hmmm, is this the face of a credible person? maybe not! last weekend, as i was headed to Little Rock, i was telling someone on the phone why i was going- to spend the weekend at a certification course through the Road Runners Club of America. “oh, that’s so good that you’ll be credible now,” they said. really?!? NOW i’ll be “credible.” i had to laugh but what i really wanted to do was tell this person how offensive this really sounded to me. (don’t worry, nobody reading this is the guilty party) i knew, however, that this person didn’t mean to discount all of the hours and years i’ve put into running and personal training but was really trying to recognize the importance of my impending certification.
to be clear, i feel like i’ve been “credible” for many years. unfortunately, it’s not all that easy or common to get a certification in running (running coaching, to be exact). i have had my personal trainer certification for about 6 years and in that time have spent lots of my continuing education credits (cec’s) learning about running and cycling (as well as pre and post natal fitness and functional sports training) and have focused almost all of my free time trying to learn everything there is to learn about running. i know you can never learn it all and i love to learn (i’m a good little student) so when i saw 2 years ago that the RRCA was offering a Coaching Certification, i jumped on it. plus, for whatever reason, the coaching circuit in memphis is a little competitive so it certainly won’t hurt to one of the only nationally recognized RRCA coaches in memphis 🙂
it took me 2 years to get into class- the first year was sold out before i had a chance to register so i had to wait another year- they offer about 10 classes per year throughout the US and only have 30 spots per class- so i was pumped when i got in. let me just say this, it was well worth the wait and well worth the money. i was a good little sponge in the second row soaking up as much information as i could. i loved it. i went to the hotel saturday night and blabbered to keith about all that i had learned until i was blue in the face.
fortunately, i also learned that i already knew a lot. this made me feel good about all of the hours i have put into it in the past. we spent about 4 hours on the science behind running and the physiology behind it. we kind of breezed through nutrition, psychology, and legalities- if you call 5 hours “breezing.” on day 2, we spent 9 hours on the building of training plans- the why’s, how’s, and so forth. we broke into small groups and made training plans for Joe Runner who is 30, delusional, and only running because he’s chasing after Suzy Skirt who is 22 and much faster (yes, we made some of this up to make our plan a little more fun!). i have to brag a bit and tell you, my group won every time. ok, if you asked anyone else from a different group they would tell you it wasn’t a competition but, i disagree. our teacher called our plans “beautiful” and had little to no changes so we considered that a pretty big win.
hey, i’ll take a win any way i can get it. i’m probably never going to win a race but i’m ok with that. that reminds me, one of the things Janet (our teacher) said, on day 1, was that being a fast runner does not necessarily make you a good coach. i know this but i liked hearing someone else say it! she talked about how many of the best coaches are not actually that fast and that many of the worst coaches are those people that are. now, i don’t think this is a direct correlation but i do appreciate the recognition that it doesn’t take a fast person to know how to coach.
there is a lot of “competition” out there when it comes to running groups. everyone wants people to like their group. groups think their groups are better than others for whatever reasons. i definitely know that i will never appeal to everyone but i just hope that those i do appeal to, i am benefitting! i take my job pretty seriously and feel very lucky to spend my days doing what i’m doing. i owe a lot of this to keith for being my cheerleader for so many years and constantly telling me to get out there and help people, regardless of how insecure i may have been about my own running abilities. (by the way, do i get to tell my parents i AM using my degrees- teaching and counseling, right?! all those years in school really weren’t for no reason 🙂 )
during our psychology section, we went over the characteristics of a great coach: good and positive communication skills, good listening skills, the ability to motivate, the ability to teach, the ability to inspire, goal setting skills, and the ability to develop and implement training programs. i will continue to work and become better at each and every one of these things. i may not be the fastest runner out there but i will continue to work on becoming the best coach.
by the way, there will be a blog coming soon about all the fun new stuff we went over in class!!