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Quick Facts

  • Course Name: Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF)

  • Environment: Off-Track

  • Age Requirement: 18

  • Assessment: No

  • Pre-requisites: None, a great first step for individuals who want to assist off-track runners

  • Once qualified will I require supervision: Only when coaching athletes between the ages of 12-18. If coaching athletes over 18 you do not require supervision.

  • Looking ahead what’s next: Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF)

  • Alternatives: Athletics Leader or Coaching Assistant if you wish to operate in an on-track environment.

  • Lunch: Not included. (We cannot guarantee that all venues have refreshment facilities so please bring lunch and a drink with you).

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Ready to book now onto your nearest Leadership in Running Fitness Course?

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Where Does 'LiRF' Lie On The UKA Coach Development Pathway?

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The Leadership inRunning Fitness Award is located on the ‘Leader’ tier of the ‘Off-Track’ Coach Development Pathway. This award has been designed as an entry point to coaching and so offers a great first step for new coaches to start their coaching journey. (There are no pre-requisites to attend this award). On successful completion of the award you will be licensed to lead a group of adult runners unsupervised, but if leading runners between the ages of 12-18 you must be under the supervision of a Supervising Licensed Coach.

UKA and the Home Country Athletics Associations promote a culture of coaching co-operation and collaboration by providing further opportunities for formal learning and coach development. The Leadership in Running Fitness programme is a formal step towards becoming a licensed Coach, however this is only the first step of the coach development journey.


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The Leader in Running Fitness Award (LiRF) is designed to prepare candidates as leaders. The award is aimed at those who are looking to operate in an off-track environment.

Coaches who opt for this pathway will be responsible for providing a safe and enjoyable running experience for runners over 12 years of any ability, level or size. The course focuses on overcoming the barriers to participation in running and how to increase participation by those who would not traditionally be attracted to a running club.

On successful completion of the one-day attendance only course you will be licensed and insured to lead groups of adults in running activities taking place away from the club premises. However, if leading runners between the ages of 12-18 you must be under the supervision of a Licensed Coach in Running Fitness.

Am I The Right Person For The Course?

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To be eligible for this course you must be 18 years or over. This award is a great entry point for those who wish to progress along the Coaching Pathway or those who just want to assist off-track runners.

This award has been designed for those who primarily work with adults/young people over the age of 12 who enjoy recreational running for fitness and health. Potential candidates may work within a Running Club of a Community based running group. It’s important to note this is not a course about individual running events, nor is it a coaching course.

For a leadership license to be processed, leaders require a current UKA police record check, DBS and UKA Safeguarding module. Checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore UKA must have a new check made. The DBS itself is free for club volunteers.

For details on how to arrange a DBS check please click here.

Following a directive from the Child Protection in Sport Unit, UKA has introduced a mandatory safeguarding module. The module is a short (1-2 hours) bespoke module in partnership with EduCare which is available on the UKA and HCAFS booking platform.

What’s The Structure Of The Course?

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The course structure is summarised below:

  • Attend the one day course (9am-5pm)

  • Submit DBS form

  • Once all the above elements have been completed you will receive your Leadership License.

The course is run over one full day (9-5pm). The day consists of a mix between classroom and practical based sessions. There is an element of physical activity so you should come dressed for light exercise. Throughout the day you will be expected to actively participate in sessions.

What Topics Are Covered?

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Below is a summary of the topics covered on the Leader in Running Fitness programme.

  • The role and responsibilities of a Leader

  • Leadership skills: Safety, Organisation, Instruction and Explanation, Demonstration

  • The barriers that stop people from taking up running, and how a leader can make a difference for them

  • How to plan sessions and deliver a safe and fun warm up and a cool down.

  • Demonstration and supervision of effective stretching

  • The different types of activity that can make running varied and enjoyable

  • Helping runners to set and achieve SMARTER goals

  • Understand what is meant by an Athlete Centred Approach

  • Carrying out Risk Assessments

  • Factors influencing performance

  • Energy systems

How Should I Prepare For The Course?

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Once candidates have registered for the Athletics Leader programme, they must complete a UKA DBS check. A leaders license cannot be issued without a DBS check. For details on how to arrange this check please click here.

Are There Any Resources?

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All of the excellent resources for the Leadership in Running Fitness award can be found on the Leadership in Running Fitness Resource page.

To view the Leadership in Running Fitness Resource page, please click here.

As A Qualified Leader In Running Fitness- What’s Next?

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There are many ways you can progress through your coach development journey. If you wish to continue to work in an off-track environment the next logical step would be to take the Coach in Running Fitness Award. Alternatively, if you would like to obtain a qualification in an on-track environment, the Athletics Leader or Coaching Assistant awards would be great starting points.

Still undecided? Find out what those who have attended had to say...

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  • The course covered all aspects to prepare me for leading.
  • A great course

How do I book?

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Ready to book onto your local course? Simply click here to start searching for your nearest course.