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8-K Training Guide - Intermediate Program - Week 4

Monday: Back to the business at hand. With last week's stepback week behind us, we move forward in distance and difficulty. Today's Monday workout of 3 miles running followed by stretching and strengthening remains the same, but this week I will ask you run a total of 22 miles with a long run on the weekend of 5 miles, the same distance as the Shamrock Shuffle. By the way, how is your stretching and strengthening program going? If you have any questions concerning what to do, see: Stretch & Strengthen. Sometimes it's a good idea to remind yourself of what you know you're supposed to do.

Tuesday: Today's workout is 4.5 miles, another gentle nudge upward in distance. You might want to do this workout at a slightly faster pace than you carried during yesterday's easy run--not for the entire distance, but maybe for a mile or two in the middle.

Wednesday: Back to the track. Run 7 x 400 at near your 5-K pace. Jog or walk 400 meters between The way I often do this is to walk for about 100 meters after finishing the rep, then jog 200 along the backstretch, then walk 100 before beginning the next rep. How are your workouts going? For many people who lead "Normal Lives" and work during the week, the toughest thing about this type of training is finding time to do it.

Thursday: Four miles for today's run. Do it at an easy pace. Are you getting bored running the same old courses day after day. Most runners simply head out their front door and run over the same route. This is not a bad idea, since if you're a morning runner it's not always easy to think creatively in the hour before dawn. But consider how you might vary your route. Do your planning before you go to bed while your mind is fresh.

Friday: Today is a rest day. Did you hear what I said? Today is a rest day! Do I need to repeat myself? Today is a rest day! This weekend, you'll be running a 5-miler in addition to doing some cross-training. You'll be better prepared for Sunday's long run if you are well-rested.

Saturday: Sixty minutes of cross-training. Tomorrow offers a jump back to 5 miles for the long run, so make this an easy workout. An hour walk would be appropriate, and if you feel like interspersing some jogging steps, that's all right too. Incidentally, if Saturday is a better day for doing your long runs, don't hesitate to flip-flop workouts. Do the long runs on Saturdays and the cross-training on Sundays.

Sunday: Five miles of running. Keep the pace conversational; that is, so that you can hold a conversation with a running companion. If you get out of breath and can't talk--particularly in the early miles--you're running too fast. In running this far, you will go the same distance as you will in the Shamrock Shuffle, which will help bolster your confidence for the race four weeks from now.

Run Fast: The term "PR" is part of the running jargon; it means "Personal Record." Few of us will ever set a world or national record, but anybody can establish a PR. Any time you've recorded a time over any distance (even odd distances in training), it becomes your PR. Every time you run that course or distance, you will have an opportunity to better that PR. Going after PRs can be fun; most important, it can be motivational.

How to Improve: Hal Higdon's best-selling Run Fast covers the type of training that will help you improve your performances at all distances, including the 8-K. To order an autographed copy of this and other books by Runner's World's best writer go to Books by Hal Higdon.

Intermediate Training Program: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8