Coaching / Technical Writing / Training

Drafting a Running Coach Mission Statement

A quick update on the running coach dream: For now, obtaining my running coach certification is on hold until at least the summer and maybe the fall. The main thing that is holding me back is money. The RRCA workshop is $300 + travel expenses. I’ll also need to obtain first aid and CPR training, and those classes from the Red Cross range from $90 – $120. Unfortunately, I only have two classes instead of my normal four classes this spring, which means money is going to be tight for my family across the board. And it looks like we will be moving again this summer to a place less expensive, but as we all know, moving has all sorts of fun,* unexpected expenses.

While that’s on hold, I’m still reading reading reading. I have so much to learn! And I love learning, so yea! I’m also contemplating taking a class or two at the community college where my husband and I work.** I have a B.S. in professional writing and an M.A. in writing, so if were to ever go back to school to get real degrees in fitness, training, dietetics, etc. I would have a crap ton of prerequisites to finish. It’s too late to do a class for the spring, so maybe this summer or fall, I would be ready for a class or two.

In the mean time, I have been contemplating my mission as a running coach. You could also insert values, objectives, core beliefs, and ethos as substitute words for mission. Essentially, I’m thinking about what principles will shape how I coach runners. I’ve jotted down some ideas below, and of course, the more I learn and the more I run, the more these are subject to change.

  • I believe that anyone can be a runner, and I will encourage new runners to start by walking, then walk-running, then run-walking, and then running.
  • I believe in our feet, and I will encourage my runners to try minimalist or barefoot running. I understand that minimalist or barefoot running isn’t for everyone, but I believe it has a place in every runner’s training, if even for one short workout or exercise a week.
  • I believe in a holistic approach to training. There’s more to improving a runner’s running than just running. Cross training, strength, and flexibility all factor into a runner’s performance. So do sleep, nutrition, and stress.
  • I believe in correct running form. Just because most of us have been running since we could walk does not mean we know how to run. Learning proper running form can transform a runner from injury-prone to injury-free, from slow to fast, from dreading a workout to enjoying it.***
  • I believe in community. Running is not a solo act. When we run, we join the multitudes of others who are also runners. Running, in a very strange way, binds humans together in a way that I have never experienced elsewhere.

* And by fun, I mean not fun. Unless you find fun in guessing how much more expensive it’s going to be to move than you originally estimated. Points if it’s in the triple digits.

** My husband works full time there, so family can take a limited number of free classes for college credit.

*** None of these statements are guarantees, of course. But I have read testimonies of how reworking one’s form has improved the quality of one’s running life.

If you were a running coach, what would your core beliefs be? 


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