I am a little late with this post (which seems to be the theme here lately), but I wanted to post a recap of my experience taking the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Level 1 Running Coach Seminar in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago.
Becoming a certified running coach has been on my to-do list for quite some time. A few years ago, I served as an assistant running coach/volunteer for the girls’ cross county and track teams back at the high school that I had previously attended. It was during that time that I realized my passion for helping others meet their goals. Now that I have gained more experience in long distance running (with a number of marathons under my belt) and having developed a passion for learning more about and experimenting with different training philosophies – I decided to take the plunge and move forward with obtaining my “official” certification.
The RRCA classes are fairly well sought after and there are only a limited number of openings per year. Unfortunaly, I missed the course that was held in Chicago this spring and the only remaining course in the region on the 2016 schedule was located in Ann Arbor. Luckily, my younger sister is a University of Michigan alum so I was able to convince her to make the trek with me. (At this stage in my pregnancy, I don’t know if it would have been possible without her company/keeping me awake on the drive there and back)! The course was two days long and was held from 8:0
-5:00 (eastern time) each day (meaning that it really felt like being there at 7:00 for my central timezone adjusted body.
I’ll have to admit – I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I ended up enjoying the course. Our instructor was Randy Accetta who is the RRCA’s Director of Coaching Education (and a 2:19 marathoner). He was an extremely engaging speaker and did a great job of covering the material and incorporating personal antecdotes. On the first day of the course we reviewed different training philosophies and learned how to program schedules for different types of runners. On the second day, we learned more about coaching as a business, injury prevention, form, nutrition, and sports psychology. Even though I went into the class confident in my own knowledge and abilities I felt like I gained a lot of new information (and a new perspective on many of the topics). The people in the class were awesome as well. Because everyone came from different backgrounds, it was really interesting to hear other people’s take on things (and to see how much your own background and experiences shapes your coaching philosophies).
Following the class, all coaching candidates have to take a 100-question exam and obtain their first aid and CPR certifications. I took (and passed) the test within the first few days after (once I caught up on my sleep from being gone all weekend) and took both certification classes at a local hospital. Now I am just waiting on final confirmation back from RRCA that they have received all of my documents and to be added to the online system!