Endure Run Conquer

Patience. Persistence. Perseverance.

Tag: marathon

RRCA Certification and Running Coach Training

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!


From Preparing for the Marathon to Preparing for Baby

In my mind, fall is inextricably linked with marathon training. This is usually the time of year where all of the summer miles start paying dividends and my body starts feeling more prepared for the challenge ahead. This year is different (but somewhat the same in a strange way). Obviously, there will be no fall marathon this year (especially given the fact that my originally-planned fall marathon is the same week as my due date)! As summer comes to a close I am getting slower, not faster. However, throughout this pregnancy I have realized that many of my marathon training habits have now been converted into preparing for baby habits.

For example…

This time last year I was frantically searching online for the perfect marathon outfit (because isn’t preemptively rewarding yourself with new clothes the best part of making it through a training cycle?!?) For me, this means online shopping, over ordering, receiving an embarrassing number of packages, returning things that don’t fit, finding something I like better, and ordering again. I now have fallen into the same pattern looking for a dress to wear to my baby shower (I have already ordered four and have another four pending in my cart).

sports-1050966__340Instead of making a list of what I need to pack in my pre-race bag, I am making a list of all of the things I need to make sure to have in my hospital bag.

Instead of joining my running club for a long training run tomorrow, I will be attending the hospital’s 9-hour  training-for-baby marathon session.

Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathon Training has been replaced by What to Expect When Your Expecting. I still find myself reading along and wondering if I am ever going to be    prepared enough.

My body has changed since “training” has started. I am hungry all the time because of this. It also starts doing weir
d stuff (enough said). Things that used to seem so gross no longer are.

My countdown is no longer to race day, but to my due date. Like training for a marathopregnant-163611__340n, my body has been asked to go into overdrive to prepare itself for the big event.

Similarly, both events will also culminate by pushing through pain and coming out of it having achieved something that previously seemed unimaginable.



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