Best Running Coach Certificate Programs Online

Best Running Coach Certificate Programs Online

Running has become very popular, and if you’ve found out you’re passionate about it, you might want to spread your love for this sport. Many people think running is tedious and annoying until they try it. You can help people learn what this sport is about with the right approach and proper guidance. 

However, just because you have a lot of experience, knowledge, and passion for running doesn’t mean that people will put their trust in you as a running coach. Getting your running coach certificate is essential because people want licensed coaches to teach them. 

Luckily, you can get many online certifications quickly and without spending a lot of time on the process. 

What is a running coach certificate? 

Professional certifications from reputable organizations help people advance their careers faster and branch out their career options. Not all certificates are the same and can provide different knowledge, experience, and opportunities. 

Individuals get certifications as credentials that verify their ability and legitimacy to do a particular job. A running coach certificate will state that you’ve prepared and are an educated and trained running coach who can teach other people. 

Today’s best running coach programs are online, making things even better. You can quickly get your running coach training while doing another job or studying. Online learning is super convenient and lets you organize your time how you see fit. 

Who provides the best running coach programs? 

The credentials certification gives you comes from the organization that provides certificate programs. That is why it’s crucial to find a trustworthy organization because clients and employers alike are more likely to hire you when they know you have credentials from a reputable organization. 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, certifications wouldn’t mean anything if reputable organizations in the fitness and running world didn’t back them. Before considering any other factor when looking at a program, you must ensure this certification comes from a recognized organization. 

Some of the organizations that offer coaching certifications for running are: 

  • Road Runners Club of America (RRCA);
  • United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA);
  • USA Track & Field (USATF);
  • American Sports & Fitness Association (ASFA);
  • National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA);
  • National Personal Training Association (NPTA);
  • North American Academy For Sports Fitness Professionals (NAASFP).

Many organizations give solid certifications you can check out, so explore different programs to see whether you can trust a particular organization. On the other hand, many colleges offer running coach training courses you can try out. 

How certification helps 

A running coach certificate can help you in many ways, even though the law does not require it. Professional certification shows your dedication to a specific discipline and verifies your knowledge in that niche. 

Putting in the time and effort to get a running coach certificate shows everyone that you can contribute with actual results and help people improve their form, learn how to run better, and improve their wellness. 

Here are some of the top benefits you’ll get from your running coach certificate: 

  • You will become more competitive in the job market, whether you’re looking to join some group or work as an individual personal coach. 
  • Certification helps you acquire valuable knowledge, scientific research, evidence, and proven coaching methods to help teach your students. 
  • You will get the latest coaching methods and keep up with the trends. 
  • That extra knowledge you will get from a professional certification will give you better training and understanding of sports running, making you more efficient in training others and improving your results. 

How we picked the best running coach programs 

We focused on the most reputable organizations when searching for the best running coach programs. We feel that this factor is the most crucial to consider. Respected organizations with a verified history want to protect their names and won’t let people get their certification if they aren’t worth it. 

Secondly, we focused on courses with vital knowledge to help you establish yourself as a running coach and assist clients on their paths.

In the end, our third factor was other people’s experiences. We checked many reviews online, talked to coaches, and asked what certification they have as running coaches.

All of these certificates have their pros and cons, but they are generally the best options out there. Take the time to learn about them and choose the best that suits your needs. 

Top online running coach certificate programs 

Here’s our list of the best running coach programs. Remember that we haven’t listed them in any particular order and do not recommend one over another. It’s up to you to see what they offer and find the most suitable options for you. 

UESCA Running Coach Certification 

Many people have been praising the running certification by the UESCA as one of the most advanced education programs. The UESCA created and fine-tuned it for six years with the help of seasoned athletes, science journals, and medical experts. 

This online certification program has 22 training modules offering all the information necessary to become a certified running coach. It focuses on creating programs, flexibility training, resistance training, race preparation, race execution, biomechanics, the business aspect of coaching, pacing, mental preparation, nutrition, etc. 

This certification is all-encompassing, meaning there are no different levels. You learn everything you need as a running coach. The learning content includes: 

  • 22 online modules;
  • PDF documentation;
  • Test samples;
  • Marketing and business tools;
  • Demonstration videos.

RRCA Coaching Certification 

The RRCA Coaching Certification program has been around for a long time. The primary goal of this program is to teach coaches training strategies, skills, and running techniques they can pass on to their students to avoid injuries. 

The program includes two levels, the first aiming at people who want to create training programs or start a club. It lasts 16 hours, and you can finish it in two days. Students must pass the course with at least 85%, and then they must take CPR and first aid classes to complete the whole course. 

The second level focuses more on the sport’s scientific aspects, including mental and physical. It also teaches aspiring coaches the administrative and business skills they need to work as coaches. To enroll in the second level, you must finish the first. 

ASFA Running Coach Certification 

Professionals designed the ASFA Running Coach Certification focusing on hands-on knowledge to help people enter the industry smoothly. The program lets aspiring fitness professionals learn at their own pace through resources available 24/7. 

The ASFA Running Coach Certification focuses on four core areas, including: 

  1. Improving knowledge about running form, routing design, coaching methodology, and general fitness knowledge;
  2. Safety concerns, injuries, and performance factors;
  3. Helping coaches learn how to create effective and personalized training schedules for different types of people;
  4. Delivering relevant fitness industry knowledge and education specialized for running. 

The ASFA offers three certificate options, including only the annual certificate, the annual certificate & pocket certification, and the certificate & pocket certification card that lasts for life. 

NESTA Revo2lution Running Coach Certification 

This certification is an online exam and training course program fully optimized for all the most popular internet browsers and mobile devices. Users get 24/7 access to all learning content, training courses, and exams. 

There are no limits on how quickly you have to progress or your daily obligations. The program focuses entirely on flexibility, letting you organize your study time. Users can go through the learning content as often as they want until they decide to take the online exam. 

After completing the online exam, you will receive a digital and paper certificate. The NESTA ships it to participants from North America within several weeks. The best part is, even after finishing, you get lifetime access to any new training courses that might be available. 

NAASPF Running Coach Certification Program 

The NAASPF offers three different certification programs depending on the running type. A general running coach certification focuses on all the knowledge and skills necessary to give general advice on running, conditioning, nutrition, running techniques, etc. 

There’s also a certification program for power walking and marathon running coaches. The course adopts a modular system, including exams that test your knowledge. Candidates also have to create their case studies to showcase an understanding of real-life examples. 

The course’s final module focuses on training candidates and creating programs for achieving specific goals. If you’re looking to specialize in particular types of running, this course is one of the best options. 


These programs provide valuable knowledge that will help you improve as a running coach and acquire all the fundamentals you need to become a professional. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your knowledge and consistently improve your skills. 

The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and there’s now research available every year that affects training methodologies, nutrition, recovery, etc. Even when you’ve created a strong base of clients, work on your skills as a coach. 

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