Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Double Days

I’ve been slowly adding Two-a-Days to my running routine. I started a few weeks ago and now I do double sessions 3 times a week, in conjunction with intervals and tempo training. As a result, I’m up to nine (9) runs over 6 days and I’ve noticed some positive results pretty quickly after the initial adaption. The old saying, “run, run and run some more,” seems true as my form and technique is getting crisper (I can understand (at a layman’s level) why the elites generally run twice each day).

The double days have brought me up to the 60 miles per week (mpw) range which is a good increase from my prior 45 miles per week. A few years ago when I was running near 60 mpw, I was constantly injured but now I’m handling the load pretty well even with increased speed, pace and intensity. Of course, my primary concern is injury so I’ve tried to be as smart as possible which is why, other than my 3 hard runs each week, I either run without a Garmin as I pick a route that I know the distance or I run with the Garmin but only activate the timing feature so I can’t review distance or pace until I’m finished with the workout.

My reasoning is this causes me to truly “run by feel,” and allows me to cue into my muscles, tendons, breathing and overall body functions much better thus giving me the information to gage how far to run and/or if I’m doing too much on a given day. It will be interesting over time to see how my body reacts since I’m getting a double boost in metabolism thus producing more fat burning over a 24 hour period.

The results so far have been wonderful and I think, although I was early in the process, it contributed to my recent 5k PR. Another reason I decided to give this a try is because I think it may allow me to retain the speed progress I made during the Spring/Summer since I can have shorter and more focused workouts when the weather gets really cold to deal with those days when it’s difficult to finish longer runs. I’ve also balked at the idea that we need as much rest for a set number of days off as it is such an individual dynamic and, in the end, it seems to be all about understanding and listening to your body. This also allows me to keep my body “off balance” of sorts which I think is a good idea as I can mix all types of workouts with this approach.


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