So, if you don't know anything about getting certified to be a run coach or if you've ever been interested, I just thought I'd share my experience. I also think that it's so cool for anyone to get certified, but I will say that there is TONS of things that I know from experience that weren't taught or that we didn't get to, and I say that just to say that continuing education is a beautiful thing. There are TONS that I don't know I'm sure about coaching running, and I plan to read every book mentioned during the class. So, just knowing that you can't learn everything in a 2 day time frame OBVIOUSLY and that has nothing to do with RRCA but just life in general.
With that, getting into a class is really difficult. There are very few hosted around the US and they can be found at THIS LINK. I'm also really shocked at how many say "Open" currently and how many are added that are in my part of the US. hahaha! Well, I got a trip to Utah out of it so whatever ;) It was worth every single penny and I'm going to the dentist today expecting to have to get a crown on my tooth (this is so unrelated), but I think that it will cost more than my trip to Utah, which makes me want to literally scream. I think I'll just take the broken tooth and traveling the world approach! ;) (I'm kidding).
So, maybe you'll be able to find one that is open but it's hard, and that's why I snagged the one that I did when I saw that it was open. You don't have to do this before you go but just know that you will have to be first aid and CPR certified before you can actually get the certification so keep that in the back of your mind if you have that opportunity before you go to the class and want to get that out of the way.
The class is held by someone in the local area that has interest and they plan the event then RRCA comes out and teaches it. I'm assuming that Randy, our teacher, is the one that travels and does them all but I'm not 100% sure about that. He's quite the character so he keeps it interesting the entire time! haha! The host gets breakfast, lunch and snacks for us the entire time that we were there so we didn't have to bring a thing, which was nice to know not to even worry about that.
Our class was super diverse because like I said, it's hard to get in and so people came from northern Canada, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tenneesee, New York and New Jersey just to be able to get into it but it was a really great group full of some experienced and some not as experienced runners which was neat to bounce thoughts off of one another. It was also so interesting to me how many opinions there were on the different styles of how they do things and the truth is time and again-we are all different and just because an approach works on you doesn't mean that it's always going to work for a client. That's one thing that I want to be REALLY cognizant of is that "The client is not YOU" meaning that just because you coach someone in what works really well for your body does not mean that it's going to work for them in terms of macro counting, nutrition or running and it needs to be customized to what they are communicating to you. I digress...
The course was 8-5 on Friday and Saturday and we were given a book which was the slide set that he goes over in a spiral bound book with some other neat resources at the end. It's a huge book meaning we had MANY slides to review and we didn't get to all of them. I'm not sure if that's normal or not (he said that it wasn't so maybe our class asked too many questions/talked too much), but we didn't get through all of the material and I'll have to go through it myself which is fine. I honestly enjoy individual learning and was never one to study with friends in college.
Essentially, he just goes through the slides and we talk through the different topics. There was one part on the second day where we spent an hour with 3 other people and built a marathon training program and then dissected what each group did. Again, they were all very different and had reasoning based on scientific things that we had learned and how their way was what they thought the best. There were of course learning points of what not to do and how things needed to change to optimally get the client ready for their goal so that was really cool to see what everyone did and how to change it based on what we were taught. Otherwise, it's just sitting in a chair. I really REALLY love running so I was intrigued the whole time but you could tell by 4pm on each day, people were really restless. haha!
After you take the course in person, then they send you an email with all of the information on how to take the test. It's a 100 multiple question test that you obviously can't use friends, but you can use the materials that you are given in class to answer the questions. I have not yet taken the test but I plan to this week and the passing rate average is a 91% so I don't think that it's anything to worry about.
The course itself was broken down into a lot of different topics:
- Categories of Runners (Novice to Experienced and how their plans will differ-5K to marathoners and how their programs will differ)
- Multi Sport athletes (Triathletes, Crossfitters, etc)
- Physiology (VO2Max, Lactate Threshold, Mitochondria, Muscle Fiber Recruitment, Muscle Adaptations)
- Sports Psychology
- Heart Rate Zones
- Heat and Altitude
- Periodization of Programming
- Mobility and Flexibility
- Defining Terms (negative split, tempo, fartlek, strides, intervals, mesocycle, macrocycles)
- Business & Client Management/Taxes & Insurance
- Pacing Tools
That was just me going through the book just now so I know that there are plenty more. I wanted to share one piece of information that I learned this weekend that I thought was WAY COOL. So, if you are a marathon runner and you feel fatigue, you have a burst of free energy that your body allows you every 5minutes (although obviously you wouldn't utilize it every 5 minutes) that you can use that won't create waste biproduct that helps you mentally and physically to get back in the game by sprinting for 4-6 seconds. So, I know this sounds bizarre but studies have shown that if you are falling back in the pack then if you will sprint for 5 seconds then it like almost recharges you and doesn't create lactic acid build up that you might be afraid of. So, I'm definitely going to try this on my long runs and see how that goes.
There were tons of other facts I learned, but that was just one that I thought I'd share. You also get the Daniels Method of Training book at the end to take with you which is nice and I can't wait to read that. I hope this helps for those that have thought about taking the course and want to know the steps to do that.
I also am going to outline tomorrow how I'm going to structure my run coaching program, pricing, and I will obviously only take a certain number of clients so I'll let you guys know when that fills up. If you are interested in working with me on just a program that will lead you into your race that's either day to day coaching or just a program written out customized to you, I'd go ahead and email me so you can secure a spot.