Double Run Days

Talk to me about double run days, v. one single longer run, or consecutive run days. What are the downsides? Are there benefits? Would the total time/distance across 2 runs need to be higher to get the same load?

I’m currently on a bit of a run focus, with half an eye on a spring marathon or 20 miler. Currently up to 4 run days a week from my usual 2 or 3, with midweek runs at 1 hour and weekend ramping up to 2hr. Will struggle to get beyond 1hr midweek, yesterday I added in 30min morning run to get 1.5hr for the day. Felt OK, but is there any benefit? If I’m trying to condition for a 3hr run, does multiple shorter runs add much?

Don’t want to go beyond 4 run days if possible. Cycling and swimming mostly for recovery on the other 3. I followed a similar schedule for a marathon back in Jan-2020 (BC), but looking at my training I did extend the midweek runs to 1h30 - not sure where I got that time from!


I think splitting runs like gives you the same workout from an aerboic endurance point of view but less on the muscular endurance.

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My own view is that multiple shorter runs are way better, single large runs are much worse, indeed this pretty much applies to anything.

More than some amount larger than your average run, it really harms recovery on the next days doing it in a single session (for me it’s about 30% more I reckon) The partial recovery of the double day, makes that better.

Form and specificity - the long run forces you to run slower, it forces you to run further and further away from your race specific pace - so your form’s different, you’re making your running more appropriate for running slowly for 3 hours.

I would always prefer double days, if it wasn’t for the hassle.


If you have a double day maybe not run the day after?

I’ve used them in the past but need to be careful and resilient against injury.


I’m way more likely to be injured by running too long, compared to too frequent.

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In the build up to Bolton '21 I did double run days every Tuesday with a long run on the Sunday and had my best Ironman run…
The 2 runs were usually one steady, one progressive


Don’t understand how anyone carves out 2 hours per day for exercise


Joker, so you are :crazy_face:

@buzz - Like @JibberJim says, they’re great. Won’t get you the full impact of a 32km jog, but pretty damn similar. A PM/AM is probably better…mainly ‘cos sleep :+1:t3:

Something like

AM 2km swim
PM 16km jog
AM 16km jog
PM 45min spin


I’m loosely following a plan that advocates 2 consecutive medium days instead of 1 long run day. So 10ml Sat, 10ml Sun or 8ml Sat, 16ml Sun. It works for me because I get bored on 1 long run - and tend to run too fast to get it done!

Trying to do the same with mid-week runs, Tues/Wed. But it’s not always fitting my schedule.


Yeah, the only way I do an hour in the morning is cycle to work days. Then it’s only half an hour extra to driving.


That’s mighty impressive, but I’m not going to run an hour in the morning. 30-40min best case.


Similar to @SidSnot I used to chuck in some doubles.

I worked 10 miles from home, so used to use it as the commute.


I ran home a few times last summer to get a long midweek run in. That’s 2hr+ for me, and dark lanes so not really an option this time of year. Fun logistics making sure there is a bike or car at either end so I am not stranded the next day.


Also used to do this 8 miles each way

Only “cost” an hour when you take out the commuting time

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As Jim says regular shorter runs are probably safer than less regular long runs for many athletes. You will need the longer stuff, for the mind as well as the body, but nothing wrong in 2 x 5 instead of 1 x 10k for instance. Could also do something like a harder interval in the morning and a nice easy 30mins “recovery” in the evening.


I was similar (but slower!) and also tried to factor in a bit of nutrition, but over 2 hours and I was starting to get a bit bored, especially if there was one every week for a block.

Went onto the trails were I can happily go longer, but not particularly great prep for a flat road marathon.


I ran twice last Saturday, trying to notch up the daily clicks, with an 8 hour shift in the middle.

“Stuff this for a game of soldiers” was my main take home :smiley:


I would argue that other people will see the opposite effect.

Many serious ultra runners recommended continuous time on your feet and don’t worry about the pace.

Personally, I’ve used both to good effect at different times.


I liked double days as a better way to add volume. Can’t say it made me a better runner.

Two one hour runs fatigue less than one two hour, for sure.

Agree with most here and have used double days on a mara build, amongst others.

I think it’s a great way to build volume and protect against fatigue/injury whilst increasing aerobic capability. It doesn’t quite prepare you legs for the eventual race, so in my opinion, one or two bigger ones are a good idea still to build up some resilience. But you don’t need many as an already experienced runner.

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