Two rides in a day? Yay or nay? Time crunch situation

Anyone have any insight into doing two rides in a day? I’ve got a couple of time crunched weeks coming up that may not allow me to do a longer 80 to 100 mile ride. Instead I may have to do a 50 to 60 mile ride and then a few hours later follow it up with another 20-30 mile ride.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this effectively? Do I just make the second ride a z1/z2 ride and take it easy and do all the work on the first ride? This shouldn’t be a permanent fixture in my training but is likely to be needed over the next few weeks. Thoughts or insights are appreciated.

Eat a lot in between. Recover well when you can and see how it goes.

Everyone is an N of 1. Most things we learn about ourselves are trial and error.

Last summer I asked the forum if doing a 90 mile solo ride was dumb during a recovery week. I actually had a day off to myself. I got mixed answers. I tried it. WAY too much for a recovery week but it was an amazing ride. And now I know….

Oh yeah, EAT ALOT! Whenever I commute in my bike I forget to eat even more than usual at work.

Good luck

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If I were in your shoes, it would just depend on how I feel at the time of the second ride. Is it really nice out and am I feeling fresh and motivated or something close to that, then yes. If I felt like my earlier session took enough out of me and I’d be better off recovering and doing something else, then I’d skip it. From my perspective, the bottom line is getting your quality workout in and if you feel like a second ride is worth the effort for whatever reason then go for it, as long as it won’t hinder you down the line.

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Easy endurance in the morning, workout in the afternoon.

Many of the greatest runners in track and field have run 2-3x per day. Morning easy, lunch easy, afternoon workout. Kipchoge does at least two per day.

I think two-a-days are under utilized by time crunched amateurs. One could easily add 2-3 hours of volume with an extra 30 minute ride in the morning or at lunch time.

Don’t compare us to the pros :slight_smile: that’s one way to ruin yourself.


2 workouts a day are great, if you can recover.

Try it for a week and see how it goes, key is like others have mentioned, to really stuff the carbs between the meals. If these sessions are for volume, keep them easy and Z1-2.

If you start going to hard you’ll quickly ruin your hard sessions.

I would aim to at least get 2 meals in after the first ride, like second breakfast and lunch, plus afternoon snack.

Carbs carbs carbs :slight_smile:


I’m a regular 2aday guy. For years now. If intensity then in the morning. Afternoon is usually easy or endurance effort. Helps me to do 15-20h per week. 2x intensity or even just upper endurance in the afternoon after some stuff in the morning wears me out. However, it’s hard to generalise.


I do the commute one or two times a week, 17k (shortest route) each way mostly down hill in the morning, uphill on the way home. There are two ways for me to do this:

  • easy both ways, with optional detour on the way home if I have the time (if I feel fatigued)
  • super easy to work, intervals sweet spot/threshold on the way home. It has to be an easy first ride for me to have any kind of quality left for the second. Any kind of “just wanna test my legs on this 3 minute KOM” in the morning and the legs are dead for the second ride.

(context: age 47, ride about 10h a week nowadays)

But I agree with previous posts. Eat a lot in between, know what you wanna get out of it, make a plan and stick to it.

Had a good double day last week. Kept it super easy to work, had good legs for 6x7 minute threshold (around 100% of ftp ) up a local hill on the way home (39k, 1000m elevation, 120 TSS total) which I was very happy with. Had I done any kind of shenanigans in the morning, that afternoon would have been miserable.


I used to do similar if it was a good weather and light nights and had a commitment to get home for or if I didn’t just grab a quick lunch. I don’t think it done me any harm but it was pre my structured training days but after a 60-66mile club run I think the top up to 100miles or 200km would have been mainly Z1/2.

This one of the main reasons spliting a session is different to a single session.


Pretty much the same age and weekly hours. I do my 17km each way easy, but still find it harder than the 34km straight in one spin would be. Still better than the train though!

You obviously have to scale. I think it could be a great way to turn an 8 hour rider into a 12 hour rider. All the extra rides would be easy endurance. Of course, one has to be ready to handle the volume.

I would just do most of your interval work (if any) in the first ride. I wouldn’t worry too much about doing Z1 in the second ride. If the whole 80-100 (or the end after the intervals) was meant to be Z2 then the second 25mi ride can be Z2 also.

IME, the second ride of the day can feel TERRIBLE for the first 15-30 min. So make sure you give yourself enough time to warm up before getting up to your target wattage.

How long would it be between rides?

I am assuming if you are talking about splitting 80 - 100 mile session is mainly Z1/Z2, into 50 - 60 mile ride and + a 20 - 30 mile ride?

If so and you want to get similar adaptations then the carbs, carbs, carbs and eat loads is bad advice.

If it is a double threshold day it is a different matter and the advice given might/will be more relevant.

In a single ride of 80 - 100 miles you cannot keep up with the glycogen depletion, so to directly or as closely as possible to replicate the session over split sessions that is one of the reasons I say this is bad advice, to eat, eat, eat, you would need to eat appropriately.

In practical terms you’ll, need to eat after the first ride and replenish your glycogen stores as fully as possible in the period after your second ride. It totally depends on the adaptations you expect to get or want to get from the sessions and the practicalities of the recovery needs. Fuel appropriately to these requirements and bare in mind compromise might be needed, more so the longer between sessions i.e less time after the second sessions to replenish.

Like my comment on double threshold days, if there is significant threshold or above work in the first session, then the fueling strategy should be different.

I agree that any ‘interval work’ should be done in the first session unless they are sessions of shorter duration (say less than 90 minutes) when it could be a Threshold + Tempo sessions however this is for a very advanced athlete IMO. Its normally best split across disciplines, in my opinion, like Bike / Run, Bike / Swim etc.

Endurance + Endurance is a safer option and what I have assumed what you were talking about, but I don’t know you background or goals so it is an assumption.

Unless you are Pro or semi pro, I would be surprised in you were putting any significant interval work into a 80 - 100 mile ride.

Probably 4 hours between sessions the way it looks right now.

80-100 miles all at once is going to be different then split. So my gut tells me do your hard stuff, i.e., intervals in the morning. Just cruise in the afternoon to get some more distance?

Yes that makes sense and is aligned with what I think everyone is saying.

If easy / easy do them as close as possible together, fuel between but really well after.

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@TreyT this ^^^

you want to do high quality interval work, so do it fresh in the morning. Afternoon you can do whatever. As an old dude with no training history, I was able to sustain very high intensity 2 a days for 6 months. BUT it was with very little structure (a few really hard intervals). Morning was 20 minutes with lots of short accelerations 1 minute and under. If I ate a lot of carbs at lunch, at least twice a week in the afternoon I could do 75-90 minute long ride home and throw down a longer SS/threshold interval. On days I was tired, just ride home in 20 minutes and maybe throw in some short accelerations (1-min or less). Doing that I ‘got fast’ with high anaerobic repeatability, but was falling asleep on the coach after dinner :yawning_face: and taking unplanned breaks in training when I felt I needed to recover. Less consistency than ideal, but it worked. If I was to do 2 a days again, I’d really just focus on going easy for 60-90 minutes on the long way home.

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If you do intervals on the front end and the balance is Z2, there is nothing special about it. I actually find that starting with hard intervals make the z2 work feel much easier. I agree that trying to do them well into a ride is a bigger challenge, but not impossible. My “ready to race?” test is putting about 2000+kj’s it the legs (~2.5 hours of low tempo/high endurance) and then try a 20 minute interval right at threshold. “tired 20 interval”. Not the same as doing a full set of threshold when fresh, but a very good measure of current fitness and very doable when fit. I’ve never tried doing multiple sets since this is typically in the middle of a long ride with other goals, but I’d bet I could knock out another interval after a rest (but probably not a 3rd).

I think the 2 rides per day is a great approach if you can’t do it all at once. If hard intervals are on the menu, I’d do those during the first ride. Jumping on the trainer and knocking out an hour or 2 of Z2 while watching netflix (or whatever) is a great way to squeeze in extra volume when time allows.

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