A consistant item on this blog has been the debate over running singles versus doubles.  I’ve run through the analysis from a scientific standpoint and a practical standpoint a couple of times.  Recently, I wrote an article on the subject for Running Times that integrated everything together that many of you will hopefully find interesting.  My conclusion is that there is a time and place for each, you just have to know when each is needed.  That’s another reason why we can’t get into dogmatic statements like I believe in singles or I’m a high mileage (or low mileage) coach.  The truth is if you want to be a good athlete or coach, you have to be highly adaptable and be able to use multiple ideas.



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    1. Royce on December 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      Great article. I'd been wondering about this topic for quite a while. One question: Could cross-training achieve a similar effect in terms of the benefits you describe for doubles and triples (hormone secretion, blood flow, etc.)?

      It seems like cross-training could be a way to reduce the injury risk, especially for triples. Even if the benefits weren't quite as great, it seems like the reduced injury risk would make it a good approach.

      I'm thinking for instance of a 30-minute swim a couple of hours before a tempo run.

    2. ERG on December 14, 2010 at 5:45 am

      HI! I just came over from a link at Running Times magazine:


      about a different topic you have written on: adaptation to stresses and was curious about your thoughts on ice baths.
      Would it be possible to find more information from you? I would like to repost it in my blog (with credit to you, of course) I am particularly interested about research done on icebaths that led to your conclusion.


    3. Anonymous on December 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      now i understand why i was feeling good in races when i was doing 15-20min morning easy (jogs)runs after wake-up

    4. Rich on December 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      I'm wondering about two medium runs replacing the long run. As a practical matter, I only have one day a week to train for 90 minutes or more at one time. Eventually, a hard workout of repeats will approach that much time. I can, however, get the equivalent time/mileage of my long run by running to and from work. My goal races are an early April half marathon followed by an early June 10k. I wonder if three months of doubles will sustain aerobic fitness compared to the regular log runs.

    5. kels on December 22, 2010 at 7:07 am

      Hey Steve,

      I was looking through your articles and wondering what you would recommend in a situation I encountered the past track season. With only 2 or so weeks left before a big race, an athlete encounters the worst: burning, dead legs which make it hard to run faster than a certain pace and complete certain workouts. What would you recommend in a situation like this? Just jog easy until you feel better (maybe do some strides)? Losing confidence is a big thing, because it feels like one has decreased in fitness because they can't hit times on workouts, easy runs are way slower than usual, etc. Just curious on your opinion.

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