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8K or 5 mile Training Schedule for Advanced Beginner Runners

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Updated September 16, 2013

This eight-week 8K training program is designed for advanced beginner runners who want to build up to running an 8K race (4.97 miles). Since 8K is almost 5 miles, this schedule also works for any beginners training for a 5-mile race.

The program assumes that you can already run two miles. If it seems too difficult, you might want to try the Beginner 8K Training Schedule. If you've never run or run/walked before, you may want to start with the "3 Weeks to a 30-Minute Running Habit" e-course or 4 Weeks to One Mile before you start this program. If you're looking for a more advanced 8K schedule, try this Intermediate 8K or 5 mile Training Schedule.

The training schedule below gives you all your workouts for each of the 8 weeks. You don't have to do your runs on specific days; however, you should try to avoid running two days in a row. It's better to take a rest day or do cross-training on the days in between runs. Cross-training can be walking, biking, dancing, swimming, or any other activity (other than running) that you enjoy.

You should start each run with a 5-10 minute warm-up walk or slow jog. Runs should be done at a comfortable, conversational pace. Finish up with a 5-10 minute cool-down walk or slow jog.

Week 1:
Day 1: Run easy 2 miles (3.2 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 1.5 mile (2.4 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 2 miles (3.2 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 2:
Day 1: Run easy 2 miles (3.2 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 1.5 mile (2.4 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 2.5 miles (4 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 3:
Day 1: Run easy 3 miles (5 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 2 miles (3.2 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 3 miles (5 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 4:
Day 1: Run easy 3.5 miles (5.6 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 3 miles (5 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 3.5 miles (5.6 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 5:
Day 1: Run easy 4 miles (6.4 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 3 miles (5 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 4 miles (6.4 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 6:
Day 1: Run easy 4 miles (6.4 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 3 miles (5 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 5 miles (7.2 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 7:
Day 1: Run easy 4 miles (6.4 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 4 miles (6.4 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 5 miles (7.2 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 8:
Your 8K (5-miler) is this week! Try to take it a little easier this week, so that you're well-rested for your race. Good luck!
Day 1: Run 40 min
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 30 min cross-training
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Run 30 min
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Race Day!

Race Day Tips: Here's some advice for running a successful race.

  • Common Racing Mistakes
  • Tips for Dealing with Pre-Race Jitters
  • How to Use Porta-Potties on Race Day
  • Road Race Etiquette Tips
  • Mental Tips to Get Through Races
  • How to Deal With Crowds at Races
  • How to Take Water from Hydration Stops
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