d.c. area trails, training
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Doubling the Fun: Running Doubles

Amby Burfoot running quote

Image: Runners World

There are some people who run twice a day. Sounds crazy, right? But for those trying to increase their weekly mileage, it makes sense.

I logged my first “double,” as they call it in the running world, on Sunday. I didn’t plan for it; it just happened.

My original plan was to do one morning run on the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail in the Bethesda/Potomac area of Montgomery County, Md. I set out around 10 a.m. It was my first time checking out the trail, so I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there. I didn’t think it would be that hard to find. I mean, it’s a trail located in an urban area, near major highways. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

I was wrong. I couldn’t find it. I admit, I probably didn’t search hard enough, but it was getting hot and late, so I went with plan B instead. I ran around Cabin John Regional Park and on some of the roads around the area. It was a so-so run, about 3 miles. Not the most satisfying, but it was still a run.

A few plans changed that day, which allowed me to squeeze in a second run in the evening. The weather was beautiful, but I wanted to ensure a solid 8 miles, so I opted for the treadmill. I know, I know… waste of good weather. I did my post-stretch outside though, so it wasn’t completely wasted.

I felt satisfied after the second round, and then started thinking… I should run doubles more often, maybe once a week. It’ll be a good way to log in more miles.

A year ago, I never would have considered running twice in one day. It’s hard enough to get one run in, let alone two. But then again, a year ago, I’m not sure if I would even consider running more than one race a year, and now here I am…


Notes on running doubles

Benefits:

  • Good way to increase weekly mileage
  • Trains body to recover from runs faster
  • Minimizes physical and psychological stress on body
  • Boosts hormonal response, which helps increase speed
  • Increases weight loss

Downsides:

  • Takes up extra time from the day
  • Not beneficial if maximum weekly mileage goal is 20

Other notes:

  • Runs should be spaced at least 5 hours apart
  • One of the runs should be easy, the other more difficult
  • Running doubles should not replace long runs
  • Re-hydrate and consume sufficient carbs and protein following first run to speed recovery

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