Running twice daily can benefit your training plan if done safely and intentionally. And despite what you might think, running twice daily is for more than just elite athletes or runners.
Both experienced and inexperienced runners can utilize double running to maximize their running performance.
But you probably have questions:
- Should beginners workout twice a day?
- Is it ok to workout twice a day?
- Is running twice a week enough when you’re training for a race?
It’s a lot of questions about twice, but we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll answer all your questions about running twice a day and how to incorporate this into your training.
Running Twice A Day: Why it can help and how to do it safely
In this article, we’ll cover why running twice a day might be a good option for you and how to run safely to avoid injury risk.
Why Run Twice A Day?
If you’re a student-athlete, you might be required to run twice a day, whether you’re doing two-a-day practices or just being required to run once on your own and once in practice.
If you’re training for a distance race, running twice a day might be the only way to reach your weekly mileage given your everyday schedule.
Or if you’re an ultra runner, two-a-day runs might be necessary to get your body used to spending that much time on your legs.
No matter your situation, breaking up your runs into two separate runs is an excellent tool to help your run form. In a long run, whatever that distance might be for you, your form can suffer as you get tired. And when run form suffers, injury risk goes up.
If you divide your daily run between two shorter runs and run with good form through each run, you will be better off in the long run (pun may be intended here 😉 ). Not only will you be less prone to injury, but you will have trained your body to run with proper form only. You will build your muscle memory to know only proper run form.
Forcing adaptation through double running
Another benefit of double runs is forcing your body to train on tired legs. Even if you are doing daily runs, they are all runs on relatively fresh legs, or at least legs that have had the benefit of sleep.
And when you reach mile 10 of your half marathon, let’s say your legs might not feel so fresh; this is where it helps to have trained on tired legs; your body will be familiar with the feeling.
Lastly, running twice a day might be more convenient, especially if running long distances. By breaking up your long run into two runs, you do not need to pack all the fuel and electrolytes you would need for the long run; you can just head out the door.
It will also be easier to finding routes for each run because you won’t have to consider if there are places to fill up your water or if there’s a bathroom along the way. If you don’t have enough time to prepare before your long run, consider breaking it into two and heading out the door.
How To Run Twice A Day: Best Practices
To begin, we are not recommending that you run twice a day every day. Instead, these tips help you when you run twice a day, but your training schedule should mix up your training to incorporate strength training, rest days, and mobility work.
But for the days you run twice a day, here are some tips vital to minimizing injury risk and maximizing the benefits of double runs.
Tip #1: Don’t skip warm-ups and cooldowns on your workout days.
Just because you have another run coming up later in the day does not mean you can skip the cooldown from your first run. And just because you ran earlier does not mean you can skip the warm-up for your second run. Running twice a day doubles any risk of injury you would have with only one run in a day. This means taking care of yourself before and after your runs is much more important. Treat each run as if it’s the only run you’re doing that day regarding the warm-up and cooldown. You don’t need to take extra time with either of these, but just be sure you’re not skipping them. This will improve blood flow and circulation throughout your runs.
Tip #2: Work in strength training at least once a week.
As we said earlier, your second run is taking place on tired legs in a depleted state, and those tired legs need to be strong enough to get you through the run and keep you injury-free. To do this, make strength training a priority. If your training schedule does not already have strength training worked in, find the time for it.
Simple exercises like lunges, air squats, push-ups, and core work can all be very effective if done with proper form, and they do not take up much space if you don’t have enough time to get to the gym. You can try plenty of online workouts if you’re not sure how to structure your strength workout. Just ensure you incorporate it no matter how or where you do your strength training. Insert workout video clip.
Tip #3: Fuel and hydrate intentionally.
Think ahead here. Keep your second run in mind when fueling after your first run, and know your distances ahead of time. For instance, if your first run of the day is easy, but your second run is going to be longer, schedule your larger meals accordingly.
This process might look different for everyone, as running nutrition is highly individual. All we’re saying is to plan ahead intentionally. If you know you don’t like a larger meal before a longer run, hold off on dinner until that longer run is over, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. If you know you have a tempo run in the morning, consider eating a lighter breakfast and consuming that larger meal once your tempo run is over.
If you are running for weight loss, diet plays a huge role. Running doubles does not have to change your meal plan, but it may change the timing of your meal plan depending on your mileage.
Hydration also becomes important when you’re running twice a day. Hydrate consistently throughout the day, and consider increasing the amount of fluids you drink when you only have one workout that day. If you don’t you will feel the effects of it on one, if not both, of your runs. Minimize the chances of cramping or injuries during either of your runs by simply drinking water and electrolytes regularly throughout the day.
And for higher mileage runs, let’s say anything longer than an hour, you will likely need to bring supplies with you on the run – fluids for sure, and maybe a gel or an energy block if your body needs it.
Tip #4: Sleep!
Doubling up on your training heightens the importance of sleep. While going to bed earlier is a great option for those running two a day, it’s not the only option. Naps are your friend. Even just a fifteen or twenty nap during the day can help get your blood flow going the other way and help reset your body and mind for your second run that day.
Tip #5: Cross-train strategically.
Instead of running twice daily, consider training twice a day with another exercise. That might involve running once and lifting once for a twice-a-day workout. This puts less strain on your running muscles (and gives them time to recover) while you work other muscles.
Training twice a day
For example, you might run in the morning and then cross-train in the afternoon with upper-body workouts. Or you might do some cycling to work other muscles of your body that don’t get prioritized during a run.
Should beginners workout twice a day?
Good question. We recommend working into it. You can’t rush progress, and working out twice a day could increase your risk of injury at first.
We get it: time is short. But you have to make time for recovery and adaptations. Take it easy, and be patient. Progress will come.
Tip #6: Do Running Doubles Smartly
To do running doubles safely, you must be smart about it. First, figure out why you want to do running doubles instead of just one longer workout.
What’s the benefit? Are you too tired from the first workout? Do you not have enough bulk time in the day to get it all done in one session (short lunch break, commutes, etc.)?
Running doubles can yield great physical gains, but you must do it smartly. It’s a high demand on the body, and when you train hard, you have to
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you run twice a day?
Of course. Should you?
That’s a different question.
While just about anyone can run twice daily, it’s not always the best strategy for runners. While it can help you boost your weekly volume, it shortens your recovery times and increases your risk of injury.
Is running twice a day good for weight loss?
Running twice a day can help with weight loss because you’re adding more volume each day, but it increases your risk of injury—and if you get an injury, you won’t be able to rely on running for weight loss.
Would we recommend it? Not always. It’d be better to fine-tune your runs and prioritize recovery for long-term weight loss rather than rush it.
Is it bad to run twice a day?
No, it’s not bad. Running twice a day has pros and cons, so you’ll have to weigh them for yourself and make the best decision.
However, it’s not generally bad to run twice a day.
What’s your advice for running twice a day for beginners?
Ease into it. If you want to start running twice a day as a beginner, try scaling it slowly.
For example, do double running once per week. Then, try doing it twice per week. Don’t jump into it, do double running 5 days a week, and expect to escape injury.
Learn How to Run Twice a Day (The Right Way)
Running twice a day can benefit different runners, depending on their schedule, mileage, and experience. However, if you run twice a day, utilize these tips to stay injury free and maximize the benefits of two-a-days and running doubles.
Need extra help with organizing your double running? Download our mobile app, and we’ll guide you through all your workouts to help you stay strong, fast, and injury free.