4-Week 8K or 5 mile Training Schedule for Intermediate Runners

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This four-week 8K training program is designed for intermediate runners who want to build up to running an 8K race (4.97 miles). This schedule also works for any intermediate runners training for a 5-mile race. The program assumes that you can already run the race distance, but you're looking to sharpen your speed and racing skills before the race.

If this schedule seems too difficult for you, try this 8K or 5 Mile Advanced Beginner Schedule.

If you're looking for something a little more challenging, try this 8K or 5 Mile Advanced Schedule.

Training Schedule Notes

  • Rest Days: On rest days, you can take a complete rest day or do some easy cross-training (CT), such as biking, swimming, strength training, yoga, or another activity you enjoy.
  • Tempo Runs (TR): Start your tempo run with 10 minutes easy running, then continue with 20-25 minutes running about 10 seconds per mile slower than your 10K race pace, and finish with 10 minutes cooling down. If you're not sure what your 10K race pace is, run at a "comfortably hard" pace that you can maintain for 20-25 minutes.
  • 8K Interval Workouts: Run your intervals workouts at your 8K (5 mile) race pace, with a two-minute easy-paced recovery in between each interval. You should start and finish these workouts with one mile of easy running to warm up and cool down.
  • Hill repeats (HR): For your hill repeats, pick a hill about 200 to 400 meters long that isn't too steep. Try to run up at your 8K (5 mile) race effort. Recover down the hill at an easy pace.
  • Long Runs (LR): Although you're not training for a long distance event, long runs help you develop your stamina, which is important in 8K racing. Do your long runs at a comfortable, conversational pace. Make sure you're able to breathe easily and can talk in complete sentences. You can should also do your easy runs (ER) at this effort.

    4-Week Intermediate 8K or 5 Mile Schedule

    Week 1:
    Day 1: 40 min CT or Rest
    Day 2: 20 min TR + 3 hill repeats
    Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
    Day 4: 4 min @ 8K effort x 4
    Day 5: Rest
    Day 6: 6 miles LR
    Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 2:
    Day 1: 40 min CT or Rest
    Day 2: 20 min TR + 3 hill repeats
    Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
    Day 4: 4 min @ 8K effort x 4
    Day 5: Rest
    Day 6: 7 miles LR
    Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 3:
    Day 1: 40 min CT or Rest
    Day 2: 25 min TR + 3 hill repeats
    Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
    Day 4: 4 min @ 8K effort x 3
    Day 5: Rest
    Day 6: 5 miles LR
    Day 7: 3 miles ER

    Week 4:
    Day 1: 30 min CT
    Day 2: Rest
    Day 3: 20 min TR
    Day 4: Rest
    Day 5: 2-3 miles ER
    Day 6: Rest
    Day 7: 8K or 5-Mile Race!

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