Want to take your training to the next level?
Then consider running twice a day.
The average runner has enough trouble finding time for one run, let alone for two.
In fact, two-a-day runs are generally thought to be only meant for elite athletes running for a living.
But that doesn’t mean that you should scoff at running doubles altogether.
In today’s post, I’ll go over some of the benefits of running doubles as well as how to add them to your workout routine without risking injury or burnout.
The Benefits of Running Twice A Day
Anything you can do to increase your training load could contribute to your overall improvement.
Here’s what you stand to gain for running twice a day.
Increase Weekly Mileage
Whether you’re running for stress relief or preparing for your next race, running doubles racks up your weekly mileage, especially if you can’t run on certain days due to a tight schedule.
Train in a Depleted State
The main goal of running twice a day is to force your body into a glycogen depleted state, which improves training adaptations, especially if you’re training for an endurance race.
Research also shows that fat oxidation, glycogen content, and enzyme activity increase when exercising twice per day.
Improved Body Response
Running twice a day puts extra load on your body in terms of endurance and recovery.
This helps your body respond faster.
By reducing the time between sessions, you’re challenging your body to bounce back faster.
The faster you can recover, the better off you’re going to be.
The Downsides Of Running Twice A Day
Aside from the fact that running doubles means double the sweaty laundry, running twice a day has its shortcomings.
In fact, the same benefits of running doubles can actually backfire if you’re not doing them the right way.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to.
Running is a high impact exercise that causes a lot of physical stress, and even this type of stress triggers physical adaptations, adding too much at once can prove problematic.
Logging two shorter sessions of roughly 30 to 40 minutes, which, while helpful, can be less efficient for improving your endurance.
Running Twice A Day – The How
Add a second run to a day with an intense workout that pushes you, such as tempo run, hill reps, or intervals.
Make sure your second run is easy and can be done at any time of the day, whether it’s prior or after your scheduled high-quality workout.
Don’t worry about speed or intensity—just opt for a conversational pace for maximum benefit.
Shoot for at least eight to ten hours between the two sessions.
Spacing out your runs with a shorter period of time isn’t as effective as your body won’t be well recovered.
For the first few weeks, only complete one double per week.
Once you feel comfortable with the extra load, you may add a second.
As you get fitter, you can do double runs in all sorts of different ways, depending on your fitness level and training goals.
Don’t Break Up Your Long Runs
I won’t recommend that you double up on your long run day.
Running twice a day won’t replace the long run—certain endurance and fitness adaptations can only be gained by long, continuous running.
For improving muscle strength and endurance, running doubles shouldn’t replace those weekly long runs.
In other words, if you’re aiming to build your endurance base, prioritize long runs over shorter double sessions.
There you have it.
If you’re serious about running twice a day, the above guidelines should help you do it in the most pain-free and efficient manner possible.
The rest is just details.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep running strong.