Singles Vs. Doubles: What Would Happen?

Is it better to run your miles all at once or split them up?

Training dogma (and perhaps common sense) would have you think that fitting your miles in one go would be the best way to gain that aerobic adaptation that we are searching for.

Doubles can keep your runs fast and save your legs over the long term.

Weekly Mileage In Single Runs

My high school coach was old school in a lot of aspects — how you ran your mileage was one of those. Running twice a day to him was out of the question because it just made it easier on you, and although I detailed earlier about how that isn’t necessarily the case… he might have been onto something else. I’m talking about the mental aspect (something we don’t think about as much as we should) — mentally running becomes tougher the longer you are running, so doing your miles all in one is better for developing that mental strength associated with grinding it out.

Weekly Mileage In Doubles

We already discussed a few of the benefits of running doubles over singles — but I want to dive further into how our body releases growth hormone in response to running. Growth hormone is extremely important in recovery, there is a huge spike in production over the first 30–40 minutes and then it kind of levels off from there with production rate decreasing from there (think bell curve). So if your goal is to optimize recovery than it would be logical to think that a 30–40 minute run in the morning and a 30–40 minute run in the evening would allow your body to recover more than if you ran 70–80 minutes straight.

My Take

Ultimately it comes down to what works best for your body and your schedule.

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Justin Horneker

Justin Horneker

USATF Running Coach - Track & Field Journalist - 'Running Through It' Podcast Host