This post is reflective of my training cycle for an 8K race and details exactly how I trained along with tips for running a 8K race. I recently gave up my gym membership prior to my 8K training plan. All of my running in 2017, therefore, will be outdoors.
I am purchasing new running shoes, which I’m sure will help with some of the knee pain I was feeling postpartum. I have struggled with hip and IT band pain in the past when running (mostly with longer distances) so cross-training will be vital for me as part of my 8K training plan.
8K Training Plan
How Many Miles is an 8K?
Do you know what is going to be great about running the 8K race as part of the Cleveland Marathon series? It will be an automatic PR for me! An 8K is 4.97 miles so roughly a 5-Mile race. This is the 8K race in miles. In full disclosure, I have run 5-Milers such as Bay Days and Celebrate Westlake.
My 5-Mile PR is 55:39, set in March 2012. I am using that time as a goal for this race. I decided to use Hal Higdon’s Novice Program for the 8K as a starting point for my training plan which is the Hal Higdon 8K.
Then I inserted the other types of workouts I would do for cross training. This included exercises such as yoga, boot camp and at home workouts such as PiYO or P90X. I also had to customize the plan to fit my weekly schedule.
Hal Higdon 8K
(click the image to enlarge or download)
In addition to my training runs all being outdoors, they will be solo. I have to work around our child care and work schedules. I do not have a jogging stroller and for personal reasons do not intend to purchase one. The hardest part of planning my training is figuring out when to run my long runs – which take the most time – especially for me, as a slower-paced runner.
Right now I am going to plan those for Saturdays. If for any reason this isn’t working well I can revisit my 8K training plan and adjust before race day. The weather also may pose a challenge. Again, because all of my runs will be outdoors if it’s a torrential downpour I may have to swap days or the time of day I will be running.
The only other item of note on my 8K training plan is that I am following a low-mileage plan. As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I wrote about my running journey, I have never been a high-mileage runner. It will, therefore, be crucial that I do not skip any training runs.
Week by Week
My plan started with three weeks where I would run three times a week (1 mile each). Three other days a week I am doing cross-training or yoga. I have one rest day per week on Sunday. I was happy to run my first mile without stopping at all, so far the Hal Higdon 8K is going great.
1 mile / unknown
1 mile / 12:06
1 mile / 19:59 –> GPS satellites slow!
1 mile / 12:35
1 mile / 13:54
1 mile / 13:38
1 mile / 12:14
1 mile / 11:37
Those are the times recorded by my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch during my runs. Unfortunately I had to skip one run and two days of cross training last week due to being sick. I hope this doesn’t set me back too far with my training.
Outside of being sick the only other struggle I have had has been with strength training. I’m supposed to do some type of strength training once a week after my run. I’m finding it easy to get out and run but once I am done I just want to be done and not do additional exercises, such as push ups or crunches.
8K Training Plan Beginner
I probably just need to push through and do the work. Working out six days a week is much more than I have been in recent months so I’m not going to beat myself up too much. This week my runs will increase to 1.5 miles each.
A lot of runners have been commenting on the weather lately. We’ve had some wonderful 60-degree days here in Cleveland. This is absolutely unheard of in February. Then we got pummeled with snow again. The tricky part for anyone local training for the Cleveland Marathon, or any of the distances, is that you have to grin and bear the Cleveland weather – mild or not.
I have one rest day per week on Sunday. Three days a week I cross-train or practice yoga. The other three days I run. As I mentioned two weeks ago, I was sick recently and unfortunately, that had an impact to my 8K training.
Sick <— I really had hoped to run this day but I was still feeling horrible.
1.5 mile / 13:00, 6:18
1 mile / 12:14
1.5 mile / 12:32, 6:18
Those are the times recorded by my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch during my runs. I’ve been having issues lately with my GPS watch delaying in connecting to satellites. It has been taking at least 0.25 mile before it connects. Does anyone else have this issue?
Sometimes I try to walk to warm up but if it’s really cold out or I’m pressed for time I would much rather begin my run the moment I head outside. I have 1-mile routes that I know and can run but I am enjoying using the running watch to track my pace. This will give me a better idea of my projected finish time on race day.
As I mentioned in my last update that I was struggling a bit with the strength training component of my training schedule. I wish I had improvement to report in this area, but again with being sick, I was just surviving and trying to get the miles in.
Hopefully I’ll figure that component out soon, especially considering race day is exactly two months from today! Weather-wise it’s still all over the board. This week we are looking at several days with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and then one day with a high in the 20s.
Regardless of what Mother Nature brings, I’m still sticking to my original plan which was to do all of my training runs outside – rain or shine. The Hal Higdon 8K is going well for me. As a reminder an 8K is close to 5 miles, therefore you can use this training plan as a 5 mile training plan as well.
8K Running Training Plan
Lastly, for some advice from the trenches, check out Christine’s blog (I’d Rather be Sweating) this week. She is sharing training and race day tips from fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors.
Other training plan posts:
Disclosure: As a 2017 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I will receive complimentary entry into the race of my choice, an ambassador shirt, along with special access to pre and post-race events, in exchange for writing about my training for this event.
*This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.