Easy runs, long runs, speed work, Pilates/yoga, strength training, and cross training: a balanced training plan can seem overwhelming when you contemplate every type of workout to include. You certainly don’t want to overtrain but you don’t want to neglect any one aspect of fitness. So how do you fit everything into one week? Today I’m teaming up with the same wonderful running bloggers from last month’s indoor workouts for runners round up to bring you 6 two a day workouts for runners!
Why break your workout into two parts? First off, it’s practical for most schedules. A traditional 9-5 work schedule leaves limited time both before and after work. It is much easier to add in two 30-60 minute workouts rather than a single 1-2 hour workout.
Second, splitting your workout in two allows for high quality workouts. After a run, all I want to do is shower and eat, not lift weights! Not to mention that if I completed a harder run, my muscles aren’t exactly primed for the heavy lifting of kettlebell workouts or the precise movements of Pilates. The recovery time between two a day workouts allow you to complete both workouts without pushing yourself too hard.
For example, instead of following my morning runs with another 20-30 minutes of lifting or Pilates, I do exactly that: shower, eat, give my muscles time to recover during the work day, and then complete my second workout of strength training or Pilates in the evening.
If you are new to two a day workouts, be sure to ease into them. Start off with the combination that feels most comfortable and approachable to you. If you never have done speed work, then don’t add an interval workout as your second workout. Emphasize recovery nutrition and proper hydration between workouts as well.
Your two a day workouts should follow the hard/easy principle. Ideally, the day before and the day after will be easy days with a low-intensity workout/easy run or rest days.
6 Two a Day Workouts for Runners
The first workout of my two a day workout is a multi-pace tempo + speed interval run. If you follow my training or work with me as your running coach, you will know that I enjoy multi-pace workouts: they help you tune into what a particular pace feels like and teach you to run fast at the end of a run.
After warming up for 10-20 minutes of easy running and performing some dynamic stretches, you run 2 intervals of 10 minutes at tempo pace and 5 minutes easy. Tempo pace is between 10K and half marathon pace—moderately hard but steady and controlled. After the second interval, you then run 5 intervals of one minute at hard effort and one minute easy. Then you cool down with 10-20 minutes of easy running! In one hour, you have run at your threshold and speed work paces.
Since you ran hard in the morning, let’s give your legs a bit of a break and focus on core and upper body strength. A strong core and upper body are essential for maintaining proper and efficient running form during fast running, as you likely noticed during this morning’s running workout. This bodyweight strength workout will take about 15 minutes to complete.
Complete 2 sets of 15 reps of:
Pushups: Get into a raised plank position with your arms beneath your shoulders. While keeping your back straight, your hips steady, and your abs pulled in, bend your elbows and lower yourself down. Pause, then push slowly back up to complete one rep.
Side Plank Raises: Lie on your right side with your shoulders, hips, and feet in a straight line, and rest on your right forearm. Make sure your hips are stacked and pull your abs in to engage them. Use your core to push your hips up, so that only your feet and forearm are on the ground. Pause for 5 seconds, then lower to complete one rep. Complete all reps and then switch to your left side.
Single-leg bridges: Lie on the the ground with your knees bent and your feet on the floor near your butt. Lift your right leg off the ground and extend it straight. While keeping your leg raised, your hips level, and your abs pulled in, raise your hips up towards the ceiling, forming a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Slowly lower down to complete one rep. Once you complete all reps, switch legs and repeat on your left side.
Supermans: Lie on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you and your legs extended behind you. Pull in your abs and lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and back so they don’t hunch up by your ears. Lower down to the ground for one rep.
Windshield Wipers: Lie on your back with your legs raised in the air at a 90 degree angle from the ground. Extend your arms out from your sides like a T for balance. Keep your legs glued together and slowly lower them down to your right side (parallel with your arms), up, and then down to your left side and up again for one rep. If this is too hard, bend your knees.
Now for the other workouts! I love the variety that these round ups bring, since each blogger/runner has a different perspective and background in training.
Want to try running twice a day? Sara from Run Far Girl shows your how with her two a day easy run + track workout.
Prefer strength training over running? Try this two a day strength workout from Schnelle at Brooklyn Active Mama.
If you’re a triathlete or want to add a cross-training day to your routine, try Allie from Vita Train for Life’s run/swim/cycle + total body strength combo.
Angela from Happy Fit Mama’s speed intervals + strength workout will help you run faster through 5K-10K pace repeats and plenty of single-leg strength exercises.
Carly from Fine Fit Day shows you how to use two a day workouts to maximize your results for both running and strength training.
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday!
Do you do include two a day workouts in your training?
How do you fit your workouts into your schedule?
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.