Running success is best achieved with consistency over weeks, months, and years. Furthermore, as we discussed in the “Train More, Run Faster” series, you may have hit a running plateau simply due to your lack of mileage. Therefore, it might be time to introduce a second run to your day a few times per week, which we will refer to as ‘doubling’.
Here are the the top 5 reasons why you should ‘double’:
1. It is a great way to increase your mileage without the added stress on your body. Your form is more likely to breakdown after 8-10 miles, which can make miles 10-14 ‘un-pretty’ shall we say. By running 8-10 miles in the morning and 4 in the evening, you will maintain your form, keep that bounce in your stride, and reduce the likelihood of injury. That being said, I would not recommend running 7 miles in the morning and 7 miles in the afternoon. Simply put, you will lose out on the aerobic benefit.
Side note: allow 4-6 hours between runs.
2. YOU WILL BURN MORE CALORIES and your metabolism will remain elevated after both workouts.
3. It is a great way to warm-up for a race or big workout later in the day. Several elite athletes do a ‘shake-out’ run in the morning with a quality session in the afternoon. The ‘shake-out’ is typically 20-35 minutes.
4. You will become more efficient. There is a reason the elite runners who consistently log well in excess of 100 miles per week appear to be running effortlessly. They are practicing more. By doubling, you will give yourself an opportunity to practice more, which will inadvertently improve your efficiency.
5. You will start to recognize your stride. If you do not run for a few days (or weeks), you may notice it takes some time to ‘get your running legs back’. When you are doubling, running becomes second nature.
How to Start: get out the door for 10 minutes at your regular training pace 2-3 days per week and gradually increase that second run to 30-40 minutes. Reduce the length of your main run by the time you plan on doubling at first and slowly increase the length of both runs over the course of 4-6 weeks.
A couple things to think about:
– Less time for recovery
– More time in the shower (more laundry)