Beginner Program

Beginner Program

Welcome to Running

This fun and progressive 8-week beginner running program sponsored by the North Jersey Masters running club has been designed to make sure that your first step is the right step towards discovering the joy and fitness benefits of running and completing a 5K race. All abilities are welcomed whether you are new to running, a casual runner looking to advance to the next level, or returning to running after a break. Your commitment to achieving your personal goals along with our training techniques, support and expert speakers will prepare you to cross the finish line.

We hold two formal beginner-running programs throughout the year that culminate with a 5K race. Each consists of eight (8) weeks of instruction with an experienced, certified running coach who will guide you on your journey along with club member volunteers and former program graduates. Over the course of the program you will be equipped with the knowledge, encouragement and inspiration you need to be successful.

NO PRIOR RUNNING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED!! All you need to do is bring your sneakers and  heaps of enthusiasm to the workouts, attend classes regularly, and do the prescribed homework. All participants progress at their own pace; in following the program you will steadily increase your running endurance and fitness and be 5K ready by race day.


Crossing that finish line is exhilarating and most significantly, it is life changing. Our hope is that yours and your peers’ accomplishments inspire you throughout and beyond your journey and that you will make running a permanent lifestyle.

Registration is Open!

If you, or someone you know, is interested in beginning their running journey, now is the time to sign up for our next program. Classes are limited in size and subject to availability.

What Does Our Beginner 8-Week Running Program Include?

The Club firmly believes in fostering fitness in our communities. Thus, in keeping with our status as a non-profit corporation, we offer a vastly subsidized beginner running program. The low enrollment fee of $100.00 for the program includes:

  • One year membership in North Jersey Masters
  • 8 weeks of professional coaching in a supportive group environment
  • Weekly training schedules developed for runners with no or limited experience
  • Educational clinics
  • Unlimited e-mail and phone support from the coach
  • A technical fabric tee-shirt
  • Race entry fee for the 5K goal race
  • Discounts with NJM retail partners
  • All North Jersey Masters club benefits for one year including club meetings. workouts, team races, and social events.


A North Jersey Masters coach certified by the USATF and RRCA leads the program in a group format. Homework, which consists of three (3) practice runs per week, will be e-mailed to registrants weekly along with other relevant and practical advice and motivational inspiration. Doing the homework as prescribed supplements the work done in class and will help you to build your fitness slowly and safely. The coach will gladly respond to unlimited individual questions and concerns throughout the program. We want you to succeed!

Workouts are open to registrants only.

Guest speakers who are professional experts in their fields will discuss running related topics including but not limited to wellness, hydration, running form, clothing, nutrition and basic physiology.

Runners are encouraged to attend all workouts in a season.


One-hour sessions are held Saturday and Wednesday mornings at 9:00am during the spring and fall seasons at the following locations:

GLEN ROCK DUCK, 149 Alan Avenue: Glen Rock Duck Pond: Last parking area on the left before the exit.
RIDGEWOOD DUCK POND, 1133 Ridgewood Avenue: ridgewood-351738824: last parking area on the right before the park exit.

Beginner Program Safety Guidelines

Safety Guidelines for North Jersey Masters Beginner Program Students and Volunteers

  • The park is a public area. This program and the North Jersey Masters do not have special rights to park pathways during class or at any other time.
  • Pay attention to surroundings at all times including but not limited to distracted pedestrians, moving vehicles (cars, bikes, roller bladders scooters etc.) and to road surface conditions.
  • Be courteous of and respectful to other pedestrians on the path.
  • No headphones, strollers or dogs during class.
  • Stay to the right of the center of the path should anyone need to pass. Run no more than 2-3 abreast when space allows and in single file if the path is congested.
  • There is slight lip on the right edge of the pathway. Stay clear of the edge to avoid tripping.
  • Use caution and slow down when entering and exiting underpasses and bridges where blind spots can impede visibility and road surfaces can be slippery.
  • If you are passing other runners announce that you are doing so and move to their left while passing. Survey your surroundings to ensure it is safe to pass.
  • Run at the students pace (not volunteer pace) and do not push students beyond their comfort zone. This is a training session not a race.
  • Beware of dogs on leashes, especially long, retractable ones. Volunteers leading should give a shout out to dog owners that they will be passing to assure it is safe and give the dog owner time to move aside on the path.
  • Beware of bicycles and roller bladders traveling at high speeds both in front of and behind you, particularly when you enter and exit the overpasses! They are supposed to alert you that they are passing but may not always do so. Be proactive and assume responsibility for moving out of harms way.
  • Last person in the pack should always have a volunteer escort.
  • Report any concerns to the coach so that they can make improvements and or address any students with special issues.
  • In the event of an emergency:

1) Examples of emergencies that may occur include a person who can’t breathe, falls and cannot resume walking or running, a person who faints, or someone who requests medical attention for various reasons.

2) In the event of an emergency, immediately call 911. You then must notify the coach.

3) If necessary, seek the help of other local North Jersey Masters’ volunteers to assist with shielding the injured person (if applicable), runner direction, traffic control, and crowd control.

4) Do not attempt to move the injured person. We have not been trained in emergency management and may make the situation worse by attempting to move an injured person.

5) Comfort the injured person by providing security from other people on the course or in the area involved. Provide shade and / or water to the injured person, if applicable.

6) Stay with the injured person until the EMT arrives. Provide the EMT with all pertinent information that includes how the person fell, consciousness, what body part was injured, and the time that the incident had occurred.

7) After the emergency situation has been finalized you will need to assist with the completion of an NJM Incident Report. Please see the NJM President or coach. This report must be completed the same day that the incident had occurred.

                                               Important Phone Numbers

North Jersey Masters Coach Linda Ferraro 201-819-6513

Goal Race

Runners will typically run the Ridgewood Run 5K, a signature race managed by the NJM (spring program) or the Paramus Run 5K (fall program).
NOTE: Goal races are subject to change at the discretion of the coach.


Once you have successfully completed the introductory program, North Jersey Masters welcomes you to our other workouts (see workout page) and the weekly Saturday club group run that was started by and continues to be organized by runners who came through our Beginners 5K program.

Notice: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions we recommend that you consult with your primary physician before undertaking any exercise program.

Testimonials and Video

“Thank you again for a wonderful program and for motivating me to achieve something I never imagined I would do. And as a bonus, I love it too!”


“I am so happy now to have a running community so that I can keep this going!”


“The program is so well designed and supportive that I know I can do this!”


Video about the program:

Click HERE to watch a video about our beginner program!