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Double session days

  • 09-02-2022 3:49pm
    Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭

    Notice a trend the last while of a lot of athletes incorporating this in training with a morning and evening session. I know Canova and a handful of others tend to incorporate special blocks in training to this avail but these tend to be infrequent.

    Is this simply down to shoe technology aiding recovery to the point where people can push the boat further or has there been change to training approaches (I know Jakob Ingerbritsen employs them in tradining so it could just be following a popular trend)

    Anyone have any insight or experience with this sort of training?


  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure

    They have been part of P&D running higher mileage plans (70 miles+) for marathons for years.

    In those plans, they are both at recovery pace (6 miles AM and 4 miles PM) [make sure you truly do them slowly: I do them at 1'45'' slower than target marathon pace which is fine for my HR, but 2' slower is fine too).

    Having done them a couple of times now, I have to be careful because as they replace rest days they can wreck the body. Also if done on a Monday before breakfast, and after the Sunday long run, make sure you get enough sleep on Sunday night (I recommend 10 hours!), otherwise you'll crash out of the Tuesday session... so it's not for the faint-hearted. If you can stand the weekly mileage then go for them, but tread carefully and drop back to rest day if they too much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,449 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    I think the OP is talking about double sessions, not the AM/PM easy runs that are used to build out mileage on plans like P&D.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    Yes sorry I should have been more clear

    these tend to be interval/ cruise intervals in morning with tempos or marathon reps in the evening

    previously would have seen maybe one or two of these as part of a full training block for marathon now seeing them almost become the norm with elites

    don’t think there will be too many of us trying them anytime soon was just something that caught my interest as possibly being the next step in training evolution

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭Duanington

    Norwegian lad on inside running went into quite a bit of detail on this trend recently

    apparently taking off big time in Norway, led by Jakob etc but more and more “sub elites” are following suite

    He focuses in on Jakob and the bro’s training quite a bit, long run no further than 20k, double session days are never faster than 10k pace and lots of tempo stuff around what would be their MP, if they ran marathons of course

    Huge aerobic gains obviously and they build the sessions over time, looking towards the racing season and ease off considerably. The sessions are all aimed at high end aerobic or threshold, reps aren’t very long but the overall volume can be quite big

    Its well worth checking out if you get an hour to kill, I think the episode was from 5/6 weeks ago

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭Wottle

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭Duanington

    ha ha ha - you just have to run double session days now

  • Registered Users Posts: 734 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    Coincidentally enough I was just watching the video below this morning and there's quite a bit of discussion on there about these 'special' blocks. Seems to be a thing in Loughborough. Hard to see how this could be a good idea for anyone below elite level imo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure

    Yes, thanks for clarifying!

    As many have mentioned this appears to be good but to be handled with care as you run the risk of crashing out of your plan and injury. This is high-end stuff...

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    This was one of a few that prompted the questions Andy H is one of the few coaches I saw employ this style of training until recently.

    A bit of a side note but I wanna play devils advocate on your last point. What aspect of being elite makes this type of training more or less relevant to the physiological benefits of the training overall?

    Is it elites ability to recover? Lack of other stressors (full time job etc)

    The amount of time on feet per rep in relation (a 5 min mile / 40 min of quality per session vs a 7 min mile/ 50 min session at same effort)

    The training background (10,000 hour rule or the likes)

    I don't disagree with you by in large just promoting the question of looking at the validity of training methods and how they apply to individuals.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 734 ✭✭✭Sandwell

    I suppose as someone running 40-50 mpw who has never even once ran a normal easy double day it just seems like an instinctively bad idea in that the shock to the system would be too great and the risk of injury too high. It might be a different story if you're running 80-100 mpw and already well accustomed to the routine of doubles. In other words, it looks like something that would only benefit someone who has already pretty much maxed out their mileage and is at the very high end of their aerobic development.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad

    I think variations of these have been taking place already.

    For example in ultra running two big runs in a weekend to replace one extremely long run which would be counterproductive (guessing) due to injury risk/recovery requirements. So I guess the first session allows you to safely dig deeper with the second session.

    Therefore coaching skill required to construct a useful block base on needs of the athlete. As mentioned some of tehs eblocks are monster training sessions and only the very elite runners (highly trained) would be able to accomplish the block and be putting something in the jar instead of making a large risky withdrawal.

    I have done 3-4 runs in one day before and got a big boost. Think some people might react to that better than others. I think non elite runners could experiment with double easy runs or even double steady runs.

    Good Q about the new runners: they do bring this type of training/block closer to being attainable by more athletes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭Wottle

  • Registered Users Posts: 606 ✭✭✭echancrure

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭babacool

    Interesting. So basically: if you can’t add more volume focus on quality and intensity whilst retaining volume?!

    think that makes sense to me. A newby when it comes to running would usually have 1 session per week and plenty of easy runs and rest days. A bit more experienced and you will have 2 sessions, longer easy runs and less rest days. Now it’s down to 3 sessions per week, plenty of easy runs and no rest days. So I definitely can see the trend to “and the next step is”. also I think the more experienced you are the less time your body needs to recover?! And with the new technology the stress on the body is reduced as well which again leads to shorter recovery times?

    Haven’t checked out those plans though.

    Does it mean they have 4-5 workouts per week? The usual 3 days of sessions plus one of those days a double? So 4 sessions in total?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad

    Did this the last day:

    Lunch 20 LT

    Evening 15 x 1min off 20'' (pace was faster than LT) Template: 15-25 x 60-90s off 20-30s

    Both on treadmill

    The evening session was roughly similar in workrate to the lunch one.

    I am running 70-80 miles per week and this was more tiring than a normal session.

    Because I had run at pace for the lunch session my running form kicked in immediately for the second bout. Normally the first few reps might be sluggish but this wasn't the case. Felt good, but tiredness came following day, localized in legs.

    I was planning to do 20 + 10 @ LT for the lunch session but had to abort thus the ad hoc block.

    So I was capable of 30 @ LT but was able to do 40 @ LT in the block. That was enough any more would have been too much.

    If you were doing 50 mpw and capable of 20m @ LT then something like:

    AM 4 x 5m @ MP

    PM 20M @ LT might be a max starting point. That said probably best to max out on single session ability and then add a second session to push on.

    (Jurys out of worth it or not.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    Interesting comments on prescribed session

    I would have assumed best practice would be to put the harder session in AM with a more broken (less intense) effort in the evening strictly from a injury risk perspective. Though I guess this depends on what you are specifically training for and it could be done in a more targetted way but my first instinct would be to go with the likes of the session your did yourself

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad

    It's a tough one to figure out.

    I think Canova's block's usually has the more intense session in the PM (some of the 2nd sesh is one intensity up) or equal intensity if going for extension.

    I read Bakken's paper and his description of Ingebritsen training seemed to have the intensities in different orders from block day to block day.

    A lot of it seemed to be (for Ingebritsen) kind of an aerobic Threshold session AM on threadmill like 5-6 x 6m off 1m.

    PM was often 1 mins (not unlike what I did in Evening but loads more of them).

    Seaward seemed to be doing it as a LT effort AM with marathon effort PM which would be less risk of injury.

    My own view is that if the PM is faster it should only be by one gear. I was tired after that and ran quite easy but for me I might focus the injury prevention first and foremost on being very conservative and building up.

    Again the session might be useful if you'd reached the max LT minutes you could safely do in a single session but wanted a little extra.

    Or, as happenned to me, an LT session got interupted and a second run was needed to 'save' the day's objective.

    The second evening session I did with the LT minutes is actually a great one for the treadmill or for an athlete who likes running a bit faster or needs a 'win' for a session. It's really controlled and not a mental challenge to complete with frequent breaks. Noteworthy was that ave heart rate averaged highest in the 20s standing recoveries compared with the running bouts around them.