Just the term “double-day” conjures up memories of high school sports with grueling 5am practices only to be followed by another tough practice after school. But now that we are all grown athletes trying to log miles on our own hectic schedules, double days don’t need to provoke fear upon mere utterance of the words. In fact, running twice a day is a great way to increase your mileage and get yourself into marathon-shape faster.
According to a recent article from Competititor Running, running twice a day depletes glycogen content and boosts fat oxidation and enzyme activity which improves performance. Double days also give your body a chance to rest and refuel between runs; imagine how much easier two four-mile runs would be on your body than a single, eight-miler.
But Take It Easy
As with any increase in mileage, make sure you slowly introduce your double-days. It is also important that you add a double workout before or after your hardest workouts. Most coaches recommend introducing a slow, 20-45 minute run after an interval or speed workout.
Be sure to give your body between 5-8 hours to recover before heading out on your second run for the day. Runner’s World touts that the second run increases your weekly mileage and aids recovery from the first workout by increasing blood flow to the muscles and flushing out l waste metabolites. Although it seems counter-intuitive, that second run can function almost like a massage and make your recovery time from tough workouts faster.
The bottom line is that training twice a day can be a great way to increase your miles to boost performance, aid in recovery from tough runs and maintain a reasonable work-life-run balance of before and after work runs. What are your thoughts? Do you swear by double-days, or does it all seem just a bit too hard-core?