me I shouldn't have been there and refused to even look for the truck or run the license plate number. I called the police department when I got home and nothing ever came of it.

    TG, I do think a lot of the problems we experience, from lack of facilities to lack of respect for pedestrian and bike friendly laws, comes down to the average American's (not just average Wisconsinite's as I see this everywhere I go, even to some extent in runner/cyclist friendly areas) devotion to personal motor vehicles. It's the whole “car = freedom” and “everyone has a right to drive” (what happened to driving being a privilege?) mindset. Anyway, maybe getting a bit off on a tangent but oh well.

  • #25143

    ed
    Participant

    Count me outta that one (this year at least) –

    I have not encountered bad attitudes in Port Washington, only those that drive distracted – like the lady that almost hit me as she was pulling away from McD's – she was lighting a cig with one hand and looking through her food bag with the other – she must have been driving with her knee.  She drove straight accross the sidewalk and into the niddle of the street.  That is when she hit the brakes, backed up and turned the direction she was “thinking” about going in. 

    If anything positive came of teh Jenny Crain incident it is that I am way more contious of drivers now than I was before. 

  • #25144

    I've found myself to always be extremely aware of both cyclists and more importantly drivers/vehicles when I run. This is why I don't and never will run with head phones. I know that there was discussion on another board about head phones, but I will just say that I am usually concentrating on both the run itself (particularly if it be a faster temp workout) as well as the various dangers we as runners face everytime we lace up. The other reason for no headphones – I like to leave everything behind when I run – everything.

    Having said that, I haven't run into much of an issue with anyone wearing them, and it doesn't bother me if people do. I kinda think that they do at thier own peril however.

    My point is that I've always been in hyper-awareness when I run. This is before the JC incident. Frankly, the running itselfs helps to heighten your senses I think – all the energy running through your body.

    I will say that ( and this is not directed at jenny crain, because I do no know the particulars about that) but many times I see runners, particularly those that are more along the lines of what you might call “competitive runners/elite” who are out for training runs opposed to those who are out simply for exercise, disregard traffic laws to avoid stoppage. Not only do I disagree that the stop interferes with the training run itself, but honestly, if we as runners expect cars to obey the laws and respect us – we must do the same. It is not about one or the other – it is simply about eveyone abiding by the rules put in place to keep people safe.  I may not want to stop at a do not cross signal, but I do until I am absolutely positive there is no right-of-way traffic. Even if it means breaking the rythm of a tempo run.

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