Part 1 of How to Train for a 5K 

(especially if you have never exercised before!)

By Rabbi Esther Reed, Senior Associate Director of Rutgers Hillel


Rabbi Esther Reed with two of her sons at the 2nd Annual Fit5K in May 2013

Rabbi Esther Reed with two of her sons
at the 2nd Annual Fit5K in May 2013

I have completed three 5K races in my life–all within the past 12 months.  Before a few years ago, I never exercised. EVER.

What propelled me to do such a crazy thing as train for a 5K?  Well, my story starts with sadness…my father passed away a little under 8 years ago.  Because one of the illnesses contributing to his death was congestive heart failure, after a few months, I thought I should go to my doctor for a checkup. The doctor told me that I should start exercising. And especially since heart disease ran in my family, I should start exercising. Oh, and since it would be good for me to lose a little weight, I should start exercising.

My initial reactions were: Who, me?  First, I’m too busy to exercise.  Second, I have no motivation–it can’t be any fun, right? Third, I am not great at starting something new and sticking with it, so it’s probably never going to happen.

After those initial reactions, I decided to start going to a local gym to try out exercise.  The people were really nice and I enjoyed being with them. After the workouts, I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride.  I even started to see results in my performance and in the shape of my figure.  If I skipped a session at the gym, I felt that I needed to explain to people why I wasn’t there, and that accountability kept me going. For me, community made all the difference.

So I had started exercising a bit, but I certainly wasn’t a runner.  To be honest, running a 5K wasn’t anywhere on my exercise radar screen. Then I went to the first annual Rutgers Hillel FIT 5K in 2012.  I had never been to a 5K before.  The enthusiasm of the participants and the spectators, and the way everyone encouraged one another made me feel like it was something I could try the following year. Community made all the difference, and I decided that I could do it, too! That was the first step…


Click here to read Part 2 and find out the four steps you can take to get yourself ready to run the Fit5K!

Rabbi Esther Reed (center) after her first run in 2013

Rabbi Esther Reed (center) after her first run in 2013

Now in its 3rd year, the FIT 5K is a 5 kilometer or 1 mile run/walk held to raise money and support for The Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement (RHCIE), which is the first permanent, pro-Israel center on any college campus.

RHCIE is a model of excellence in Israel engagement, education, and advocacy on campus.

The Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement is driven by a core belief that a positive connection to Israel is essential for a strong, healthy Jewish identity.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday May 4th, 2014 at 10am, and will be held in and around Buccleuch Park in New Brunswick.  Please come and show your support!

Click here to Register for the 3rd Annual Fit5K

Click here to Sponsor the 3rd Annual Fit5K