Am I a Certified Running Coach

pablo (5)

No.

I’ve no certification to coach running.

Such a title is not needed to be a running coach, unlike a dietitian or cosmetologist, for example.

Recently a Road Runners Club of America class opened up within driving distance of me, and I became interested. This is likely the most well-known coaching certification available.

I did some researching about the certification and have decided not to attend.

How the certification is done:

  1. You sign up online for a location and attend over that weekend.
  2. You take 16 hours over the two days of lecture covering topics of
    1. Coaching history
    2. Types of runners and their needs
    3. Understanding different types of workouts
    4. Running Form
    5. Nutrition
    6. Physiology
    7. Psychology
    8. Building a training plan

These are things I have spent hours upon hours reading about for the last decade. I have a degree in clinical nutrition and have taken exercise physiology courses. I spend my days reading and writing about these topics.

Here’s why I decided not to attend:

  1. It’s a weekend of classes, often at running stores or hotel meeting rooms. This is the absolute worst way to learn something. It’s cramming.
  2. Cramming for a 100 question multiple choice test.
  3. From the recaps of the certification it would not make me a better coach. I could likely pass the test up front.

However, there are reasons I would consider taking it.

  1. I would get put on a “Find a RRCA Coach” list, however this webpage is currently Not Found so technically there is no such list.
  2. They have Insurance through the program. (offered elsewhere as well)
  3. There is CPR training included (but I don’t coach in person)

With my past coaches and my coaching, what I do care about is how well I work with them and how happy they are with the relationship. 

Every month when I send a monthly invoice out I ask them what they’d like me to do more of and less of. I’m always available to talk and the schedule is written just for them and is fully dynamic.

The best indicators of my qualification as a coach are the referrals (30% of my athletes are referrals) and the payments every athlete continues to send me every month.

pablo (6)

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Pam Champlain - July 21, 2016

Two thumbs up. My previous coach got every certification under the sun and all it did for me was show me she could read books and pass a writing test. In my experience it did nothing for her coaching abilities but we did have to pay her more for it. And a side not on the “Find a Coach” page: it doesn’t list anything about the speciality of that person or any other specifics. Just a name and contact method. Not the best way to connect people.

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    Kyle - July 22, 2016

    Thanks Pam! As your current coach, this feedback means a lot, coming from you.

    Reply
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