Does running twice daily double the benefits?

Running twice daily can enhance your long distance training program

It’s tough enough to find time to run once a day, let alone twice.

But, if you’re training long distance for a big race, sometimes breaking the daily trek into two pieces can be beneficial.

Take it from someone who’s tried this regimen: There are good things and there are bad things.

Which outweighs the other is the eternal paradox.

In the big picture, there is one obvious plus, namely, that doing a second afternoon or early evening session, you will be a lot fresher for those late miles than trying to do the whole thing in the morning.

In an article which appeared on the “Strength Running’’ website, author Jason Fitzgerald related his personal experiences with a twice daily program.

First, he notes, this sort of plan is not for everyone. When you’re 17, 25 or 31, the body recovers quicker. Those of us on the north side of 40, 50 or beyond might have a different reaction.

Fitzgerald says that double sessions really only work if the runner is committed to doing them virtually everyday, the theory being that strength builds strength.

Here are some other recommendations:

>Run a long run every week.

>Run striders every week.

>“Sandwich” each run with a dynamic warm-up and a post-run strength workout.

>Run a faster workout at least once per week (surges or fartleks are a good place to start before advancing to tempo runs).

>Increase the number of days you run to 4-5 at a minimum.

By running twice a day, you stay committed to a dedicated strategy. And, trust me, you will sleep soundly at night.

And there’s a very good chance you’re going to lose those five unwanted pounds. Who of us can’t appreciate that?

Fitzgerald adds:

>Doubles increase your mileage. Higher mileage makes faster runners through increased endurance and efficiency.

>Doubles boost recovery. When you run a short, easy run 8-personally hours after a hard session (and the total mileage isn’t too extreme for you pesonally) you enhance the recovery process.

>Doubles prime you to run fast. When you run a short, easy run (and perhaps some striders) in the morning before an afternoon workout or race, you’re priming your body to perform later in the day.

Now, a few words of caution:

Running twice a day obviously can heighten the risk of injury. As previously mentioned, stretching is very important.

There might be heightened fatigue at first. Sleep more, make extra coffee and run with partners or with headphones to get through the tougher miles.

In making the final call, use good judgment and common sense. Listen to your body. If you can handle a second session each day, go for it. But taking the necessary precautions we’ve listed. There’s no exact science for this. . .each individual is unique and the demands, drawbacks and benefits are different for each individual.

 

Race calendar

 

BCRR Winter Series Pick Your Way 5-Miler, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com

 

 

Wayne Fish
About Wayne Fish 331 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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