On Running Twice A day

Sometimes I run twice a day. And you know what? That second run of the day is usually easier (mentally AND physically) than the first. Say whatttt? Before you count me out as crazy, listen to my reasoning.

I do well with higher mileage (50+ mpw), but sometimes that can be tough to reach through singles (once a day runs). I usually only have an hour to run before work (7-8 miles) and since I’m not marathon training, my long runs are usually maxing at out 13-14 miles (vs. 20-22).

With the Philly half less than a month away, I’ve ramped my mileage up these last few weeks. One thing that’s helped me do that is twice-a-day runs. I don’t do it everyday, but I find them particularly helpful on workout days or days when I need to “run errands” after work.

What’s the point of running twice a day, you ask? Well, like I mentioned before, it helps you increase mileage while also adding in some extra recovery time. If you run 6 miles in the a.m. and 4 miles in the p.m., you’re still running 10 miles, but your legs have some down time in the middle. Personally, I think the best part of higher mileage (and doubles) is that it improves running economy. Running economy means you can run faster and longer while using less energy. i.e. running feels easier. And who doesn’t want that?

However, you’ve gotta be realistic. Are you injury prone? Have you recently taken time off from running? Do you usually run less than 40 miles per week? If the answer to those questions is “YES”, doubles probably aren’t such a hot idea. And that’s okay! Sometimes quality >> quantity. But if you’ve got the itch to get sweaty more than once a day, here are my tips:

  • 1) Start with 1-2 doubles a week. And keep those secondary runs to 20-30 minutes. I really like running an easy 2-3 mile “shake out” run the morning before a tempo or track workout. It puts me in a good mindset for the rest of the day and loosens up my legs.
  • 2) Allow at least 5 (preferably more) hours between runs. For example, if you run at 7am, it’s fine to run a few easy miles during your lunch break, but if you can wait until after work – even better!
  • 3) Don’t run two hard workouts in the same day (duh) and don’t run a double the same day as your long run. Post long run, focus on stretching, refueling, and napping. You’ve worked hard, don’t over do it.
  • 4) For weekend long runs, it’s better to do the miles all in one shot. If you’ve got a 14 miler planned, running 7 miles in the a.m. and 7 miles in the p.m. is not the same thing. You need to train yourself to be on your feet for hours at a time – you won’t have an 8 hour break during the actual half-marathon or marathon race!

Want to read more? Check out this Running Times article on doubles.

One of the side effects of doubles? I’m extra hungry! On Wednesday, the man-friend and I headed to one of my favorite places in NYC for a mid-week treat. The Frying Pan is an actual ship that’s docked in the Hudson River. During the warm weather months, an on-board bar and grill serves up beer, burgers, sandwiches, and a great sunset view.  We ordered a pitcher of Sam Adams to split and I chowed down on a house-made veggie burger with avocado and lots of ketchup.

Yummmm.

Until Thursday, I had to make dinners that didn’t require any sort of heat. My microwave and toaster are in storage in PA and the gas stove/burners in my new apartment weren’t set up yet. It was a challenge, but with all my fresh produce I was able to whip up some no-cook dinners.

Monday – Gazpacho.  No real recipe for this. I just chopped up 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 onion, and 1 clove of garlic and processed in the blender (in two batches, so it didn’t overflow). Then I added salt, pepper, some hot sauce, and generous drizzle of olive oil. I reserved some cucumber and tomato slices to add in to the finished gazpacho. It’s a nice way to vary the texture. Top with goat cheese or feta!

Tuesday – Tuna Salad. Super simple to make. I mixed a can of Wild Planet Foods albacore tuna (soo much better than bumblebee/chicken of the sea!) with a little mayo and mustard. Then, I scooped it on top of salad greens, raw green beans, and goat cheese. I ate toast with tomato, mayo, and fancy sea salt on the side. Yes, I admit. I love mayonnaise.

Thursday – Corn, Walnut, and Feta Salad (adapted from Real Simple). I followed the Real Simple recipe to a T, but then added a chopped carrot and some sauteed chard and garlic to bulk it up a bit. Perfect, portable lunch!

Friday – Baba Ganoush (a David Lebovitz recipe).

This recipe was fairly labor intensive – it called for charring the eggplants over the gas burners before roasting them. If someone walked into my kitchen and saw this, I’m sure they would have called the fire department (yup, those gas burners are on!). But it was worth it for a nice smokey flavor.


Once the eggplant was charred on the outside, I roasted it until tender (30 minutes at 400 F). Then proceeded with the recipe – which basically just involved peeling the eggplant and combining it with the other ingredients in a blender.

Pita chips, are you ready for this?

What’s your favorite no-cook recipe? It might come in handy if Hurricane Irene shuts off the power…

  • Samantha

    I LOVE the Frying Pan! Such a great place. And great tips on running doubles 🙂 

  • I’m also going to have to start adding in doubles as my mileage creeps up. I agree that adding in even 2-3 miles the morning of a p.m. workout helps my workouts go much better, and “running” errands also helps squeeze in a few extra miles instead of taking the subway or driving. I rarely do lunchtime runs because it’s hard to escape my desk, and it’s tough to change, run, shower and get back in an hour. However, a lunch time 3-4 miler sounds much more reasonable!

    Today I had a ‘no cook’ lunch– thawed (pre-cooked) shrimp, sliced baby tomatoes, and feta cheese drizzled with balsamic and olive oil. Yum! You did pretty well on a whole week of eating without it…CSA veggies to the rescue!

  • Man. Doubles may be in my future. Trying to have keep up with required mileage has been pretty tough for me to fit into 6 runs a week. My only problem is I hate showering twice a day. Gotta do what you gotta do!
    I love the Frying Pan! Went a couple times when I was in NYC.
    Fave no-cook meals include “whatever’s in the fridge salad” plus hummus and crackers! Oooh I love Baba Ganoush. Good luck with Irene!

  • I’ve been doing doubles on Tuesdays because my training plan usually calls for six miles, but I do a 5K loop around Rice U. with my coworkers those nights. Even though the PM run usually ends up being my fastest of the week, it’s freakin’ HOT at 7PM and I’m always ready to be done after one loop like the rest of the group. I’ve been doing the other three on the treadmill those mornings for speedwork.

    I’ve never done a long run double, though!

  • I’ve thought that running twice a day (now, while I have time) would help me up my mileage to >40 mpw, but being below that and not running that long (timewise), it may not being smartest idea for me, yet! We shall see!

    My Irene plan = PEANUT BUTTER.

  • I’m a new runner, but this eggplant looks AMAZING.  I’ve never picked out an egg plant in the supermarket.  Any tips?

  • I’ve always wanted to try doubles – maybe during my next training cycle. 

    Lately I have been making this black bean, corn and avocado salad with tons of cilantro and lime juice. It’s super easy and delicious! And gaahhhhh, I hope we don’t lose power. Hope you are staying safe, friend!

  • Devon Crosby-Helms

    I love doing doubles. I have found it very beneficial to my training and in maintaining a high mileage level. I can run upwards of 20 miles a day over two runs and recover faster from hard workouts. I’ve found, now that I work on my feet a lot, that the second run actually helps loosen my legs from work and gives me more energy after a hard day at work. Plus, its fun!

  • Grace @ Balancing Me

    I just had that veggie burger myself last weekend at the Frying Pan! Fun fact: one of my friends and her boyfriend ordered a seafood feast from there: BOTH the lobster and the clams — apparently, the Frying Pan knows what it’s doing — it was delish.

    You’re probably going to think I’m gross, but twice-a-day runs turn me off primarily because I think about the double-shower duty I have to do and I inevitably get pretty lazy. Once a day works for me!  😉  In the summer, though, when I typically take two showers a day anyway .. I’ll often pop into a spinning class or other cross training vs. running twice a day.

    Hope your new Brooklyn apartment is all safe after Irene!  🙂

  • Anonymous

    haha, i totally understand not wanting to shower twice a day. i’m a little gross and usually only shower once…but luckily i don’t sweat a ton. i probably shouldn’t be posting that online though 😉

  • Anonymous

    hmm, about picking a ripe eggplant…i honestly don’t know! these two were given to me by a friend who has a garden. i guess look for eggplants that are not wrinkled (i.e. firm skin)? i generally don’t like the texture of eggplants – too squishy – but i gobbled this baba ganoush right up!

  • Anonymous

    re: peanut butter….the man-friend and i used four (yes four!) different peanut butters on our toast this morning. dark chocolate dreams, white chocolate wonderful, bee’s knees, and regular creamy. we were well prepared 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i love “whatever’s in the fridge” salads! usually i’ll cook a veggie burger and chop that up and add it in. sort of makes the random combination of ingredients feel more like a meal.

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  • jake

    i just started running again , and i can tell you doubles are great for me , its summer time and all the grls are out , i figured it was time to get the sixpack back and be in shape, i have had great results running early in the morning and

    a few hours after dinner , it keeps my BMR at a higher rate longer and trains my muscles, (i run my sprints b4 i go to bed , you will rais your cardia rythem and body tempo longer and harder sprinting as opposed jogging long distances) when you run sprints they increase your fast twitch muscles, ….recap running 2 adays is more efficeant and great for beginning runners

    – jake –

    PS- appreciate all those pple that post story’s and information, , thanks for the motivation & tip =)