Fitting in Two-A-Days

Hey everyone-

So, as you can tell from my weekly recaps, I’ve added a 2nd workout to most days of the week in order to fit in all of the necessary (and some that I just enjoy) workouts for a half Ironman. Now, I’ve seen some controversy around the healthy living blogs saying that two-a-days are a terrible, terrible thing, but I’m not sure I agree.  While that’s a whole other post in itself, before you start two-a-day workouts, spend some time seriously thinking about why you want to do it. Mostly because it’s exhausting and not sustainable long-term.

Luckily, my body is already somewhat accustomed to working out twice a day from high school swimming, so while it’s still not easy, it’s not totally uncharted territory.  I seem to be able to maintain 3 days a week with two workouts, maybe 4 days if I’m feeling really motivated or have an easy work week. Then I have two “long” workout days (long run, long ride) and a rest day. Like any training plan, eventually a break will be needed, so come September when I start taper for the Carolina Half, these will stop, and I’ll drop back to one workout as I train for Savannah and Kiawah this winter.

Now, I work full time and have a pretty long commute, as do lots of triathletes, so how do you make this happen? My best advice? Preparation is key.  Here are some of the things I do to make it as easy as possible.

1. Pre-pack as much of my lunches/snacks as possible. I usually spend some time on Sunday pre-packing everything for my lunch at work so I won’t have to worry about it during the week.  This is something that’s probably useful in any situation.

2. Lay out my clothes for the morning workout and pack clothes for the evening workout. I sometimes have time to come home after work before my evening workout, but not always, and it usually helps to be prepared in case something comes up at work and I need to stay a little late. I also pack any work clothes, shower stuff, or anything else that I would need if I’m showering at the gym.

3. Schedule workouts in advance.  I schedule my training plan out a week so I won’t have to worry as much about what I need to do every day. The only exception to this is weather problems, which leads to…

4. Have a back-up plan.  Since this is apparently the rainiest summer South Carolina has ever seen, I pretty much have a back-up plan for every evening in case of storms.  Mornings haven’t been too much of an issue, and if I’ve got a workout planned with friends, we usually go rain or shine.  But any day I have an evening bike ride, I check to see when spin class is, so if it looks like storms, I can at least do some sort of bike workout.

5. Get plenty of sleep! This isn’t a huge problem for me since sleeping is the best thing ever. I make sure to get to bed on time on weeknights since 4:30 comes early.

So, that’s what works for me.  Any other tips to make morning workouts easier?

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About Steph

Hey there, I'm Steph
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8 Responses to Fitting in Two-A-Days

  1. kilax says:

    I haven’t run across the two-a-day bashing! I imagine it’s out there though. I really like two-a-days. The key for me, is to have the right intensity for the workouts 🙂

    Sleep is always a good tip! 🙂

    • Steph says:

      There’s people out there hating on it, but there’s a time and a place for them! But yea, I normally don’t plan for 2 really hard workouts since I would be totally dead. X_X

  2. mdrukarsh says:

    Sleep well and eat well. Your body runs on the fuel from the day before. If you work out in the evening, make sure you top up after the work out.This way you’ll have the energy for a good morning work out! Keep up the great work!

    • Steph says:

      Good advice! I eat a lot during the day, but not necessarily before I go to bed since I’m usually not as hungry in the evening. I’ll keep that in mind!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I did two a days frequently during my prep for Racine and probably more than I needed to. I would often go out for a run at lunch or do pre- and post-work sessions just to fit it all in. As long as you’re sleeping enough, hydrating properly and keeping that rest day sacred, I think doubles are fine. Just listen to your body and make sure you’re only pushing it within reason.

    • Steph says:

      I probably do them more often than necessary as well, but some workouts are just really awful in the summer after work since it’s hot/humid/raining/whatever. I’m just so nervous! =) I was glad to see you finish well on your race!

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    I love this post and agree- I also do the occasional 2-a-days. The more you prep for it the night before, like laying out clothes, etc, the easier it is. Basically prep is everything- otherwise it just doesn’t work. And, just stay off the computer in the morning because it’s a time suck and you won’t get out there in time!

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