Becoming a run leader is a great way to keep the Windmilers up and running – we need them for every session we run.  The only qualifications needed are the ability to run and a bundle of enthusiasm.   England Athletics provide an online, one-day course to anyone who wants to become a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF).  

The course is designed to prepare participants 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.  You can find out more about the course here

So here are a few myth-busters just in case you’re feeling a bit unsure and looking for an excuse …

Myth-buster No.1 – run leaders have to be fast runners.  
No they don’t!  We need run leaders of all abilities!

Myth-buster No.2 – run leaders need to have run a marathon
Nope.  They just need to be able to run.  Obviously, the more running a leader has done will add to their personal experience, but it’s not necessary to be a distance runner.

Myth-buster No.3 – run leaders tend to be men
Well, fair point, but that’s easily sorted.  We just need more women to come forward to do their LiRF training – all abilities and ages welcome! 

Myth-buster No.4 – it’s so expensive, I couldn’t possibly afford to do it.
Actually, it’s free.  To be honest, that’s not entirely accurate: it does need to be paid for, but the club will do that for anyone willing to participate in the rota once qualified.  

If you’d like to find out more about run leadership/coaching with the Windmilers please talk to any of the coaches or contact Diane Carter at [email protected].  The coaching team will be happy to support you all the way.


Need more persuasion? Why not hear from some coaches directly! 

“I got involved in coaching about 18 months after I joined the club. It seemed like a good way of getting to know more people within the club and of learning more about running. I’ve been coaching ever since, mostly the mid-week sessions.

Why do I enjoy it? You don’t need to be fast, you do get to know lots of people, and you can take it in whatever direction you like – if you are technically-minded you can focus on running and training techniques; if you are more people focused you can look at group management and how to ensure everyone gets something out of the session whatever their ability; and every combination in between!”
Claire Morgan

“I think it’s worth differentiating between a coach and a run leader! Coach sounds bit scary and responsible. I became a run leader because originally I just wanted to be insured to take people running – but then I started the Tuesday evening social run. This has now become the Tuesday lunch time run group. The social runs are perfect for me to lead as they are simply social whilst still a way of keeping fit. It just takes enthusiasm and motivation.

It can feel quite daunting offering yourself as a potential coach, if you worry that others might not regard you as a good enough runner…but you don’t have to be the fastest runner in the group.. you just make sure you devise a plan so the faster runners come back for the rest of us! Age also isn’t a barrier – it’s good to mix it up.”
Caroline Ferrari