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Like most of you, I don’t get paid to workout.  As much as I’d like to switch lives with Dolvett from Biggest Loser for a day, work dominates my schedule, and training often takes a backseat.  When I trained for my first Ironman in 2012, I was fortunate enough to get out of work around 2:30pm, and I had all afternoon to train.  Fast forward to this year, and it’s simply not feasible to expect that I’ll have enough time to workout twice before work daily.

Day or night? Always plan ahead for double-sessions.

Day or night? Always plan ahead for double-sessions.

As Taylor mentioned yesterday, I’m on an aggressive Ironman training schedule that has roughly 12 workouts per week.  A key part of the plan is track workouts – Wednesday nights at 6:45pm – 12 hours after my first training session of the day.  Fortunately, I dabbled in two-a-day workouts while I was living in New York and have come up with a good strategy to make them a reality.  Here are some of my top tips:

Sleep – I can’t emphasize this enough.  Without sufficient sleep, one workout is difficult, and I question the benefit of even attempting a second.  If you’re planning to workout twice in a day, go to bed early the night before; there’s no substitute.

Food is fuel – would you eat a steak before jumping in the pool in the morning?  Avoid meals that are high in fat during the day, along with anything that negatively impacts your digestion or causes gastric discomfort.  Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated in the hours leading up to workout #2.

Plan ahead – the workouts take up plenty of time – don’t let preparation add to the time commitment.  Keep a change of clothes ready and get down to business when the time comes.

Make a playlist of pump up jams  when I walk to the gym at 5:30am, I count on embarrassing playlists to give me a burst of energy.  The same holds at 5:30pm – music helps me shift back into workout mode.

Avoid caffeine – although some people can handle coffee at any hour of the day, I am not one of them.  I avoid afternoon coffee, so a coffee before an evening workout is also out of the question.  The same goes for nutrition – gels, blocks, etc: reach for a caffeine-free supplement to fuel you through workout #2.