Do the double

by • June 20, 2017 • Highlights, Running wildComments (0)861

“Double your pleasure, double your fun … increase your fitness”

That’s a spin of an old Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum jingle that encourages us to milk the most out of the extra daylight of June by adding a second workout once or twice a week. It also opens up the possibility of training to run a new racing phenomenon, “The Double,” during which runners challenge themselves with a 5K followed by a 10K with just a 30-minute to an hour break, depending on their finishing time.

Running Wild columnist Mike Halko ran his first Double two years ago in Rochester, N.Y. — a
5K (at left), followed by a more relaxed (notice the Hawaiian shirt) 10K 30 minutes later. COURTESY MIKE HALKO

If you have Double Dreams, consider these five factors before adding that extra:



Beginning runners plan for once a week, experienced runners can add a second session. The body responds to gradual adaptation so anymore may sideline you with an injury. Thursdays and Saturdays have been the best choices for me since Tuesdays are reserved for faster-paced sessions on the track or trails with a running group and Saturdays has the luxury of being followed by Sunday as a nice rest day.



Keep it at a conversation pace initially; hitting it hard can lead to injury. Remember this is training not racing. Start with a 20- or 30-minute run the first week and add 5 minutes each week afterwards, topping out at an hour. Building to the hour mark will prepare you for “The Double.”



In most cases the second run will be later in the day after work.

If it is a lunch run, try not to be feel rushed as you may push your pace and risk injury as the previous workout was just roughly four hours earlier.



Definitely go for the trails, a softer surface is more forgiving on the body plus you’ll be getting the most out of “The Greatland.” Less chance to startle the wildlife.



Your conversation pace begs for a companion to share the reasons why you are embarking on this journey, this path. Perhaps you are building endurance for a marathon, a multiple stage relay race, or an attempt at “The Double.” Running with a friend serves as a great psychological boost and more often than not time to be philosophical about running.

You definitely will reap benefits from stretching yourself but be careful, mind your pace, and distance when embarking on this journey. Going too fast and or too far early on can set you back. Patience, patience and more patience: Go with a gradual progression and listen to your body.


So more on “The Double.” It was created by Bob Anderson, the founder of Runners World. distances vary from 3K to a marathon. Check out for information on West Coast events. Locally, Alaska locals have been doing the Mayor’s Marathon and Fairbanks Midnight Sun 10K for years – very challenging with a marathon and 10K. Look to the Anchorage Run Fest to cut your teeth on a modified “Double” — run the mile on Saturday and any distance on Sunday. My first experience at a Double was in Rochester, N.Y., two years ago, a 5K followed by a 10K with about a 30-minute break in between. One uses that time to hydrate and don a dry shirt. Start the second event steady and pick up the pace after the halfway point if you are feeling good. A new event like this keeps things fresh. One never knows until you try. Doing a ouble may just move you to the level of fitness – and be twice the fun.


  • Keep Striding and Smiling,

Coach Mike


Related Posts

Leave a Reply