A Running Coach Without the Title

Does a running coach NEED to be RRCA certified?


This is a question I’ve been kicking around in my head for some time now.

As I’m now taking on clients as a running coach and creating training plans for runners of all race distances, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should pursue RRCA certification as a coach.

I don’t think I am going to.

Am I Crazy?

I value certifications as much as the next guy. I really do.

A certification from a quality organization such as the RRCA demonstrates a standard of quality and knowledge, which is a good thing. Lord knows there are enough people willing to say anything to anyone to make a few bucks these days, and having a certification can help to instill confidence in potential clients that I am a running coach that is competent.

But honestly, how much am I going to learn in a 2-day conference that will make me that much better of a running coach that I haven’t learned in my years in school and in the sports medicine/strength and conditioning field?

I’m More Than Qualified to Be a Running Coach

I promise I’m not saying that in a cocky manner.

I am fully aware that I don’t know everything about running and/or the human body’s adaptability to exercise, but I know quite a few things. As a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, I’ve spent years in the college classroom studying physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, and anatomy in order to know as much about how the body works as possible.

I am quite certain that there would be some value in attending a coaching seminar put on by the RRCA. In fact, I have absolutely no doubt about that.

However, after looking through all of the information available online about the coaching certification program, I don’t see them really getting into much depth in terms of the science of exercise, cellular response, injury prevention, preventative exercise, nutrition, and the other areas that I’ve studied and worked in non-stop since 2000.

To be fair, most of these topics will be addressed over the course of the two days, but you can’t convince me that they will be covering any of these topics in the kind of depth that really fosters any type of in depth understanding. But if the seminar is mostly scratching the surface of a number of subjects that I’ve studied in depth, what’s the point?

Are You Ready to Take Your Running to the Next Level?

I’m not a miracle worker. And I’m not for everyone.

I know this, believe me.

That said, I know that my knowledge and experience are something that combine to make me unique as a running coach. If you’d like to draw on that knowledge and experience, I’d love to help you improve as a runner and achieve your goals.

Currently, I offer individual training plans for half/full marathons and individual coaching programs for beginners and long-term runners alike. No two plans are the same, and every program is created with a singular focus–to help YOU improve.

Please let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with about any of my coaching services.

And if you just have a question that I can answer for you about running in general, or something specific to you, I’m happy to answer those too! You just have to ask!

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