Thursday, 4 August 2011

Double up your runs

Today I had not just one but two runs.  The reason was effective use of time.  I ran to work, carrying a pack with my clothes in it.  Then at lunchtime I went for a run with two colleagues.  Each run was very different as the first one was during the cooler part of the day but carrying additional weight, and then the lunchtime run was very hot.

This raises the interesting point though of whether single runs or double runs are better for you.  In other words is it better to run 2 times 5 miles or 1 time 10 miles.  The answer seems to depend on your current training mileage.  If you are already running fairly high mileage then the body can cope better with double runs than it can with single runs.  On the other hand if your weekly mileage is not that high and your body can cope with it fine, then single runs give a more effective training.   The other aspect to consider is time constraints.  Most of us only have limited time in the day, and we may be able to fit in 2 runs of 1 hour but not be able to fit in a single run of 2 hours.  In this case double runs may be the preferred choice.

On a separate note I have started reading the book I ordered recently on how to achieve your racing weight.  This is the weight at which your performance is at its best.  I am learning a lot by reading it, and can't wait to try out the advice.  The section on nutrient timing is particularly interesting.  It talks about how the best way to become lean is to eat according to what you are doing at that time of day - in other words it is not only about what you eat but also when you eat.  During the parts of the day when your body needs lots of calories you should eat more and then in the periods when you are just sitting at your desk you should eat less.  This encourages the body not to store fat, like it would if you ate your big meal during the sedentary part of the day (like most of us do).

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