Two running workouts a day is common among professionals, but it’s not just the elite who train with that frequency.
Among amateurs, there are also many athletes who run doubles and feel great about increasing their training progress. Even though there is no reliable scientific evidence about the benefits of this approach. Nevertheless, logic and experience tell us that running twice a day is very effective in some cases.
First, there is an opportunity to increase the volume of work without creating an increased risk of injury and giving the body time to recover. For example, two 10-kilometer races with a six-hour time gap between them will be more loyal to the body than a single 20-kilometer run.
Second, the second training, if it is done in a gentle mode, is similar to cross-training (running + cycling, running + swimming, etc.). In this case the recovery process may not only not worsen, but even accelerate, stimulating an increase in the production of growth hormone.
Third, it is much easier to replenish glycogen and other nutrients after two short workouts than after a marathon race. And this also has a direct effect on your recovery rate.
Fourth, some athletes, on the contrary, go into their second workout without proper glycogen reserves. In this way, the body adapts to working in a depleted state. Studies conducted on triathletes and cyclists show that this approach has merit.
Fifth, for many amateur runners, cramming two short workouts into their daily schedule is sometimes easier than dedicating two hours to one big run. And the good mood is evenly distributed throughout the day. However, this is an individual nuance.
It is important to remember the following points:
- The second run should not be intense if we are talking about an amateur level. It may be allowed only with a professional trainer for serious training and not on a permanent basis.
- Add doubles gradually, for example, start with one a week and add another one a week later.
- Do not run twice a day for an extended period of time. In the long run, it can threaten with banal overtraining combined with injuries and take you out of the game for a long time.
- Even a core workout is not mandatory. We always prioritize only our own well-being, regardless of the level of the athlete. What to say about doubles – at the slightest indisposition it is better to abandon the race until the causes are clarified and let the body rest.
- The main goal of running, like everything else in life, is to have fun. Therefore, if running twice a day contributes less to this than the classic one-shot approach, it is better to return to the old training regime.