- Smarter Plans
- Fewer Injuries
- Better Results
Developed by certified coaches with time-tested results.
We know you’re unique. Your 8K training plan should match.
Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our 8K plans.
Custom 8K plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.
No matter what type of event you choose, running your best race means selecting an 8K training program that’s personalized to your needs. Custom Training Plans offers 14-week 8K training plans for beginners just coming from the couch plus 12-week 8K training plans designed for intermediate and advanced athletes who are seeking plans focused on improving performance. At CTP, we work with athletic trainers to devise customized 8K training programs with benefits that average plans simply don’t provide. We take a comprehensive, personalized approach to training, from your experience level and race goals to the features of the specific race you’re about to run.
Why use a customized 8K training plan?
If you decide to follow an average 8K training program you find online, buyer beware. These types of programs are generated for the average runner, and the results can be disappointing. For those who are just starting a training plan, workouts can be too difficult. Overtraining is the most common cause of many running-related injuries that can take you out of contention before you even get to the line. Custom Training Plans provides 14-week 8K training plans and 12-week 8K training plans that can be tailored to your needs. If you’re preparing for a local race or using a 14-week 8K training plan or 12-week 8K training plan as a stepping stone to the 10K and beyond, a general Custom Training Plans program can be tailored to accommodate your needs too.
While there are 10- and 8-week 8K training plans available, experts agree that 8K training plans that unfold over 12 to 14 weeks are optimal. The extra time allows your muscles to heal and provides opportunities for workouts that aren’t focused on running. Our 14-week 8K training plan adds two additional weeks of conditioning that help your body get ready to train so you can conquer your 8K. On the other hand, an average 12-week 8K training plan might not provide intermediate and advanced runners with workouts at a high enough intensity, leading to a disappointing performance on race day.
More than mileage: complete 8K training plans for everyone
At just under 5 miles, the 8K is a very attainable distance for weekend runners. The quality of your training plan will make a big difference, whether you’re kicking off your race season with 25,000 of your closest friends at the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago or you’re running a virtual 8K. Following a training plan that includes workouts that go beyond racking up the miles is key to keeping your preparation moving forward, especially if you are a first-time runner. A 14-week 8K training plan that includes extra conditioning along with running workouts that are fine-tuned to the event you’re preparing for helps you build up the types of strength you’ll need for the course that lies ahead.
In fact, laying a solid foundation for your 8K race should include cross-training, mobility exercises, and rest days. Cross-training could include swimming, bicycling, a brisk walk, or any other activity that increases your cardiovascular endurance. A great 8K training plan will also include mobility exercises like stretching, yoga, and more. These activities are meant to build up a strong base for your running workouts to build upon, keeping you injury-free and on pace to race day.
Custom Training Plans’ 8K programs also provide you with flexibility when it comes to where, when, and how you train. All runners will enjoy this benefit, but in particular, it can really help beginners. Unlike other programs that guilt you into workouts or force you to adhere to a rigid training schedule, our 14-week training plan lets you decide. Want to rest on a Monday instead of Saturday? Switch strength training with cross-training? Go for it! CTP’s programs are designed to accommodate your life.
Race-specific 8K training plans
Every race you’ll run is completely unique, and you should take an approach that reflects this. At Custom Training Plans, we consider the course, the typical weather conditions, and more. This information gives you an edge, providing you with critical tips on the methods you should use to prepare to run your best race. Factors like the elevation profile and expected weather can affect the way you train, so we give you workouts that are targeted to the course’s features or the pace you’ll need to set.
For example, if you’ve decided to tackle the 8K at the Gasparilla Distance Classic, you’ll want to follow a training plan that’s more than just a mileage calendar. The course follows the rolling hills of Bayshore Boulevard, so you want a plan that helps you build the strength and endurance you need to conquer the elevation changes. When you use a course-specific Custom Training Plans program, you’ll get running workouts that go beyond mileage. Hill sprints, intervals, and downhill work are all effective ways to increase your hill-running skills, better preparing you for the course ahead.
For race-specific plans, Custom Training Plans’ 14-week 8K training programs and 12-week 8K training programs even take the average race-day weather into account. Races like the Gasparilla 8K are run in hotter, more humid conditions. This can decrease your pace, so CTP guides you with workouts that help you pick up the pace so you’re prepared. Conversely, colder conditions on race day can actually make running easier, decreasing dehydration and increasing performance. That makes races like the Philadelphia Marathon’s 8K a great place to go for a new PR, and you can rely on Custom Training Plans to help you reach for your goals.
Can experienced runners benefit from 8K preparation?
Absolutely! Intermediate and advanced athletes can certainly benefit from following a 12-week 8K training plan. The 8K is a great distance for those reaching for the 10K, and it’s a moderately challenging step up from the 5K. However, what if you’ve got a solid running background that includes regular racing, the ability to train and complete half marathons or full marathons along with shorter distances, and an understanding of what different running workouts can do for you? You’ll need more sophisticated, demanding training than an average training plan can provide.
Intermediate 8K training plans involve more than just getting you from the start to the finish. Goal-focused, personalized training is the most effective approach when preparing for an 8K. Our plans add in speedwork like interval training, repeats, and tempo runs to help you get in shape to meet your target times, whether per-mile or overall. Just like the 14-week 8K training plans, you’ll combine your running workouts with cross-training like cycling, aerobics, or swimming; weight training, mobility exercises, and rest days.
Training for an 8K can prepare you for your goals during longer races later in your season or simply help to keep you motivated. Intermediate and advanced runners might be tempted to skip ahead or intensify their 8K prep with an abbreviated training plan, but there’s no shortcut to a faster finish. While you may be able to run 8K with ease now, stepping up to a comprehensive training plan for your next 8K can go a long way to build additional strength and power to drop your finishing time or pick up your race pace as your season rolls on.
Experience the difference of Custom Training Plans
The 8K is a race distance that’s gaining steam in cities across the nation. Whether you’re travelling to an event to see how you stack up to thousands of other racers or competing against your own PR, trust Custom Training Plans to provide trustworthy, reliable guidance. Each of our 14-week couch-to-8K training plans and 12-week 8K training plans are tailored to fit your needs, your goals, and even your race’s course. Our mission is to give runners of all levels the chance to train thoroughly, gradually, and above all, safely.
Well-rounded preparation for an 8K is a fun and effective way to increase your strength and endurance, but following a personalized approach is the key to success. Seasoned racers will find themselves challenged, following a 12-week 8K training plan that’s focused on building speed on top of your current fitness that can lead to a new PR. New runners using our 14-week 8K training plan can get ready to race with customized workouts at the right intensity for you. Take a look at the options that Custom Training Plans offers for 14-week 8K training plans and 12-week 8K training plans and experience the difference that personalized 8K training can make for yourself.
DETAILED DAILY PLAN
Letter from your coach
Weekly motivation email
How it works
- Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
- Your custom 8K Training Plan is built based advanced analytics with personalized coaching oversight.
- Receive your custom 8K Training Plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
- Finish the 8K Training Plan with confidence.
With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.
We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.
Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.