Talkback: When two runs a day beat one

Interesting article.  I'm currently training for a marathon in May.  I'm in a 36 mile week at the moment, and the programme I'm following peaks at 44.  Whilst I'd love to do a double, I can't whilst working, however I have a holiday scheduled late in april 4 weeks before the race- would I benefit from adding some extra miles that week by doing some double runs?


  • I split my 12 my run into two halves a couple of weeks ago mainly down to time issues. I was surprised at how easy the second run was and how good I felt the next day. After reading the article above I have now decided to introduce double runs into my schedule, I have a couple of sring marathons planned in April. It certainly makes sense when time is tight and I can't always fit in a two run in one go.
  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    So, if the second run enhances recovery, even when fatigued from a previous run, how many runs should I do in a day before I physically feel like I haven't run at all?

    I love this sentence: "Research looking into training twice a day versus once a day for the same total weekly volume has shown that the increases in aerobic enzymes (proteins that facilitate energy production) can be potentially greater when doing two bouts of exercise relatively close together."  It's been shown to possibly have the potential!  That's genuinely nearly a fact, almost!

    There are plenty of good reasons for doing doubles, not only because your spouse has demanded you wash twice a day.  Dual stimulus sessions in a day, shorter runs can be harder, reducing glycogen depletion for harder later sessions, time management, morning runs on empty...  It would be nice if a plan was backed up with latest theory, rather than a suggestion backed up by pseudoscience and anecdote.

  • I think the growth hormone stimulation for quicker recovery, as a result of doubling up in a day is the key factor. When I used to do one run in a day and then do nothing the next day , thinking that would allow me to recover best. I find that after the day off I have not recovered at all. If you are not doing things your whole body chemistry gets lazy and doesn't recover as well from my experience. So I definitely agree this is something beneficial.
  • I started double training days in October and found them tough to start with, mentally as much as physically because I didn't always fancy putting my running shoes on again in the evening. But after several weeks I seemed to benefit, and after five I set a new half marathon PB, and then a new marathon PB after 12 weeks. It might just have been the extra mileage, of course, but it's worth giving them a go. I'm not a morning person so I do a slow morning jog after coffee then a  harder session in the evening. 

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Twice a day is great for conditioning as the body doesn't suffer such a shock to the system as it would, as JH mentioned.

    However, a marathon is one long run. Unless you're already doing the 63 miles per week (racing distance = 3 x average daily mileage) a collection of short runs adding up to normal 'one a day' training won't be any good.

    One very long run once a fortnight with all the others being double 'shorts' would be beneficial, as the training effects of an over distance run, lasts for a long time. You don't have to run them each week.


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