Becoming a Running Coach

Coaches are the foundation of Serpentine’s training sessions, they all volunteer their services and financial support is available to coaches of all standards to help them progress through the England Athletics ‘Coaching Pathway‘.

If you are interested please contact our Technical Lead to talk about how you can help out the club through coaching. Alternatively, you can speak to any of the club’s regular run leaders or coaches about their experiences and see if you can help out in their sessions before you go on the relevant coaching course.

To book a course and to find out about the dates/locations of coach training courses across England, please visit the courses and bookings section of the England Athletics (EA) website. EA is responsible for implementing the  coaching strategy and the Coaching Development Programme including Coaching Education.

The Coaching Pathway

The information below is taken from the England Athletics website where you can find out more about the coaching pathway and the individual coaching awards. There are a number of options available for those wishing to become a coach, depending on whether the candidate wants to coach on- or off-track and how far they want to progress through the levels. Serpentine recommends that those starting on the pathway begin with the ‘Coaching Assistant’ award as this provides the greatest flexibility for future progression.

Coaching Pathway – England Athletics

0. Leader in Running Fitness

The Leadership in Running Fitness qualification has been revamped to meet today’s learner’s needs and utilize today’s technologies.

The course is designed to prepare you to provide a safe and enjoyable running experience for young people aged 12+ and adults of any ability. The course covers risk assessment, warm-ups, cool-downs, and how to lead fun running sessions for a mixed-ability group of runners. This qualification allows you to lead club runs and off-track adult training sessions.

1. Coaching Assistant

A Coaching Assistant is insured to take a coaching role working under the supervision of a coach (Athletics Coach, CiRF, or another UKA Level 2 Coach or higher), working from a UKA task card or organizing a session based on a plan written by the supervising Coach.

  • Duration: 2 days, no formal assessment
  • DBS/Disclosure check, free for club volunteers
  • See the England Athletics website for more information

2a. Athletics Coach

This qualification is the next step for those wishing to coach athletics (all track distances and disciplines plus field events) and is the cornerstone of the coach education program. The course plus assessment period is a total of four days including the formal assessment. Candidates will be able to plan a progressive training program for athletes coaching a range of activities to prepare the developing athlete to run, jump and throw.

When qualified you will be insured to coach without supervision, working with Coaching Assistants to support you in delivering the sessions.

  • Duration: The course and assessment period is four days in total. Two days delivered as a weekend, a third day several weeks later, and then a formal assessment on the final day.

2b. Coach in Running Fitness

The qualification is the next step for those who only wish to coach for off-track endurance running. The qualification will take three days to complete plus one day of formal assessment. Coaches who want to work with runners taking part in track-based endurance events such as 800m – 10,0000m or steeplechase should take the Athletics Coach award rather than CiRF. The CiRF course is designed for the participation running community as opposed to the performance pathway.

  • Duration: The course and assessment period is four days in total. Two days delivered as a weekend, a third day several weeks later, and then a formal assessment on the final day.

3. Event Group Coach

Once qualified as an Athletics Coach coaches can focus on one or more event groups: jumps, throws, speed, or endurance after completing the relevant additional modules.