When you’re trying to increase mileage the idea of running twice a day sounds both appealing and horrible. It can be a great tool when used appropriately and a recipe for disaster if you do it too frequently or with the wrong intention.
There’s a difference between doing a double and splitting up your long run.
Today we’re talking more specifically about running twice in a day that’s not related to your long run.
Is running twice a day good?
When used correctly it can be a great tool to build your mileage and we’re going to dive in to exactly how to do that below.
If, however, you’ve found yourself running twice a day for weight loss, I encourage you to put the kabash on that and go pick up the weights.
Strength training and running as a combo are going to be far more effective than two a days running for fat loss.
How many times a day should you run?
On a normal day, once. And in a given week probably 4-5 days for most runners.
I’ve stated before that I’m not a fan of running everyday for most people. Again, it depends on your goals, but most runners benefit from having enough energy to put towards strength training and time to put in to recovery so that they can actually improve their performance.
Why run twice a day?
Running twice a day is an opportunity to slowly add mileage to your week with a little less stress on the body. It’s a very useful tool for those who are injury prone or crazy busy, but determined to run marathon!
Building endurance is a key to success for reaching that next PR. There’s a reason elite runners put in over 100 miles a week…it works.
- If your run is just not going well and you’ve tried all the mental tricks, but need to stop…stop. Then give yourself the option to try it again later.
- Instead of running 7 days a week, you can run 5 days with 2 doubles. Still giving yourself COMPLETE recovery days to maximize impacts of training.
- Adding a second run of 1-2 miles once or twice a week is a gradual way to increase mileage
- Breaking a longer mid-week run in to two can allow you to go farther in total on the day. Plus 2 runs of 6 and 4 miles are easier on the body than 10 miles straight through.
- Running easy in the morning and then doing a short hard session in the evening allows you to really keep easy, easy and hard hard
How to do double runs?
One of the keys to running twice a day is that you MUST stay on top of hydration and nutrition for the entire day.
You need to fully recover from the first session, allowing you to maximize the benefits of the second session.
- Start by only adding 1 double day to your schedule (think of the 10% rule in running)
- Refuel after your first run
- Sip electrolytes all day long
- Grab a pre-run snack before your second run
- Give yourself at least 4-6 hours between the runs, more if you can to optimize recovery time. Less time is ok when both runs are easy, more time when one run is a workout.
- NEVER skimp on recovery if you are in the process of adding miles or adding workouts.
Next up is the idea of doing a triple.
Where does that fit in to training? For a lot of top performers it can look like a morning run followed by strength training, then a lot of rest and an evening session.
For Ultrarunners it could look like a double day and then a long run the next day, so it’s not technically 3 runs in the same day, but 3 runs that are all within 36 hours of each other. This is MUCH easier on the body than doing a 50 mile training run and yet still gives you a lot of adaptations from running while tired.
Need more marathon training help?
- 11 Marathon Training Tips Everyone Needs to Know
- How to Avoid Marathon Training Burnout
- Signs You Need a Rest Day
- Fueling Tips for a Marathon
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