What’s Next: Marathon Coach Certification

Here’s something that surprised me: if you google “what to do if my child failed out of college”, you’ll find pretty much nothing useful. Not even lame advice from Dr. Phil. I did see an alarming statistic that only 50% of students who enrolled in college actually graduate. I really don’t understand the disconnect here. I’m sure it’s not all kids who failed and probably partly financially driven. But still, I’d think there would be more resources for parents with kids struggling.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/649/41544898/files/2014/12/img_3447.jpgIn the meantime, instead of dwelling on being stuck not knowing what to do with my son right now, I’ve decided to sign up for something I’ve been thinking about for awhile: Marathon Coach certification.

I’d looked into the RRCA and USATF programs, but neither really seemed quite what I was looking for. For one, the USATF programs seemed more suited for people planning to coach at schools, which isn’t really in my line of sight right now. The RRCA program required a weekend away, and while I probably could swing that, I wasn’t sure the program got into the depth I wanted. Much of my interest in coaching lies in the continual self-education I’ve been going through as a runner.

Enter North American Academy for Sports Fitness Professionals (NAASFP). They offer a certification program for Marathon Coach (or Running Coach if preferred) that seems to be a bit more comprehensive. I don’t have to go to a two day seminar and pay for travel expenses. Instead I will study the course manual and the two supplementary texts (Precision Heart Rate Training and Running Anatomy) then take an online exam during a three hour window. The program also requires completing a case study and getting my First Aid and CPR certification. Lastly, I will have to recruit a runner and design an 18 week training program for him or her. Their performance and feedback will be sent to NAASFP for monitoring.

The course covers (from the NAASFP’s website):

• Coaching fundamentals and philosophies
• Principles and practices of athletic training
• Exercise physiology and energy systems
• Anatomy and biomechanics
• Conditioning programming and testing
• Sport-specific training exercises and drills
• Sport psychology
• Injury prevention and reconditioning plans
• Sports nutrition
• Training cycles and progressions
• Heart rate based training
• Training plans
• Individualization of coaching
• Client screening and assessment
• Business of coaching

I’m pretty excited about all of this. I’ve got some cool ideas of what I’d like to do with the certification (which is not necessarily start a business with it), but I don’t want to talk too much about it yet.

Running this week has gone decently. I finally had a solid long run yesterday after having one iffy and one horrible one. I ran 16 miles with the last four at faster than half marathon pace. The only snafu was that my Garmin inexplicably froze at exactly 7 miles and I couldn’t get it restarted because it needed a satellite link and I was indoors at the Y on the treadmill out of range. I just used the treadmill readings for the remainder, but the numbers geek in me is bent out of shape for not having the whole run recorded for posterity. Hopefully this was a one time glitch, but it’s also a reminder to not be too dependent on technology.


11 thoughts on “What’s Next: Marathon Coach Certification

  1. Exciting! I follow a few others who did certification this year and it looks like a great thing! I hope it goes well for you and you achieve whatever secret goal you have!

    On the other stuff … I am reminded of an article I read recently titled something like ‘No one brings casseroles when your daughter is an addict’.

    It was written by a guy whose wife went through breast cancer and now people were constantly dropping off food, offering rides to chemo, calling to check in, and so on. But now that their daughter has been hospitalized to deal with her addictions, husband and wife are left to deal with it alone, and there is silence from everyone.

    It isn’t easy … I still remember back in 2007 the day before we left to go on a week-long Disney trip with my wife’s sister and her family (including the 5+ hour drive from MA to NJ), we found out that our older son hadn’t been doing his homework in History and was in deep doo-doo … so it began, and was something he struggled with off and on until he finally came out of it junior year … fun times.

    • Yah, I think people are stunned because my son was a mostly A student with a perfect math SAT, an $80k merit scholarship and an outgoing personality, so it’s hard for them to know what to say unless they’d been through a similar situation. I’m just trying to figure out how to help him grow through the mess he’s made. I’m hoping he’ll get through and find his own happy ending. I just wish there were a manual I could buy to help me figure this thing out :-/

  2. Thanks for the reference on the coaching thing because I’m totally going to do that at some point too. I mean, really, I’ve been trying to get as much information and classes on coaching that I can find, and take what I can, so this is even more perfecter. 🙂 And good to hear you had a good week with running. What IS it with good and bad so close to each other?????? Anyway, you’re awesome and I’m so glad I know you. Still trying to come up with a response from your comment on my blog, because it sorta kinda brought me to some sorta kinda tears. 🙂

    • This course would probably be great for you! I can’t wait to get my hands on the course materials.

      As for the rest, I think you’re pretty inspiring and what you’re doing with the Stride program is so important and wonderful for the kids.

    • Hi. I’m in my final phase: the practical this is when you work with a volunteer to meet their running goal. My volunteer is running her first marathon and so my certification should be complete at the end of November/early December.

      I’ve found the master trainer to be very helpful and I really like the amount of work that needs to be done to complete the process. It feels very thorough to me and I think having to work with a real live runner under supervision has been really good for understanding the coaching process, which is so much more than just doing a multiple choice exam.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you have additional questions – pandoraviltis at gmail dot com.

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