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When to Double (Read 2147 times)

    Hmm okay, I have started to work on building weekly mileage to 70+ miles. Last week I did one two a day, placing the morning double before a tempo run later in the day - the morning was a little dreadmill three miler at around 8:20 pace, on the easier side of my easy run pace. The problem came with the afternoon tempo run, it was crap. I struggled to hold a 7:00 pace (log says 6:45 but there is a distance error I need to fix), quite honestly it felt near a race effort. Now, I belive that some of it was a result of trying to hold my "normal" tempo pace in a 10-20mph headwind going out but even coming back holding a 7:00 pace downwind felt fairly challenging, nearly out of the tolerable zone. A normal tempo effort feels hard, but tolerable, at around 6:40-6:55 pace. Well, probably overally much background.......... anyway my question is do you think the difficulty/slowness of this tempo run was due to being an extremly off day (didn't really feel that off) or could it have been related to the morning run? Additionally, is this a bad practice to run a double on a tempo day, should they generally be two easy runs or can a morning double loosen one up for an afternoon tempo effort?

    They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

      I think your problem may have been doing the tempo run second. I think (at least when I do) that when you are going to double, you should do the harder workout first. On Thursdays, I do a double. I do a hill repeat workout in the morning with my running club and then another 3-4 miler on the treadmill at the gym at lunch. I dont think I would attempt a hard run as the second run of the day just because even though it was only a shorter, slower run it still will have fatigued your legs a bit and you wnat them fresh for harder runs. That's just my .02 though and I dont double that often, though I am in the same boat as you are now - trying to build up my mileage to higher mileage weeks and realizing that I might have to do more doubles to get there.
        When I used to do doubles, I would always do workouts on double days, and always do workouts at night. The key is, I think, you need to be used to doubles first. Forget tempo runs for now. Just go out and run. Run doubles as much as you can. When you first start running doubles, you just feel weird. In about a month or two, the weariness will be gone, running will be like breathing to you, and you'll be able to run three or so tempo runs a week if you want to. I'd venture to say that you'll be significantly faster too. Don't let it effect your golf game though! There are some things that are more important than running.
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          Im in the same boat as you. Just jumping up the weekly mileage. When I was first jumping out to 50 mpw, I was trying to double on Wednesdays. I'd do three really easy miles in the morning, and then a progression in the afternoon. Basically, for me, it was however I was feeling. Lets be honest, some days, straight out of bed, you feel like a truck crashed into your house and ran over you. On those days, I'd take it super easy - ie. 9:00+ min/miles. Other days, I'd wake up and feel like I had slept and drank coffee and I'd do a progression of some sort. I'd always switch it up in the afternoon though. One of the things I'd read about doubles from some of the "RA Elites" is one of the benefits is simply the fact it gets you used to running on dead legs. In other words, even when its rough, just running on them will help. As for your tempo, if I were you, I'd not go out saying "This has to be a tempo!" but instead, if your body tells you that you suck for making it work, then slow down and do it easy. As its been stated, most recently by mikeymike...
          Personally I've been going with the theory that in this weather I'll just take my lumps and get in the miles--the miles do 90% of the work anyway--and look for warmer days for the real workouts.
          I think that's applicable to your situation here too. The miles will get the work done for you.
            I doubt that a 3 miler in the morning at "easy pace" was that much responsible- I would suggest that the wind took a lot more out of you than you realized. I noticed that the tempo you did the week before was on the treadmill, so it may be difficult to compare paces. I have heard the advice often on this board to gauge tempo by effort and not to worry about hitting a certain pace exactly. A run at 7:15 pace on one day may equal what you can do at 6:45 on another day in different conditions and overall fatigue level.
              I am a beginer compared to other who have chimed in above, but I recently increased my mileage from about 30 to 40 MPW, with an occassional double, with a short 4 mile run as the second one with our running group on Thursdays. I dont feel that the morning run takes that much out of you once you get used to the doubles. The first time I did a short 2 miler after a 4 miler in the morning, I felt like I do at the end of a race, after 4-5 of those runs, It feels like just any other run. I don't plan on the second run, if time permits, I just go for that second run with our group.
                I don't think it's bad practice to run doubles on a tempo day and I don't think there's a problem with doing your workout in the 2nd run of the day--that's how I would do it if I had a choice. But a couple of observations: As makers and Minderbender pointed out, trying to glean any meaning from what pace you were able to hold in a tempo run in cold windy weather is kind of pointless. I'd say your struggles probably had more to do with the weather than the fact you did an easy 3 miles in the morning. Or just an off day. Either way I wouldn't stress over it. And unless you don't have time to fit 70 miles into singles, or you're having a hard time recovering between efforts, there's really no reason to double at that mileage level. Doubles are primarly a way to fit more running into your schedule without compromising your recovery. If you don't need them to fit in more running they don't really serve a purpose. 70 miles a week in 7 runs is, in general, better than 70 miles a week in 9, 10, or 13 runs. Doubles for the sake of doubles won't help. Now if you're just practicing doubles because you think you'll soon be at a mileage level that you won't be able sustain in singles, that's another good reason to do it.

                Runners run.

                  But a couple of observations: As makers and Minderbender pointed out, trying to glean any meaning from what pace you were able to hold in a tempo run in cold windy weather is kind of pointless. I'd say your struggles probably had more to do with the weather than the fact you did an easy 3 miles in the morning. Or just an off day. Either way I wouldn't stress over it.
                  A very good point. Another I'd like to throw out......Somedays it just isn't there. Our bodies don't always respond like we would expect or like them to. If this sitiuation were repeated next week I may take a good hard look at your schedule but for now I'd pass it off as a one time thing. FWIW......I'm starting double days this week. My double is scheduled for the morning, before quality afternoon workout. Easy am, Hard PM.

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                    I thought this thread was about backgammon. I'm sorry. Carry on.
                      I thought this thread was about backgammon. I'm sorry. Carry on.
                      Right before your 1st roll.......It's too late when you got em against the ropes Big grin

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                        Aggresive. I like that.
                          I think a primary reason to do doubles is because it changes your mindset about training.


                          A Dance with Monkeys

                            I think a primary reason to do doubles is because it changes your mindset about training.
                            How so, for real?


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              It changes your mindset and it makes you feel more invested. And it drags your opponent into being more invested too. Smile

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                              JellyFish


                                I run doubles because I want to run all the time. I wake up thinking about going for a run - so I see no reason not to run in the morning. I typically feel like a run after school so I do that also. For me it's not necessarily about the distance. I'm building it and working on extending out all of my runs. For me it's more about desire. I desire to run lots and when I realized the only one stopping me was me I started running more.
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