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For those of you who do run them, I have a few questions:

What's the main purpose, other than upping mileage in general?
And what's the benefit to your training?
How do you structure them, i.e. do you run longer in the first run or the second, how many days a week do you do them, etc......

It's something I am kicking around as I try to increase mileage and endurance but I want to make sure I'm not just grinding myself into the ground....thoughts as to how it works for you? Mine will prolly be lunchtime and after work, I don't do mornings.

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We did them in high school all of the time. Good for solid base training as part of our base build up. We would usually do a longer run in the morning, 5-8, then in the night do three to 5.


I also did them in tri training. One in the morning and different one at night. Just for time considerations.
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Runner's World has an article that says women who want to lose weight should run one double a week to increase their metabolism. (not saying that's you by any means, but you asked why do them!) They recommend taking your normal run, dividing in half, and adding a mile to each run. I may try that...
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ooh...In three weeks I have to wear a bridesmaids dress that currently requires someone with strong hands and pliers to get fully zipped...I might do that too...
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Generic information regarding this topic: People that are injury prone should not run doubles.
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I'm not into running doubles yet. Personally I don't think my mileage is high enough for doubles. I'm building up base mileage at the moment (55-65+ mpw) with all single runs excluding weights and swimming. I alternate shorter, easier runs with medium long runs and with a long run on the weekend all in 6 days and it has worked well for me. I don't see the purpose in doing doubles unless your mileage is in the 70s and above (i.e. high mileage) and you just can't realistically fit all your weekly mileage in singles.
For tri/duathlon training it's not uncommon for people to do 2,3 even 4 workouts a day (although it's multi-sport and each sport works different muscles)

Here's a question I have: Which is better in terms of training benefits: a mid-week medium long run of 10 miles or a double of 5 milers of the same distance?
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:1: - I've only run doubles in the past to help get in the miles that I couldn't because I'm limited to 45-50 minute runs during the week. I could always feel it the next day after a double.
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I would agree with that only depending on why someone is injury prone, and I'd love to see the research you're quoting on that because I have never read that anywhere--here is my line of thought: if it's because of a biomechanical flaw, then obviously until you get that flaw fixed, if it's fixable, you are asking for trouble because more miles on faulty biomechanics is just foolish. Having said that, however, if a person is injury prone because they are just a knothead who won't stick to their program and won't up their mileage in a respectable manner and just does too much too soon (not like anyone I know of course ) then I would think doubles would work IF they weren't attempted until the person had built up a solid base and was running consistenly injury free for a decent period of time, no?
I know I have a lot of time to make up for since I was benched for so long, and I wasn't planning on doing them now, I'm just kinda trying to go out long term and see what might work for me. Honestly, I don't think I ever really gave myself a chance to train properly since I was your typical overzealous newbie and now I really want to see what I can do with my running and am looking for the best way to do that.
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:1: - I've only run doubles in the past to help get in the miles that I couldn't because I'm limited to 45-50 minute runs during the week. I could always feel it the next day after a double.
Aahh yes. That would (should!) be directed towards me. The only doubles I have done without issue are those of two different sports, ie, run in the morning, swim at night, etc. I don't know what my ITBS or knees would do if I tried running twice. And if I did, I'd have to run them so slowly it would be sort of pointless. But if it meant getting into that dress without the use of pliers and duct tape I'd think about it...
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I would agree with that only depending on why someone is injury prone, and I'd love to see the research you're quoting on that because I have never read that anywhere
I'm quoting former Olympians that have held either world or national records. They didn't publish anything. They just told me about it during a long run one day.
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I'm quoting former Olympians that have held either world or national records. They didn't publish anything. They just told me about it during a long run one day.
well, I can't imagine what you're doing hanging out here with us commoners then
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Ditto on doubles = bad for low mileage and injury prone. Bad for low mileage, even base building, because you have a greater chance of busting the 10% rule threshold and doing too much too fast. Bad for injury prone (as in running injuries: ITBS, knees, quads, etc.) because your recovery time is significantly shortened.

I used doubles last year to up my mileage twice. Though I felt much better doing them at 65mpw than I did at 45mpw. If your goal race is a half, you don't need to do doubles - just do longer singles. Same mileage, but better base.
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I was hoping you'd see this because I knew you had done them last year but I couldn't remember how you said they had worked out for you. Hmmm......much good food for thought here. Thanks all.....:)
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no need to even consider doubles until you hit 60 miles per week or so...and for most of us pushing 40 (or done climbed that hill) types i wouldn't consider pushing 60 until i had 8-12 months of a solid 35-40 mile per week base....

fwiw...work on the base, forget the doubles.....


---
megawill
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There really is two schools of thought. As has been mentioned mostly here, those high mileage routines need doubles simply to avoid having to run 10+ everytime you step out the door.

But on the lower mileage side, there's a good number of runners that everday start out with a "up and at 'em" run. And then a handful of days they will run quality workouts in the afternoon. Like Joe mentions, most high school or collegiate programs are this way. In all my school years, this is exactly what was done and my biggest week ever was a 75-miler which was in college, but high school was more like 40mpw. Yet each and every weekday morning, we'd log our ritualistic 2.8-mile loop or 4-mile loop. Some might call it junk, but looking back, I think it was perfect for working out the kinks and then come afternoon, we'd blast some hardcore stuff. We were 2x state champs in high school cross-country and then conference champs in college, so I've got to believe the doubles, even a lower mileage levels was the right recipe.
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