8K (5 Mile) Training Schedules

Traning Plans Designed for Beginners and Intermediates

runner stretching
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These 8K training programs are designed for beginner or intermediate runners who want to run an 8K race (4.97 miles). Since 8K is almost five miles, these schedules also work for any runners training for a five mile race.

Training Overview

The training schedules below give you all of your workouts for each week. 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. Doing 15 to 20 minutes of strength-training one to two times a week can also be beneficial.

Beginner Training Schedule

This beginner runner program assumes that you can already run at least a mile. If you've never run or run/walked before, you may want to start with the three weeks to a 30-minute running habit program or four weeks to one mile before you start this program.

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

Week 1

Day 1: Run easy 1 mile (1.6 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 1 mile (1.6 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 1.5 mile (2.4 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 2

Day 1: Run easy 1.5 mile (2.4 K)
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Run easy 1 mile (1.6 K)
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Run easy 1.5 miles (2.4 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 3

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 4

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 5

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 6

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 7

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 4.5 miles (7.2 K)
Day 7: Rest or 30 min walk

Week 8

Your first 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: 30 min cross-training
Day 3: Run 30 min

Advanced Beginner Schedule

The program assumes that you can already run two miles. If it seems too difficult, you might want to try the above beginner schedule.

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!

6 Week Intermediate Schedule

The intermediate 8K schedule incorporates a few additional runs into the training.

  • Tempo Runs (TR): Start your tempo run with ten minutes easy running, then continue with 20 to 25 minutes running about ten seconds per mile slower than your 10K race pace, and finish with ten 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 to 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.

Week 1

Day 1: 40 min CT or Rest
Day 2: 20 min TR + 2 hill repeats
Day 3: 30 min CT or Rest
Day 4: 4 min @ 8K effort x 3
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 4 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: 25 min CT or Rest
Day 4: 4 min @ 8K effort x 4
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 5 miles LR
Day 7: 3 miles ER

Week 3

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 4

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 5

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 6

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!

A Word From Verywell

With six to eight weeks to train for your 8K race, you'll have plenty of time to get race-ready, so make sure you don't overdo it and make common mistakes that could lead to injury. Pick the 8K training schedule that's right for you based on your current running level and take an extra rest day if you notice any pain that lasts longer than a day or two. 

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