Letters to the Coaches: Two-a-Days

Hi David,

I’ve recently purchased a 5k plan for trainingpeaks.com

It’s the level 3 plan, so it contains some days with two sessions: firstly, I was wondering should these, or should they not be run back to back? or is the intention that one would be done early in the day and the other later in the day?

I’d like to do a more advanced plan, but I’m not sure I could commit to these two sessions per day; what’s your advice: should I just try and do them when I can, or should I drop down to a lower plan?



Dear R,

Thanks for purchasing our 5k plan and your interest to our advanced plan. I’ve just added a new paragraph to our Understanding Your 80/20 Run Plan to further clarify two-a-days. You may also find the section in that document named Cross-training to be helpful as well. Be sure to review all our 80/20 documentation while you are at it. I’ve included the two-a-day addition for your convenience below.

I think you’ll have better performance with an L3 where you do 50% of the two-a-days than an L2 where you do 100% of the two-a-days. Therefore, I would recommend sticking with the L3. However, you can switch to the L2 anytime, just let me know.


In the advanced 80/20 run plans, some days have two workouts scheduled in the same day. These are always scheduled with the first workout as a Run and the second as a Run or Cross-train. Regardless of whether you choose to run or cross-train the second workout, the two workouts would ideally be done in the AM and PM, or at least as far apart as possible. In extreme circumstances, the two workouts can be combined together, but preferably the second workout is simply moved to another day of the week.


Matt and I periodically publish anonymously your inquiries to us, particularly when the answer may benefit the community. Have a question about 80/20 training or training in general? Feel free to e-mail me. David W.