You made it through the first week! High fives alll around. Let’s dive right into week two, shall we?

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Illustration by Maya Chastain

Run 1

Similarly to last week, go out for a chill 30- to 45-minute run and end with 4–6 x 20-second strides. Don’t worry about the pace of the run — the goal is to get your legs in a good state for tomorrow.

Modification: If you’re ultra-tired at the end, just do 2 or 3 strides. If you still feel springy, extend those strides to 30 seconds each.

Run 2

Mile repeats are a staple for most competitive runners. After a warmup mile, using a GPS watch, marked path, or 400-meter track, run 3 x 1 mile at 5K pace (or about as hard as you can sustain for a single mile, repeated 3 times). Take 3 minutes to jog and/or walk after each one, and cool down 1 mile.

Modification: If you don’t quite feel recovered after 3 minutes, take an extra 2 minutes before you start the next rep. If you’re handling the workout well, try to make each mile faster than the last one.

Run 3

It’s time for another between-workout recovery day. Get in a relaxed 30- to 40-minute run, ideally with a friend or two who will keep the pace light and conversation flowing.

Modification: Cross-train instead of running today if you’re feeling unusually tired or sore. If, on the other hand, you find yourself holding back to keep it easy, run for up to a full hour.

Run 4

No matter what type of course you’re getting ready for, hill charges will make you stronger and more durable. Warm up 1 mile. Then, on either a real hill or a treadmill set to about 5 percent incline, do 2 sets of 6 40-second hill charges (hard enough that you don’t feel like you could go much longer than 40 seconds at a time). Jog 80 seconds in between reps, and cool down 1 mile.

Modification: If 40 seconds feels a bit long, decrease all hill reps to 30 seconds. If you feel great after number 12, add 2 more as fast as or faster than the ones before.

Run 5

Long run number two on tap! Shoot for 50–80 minutes of fluid running, sipping on a sports drink or taking a gel if you’re running for more than 60 minutes.

Modification: As you work your way up in distance, you can alternate 9 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking. If you went 90 minutes last week, keep it there — but pick up the last 10 minutes.

Bookmark this visual reference guide for all the strength training exercises and stretches below.

When your runs increase in duration beyond 90 minutes, add up to 30 grams of carbohydrates to consume during your run. This could come in the form of a sports drink, which will also provide fluids and electrolytes, or in a gel or gummies. Here are some other mid-run snacks to try.

Tart cherries contain high levels of flavonoids and anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These may aid in recovery by reducing oxidative stress caused by strenuous exercise (aka long runs). Sip on a glass of tart cherry juice or add it to a smoothie as part of a nutritious post-run recovery drink this week.

If you’ve ever felt nature calling — LOUDLY — during a run, you’re not alone. Research suggests 30 to 50 percent of athletes experience exercise-induced gastrointestinal issues (this number is even higher for runners specifically!). Symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping.

Here are a few strategies to help prevent this:

  • Determine your potential trigger foods.
  • Reduce fat, fiber, and caffeine consumption 2–3 hours before your run.
  • Hydrate with water (or other sports drinks as needed), but avoid fructose-only and hypertonic drinks before and during your run.