The latest edition of Running Times arrived today in the mail. Although they have great online selections, I still like to get the print version. In this issue, there is a very interesting article by Greg McMillan titled, Double Your Pleasure, Two-A-Days Could Be Your Marathon Secret Weapon. He talks about that if you want to run faster, you need to run more. Now I know that there are many training theories out there about running faster and also about running more. But what he has to say makes good sense. He states that most of the "best" runners run a lot. We all know that you can increase your mileage slowly over a period of time to increase your endurance. Then we also know that on week three or four depending on your training plan you cut down on the number of miles to do some recovery and to avoid injury. Your training plan needs to have a cycle to increase and decrease mileage.
Here's where he got my attention. He talks about that at some point you just can't add more miles to your daily run. Other things get in your way, time, other responsibilities, etc. The answer to greater mileage comes in the form of "doubling" your runs. He suggests to add doubles to your hard run days. For instance, if you are running 8 miles for example (or more depending on your training plan) in the morning, add a late day run of 30-45 minutes at an easy pace. Try doing this two times a week at first for a month and then if it goes well and if you really want maximum effect add it three to four times a week avoiding your long run days. This will help you as you train for that fall marathon or ultra-marathon. I also think it can be very effective for runners wanting to run 10K's and half-marathons. Of course, training run distances will vary.
I would also make the suggestion that it would be an interesting opportunity to also maybe add a spin every now and then or some hill work as long as they are not at or above the efforts of the morning run. Try a swim also, see if that adds a punch to your workouts. As always, listen to your body! You may require more calories, more stretching time before each training session, and also increased hydration.
I am going to be "Doubling" on Tuesday's and Thursday's the next few weeks so I will report back on how it is going and what benefits I see.
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!