Half Marathon Apps
The Novice 1 Plan
The Novice 2 Plan
Full Marathon Apps
The Novice 1 Plan
The Novice 2 Plan
The Intermediate 1 Plan
The Intermediate 2 Plan


8-K Training Guide

The 8-K serves as an "in-between" distance, almost an "offbeat" distance since it is not run that often. Five miles in length, the 8-K occupies a spot somewhere between the more popular 5-K and 10-K distances. Yet if there is a big road race 8-K 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, its current mayor continuing the tradition of leaders who trace their roots to the Old Sod. 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 8-K 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 8-K 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.

Useful links: StretchStrengthen | Marathon

Novice Schedule Intermediate Schedule Advanced Schedule
Week 1 Week 1 Week 1
Week 2 Week 2 Week 2
Week 3 Week 3 Week 3
Week 4 Week 4 Week 4
Week 5 Week 5 Week 5
Week 6 Week 6 Week 6
Week 7 Week 7 Week 7
Week 8 Week 8 Week 8