8k in Miles | How Many Miles is 8K

Are you wondering what is 8k in miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am excited you have made it here and hope this site will be a resource to set your next PR with. There are many people who are seeking how many miles are in an 8k. 8k racers largely see the distance as 5 miles in length.

The answer to that question is there are 4.96 miles in an 8k. The 8k distance is commonly competed in here in the united States of America. Athletes on college cross country teams usually compete over 8k to 10k distances.

The trick to running 8k fast is to teach the body to clear lactic acid more effectively. More importantly, clear it faster than it is building up. Easy running is still important but will not produce this physiological adaptation. Faster running will. So, the goal behind RunDreamAchieve 5-mile training plans is to help the athlete achieve a new personal best.

How Many Miles is 8K

So, now that you know 8k is actually not 5 miles but 4.96 miles what is the right timeframe to train for one. My top recommendation is to focus on a minimum of 12 and preferably 16 weeks. The first 4 to 6 weeks should be focused mainly on easy, aerobic mileage first. The reason is that it takes time to get into great anaerobic shape. So, you don’t want to be in a rush trying to get into great physical fitness.

In addition, you also want to strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments. The base-building phase is where you do this. I would begin doing strides twice per week though during this time. Strides are shorter, 50m to 100m long acceleration drills. They are great for warming up prior to starting your tempo runs and track workouts. In addition, will help you with your form and getting your heart rate up.

What is an Average 8K Time?

An average 8k time is usually between 40 to 50 minutes. Of course, there are many runners who can run much faster and some, slower. It all depends on what your specific goal time is. Remember, you need to spend a higher percentage of your weekly training spent at or below goal race pace. The problem for many runners is pace sustainment.

So, to slow down less than your competition you need to improve your body’s lactate tolerance. Easy running won’t do this. Yes, easy running is still important. You need to build your endurance and be able to recover from your hard training. That being said, you have to train at very high, anaerobic efforts to get 8k race pace to feel more manageable.

The 4 phase of RunDreamAchieve training plans available here are…

  • Base-building phase (introductory workouts and strides)
  • 8k race specific training phase (training at or close to goal 8k race pace)
  • Speed development phase (training at considerably faster than 8k race paces)
  • Taper phase (focusing on a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper)

What is a Good Time for a 8K Run?

A good 8k time will largely depend on the overall fitness of the athlete. I think a good time for an 8k is anything under 40 minutes. Of course, if the athletes gets a new personal best using one of my 5 mile training plans I think that is beyond good, regardless of time. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a new personal best right? I know I do.

As mentioned above, the key to racing 8 kilometers or 8,000 meters is speed development. I am a big believer in doing faster, varied paced long runs. I think far too many runners are conducting their long runs too slow. In addition, they are running long and slow every single weekend. I was able to lower my 8k PR down to 24:32 using this strategy. In addition, improved my marathon PR from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic.

Below are some examples of the long runs I was doing prior to running 2:19:35 for the marathon.

  • 1 mile jog, 8 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 3 miles@5:55 mile pace, 3 miles easy, 3 miles@5:40 mile pace, 1 mile jog (22 miles)
  • 2 mile jog, 4 miles@6:00 mile pace, 1 mile easy, 4 miles@5:40, 1 mile easy, 4 miles@5:25 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 3 miles easy (18 miles)

How Long to Run 5 Miles

Remember, always follow a harder, long run the following week with an easier, relaxed long run. Remember, you want to adapt to the hard training you are doing. You will most certainly need to take it easy on those recovery days. It was not uncommon for me to need 2 to 3 days recovery after doing long runs like you see above.

Of course, you don’t need to run 18 to 22 mile long runs for an 8k race. 7 to 12 miles is sufficient for training for a 5 mile race. How long to run 5 miles? As mentioned above, I would focus on a 12 to 16 week build up for your goal 8k race. Remember, 8k in miles comes out to 4.96 miles. So, we want to cover that distance as efficient (economically) as possible. Also, maintain 8k race pace longer than our competition.

So, it is going to take a longer build up in order to do this correctly. Again, you don’t want to be in a rush. It takes the body about 4 weeks to adapt to any stress being placed on it. So, the benefits of the hard work you are doing today will be seen several weeks and months from now.

What is Considered a Fast 8K?

A fast 8k time is only going to be produced if the athlete has trained properly. Fast, to me, is anything under 25 minutes which comes out to about 4:53 mile pace. The only way to run a faster 8k time is to train at very aggressive paces often enough. The world’s best middle to long distance runners run about 40% of their weekly volume at or below goal race pace.

So, of course they make it look easy. It isn’t because they are Kenyan. Remember, the world’s best runners are not just from Kenya. The national marathon record for Japan is 2:04. The Japanese are some of the most dedicated runners in the world. America’s national record for the marathon is also 2:04. The world record for the 8k distance is 22:05 although it is not an olympic event. The 10k is though.

How Can I Run 8K Faster?

Run Longer

What has been the longest long run you have done in the past for your races? 6 miles? 8? 10? I would focus on lengthening your long run out to around 10 to 12 miles. Why? Well, you are basically run twice the distance of your race. So, that will help build a lot of confidence. In addition, you will build a great deal of endurance and stamina running this far.

You also want to make sure you are paying attention to hydrating well before, during and after your long runs. I would highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitors will help you to stay in the correct heart rate zone while you are running. I use the Garmin 245 and highly recommend. Again, 8k in miles is 4.96 miles. So, we want to cover that distance as efficiently as we can.

The only way to run a fast 8k time is to train significantly faster than 8k race pace. Also, to build your endurance by doing long runs properly. Again, you don’t want to run long and slow every single weekend. Long slow long runs produce long slow runners. The majority of runners have time goals. What is yours?

Focus on Speed Development

We focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. Of course, vo2 max workouts come in different forms. We are running between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate at this intensity. So, speed workouts are most definitely not fun.

You are running so fast you can’t clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, we need to take breaks in between track or road intervals. I would not start your next interval until your heart rate is back down to 120 beats per minute.

Below are some common vo2 max workouts you may see in RunDreamAchieve training plans…

  • Fartlek workouts i.e. 3x5minutes hard/2 mins easy, 20x1min hard/1 min easy, etc.
  • Track intervals i.e. 16x400m, 10x200m, 8x1k etc
  • Road intervals i.e. 5x1mile, 3x2mile etc.

Vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. The athlete doing these types of workouts will see significant results if they do them consistently. Again, the overall goal is to sustain 8k race pace longer than your competition. In addition, run more efficiently throughout the race.

Spend Longer Durations at Your Anaerobic Threshold

Tempo runs are also essential to get race pace to feel easier. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past training for 5K to 10k races? I would focus on lengthening the duration of your tempo run out toward 6 to 8 miles. We are running between 85 to 88 percent of our maximum heart rate running at our anaerobic threshold.

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I make new videos there each week discussing 8k training tips and much more. Tempo runs are usually spent at heart rates between 160 to 174BPM.

Of course, this will depend on the overall fitness of the athlete. In addition, age of the athlete and terrain the athlete is running over. Heart rate will always drop running downhills and rise when running over rolling hills.

How Do I Start Training for an 8K?

The best way is to invest in yourself and get a legitimate 5 mile training plan. Are you aiming at running a longer race like the half marathon or marathon? If so, I have created running courses for both half marathon and marathon athletes you may be interested in. Are you seeking an online coach? If so, I do work one-on-one with athletes as well here at RunDreamAchieve.

Consistency is also very important. The best way of how to get started in training for an 8k is to be consistent. Yes, you will have days where you simply do not want to get out the door to train. Remember, what is that is driving you to be a better runner? Are you using the 8k distance to get faster for the 10 mile, half-marathon or marathon distances? Nothing can take the place of being consistent in your training.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, 8k in miles is 4.96 miles. Generally, it is seen as a 5 mile race although it is slightly short of the 5 mile race distance. Make sure to implement mental training into your routine as well. The very best middle to long distance runners know mental as well as physical training is essential for success. Strength training should also be a part of your preparation.

That being said, you don’t need to be in the gym more than once per week. Again, the overall focus is leverage. How can we get the very best results on the least amount of work. There are many hard working runners who still don’t meet their training goals. So, it isn’t about running high mileage. High mileage is not a guarantee that you are going to run a fast 8k.

You should always focus on quality over quantity. Athletes can get legitimate 8k race results on 20 to 60 miles a week. Again, it comes down to the maturity level of the athlete and his or her preparation. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you’d like to know more about my racing background. Also, to learn more about my training philosophy. I wish you the very best in your future racing. Reach out to me anytime at nathanpennington [at] protonmail [dot] com.

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