8K/10K Program

This 10-week training program caters to new runners as well as those more experienced, who are looking to increase their mileage to successfully complete an 8K or 10K at the end of the program. We will focus on improving endurance, injury prevention, running education, and training with a goal of safety first.  All paces are welcome. Like other MCRRC programs, we emphasize a supportive and fun environment.

Prerequisites: All running participants should be able to run 3 miles continuously at the start of the program.  All walking participants should start the program with a weekly walk time base of approximately an hour a week (2-3 20-minute walks per week) and be able to walk at least 30 minutes continuously.  MCRRC Membership is required for participation in this program.  If you are not a member, you will have the opportunity to join MCRRC during registration.  Participants must be 18 or older to register.

Structure: Participants will be assigned to one of three pace groups based on your mileage at the beginning of the program.  If you do not know your running pace, our coaching staff will work with you to place you in the correct pace group based on your ability and experience.

  • The White Program will be for individuals with a mileage base of 9 to 14 miles per week who can comfortably run at least 3 miles continuously at the start of the program and training for a 10K/8K or shorter distance. Their first long run will be 3 miles and will gradually increase to 8 miles.
  • The Blue Program will be for individuals with a mileage base of 15 or more miles per week who can comfortably run at least 5 miles continuously at the start of the program and training for a 10K/8K or longer. Their first long run will be 5 miles and will gradually increase to 10 miles.
  • The Run/Walk Group will be for individuals who have already completed at least one 5K race and/or able to walk or run/walk 3 miles.  Please note: Sunday long runs will begin with 3:1 intervals (i.e., run or fast walk 3 min/walk 1 min) throughout the workout. The interval run time will increase as the program continues.  This team will train by time.  The first Sunday workout will be 40 min (20 min out and back).

All participants will be provided two coached sessions as well as two suggested workouts each week.  Groups will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM at a local track (TBD) and on Sunday mornings at 7:00 AM for a long run in varying locations.   Wednesday speed training will be based on time and perceived effort.  Sunday long slow runs will be based on either distance or time, per each participants’ preference. The first long run will be 3 or 5 miles depending on each participant’s current mileage. The program will also include a walking option – no experience is necessary. The first long walk will be approximately 60 minutes. Instructions, including workout location & start time, will be sent via e-mail prior to the workout.

Program participants will be expected to workout at least two days per week on your own to meet weekly goals, as outlined by the coaches.  We plan to periodically invite experts to speak about injury prevention, nutrition, and cross-training

Running is an all-weather sport.  We will run in the rain but will cancel a workout if there is lightning. Workout cancellations or postponements will be posted to the communications group as soon as possible. During our workouts, groups should be respectful to other trail users and provide them with as much space as possible.  Please try to avoid “swarming,” which means splitting your group and passing other users on both sides.

Cost: Online registration is $50 and includes a premium.  The program fee does not include entry into any races.

Program Dates: Wednesday, May 17, 2023 – July 23, 2023

The program prepares runners to race by participating in low-key training races. Program directors will provide a list of club and DMV races in the summer and fall.


Date/ Time: Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 6:30 PM

Location: Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park located at 1800 Piccard Dr, Rockville, MD 20850 we will meet at the concessions building next to the football field  – please come dressed & prepared to run, run/walk  or walk!

Program Staff:

Head Coaches/Directors: Sandra Engstrom and Shirley Skorbiansky

Sandra moved to Washington, D.C. in 2000 and joined MCRRC to meet fellow runners in the area.  She has since participated in most of MCRRC’s training programs including FTM in 2005 and 2006.  After figuring out that marathons were not for her, Sandra went on to run 15 half marathons. Sandra is an RRCA-Certified coach and has been directing/co-directing the 8K Program since 2017.

Shirley started running in her native country of Uruguay by the scenic Montevideo rambla where she also practiced karate, yoga, and Feldenkrais (Google it).  It was only when her daughter Sharon started running in 2006 in Rockville, that she began progressively running around the block until she decided to run a marathon. She became an MCRRC Member and registered for the First Time Marathon Program (FTM) back in 2008.  She was hooked and decided to join the Experienced Marathon Program (XMP). Shirley has completed 17 marathons (including 2 Boston Marathons!) and 3 ultra-marathons, including JFK.  Shirley is an RRCA-Certified Coach and directed the Spring 5K Program from 2011 to 2013. In 2012, Shirley restructured it to become the 8K Program and directed it until 2017. She has co-directed the program since 2021.  Shirley has been a certified fitness instructor (strength training, spinning, stability ball, and Barre) since 2006, teaches classes, and volunteers in her organization (currently virtually).  When she’s not running or teaching fitness, she loves hiking, the beach, and traveling.

Program Registration

Registration is Open!

Please Note

A CURRENT MCRRC MEMBERSHIP is REQUIRED to participate in this program. Please note that membership is NOT included in your program registration. PRIOR TO JOINING this program, you must become a member. If you are unsure if you have a CURRENT MCRRC Membership, please contact office@mcrrc.org for assistance. Otherwise, please click here to become a valued member.

Communication Methods
We will use a private, online group to facilitate communications. Everyone will be required to join this group to participate in the program. Instructions on how to join this group will be provided by the Program Director.

The program director reserves the right in his sole discretion to refuse admission to the program or dismiss any individual from the program whom the program director believes is unsuited for running the specified distance or is unable to meet the demands of the training schedule, or is disruptive to other program participants. Those individuals will be denied entry into the program or dismissed from the program as appropriate. The program director also reserves the right to limit the number of participants in the overall program or in individual pace groups. MCRRC has a No Refund policy. Program registration fees cannot be refunded due to injury, schedule conflict or any other reason.