I’m a lot of things, but I’m not more things. One of the many things I am not is a running coach. I do not run professionally in any capacity. But I’ve had a bit of success with this method, so I figured, why not share? Obviously if try them and suffer up to and including an accident we never talked, though, okay?
You’ve most likely read about elite athletes performing two-a-days as part of their training plan. It’s exactly what it sounds like: two workouts in one day. What those workouts consists of varies from athlete to athlete, but for a lot of pro runners both workouts are runs.
Of course, the distance elites are doing, like, 9 miles in the morning and 6 in the evening or whatever. Probably more. That sounds like a lot to me, a decidedly non-professional. A hobbyist, even. But a hobbyist with running goals nonetheless. Anything the elites do can be modified for the average-at-best, right? So I decided to try adding some two-a-days to my training plan.
And weirdly, it worked? Almost immediately? I don’t get it either.
I was apprehensive, too – I decided to try out a 4 miler in the morning and a 2 miler in the evening. The 4 miler went well enough, but the 2 miler was great! There’s something about a really short run; knowing you don’t have far to go allows you to let loose. I wasn’t sprinting, but I wasn’t holding back in the slightest, and for a person on their second run of the day I was speedy and felt awesome.
Surely that was a one time thing, though? Surely I couldn’t repeat the feeling?
Yet somehow I’ve incorporated full weeks of two-a-days into my training plan and they always work out, with my second, 2 mile run almost invariably coming in under a nine minute mile average. That’s pretty good for me, especially considering I’m not trying my absolute hardest. In a tropical climate, no less.
My long runs are benefitting too. I had one of my best 10 mile runs a couple weeks ago that was one of my best ever outside a race, and that’s in the Puerto Rico heat! The only thing I’ve changed lately is adding those two-a-days. Go figure.
Alas, there are no guarantees in life. Perhaps it’s only a fluke. Perhaps you’ll try it and it just won’t work for you. But for now, I’m enjoying the vigor my experiment has injected into my training. Is not the #1 rule of run training to keep it funky fresh?
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