I’m a running coach!

After talking about it for well over a year, I finally managed to get on an RRCA Coaching course that took place in January. It was a fun and fairly intensive weekend which really revitalized my enthusiasm for my own running as well as wanting to help others either get started or improve their running.

Part of my reasoning for doing this was just to inform my own running – after 5 years I’m looking for more ways to improve and make sure I can keep running healthily, but I also love the idea of helping others enjoy running.

The certification requires you pass the exam with 85 correct answers out of 100, and I somehow managed to get 97 correct on an exam where I felt I could easily have got more wrong (but now I really want to know which 3 I did get wrong). You are also required to get first aid and CPR certified.

About a year and a half ago, I started looking at the USATF coaching options, and there is an initial online “fundamentals” course which I completed, but didn’t take it further. Part of this was because RRCA courses are hard to come by – I had also considered the USATF course but decided I would prefer the RRCA course because it focuses solely on running whereas the USATF Level 1 covers track and field (although I am considering doing that too now).

I think I had a desire to keep busy following the events of February because I set to work forming my own company and setting up a website and now I am owner of Running It Softly LLC.

I still didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, but made a quick decision to set up a (cheap) 8 week group training program leading up to the Highland Park 5k (of which I happen to be a race director). I put the word out on Facebook and within a few days I had 10 athletes ready to go. The first session was on Saturday and to say I’m enjoying it so far would be an understatement.

I’m already looking around for other local races to try to build similar groups for, and I’m really interested in doing a kids series of fun sessions so I’m looking into what I might need to do for that.

Now I just have to work out a way to transform this into a long term plan that could maybe see me making it more than just a part time thing for fun. I may also combine it with a more general personal trainer qualification…

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6 Responses to I’m a running coach!

  1. Dave Schatz says:

    Congratulations on the coaching certificate and website launch.

  2. Michael Given says:

    Good job! I really want to do the exact same thing, but haven’t gotten around to the seeking out groups part of it. I did the USATF certification because it’s more widely recognized, but totally agree the RRCA certification would have been more rewarding and running focused. I monitored the RRVA site for a local class for 3 years and just gave up looking. Awesome endeavor though and all the best of luck!

    • runnj says:

      How was the USATF one? There’s a course in NYC in May and I’m tempted but it seems a long way to go (it’s way uptown). I was lucky in that this town rallies behind the annual 5k so I was able to tap into that following the tough winter. So glad I’m doing it though and I’ll be using some of the money to sponsor the race too.

  3. Congrats to your new venture! Best of luck.

    • runnj says:

      Thank you. Even if it never progresses beyond the few things I think I can reasonably get going I’m really glad I am doing it.

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