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Thread: Running guides - what qualification

  1. #1
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    Running guides - what qualification

    I might have the opportunity to work part time in the next year or so. I was wondering about in my days off doing something outdoorsy. Before I qualified as a teacher I wanted to work as an outdoor instructor but the opportunity never arose for me to make a go of it. Now I wonder whether there is scope to do something new. I live in Northumberland which seems to be a bit of developing tourism region and wonder whether offering guided runs in the Cheviots would be a good way to spend my days not working in a school. I’m not so much as asking for business advice but asking if I was go forward with the idea what qualifications does a “running guide” need?

    I thought Mountain Leader but it’s not really running related, but gives a grounding in mountain travel?

    If I wanted to teach navigation which qualification has the most kudos? I orienteer and run MMS so can navigate but think people like to see you have a certificate.

    Also I like the idea of Nordic walking/running. I’ve seen the walking qualification but is there a running with poles qualification?

    It’s worth noting that I wouldn’t need to make money from the venture, my teaching would support me.

  2. #2
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    The only running guide I know is Dave Taylor. His qualifications are on his homepage: https://fellrunningguide.co.uk/about/

    These sound sensible, but I'm not sure any are essential.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    The qualifications related to EA/UKA are LIRF/CIRF (i think)..... i assume Leader in Running, and Coach in Running, or similar.

    And i do know that there are closely related fellrunning equivalents. I assume this is the qualification that Dave Taylor refers to on his website.

    My club often hosts courses for people to gain the qualifications... are you a member of a club? They might be able to provide info. I think (although may be incorrect) that those courses may also come with a DBS check.

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    Yeah so there was a link for that on the front page of the website. It’s Fell and Trail leadership. I’ve emailed the organiser about it so hopefully will get a chance to do that as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    Yeah so there was a link for that on the front page of the website. It’s Fell and Trail leadership. I’ve emailed the organiser about it so hopefully will get a chance to do that as well.
    You want the next qualification up - Fell and Trail CiRF. Used to be called level 2. It was quite a bit of work - fully documenting training sessions, and formulating and executing a training plan for a runner. I don't know if it has changed at all - I did it several years back.

    From the FRA website:


    "What Coaching Courses does the FRA offer?

    The FRA offers two coaching courses in association with England Athletics / British Athletics. These are:

    Fell & Trail LEADERSHIP in Running Fitness (FT LiRF)
    Fell & Trail COACH in Running Fitness (FT CiRF)


    Both courses are equivalent in level to the England Athletics / British Athletics standard LiRF / CiRF with the same licence and insurance cover but with a focus on off-road running. The FT LiRF is an introductory award designed for those who primarily work with adults/young people over the age of 12 who enjoy off-road recreational running for fitness and health. Potential candidates may work within a Running Club of a Community based running group. The FT CiRF is the more advanced course providing a full coaching qualification.


    FT LiRF - a one-day course providing the tools and techniques and UK Athletics insurance cover to take groups running off-road. It covers why people run, warm-up, main session and cool down structure, introductory drills, uphill and downhill running technique and essential safety precautions. It includes practical demonstration, an introduction to energy systems and training planning. There is no candidate assessment required to complete the FT LiRF award.
    N.B. if leading runners between the ages of 12-18 this must be under the supervision of a Licensed FT CiRF / CiRF as a minimum.

    FT CiRF - a 5-day course comprising two weekends and an assessment day. It prepares an individual to coach athletes for running off-road and includes an exam and a practical assessment. It focuses on the ‘how-to’ skills of coaching including process (i.e. instruction, explanation, demonstration, observation, analysis, feedback and review), extended use of drills, off-road running technique and planning a training programme.

    N.B. The FT CiRF award takes 1-day longer than the standard CiRF to complete due to the additional competences required to coach in the fell and trail running off-road environment."

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    I would suggest that "Coaching" and "Guiding" are two different disciplines altogether.

    There is also the "I'm going for a run around the Edale Horsehoe if you'd like to tag along" option.

    I think the big decision is deciding whether or not you want to be responsible for others in the hills or not.
    Visibility good except in Hill Fog

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llani Boy View Post
    I would suggest that "Coaching" and "Guiding" are two different disciplines altogether.

    There is also the "I'm going for a run around the Edale Horsehoe if you'd like to tag along" option.

    I think the big decision is deciding whether or not you want to be responsible for others in the hills or not.
    And when they break their ankle - did you owe them "a duty of care" - are you covered by insurance?

  8. #8
    Master bigfella's Avatar
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    I would imagine you will need to think about insurance if you are offering a service, paid or unpaid, and this may require proof of competence e.g. a qualification of some kind. I know its not quite mountaineering or rock climbing but accidents can happen.
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

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    Yeah I’d thought about the insurance side of it, not sure where you look for that. I plan on getting my ML anyway so I’ll take it from there. It might come to nothing but I think it’s work exploring as an idea.

  10. #10
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    Mike T -I’m not looking to coach (although it does interest me) I’m thinking about taking groups out onto the hill pretty much what a ML/mountain guide does but in a running capacity.

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