Part 2 of How to Train for a 5K
(especially if you have never exercised before!)
By Rabbi Esther Reed, Senior Associate Director of Rutgers Hillel
If you’re thinking about running in a 5K and you’ve never done it before, how will you get started? Read these simple steps:
Step One: Make the Commitment
Because I knew that I wanted to run the following year, that gave me a whole year to prepare for it. (Not that I trained for a year, because I wasn’t organized like that…) So to get started, the most important thing is to set up a goal and figure out how you’ll achieve it. For me, the goal was to run a 5K sometime before the Rutgers Hillel one (I needed to prove to myself that I could do it in a somewhat anonymous environment before running in a race where almost everyone would know me) and then to run the FIT 5K in 2013.
Step Two: Come up with a Plan
As someone who hadn’t been running on occasion, let alone regularly, I needed to figure out how to train for a 5K. Fortunately, a friend had an interest in training for a 5K also, so together we began a “Couch to 5K” program. These programs are easy to find online (there’s even an app for that!) and get you ready for a 5K in two months! It requires about 20-30 minutes of your time, three times a week. You alternate jogging/running with walking, and you start out with short periods of running and gradually increase. For example, you might have 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking, alternating like that for 20 minutes total. Then you start to increase the time running and decrease the time walking, so you might have 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, alternating for 25 minutes. Eventually, you work your way up to running for 30 minutes straight or 3.1 miles (which equals 5K).
Step Three: Stick to the Plan
Because I had a friend who wanted to run with me, I kept it up when she was running. And because I knew that the 5K I had signed up for was approaching, I continued to train and run even when she was no longer available to run with me. I found some running buddies at the gym I go to and we would meet at the track together. Community made all the difference.
Step Four: You Can Do It!
On race day, I was SO nervous! But some of my running buddies from the gym (as well as a coach that the gym provided!) came with me. We ran together for that first 5K. We couldn’t run the entirety of it, so we ran for 10 minutes, walked for a minute, ran for 10 minutes, walked for a minute, and then ran the final 10 minutes to the finish line. Even though we didn’t run the whole time, and even though we were not very fast, it still was very exciting!
I have run two more 5K’s since then (including the Rutgers Hillel FIT 5K in 2013). The last 5K I ran, I set a goal formyself to run the whole time, and not to walk at all. I accomplished that goal and now I’m training again to be able to increase my speed for my next 5K.
I will be running at the Rutgers Hillel FIT 5K because community makes all the difference. It made a difference in me becoming a novice runner, and it makes a difference in the lives of our students at the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement. Please support this worthy cause!
I will be running at the Rutgers Hillel FIT 5K on Sunday May 4. I hope you will join me!
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!