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How to Become a Running Coach

Becoming a running coach lets you share your love for the sport with other athletes. You'll have the opportunity to help others reach their fitness and competition goals. While paid coaching positions can be tough to find and often require a college degree, teaching credential or professional running experience, you can take steps to boost your resume or find a volunteer position that puts your passion to work.

  1. Build your personal running resume. This shows your accomplishments and commitment to the sport to potential employers and organizations. Participate in running events in the area you hope to coach. For example, if you want to coach endurance athletes, focus your race schedule on endurance events. Spend time training and racing with a team. This shows that you've been coached yourself and understand the dynamics of a team environment and the coach/athlete relationship.

  2. Gain certification. Certification programs will teach you coaching technique and responsibility. The Road Runners Club of America offers certification for individuals interested in coaching distance runners. If you're interested in coaching track and field, USA Track and Field offers certification at several levels so you can begin training as a novice coach and continue your education as you gain experience in the field. These programs give you the opportunity to learn and show potential clients, organizations and employers your commitment to coaching.

  3. Volunteer as a coach. Most high schools have cross country and track and field teams. Talk to school administrators and the physical education staff about your interest in volunteering. If you want to work with adults, look for running clubs at your local fitness center or at charity organizations, like Team in Training, that offer coaching to participants in fund raising events. If your goal is to find a paid coaching position, volunteering not only gives you experience for your resume, but can lead to a paid position at the place you volunteer.

    Tip

    If you do become a certified coach, consider setting up a website offering your services; perhaps even write a blog if you are a natural word smith. Be an active voice on running forums and don't miss an opportunity to connect with potential clients or fellow coaches.

    Warning

    Don't let your skills lapse. Keep fit and keep running.

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About the Author

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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