5 things to consider before becoming a running coach

Υou have been running for some time now, and you’ve picked up a passion for it. At some point, it seemed a great idea to turn that passion into a coaching practice. And, why not? Becoming a running coach is a natural transition for some runners. Especially those who grew to be more passionate about helping other runners achieve their goals; whether that’s finishing a 5K or achieving a personal record in the Marathon.

Nonetheless, becoming a coach should not be taken lightly; it’s a very demanding job, with many responsibilities. If you know that already, and you’re still itching to become a running coach, here’s what you need to know.

Want to become a running coach? Here are 5 things to consider first

OK, so you’re determined to become a running coach — congratulations (you’ve picked the best job in the world 😁)! But, before you get started on your coaching journey, there are some important questions you need to answer, asap: 

1. Are you going to get certified?

This is probably the most important question; yet, to be honest, this shouldn’t be a question at all. Getting a coaching certification is critical. Why is it so important, since you don’t have to be certified to coach? Well, there are many benefits if you do; both for you, and your clients — your athletes. For instance:

  • You’ll learn everything about the sport of running. 
  • What’s more, you’ll learn important mechanisms and functions of the body; and how they apply to running. 
  • Your coaching principles and methods will be based on validated scientific research — not guesswork, or unsound personal opinion.
  • In addition, your coaching will follow progressive training methodologies; thus, it will safeguard your athletes’ well-being.
  • Your coaching services will be up to date, enriched with all current training data.
  • Finally, everything you’ll learn can be directly applied to your coaching practice.

So far so good but, which certification is best for you? That, of course, depends on your coaching goals. Thankfully, there are many widely recognized organizations that offer certifications for aspiring running coaches. Without a doubt, with a little research, you’ll find the one(s) that can meet those goals. To help you out, we’ve listed some of the most popular certifications in the USA, Australia, and the UK:

2. What’s your coaching philosophy going to be?

A certification will indeed help you forge ahead in your coaching career, but you’re going to need more than that. To be more specific, you need to think about what your coaching philosophy is going to be. That’s right! It’s very important to clearly define your coaching philosophy — and be consistent about it. What’s a coaching philosophy? Your values, principles, attitudes — and the training process you intend to follow — that will shape you, as a coach, and guide your coaching practice. 

To clear things out, on how to start describing your coaching philosophy, just think about why you want to become a coach in the first place. Then, you can start by making a list with everything you like about running and coaching runners. You can also write down the qualities and characteristics a great running coach displays, in your opinion. Slowly, you’ll see that your own coaching philosophy will gradually take form.

3. Are you ready to fully commit to coaching? 

One of the worst things a coach can do is commit to an athlete and not deliver. Take a step back and think about this, as an athlete. How would you feel, if your coach gave you up? What would you think of such a coach? If anything, coaching takes time; at least, when done correctly. Hence, before starting up a coaching business, make sure that you can devote the necessary time to your athletes. This also means that you shouldn’t fall into the trap of taking on more athletes than you can. Remember that you need to be able to fulfill your obligations to every single one of them, no matter what.

4. Are you going to be a remote or in-person kind of running coach?

This is another critical question you need to ask yourself, before diving deep into coaching: Are you taking your practice online or are you going to stick with good ol’ in-person coaching? Or both? Don’t worry, there’s no right answer here, it really depends on the type of practice that you want to have. Indeed, the wider reach that online coaching provides, may be more your style. On the other hand, you may find that having personal contact with your athletes suits you better. Both are fine.

However, keep in mind that, especially now — in the current COVID-19 reality — online coaching is more popular than ever. Particularly for novice coaches, remote coaching offers many opportunities to network and find clients, relatively fast. Be that as it may, if you do opt for online coaching, you’ll need to invest in technology. An easy-to-use, affordable coaching training platform, like Endogusto, will certainly have your back in designing, managing, and monitoring your athletes’ training plans efficiently.

5. What will make you stand out from other running coaches?

Last, but not least, you’ll have to be able to explain why an athlete should choose your services over another coach’s services. Maybe it will be because you are a certified running coach (see? certification can be an ace up your sleeve). And since you’re a novice coach, maybe your services are offered at better value-for-money — Endogusto helps in that. Or maybe it’s your coaching philosophy (which we also discussed earlier) that may be the winning card here. Whatever it is that makes your services stand out, be ready to play that card. 

Running coach in the making

If you’re thinking about becoming a running coach, your first step is to start researching coaching certifications for running. Remember that education is an ongoing process; especially in a sport that’s as dynamic and complex as running. Apart from what we’ve discussed in this article, you may also want to reach out to other running coaches; talk about their experiences. They may even have great advice to offer you, as well. 

That was it! We hope we’ve helped clear things up a bit on how to start off on the right foot, in the magical world of coaching. Now, go become an awesome coach for your future athletes ✌!

Do it with Endogusto!

5 things to consider before becoming a running coach was last modified: February 17th, 2022 by Eleni Konstantinidou