8 Week Advanced 5K Training Schedule

Running 5K is no easy feat. You have to put your body through a few weeks of tough training before you even think about tackling the full 5k.

If you have tried our 6-week beginner 5K training schedule and found it wasn’t quite challenging enough, this 8-week advanced training program may be right for you. Even if you have run a 5K race before or have been running for a little while, a training program is a great way to get the most out of your capabilities.

The advanced 5K training schedule is especially handy if you are looking to achieve a personal best and want to push yourself to the limits. Don’t worry if this schedule is too challenging for you.

We have more schedules available that may suit you better. However, if you are determined and want to push through the barriers, keep reading to find all you need to know for completing a 5K run efficiently and safely.

Our advanced training schedule is particularly useful for more experienced runners. We don’t recommend trying this out if you have never run before or run for a while. It is worth trying out beginner schedules first to build up your stamina and strength.

The following plan was designed around an 8-week schedule to build up your endurance and adapt to your fitness level.

You will be doing a combination of running, walking, and, the best of all, resting. This training program will get you fit without getting hurt!

We do not doubt that you will smash this challenge and be getting your personal best very soon!

Types of workout in this schedule

To get you running 5K with ease in just 8-weeks, you will have to mix up your routine with other exercises as well as running. 

Here, we will look at what these will be so you can feel more confident going forward.

Cross-training

Cross-training (CT) is when you train more than just one skill. When you have cross-training days, you will still be working on your cardio but in other ways such as swimming or biking. This will be at a moderate pace for around 45 to 60 minutes a day.

You will also include some basic strengthening exercises to build up various muscles throughout your body. It may not sound like it but cross-training is a great way of giving your muscles and joints a break from running while still doing cardio.

Interval workouts

These are a great way of getting fit and strong quickly. You will start with a warm-up and then run 400 meters as fast as you can. Next, you slow down to a jog or walk to recover for another 400 meters.

This can also be done on a treadmill so if this is the case, you should run for ¼ of a mile for the hard intervals. You can also run intervals on hills that have a little incline. Run up this hill hard for 90 seconds and recover by jogging gently back down it.

To finish off these workouts, do a 5 to 10-minute cool-down at a very easy pace.

Easy Paced Runs

With an easy pace run or EP, you need to warm up first. Then, run at a pace most comfortable for the mileage or time designated to you.

The best method of finding a comfortable pace is to check whether you can speak easily during this run. You don’t want to breathe too heavily as this will tire you out quickly. 

Again, be sure to cool down for 5 or 10 minutes with some stretching. You will also be doing long runs (LR) which should be done at a similar, comfortable pace to these.

Tempo Runs 

A tempo run (TR) helps improve your anaerobic threshold. This is a point during an exercise where lactic acid begins to accumulate in the muscles so developing this threshold is vital for fast-paced 5K races.

To start this run, you need to begin with 5 to 10 minutes of gentle running. Then move onto 15 to 20 minutes of running close to your 10K pace. This is a pace that feels comfortable yet hard at the same time. Finish with a cooling down period of around 5 to 10 minutes.

Rest Day

This may be the most important aspect of 5K training. It is vital in your recovery and the prevention of any injuries.

Even if you feel raring to go on a rest day, you should use this time to soothe your muscles. These muscles are worked hard on your training days so they need to build and repair during your rest days.

If you don’t take these days off, your gains will be far less. You can sandwich these rest days between certain workouts such as cross-training and long runs.

8 Week Advanced 5K Training Schedule

Now that you know the different workouts that will be involved, let’s delve straight in and start your training schedule.

Week 1

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest
  • Day 2: 4 x 400 Interval Workout
  • Day 3: 4 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 30 min Tempo Run (15 minutes at tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 5 mile Long Run 
  • Day 7: 35 min Easy Paced Run

Week 2

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 4 x 400 Interval Workout 
  • Day 3: 4 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 30 min Tempo Run (15 minutes at tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 5 mile Long Run  
  • Day 7: 35 min Easy Paced Run 

Week 3

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 5 x 400 Interval Workout 
  • Day 3: 5 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 35 min Tempo Run (20 minutes at tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 6 mile Long Run  
  • Day 7: 40 min Easy Paced Run 

Week 4

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 6 x 400 Interval Workout 
  • Day 3: 5 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 35 min Tempo Run (20 minutes at tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 6 mile Long Run 
  • Day 7: 45 min Easy Paced Run 

Week 5

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 6 x 400 Interval Workout
  • Day 3: 5 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 40 min Tempo Run (20 minutes  tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 7 mile Long Run  
  • Day 7: 40 min Easy Paced Run 

Week 6

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 6 x 400 Interval Workout 
  • Day 3: 5 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 40 min Tempo Run (20 minutes at tempo pace)  
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 6 mile Long Run 
  • Day 7: 40 min Easy Paced Run

Week 7

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest 
  • Day 2: 5 x 400 Interval Workout
  • Day 3: 4 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 4: 35 min Tempo Run  (15 minutes at tempo pace)
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: 7 mile Long Run 
  • Day 7: 45 min Easy Paced Run

Week 8

  • Day 1: Cross-training or Rest
  • Day 2: 3 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 3: 20 min Tempo Run
  • Day 4: 2 mile Easy Paced Run 
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: 5K Race time! 
Suzie

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