Running Coach Certification – What Is It & How Do You Get One?
You may know or met someone that is a running coach. If this person describes themselves as a running coach, they have probably completed a running coach certification.
This shows potential clients that they have some qualifications in coaching runners and building training plans.
If your goal is to become a running coach and sell training programs online or teach in person, it is recommended that you get your qualifications, not only for your future clients but to also make sure you know the basics before you start.
This article discusses getting your running coach certification and how it can help your journey to be a running coach. We also discuss where you can get a running coaching certificate. So, if you are an aspiring coach, keep reading.
What Is A Running Coach Certification?
A running coach certification usually consists of many training modules. Each module will focus on specific parts of being a running coach. These may include:
– Learning how to warm up and cool down correctly
– Flexibility training
– Building endurance
– Injury prevention
– Improving speed through specific workouts
– Lactate threshold
– VO2 max
– Learn to coach groups of runners or individual athletes
– How to structure training
– Analyze heart rate and speed data
Most running coach certifications are performed online where you complete training modules. Each module focuses on the latest research-based sports science and specific parts of being a running coach. However, there are a few places where you can get your running coach certification by completing courses through your national body or through a sports or running academy.
However, most successful running coaches either have a degree in sports medicine or years of training athletes under their belt. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t complete an online certification. The more knowledge you learn and the more input you can take in will help your future clients and help you become a better running coach.
How Do You Get A Running Coach Certificate?
There are numerous ways to get a running coach certification. The most common is through your national athletics association. Most national bodies have levels of coaching certificates which are performed through exams and personal coaching.
Other ways include learning online through education sources, online coaches, or an ICF-approved program.
If you don’t have the time to complete an in-person running certification, you can reach out to some established coaches and see if you can learn from them. The downside is you are less likely to earn a certification through this method, which can prove to your clients that you are qualified to teach people how to run and train correctly.
Where Do You Get A Running Coach Certification?
There are many places you can get a running coach certification. The most common places are through:
– Your national athletics federation
– Roadrunners Club of America
– Your local running club
– Online resources
– McMillan running
– United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (Uesca)
– North American Academy For Sports Fitness Professionals (Naasfp)
– USA Track And Field (Usatf)
– National Personal Training Association (NPTA)
– Training Peaks University
It is important to know that most of these places require you to have first aid and CPR credentials before you sign up. For most people, it is best to complete these 30-60 days before signing up for the courses.
Most courses will also have a set time to complete all modules. So, it is important to know whether you have time to complete these before signing up for a certification. Otherwise, you may find yourself wasting money and not completing the course.
Some certifications through your national federation may also hold you back from completing too many levels within a certain time frame as most federations want you to gain experience in the field before moving up levels.
Is A Certification Valuable?
For most wannabee running coaches it is a valuable asset. As it can help you learn the basic fundamentals of coaching, training, injury prevention, nutrition, and coaching groups. It can also help to top up any knowledge you may have.
If you already have experience in this, you may not feel the need to complete the basics. However, for most certifications, you will need to pass every level or module. While this may feel like a waste of time, it is good to refresh the memory of things you may have overlooked in the past.
In short, it’s a great idea to become a running coach and teach your passion to hundreds of people every year. However, knowing your goals and selecting the right certification program will ensure you learn the most before you start coaching runners.
As a coach for more than 15 years, we also recommend you try to get under the wing of a more experienced coach. That way, you can learn more about the fundamentals of coaching athletes. You may also learn how to market your running coaching to more people and pick up some tips along the way. You might even find you get a job with a coach or even a club.