Running Twice a Day

by Mark
(Middle East)

I'm in the military and in the Middle East where everything is flat. I have been doing 5-10 mile runs 4-5 times a week. The problem is that with no hills, I don’t feel like I'm getting stronger. I hate running the treadmill for hills, but that's all I have.

Would it be best to add in a few weekly 30 minute treadmill hill routines the same days I run my road runs or dedicate days just to the treadmill?

Thanks for any advice.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your running training question. I used to live in Holland, which is flatter than flat, so I can relate to your issue.

I agree with you that there is nothing quite like hill running to condition the legs.

Usually, running one session a day will provide you more of a stimulus than breaking up the session in two. Most runners will only go twice a day if they have exhausted their options with running only once a day.

So, doing a 1 hr run on the treadmill including 30 mins of hills will most likely give you more of a training stimulus than 30 min of hills in the morning + 30 mins easy at night. Your stamina gets tested more if you do a full 1 hr run.

By the way, this does not necessarily mean you need to stick to the treadmill in that one session. You could run easy for 30 mins, run into the gym and then do 30 mins of hills on the treadmill, or vice versa.

Another suggestion I would give you is to spice up your current running program a bit. With the running you do (mileage and frequency) you are obviously pretty fit. What you don't mention is if you vary your speed at all.

Interval running, tempo running and fartlek sessions are a wonderful way to break up the usual schedule and to make you a stronger and faster runner.

Those types of sessions count as hard days, so I would recommend doing an easy run or a day of cross-training or rest the next day.

Of course, you can add some more mileage to some of your runs as well, another great way to become fitter and faster. For some more information on that, please check out: Increasing Mileage Safely.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck and keep safe.

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