8K Training

8K Training

The 8K serves as an “in-between” distance, almost an “offbeat” distance since it is not run that often. Five miles in length, the 8K occupies a spot somewhere between the more popular 5K and 10K distances. Yet if there is a big road race 8K in your town, you’re going to run it.


This is certainly true in Chicago, where, early in spring, the Shamrock Shuffle opens the racing season that ends in the fall with the Chicago Marathon. Those two events define running in Chicago. Chicago has always been an Irish city. Having come from those same roots (my mother was an O’Leary), I naturally am partial to a race with “shamrock” in its title.

You can’t always depend on warm spring weather in Chicago, but with more than 20,000 finishers each year, the Shuffle is the largest 8K race in the United States, well ahead of popular races at that distance in San Diego, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Portland. If you live in one of those cities–or in another city that offers an 8K race–here is a training program for you. Regardless of your skill level–whether novice, intermediate or advanced–this 8-week program will get you to the finish line.

8K Training

An often overlooked distance, 8Ks remain popular among cross-country runners, particularly in college programs. Hal has you covered, offering three levels for your next 8K.

  • Novice

    This program is designed for Novice runners, mostly first-timers, training for an 8K race. If you are an experienced runner, you might want to...

  • Intermediate

    This training plan is designed for Intermediate runners readying themselves for an 8K race, and like all Hal's intermediate training programs, it is for...

  • Advanced

    This plan is designed for Advanced runners training for an 8K race. Advanced runners are individuals who compete regularly in races up to 8K...