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.
In 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.