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Coach in Running Fitness

The Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) qualification is the cornerstone of the off-track pathway. It is primarily for those working with off track runners who wish to improve their fitness.

The Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) qualification is about the broad application to non-track based endurance running rather than specific track events or distances.

It is not designed for coaches who want to work with runners taking part in track based events such as 800m–10k track races or steeplechase.

Course content

This certified running coach programme consists of four face-to-face contact days, which includes assessment of technical knowledge, planning and coaching practice.

  • What to coach
  • How to coach
  • General coaching information
  • Practical application

Candidates must engage in tasks and activities throughout this running coaching course and demonstrate improvement following any discussions with course staff. Candidates not engaging within all aspects of the course are at risk of not gaining the qualification at the end of the process.

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Note: the Gloucestershire course starting in September 2021 will be deaf friendly - we’ll be providing BSL interpreters to support deaf run leaders at this CiRF course.

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The course content covers the following:

What to coach:

Warm up and Skill Development

  • Reinforcement of Coordination/Balance/Agility
  • Teaching methods

Fundamental Running skills

  • Maximum velocity running
  • Running for endurance
  • Running uphill
  • Running downhill
  • Principles of warm up, cool down and flexibility

The importance of Physical Preparation

  • Different types of strength
  • Muscle fibre recruitment
  • Postural control and correct movement
  • Observing ‘Athletic Shape’
  • Multi jumps and multi throws
  • Integrated training programmes

Testing and Monitoring (and their purpose)

  • Technical competency
  • Movement skills

How to coach:

  • Reinforcement of the coaching HOW-2 skills
    (Safety / Organisation / Instruction & Explanation / Demonstration)
  • Introduction and development of HOW-2 skills
    (Observation & Analysis / Feedback & Questioning)

General information:

  • Role and responsibilities of a Coach in Running Fitness
  • Athlete centred coaching
  • Athlete Development Pathway
  • Athlete profiling and short – medium term planning
  • How skill is learnt –the stages of learning and the implications on coaching
  • Inclusive coaching
  • Common causes of injury
  • Using coaching observation and planning to prevent injury
  • Risk assessments
  • Factors affecting performance, principles of training and fitness components

Practical Application:

  • Warm ups / Cool down / Flexibility
  • Physical preparation
  • Fundamental running skills, including technical considerations for:
   - Endurance running
   - Running at speed
   - Running uphill / downhill
   - Running over obstacles

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