How You can Benefit from Running Twice a Day
At almost every distance, the pros know the benefits of running twice a day. Elite runners regularly do it. It’s their job to get in high miles and running twice a day is the easiest way to do that. You may not get paid to run, but you can still take advantage of some of the things the pros do.
The coach I’ve been working with is a firm believer in high mileage. “Miles per week and times out the door” is what he tells us. This leads to cumulative fatigue – running on tired legs better prepares you for the rigors of the marathon. High miles and hard workouts are the key. So, I’ve been running more miles than ever. A lot more. In my previous marathon training in 2011, I cracked 40 miles twice. This cycle, I started with a strong base of over 45 and have topped out at two 75 mile weeks.
One way (perhaps the only way), I’ve been able to hit these miles is by running twice a day. If you’re looking to ramp up your miles and hit a specific goal, (and also have a busy life), you may benefit from running twice a day.
Benefits of Running Twice a Day
Although you need to shower twice, the most obviously benefit of running twice a day is the ability to hit those higher miles. For me, once I got beyond 50 miles per week, it got really hard to find enough time to fit in 8 – 10 miles every day in one shot. Instead, I run 6 or 7 in the morning, and 4 or 5 at night.
Runners World also reports benefits related to fat-burning and faster recovery. “Studies suggest doubling up and running in a depleted state can boost fat-burning, train the body to use glycogen more efficiently, and stimulate mitochondria production (more mitochondria can delay fatigue). By shortening the time between runs, you’re challenging your body to recover faster,” Also, “logging two 40-minute runs delivers a double boost of human growth hormone (production peaks about 40 minutes into a run), which helps build and repair muscle.”
How to Run Twice a Day
Running twice a day isn’t complicated, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Make sure your second run of the day is in a fresh pair of shoes.
- Space them at least 5 hours apart. Longer is better, but too soon as you won’t get the benefits.
- Make one run super easy. My second run is always that way. It’s just about getting those miles on the legs.
When You Shouldn’t do a Second Run
If you’re new to running, or prone to injury, don’t try this. Also, don’t do this if you don’t need to. If you’re currently not running 7 days a week, you’ll probably be better off adding an extra day instead of an extra run.
Also, don’t double up on your workout or long run day. Unless you’re running really high miles, anytime you need to run 10 miles (except for your workout or long run) to hit your weekly miles, break it into two shorter runs.