Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958

Coaching Level I Certification Course

RRCA Coaching Certification Course Prerequisites
Participants should be active runners with an interest in coaching others and a desire to improve their own running​ knowledge. Intellectual interest in the sport ​along with seeking information about running from expert coaches is a must. Personal experience running events ranging from 5K to marathon distances is helpful. An introductory video module will be emailed to registered participants and viewing is required in advance of the course. 

Step 1: Attend an RRCA Level I Coaching Certification Course

Register for the in-person course and certification ($325) online; only credit and debit payments are accepted. The fee includes the two-day course, course materials, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks​, and access to the online certification test. The prospective coach must be present for the entire eight hours of course work each day. Courses are limited to 35 participants. 

Upcoming courses are ​announced via email, and Interested candidates must sign up for the email list to receive course registration announcements​. Classes fill quickly, so register early. Learn more about course dates and locations. There is no online certification option for Level I. Coaching involves learning and practicing personal interaction, and interactive experience is provided via group exercises ​during the course. No running is required.

RRCA Level I Coaching Certification Course Schedule
The two-day course includes 16 hours of in-person coursework. Detailed information will be emailed to all registered participants in advance of the course and immediately following the course. It is important to closely review these emails before and after the course.

Day One Includes:

  • Principles of coaching
  • Exercise physiology for coaching
  • Principles of building a training program
  • Understanding different types of workouts
  • Understanding running form
  • Basic sports nutrition

Day Two Includes:

  • The business of coaching
  • Sports psychology for coaching
  • Recognizing injuries and injury prevention
  • Environmental factors that effect performance
  • Building training programs ​- group activity

Cancellations must be ​made by emailing coaching@rrca.org. Cancellations are subject to a $50 fee until 14 days before the class date. After that time, no refunds will be granted. You may not sell or give your spot to another person if you cannot attend. Refunds will be processed via the RunSignUp registration platform, and funds will be returned to the credit or debit card originally used to register. Refunds may take up to two weeks to process. No class transfers are allowed. You must first request a cancellation and refund for the original course, then re-register for the new location.

Step 2: Submit the Online Test

The prospective coach has ​the opportunity to submit and pass the 100-question online test. The test must be submitted within 30 days of taking the certification course.  

Course attendees must demonstrate they have learned the course content and can apply it to coaching by successfully completing the 100-question online exam with a passing score of 85% or higher. Upon completion of the exam, students will receive an instant score, which is also automatically emailed to the Director of Coaching Education. Answers to test questions are not provided to any participant following the completion of the exam for course integrity purposes. As part of the test, participants will be required to select the box to agree to abide by the RRCA Coaching Code of Ethics.

If you receive a score of 84% or less, you have not passed the test.  Participants not passing the test receive an email from the Director of Coaching Education outlining next steps for re-testing (a fee applies) to finalize the certification process. Anyone that cannot pass the test on two attempts will not be certified and will not be granted a refund.

Step 3​: Submit Electronic Copies of First Aid and CPR
Any adult First Aid course that gives a certificate of completion with an expiration date is acceptable, including online courses. The CPR class must be “hands-on” and provide a certificate with an expiration date. NO online CPR class certificates will be accepted. We have no preferred providers for these classes; use a reputable one in your area. These certificates must be submitted within 60 days of the certification course. Submission can only be accepted in electronic format—either scan the documents or photograph them and send ​as an email attachment. Fax copies will not be accepted. We recommend taking or scheduling these classes before your RRCA certification course date to ensure compliance within the 60-day window.

Certificate of Completion and ​Listing in the Public Database of Coaches

Following successful completion of the exam, all participants will need to create their personal profile in the RRCA database. To create your profile simply visit www.rrca.org/forms/applications/NewUserPublic/ and follow the instructions for creating a profile in the RRCA database. 

Once a coach has completed ALL requirements for becoming an RRCA Certified Coach, the RRCA will confirm completion and add the coach to the public listing of RRCA Certified Coaches found at www.rrca.org/resources/runners/find-a-coach. Coaches will receive a certificate by mail along with instructions about accessing the coaches’ private section on the RRCA website at www.rrca.org/coaches/for-certified-coaches-only/. 

It is the coach's responsibility to check for accuracy, to correct personal information on the database listing, and determine what portion of the information will be visible online. All RRCA Certified Coaches must maintain current First Aid and CPR certifications. If a coach does not update these certifications in advance of expiration dates, they will be deemed INACTIVE, and their name will be removed from the public list of RRCA Coaches. Coaches may be re-instated to the public listing by updating their First Aid and CPR expiration dates. Learn more about updating your information.

Join RRCA Today

Dedicated to providing quality resources for running clubs, events, and coaches.

Donate to the RRCA

A 501(c)3 organization ​dedicated to growing running for all ages and abilities.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Keep Pace with monthly emails from RRCA.

Road Runners Club of America