Last Updated: February 6th, 2021
Lose weight faster, do a double shift workout. Get more mileage, run twice a day. You have time in the evening, go for a second round of running. Many of us do these quite often. The main reason for running twice is to lose weight fast. But is it really required? Will you lose weight fast? Will it have any harmful side effects? Ever thought about it…OK then, it’s time to explore…
Is Running Twice A Day Bad?
No, running twice a day is not at all bad. In fact, it is a great way to stay healthy and fit. You definitely need to watch your speed and intensity though. Otherwise, you may end up injured and eventually give up. Also, this technique is not suggested for beginners as they need to build up their initial mileage first. After that feel free to progress to running twice a day.
It seems a good approach to stay fit. Are there any other benefits? To be honest, there are tons, and all of them we have covered below. Also, make sure to read the side-effects also and the ways to avoid them.
What are some benefits of running twice a day?
Running both in the morning and afternoon makes you lock more mileage.
If you are splitting up the runs, your body gets sufficient time to recover.
The ideal time between two runs should be 6 hrs.
It is easier to replenish for two short runs than a single long run.
The other theory says that splitting up the runs makes double the boost of the Growth Hormones(GH).
The GH is responsible for building and repair of the muscles, this means faster recovery.
Also post-exercise, your body continues to be in a resting metabolic state.
This means your body continues to burn calories post-workout.
Hence, two resting metabolic state means more calorie burn and in turn faster weight loss.
There is another study that states that two workouts put your body in a glycogen depletion state.
The body shows quicker adaption to training in the glycogen depletion state.
The other important benefit of running twice a day is for runners who do not have sufficient time to run for long stretches.
They can opt for running twice and make the most of their time.
The idea of running twice a day is very helpful when you are training for a marathon or trail running.
What are the side effects of running twice a day?
When you are running twice a day, make sure you are not doing both moderate or both hard runs.
The chances of injury are more if you undertake both hard runs in a day.
Both hard runs cause too much pressure on your feet and may leave you in a state of fatigue.
The same is the case with moderate runs, you may not be able to reap sufficient benefits out of that.
The ideal way should be in one run you can focus on the distance and speed in the other.
If you are training for any long-distance run or marathon running twice may not be that beneficial.
You may not be able to build up the endurance required for a full marathon.
If you are splitting up the running regime, make sure you stick to the plan and go for the second round.
Sometimes, you can get lazy or have some other commitment popping up in parallel.
And you miss your second bundle of benefits.
When should you run twice a day?
Going for the second round of run will only be helpful if you are not injured.
Else, you may have to take a break from running and eventually lose interest in running.
If you are considering running twice, keep in mind the below factors :
- Are you new to running?
- What is the current distance you are running?
- What is the total distance you run in a day?
- Your fitness level
If you are new to running, my personal advice would be to concentrate and master the single stretch.
New runners must not try the “twice a day” run as their body is not really prepared for it.
If you are running less than 30 miles a week, you should not run twice as this could be injurious.
You need to gradually increase your mileage to 30 miles a week and then think of adding a second run in a day.
You need to be a little more patient at this stage.
Try to be consistent on this at least for a couple of weeks before you get into the next big thing.
Give yourself some time to build up the endurance and improve your running efficiency.
It is then you can introduce the second spell.
For the first few weeks, it’s a good idea to run twice a day for just one day a week.
You can add running twice 2-3 days a week.
Even expert runners do not exceed 3 days a week running twice.
If you are running twice a day you must be very careful about the total run you are doing in a day.
If you have already done one 10 mile stretch in the morning then it will become very strenuous if you opt for running again.
The better way will split the run into two parts 5 miles – 5 miles each or 6 miles -4 miles.
You must give a sufficient gap between the two runs.
Your body needs recovery time, else this may lead to any kind of muscle injury or joint pain or you may suffer from dehydration or fatigue.
Can you lose more calories running twice a day?
Burning calories is directly proportional to the amount of high-intensity exercise you do.
So running at one go or running twice for the same distance will eventually make you burn the same amount of calories.
But what matters is the post-workout metabolism.
After a high-intensity workout, your body reaches to high metabolic state and continue to burn more calories, even after you stop.
This means if you have done running twice a day, you reach a high metabolic state twice.
In turn, you burn more calories with two running sessions than one.
So yes, of course, there is more calorie burn with running twice.
However, you must keep in mind the food intake post running.
As you are running twice, the hunger pangs will also be twice.
Select your food and quantity efficiently as you do not want to waste all your hard work.
If I split my run and run twice a day, will I get the same benefits?
It gives you sufficient time to relax and recover and perform better in the second half.
Let’s say you run approximately 6-8 miles a day.
If you aim to run 15 miles a day, this is not practically possible to achieve at one go.
Your body can support you up to 9-10 miles.
Now, if you are running twice a day, you can, however, break your runs.
In the first cycle, you complete 9 miles and in the second cycle, you can achieve another 6 miles.
The cherry on the cake is that after a few hours of recovery you can try and complete the second half of the race with higher intensity.
Running twice every three days a week also increases the level of citrate synthase.
This enzyme produces more energy and hence boost stamina and endurance.
The other benefit we have spoken about is it puts your body in a glycogen depletion state.
And in turn, your body is more responsive to the training plan.
You must listen to your body to minimize the chances of fatigue or injury.
Even experts do not recommend two-a-day running not more than three days a week.
Is it OK to run on a treadmill, twice a day?
Treadmill running is excellent cardio.
You must have seen people in the gym doing rigorous cardio to lose weight.
Cardio exercise helps in faster weight loss.
Running on the treadmill twice a day is perfectly fine.
What you need to take care of is the intensity of your run.
However, running on the treadmill is easier than running outside.
The cushioning provided in the treadmill reduces the impact and injury.
Running on a treadmill reduces the chance of knee pain i.e. Runner’s Knees.
You can achieve better speed and mileage while running on the treadmill.
So, running twice on the treadmill is a thump’s up.
But you must keep in mind that the equipment is serviced and in good condition.
Also, see to it that your treadmill model has proper cushioning.
Otherwise, there will be a bouncy movement as you run, which can damage your knees.
The place where you are running should also be well ventilated.
If your health does not permit you for running hard even on the treadmill, don’t do it.
What kind of shoes do I use if I run twice a day?
To be honest, your choice of running shoes will depend on the kind of runner you are.
Some runners like heavily cushioned running and some like the barefoot experience.
Choose the one which suits your style but always focus on comfort and shock absorption.
This will keep your joints in good shape in the long run.
Another thing to keep in mind is your unique feet condition.
You may be suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis or something else.
In that case, you should choose a running shoe that will help you to heal or at the very least should not aggravate your condition.
Last but not least, is your strike pattern. If you are a heel striker, go for something with a good amount of cushioning in the heels.
If you are a fore-foot or a mid-foot striker, go for something with a good amount of cushioning at the forefoot.
Also, if you are in your research phase, here are some shoes that may point you in the right direction.
They are based on your unique foot’s need and running style.
- Best Running Shoes For Bunions
- Best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma
- Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
- Best Running Shoes for Women with Wide Feet
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Heel Pain
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Shin Splints
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Back Pain
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Underpronators
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers
- Best Cushioned Running Shoes For Wide Feet
- Best Low Drop Stability Running Shoes
- Best Zero Drop Winter Running Shoes
Also, please feel free to look around the site. You may find the specific shoes you are looking for.
How many times a day should you run?
Frankly speaking, you are the best person to answer this question.
As we have already talked about, running twice a day or running long distances cannot be achieved overnight.
You should not try doing that at all.
Let’s say, you a beginner and you have just started to run.
In this scenario, your prime focus should be to improve your stamina.
Initially, you might not be able to run long, but that comes with practice.
Instead, you must concentrate on running to a decent distance and build up your mileage.
At this stage, along with running, you can do some exercises to improve your muscle strength and flexibility.
Let’s say over a period of time your running improves and you reach up to 7mph
You are able to run over 28 miles a week.
Now is the time to maintain your running consistency for around 2-3 weeks.
You can now start focusing on running twice a day.
However, ensure that you are not running twice a day more than one day a week.
Along with running, you can do some cross-training exercises like cycling, swimming, or even Yoga or exercises with weights.
These improve the muscle strength which is required for the long distance running.
You should continue this regime for at least 4 weeks.
It is only after that, you can start running twice a day for 2-3 days a week.
You must take care that you are not running twice a day at most 3 days a week.
Even expert runners do not go beyond this.
As I mentioned earlier, at any point if there is any discomfort listen to your body and reduce your running.
With all this workout, eat a balanced meal and drink plenty of fluid.
Can I run twice a day as I cannot run more than 10 mins?
Don’t be demotivated if you cannot run more than 10 mins.
It’s OK! Don’t lose hope and be consistent in your practice.
Here one thing you must be clear about, running long is not a miracle and can never happen in a day.
All you need is to be patient and keep showing up for your runs.
If you are healthy and not injured in any way you can run twice a day!
Here is how you can improve.
Take baby steps.
If your initial run is a maximum of 10 min, break this into running and walking.
As in 2 min walking and 2 min running.
This would yield 20 min of walking – running.
This you can practice morning and evening for a couple of weeks and then increase to 30 mins set.
Don’t worry about the pace.
You need to target that your body can sustain a walking/jogging/running pattern for a specified time.
Better to go gentle with the speed.
Along with this try out some exercises for strengthening leg muscles.
If you have just started running, another option would be to run on a treadmill for a few days before trying outside.
Running on the treadmill is comparatively easier and also the chances of injury are less.
Once you have built up your stamina a little, you can run outside.
Don’t give up…keep trying hard and you will succeed.
How can I maintain running twice a day?
It is very correctly said,
To achieve is easier than to maintain – Unknown
Once you have started running twice a day, your aim should be to be consistent with that.
The first and foremost requirement for this is to have a healthy body.
You must be having a balanced diet, consuming the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat.
After a strenuous exercise, the body demands food.
You must eat within 20 min after completing your workout.
Sometimes you fail to judge the amount of food you need and end up eating more than what is required.
This can have a negative effect and can waste all your hard work.
It is always advised to have a food chart handy, I do it that way 🙂
Here are some basic guidelines:
Before run food
- Banana – Contains potassium. While running you sweat a lot and tend to lose minerals. Potassium compensates for the mineral loss and also lowers blood pressure.
- Oats – Contains complex carbs and fiber which helps to sustain running long. It has a less glycemic index which means it makes the blood sugar rise slowly.
- Broccoli – Lots of Vitamin C, this helps to reduce sore muscle after a workout.
- Dark Chocolate – Energy booster.
- Plain Yogurt – Protein and Carbs.
Post-run try to sip electrolyte enriched water. This will replenish the mineral loss.
- Eat 4:1 ratio of Carbs: Protein.
- Fruits and veggies – Fruits rich in Vitamin C to compensate for the antioxidant loss. spinach, Broccoli, parsley helps to bring down inflammation.
- A handful of nuts – Protein and healthy fat
- Beans and lentils are rich sources of protein
- Pumpkin seeds – 10 gm of protein per 1/4 cup.
- Turmeric – Turmeric root is a wonder food. it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
As was mentioned above, another important point is fluid intake.
If you are running a lot, you are sweating a lot, making your body dehydrated.
You must drink sufficient to keep yourself well hydrated.
You are being hard on your body, running twice a day.
Take sufficient rest in between the runs.
Eat and drink well during the recovery period to prepare your body to run again.
Apart from the above guidelines, you should also focus on the kind of running shoe you are using.
Since they will take your entire body weight and will take a lot of pounding, that too twice a day – invest in a good pair.
It is also advisable to rotate your footwear every now and then.
But whatever you do, see to it that you are comfortable in your shoes.
Above, we have spoken extensively about the kind of footwear you should be using.
Refer to it to understand the footwear requirements.
Would running twice a day have a huge benefit over my endurance?
I have already spoken about the benefits of running twice a day in various parts of this post.
Let us put it all together and list out its impact on your body.
The endurance and stamina are highly impacted by an enzyme – Citrate Synthase.
By running twice, this enzyme level increases thereby increasing the endurance of the body.
If you are running twice, this puts your body in a glycogen depletion state.
If your body is in a glycogen depletion state, the body is more responsive towards the training plan.
Hence if you expected to run more during the training, your body will respond to it.
In this way, your stamina will build up.
Also in a single run, you can not exceed much beyond a threshold.
If you split the run, you get some recovery time in between, and in the second run your mileage increases.
Yeo, Wee Kian, et al. “Skeletal muscle adaptation and performance responses to once a day versus twice every second day endurance training regimens.” Journal of Applied Physiology 105.5 (2008): 1462-1470.
Mostardi, Richard A., and Thomas Allen Campbell. “Effects of training once vs. twice per day and improvement in maximal aerobic power.” (1981).
Hansen, A.K., Fischer, C.P., Plomgaard, P., Andersen, J.L., Saltin, B. and Pedersen, B.K., 2005. Skeletal muscle adaptation: training twice every second day vs. training once daily. Journal of Applied Physiology, 98(1), pp.93-99.
Hulston, C.J., Venables, M.C., Mann, C.H., Martin, C., Philp, A., Baar, K. and Jeukendrup, A.E., 2010. Training with low muscle glycogen enhances fat metabolism in well-trained cyclists. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 42(11), pp.2046-2055.