One thing I’ve been struggling with for awhile is adding more miles to my weekly routine.
On the surface, this really shouldn’t be that difficult.
The easiest solutions are to either run more on the days that I am already running or adding additional days of running each week.
But therein lies the problem.
I’m already running five days per week, and I really like having a couple of non-running days per week.
And as for running more on the days that I already run, due to life that’s a little easier said than done.
Is it doable? Yes. Absolutely.
I’m admittedly a slow starter in the morning. And try as I might, I just can’t seem to get out the door to begin my run in less than an hour after waking up.
Perhaps the solution for my dilemma is the one I’ve been trying to avoid for the past year: double days.
What are Double Days?
Double days, or doubles, are simply running twice on the same day.
Typically, double days are a morning run and an evening run, though it doesn’t have to be spread out quite so far.
No need to overthink things, however.
Two runs, one day.
Are Doubles Right for You?
It feels to me like double days have a certain aura about them.
Almost like you’re not a serious runner if you don’t add doubles to the mix on a regular basis.
The fact of the matter is that double days aren’t the right choice for a lot of runners.
So before you just go and start adding double days to your routine, you first need to stop and think about if you really should be doing doubles anyway.
From where I sit, I’d actually rate doubles as almost the last resort when it comes to adding more volume to your training load.
If you can add an extra mile or few to a couple of your already scheduled runs, that is a better option.
And if you can add an extra run on a non-running day to your calendar, while still maintaining a rest day or two (at least) per week, that would also be a better option.
But if your schedule simply won’t allow you to add another day to the mix nor allow you to run a bit longer during your currently scheduled runs, then you might think about adding doubles to the mix.
Intelligently Adding Double Days to Your Schedule
If you’re deciding that the thing you need to do to increase your training volume is to add doubles to your schedule, you need to do so intelligently.
The last thing any of us want to do is wind up injured and unable to run, and recklessly adding doubles to the mix is a good way to increase your risk of suffering an injury.
I know I talk about running easy a lot.
For some folks, maybe I even oversell the value of running easy.
If you’re going to add double days to the mix, your second run of the day HAS to be a low-intensity run.
Ok, maybe it doesn’t have to be. But it should be.
When it comes to soft tissue injuries, the most likely time for an injury to happen is when you’re pushing the intensity.
For your second run of the day, your muscles are likely to be tighter since recovery from the first run is still taking place.
As such, if you try to hammer some hard repeats on legs that are still tight/recovering from a run earlier in the day, your risk of a soft tissue injury is going to be higher.
I would also make the argument that if you’re going to do a double then both of your runs should be easy. But if push comes to shove, definitely keep the second run of the day low key.
Exaggerate Your Warm Up
Too many runners overlook the value of a good warm up.
I know, because I was one of them for the longest time.
If you’re going to run for a second time in the same day, a throurough warm-up before your second one is simply not optional.
If you’re too short on time to warm-up before your second run, then you don’t have time to do a second run of the day.
Don’t Go Crazy with the Doubles
If you’re thinking about adding doubles to your training mix, don’t go crazy ok?
Start with adding one day of doubles and then hang out there for several weeks before you even think of adding another double to your schedule.
Remember, when it comes to adding volume to our training if you add too much too quickly you are putting your body at a real risk for injury.
It doesn’t matter how you add the miles.
Volume is volume.
So instead of going crazy with adding doubles, introduce them gradually.
Don’t Hesitate to Scrap a Double
My final bit of advice when it comes to adding double days to your schedule is to not be afraid to skip your double days.
Remember, no workouts are do or die and nothing is set in stone when it comes to your training.
So if you’re feeling tired or run down at the end of the work day and you’re supposed to get your second run in, it’s ok to skip it.
No need to run your system down even more trying to squeeze in a second run of the day.
In that case, you’re better off listening to your body and getting some extra rest.
Remember that rest and recovery is every bit (if not more) important to your success in our sport as more miles.
So if you feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends, stop!
Give yourself permission to skip the double and opt for some extra rest.
Because in most cases, that will do more for your improvement toward your goals than a few extra miles for the day.
Have You Ever Done Doubles as Part of Your Training?
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