Long Run Day & Doubles

Good afternoon, my dears!

It was a tad cold this morning, which was a far cry from the 60 degree weather Peter and I ran in on Thursday, but I manned up and headed out for a 12 miler. It was important to me to get this long run in before the predicted snow storm we are supposed to get tomorrow. Boo!

Anyway, I decided to switch up the scene and run on the C&O trail in Williamsport.

I started running the second my feet hit the ground. If I am going to ssubject myself to cold weather, I am going to try to heat up my body ASAP! It took about 4 miles to actually feel "warmed up" unfortunately. My pace was all jacked up. My legs did not feel as though they were moving fluently. Many times, I wondered if I should just turn around and call it a day.

I even considered blaming a small obstacle as a reason to turn back.

This always happens after a rainstorm in Williamsport!
Thankfully, I stuck to my original plan because by the time I did hit mile 4, I felt great. So I ran out to the Potomac Fish and Game Club (6 miles) and then turned back.

It just looks cold!
Just before I started working on speed at mile 9.5, I took a short break by the train tracks that pass over the canal. There's an interesting structure that is just off the trail that I have always wanted to climb. Unfortunately, the first step is too high for me to manage, so I just took pictures.

Upon resuming, I worked on alternating speeds until I reached the end.

Now, I am resting before run #2. Crazy, right? Maybe not! Ever since Peter has reached 3 miles, I have been joining him about 2 times a week. I like getting the additional miles in at an easy pace. But, I was wondering if this was more damaging than beneficial. Apparently, not!

Runner's World has an article that details the positives of running doubles and also informs of different "double" strategies. The first, which I have done many times in the past, is breaking up your normal daily mileage into 2 even distances. This strategy is used when your goal is to improve recovery. For example, a 6 mile day would be broken up into two 3 mile runs. The benefit?
"You minimize fatigue but get a nice even boost of all the good stuff described above twice in one day. For my athletes, we most often schedule recovery doubles like this the day after a hard day."
The second strategy assists in training adaption. They suggest to run your second round when you will be feeling fatigued.
"You can place a second shorter run of 3 to 6 miles the afternoon after a morning hard (or they also suggest a longer) workout. It's unlikely you'll be fully recovered from the morning workout, so you'll be doing the second run in a slightly pre-fatigued state."
The final strategy is doing the double in the morning BEFORE your real workout later in the day. This is the "prime" strategy.
"The short morning run would serve to prime the body by flushing out the system and manipulating the muscle tension so that you're in a better position physically to run the hard workout in the afternoon."
In my case, the "training adaption" strategy is what I have been sticking with. I normally attempt this on Saturday, Sunday, or both. It is sometimes difficult to get motivated to get out there. It is also difficult to run with sore feet. Though, once I am halfway through, I feel fine and I rarely feel super exhausted afterwards. I can only hope that this benefits my marathon training.

Anyway, I am off for a 4 miler with Peter! Wish me an easy one!

How did your long run go this week?

How long does it typically take you to get warmed up on a cold day?

Ever do doubles? What was your strategy and was your experience good or bad?


  1. Long run was tiring this week, but I got it done! It takes me a good hour to feel warmed up on most days ;) but I run on treadmill. First I walk 10-15 min. Then I start running. I feel a difference after the first half mile of running, then after about 3 mi, then after about 6 - usually start feeling my best then.

    I did start doing doubles right before my August injury (literally, the week of) but I do NOT think the doubles were related - I had just ramped up overall mileage too fast. I thought they were great. The doubles themselves usually stunk - sore, tired - but kept to 30 min, manageable. I did one on T & Th (long speed work days - "hard" days, hard run before work, double after work) and Saturday (long run day, long run in morning, double before dinner). It was the run the next day that was SO much better than when I didn't do a double, and that happened each time of the 3 I tried. I'd love to get back to doubles.

    Wishing you the best!

    1. Glad to hear you felt the benefits of doubles. I think I am going to stick with them. I am hoping they will help in my marathon training! I am so far just doing them on long run days, or days that I am having boredom issues on the treadmill. Breaking them up makes a treadmill workout more tolerable in my opinion. I could not imagine doing a long run on a treadmill! Anything over 5 at a time would drive me nuts, so kudos to you!


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