Leadership in Running Fitness

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).


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.

What is the role of an athletics leader?

To provide safe and enjoyable running experiences for runners over 12 years and of any ability, level or size.

Am I the right person for the course?

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.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative affect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities and we are committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity and inclusion within our sport. To ensure the coach qualification process provides equality and fairness it is important that:

  • We understand the nature of candidates’ disability, so the course tutor is aware and can make reasonable adjustments ahead of the course being undertake
  • We support candidates with early interventions where candidates may not be engaging within the course.

Candidates must engage in tasks and activities throughout the course and demonstrate improvement following any discussions with course staff. Candidates not engaging within all aspects of the course are at risk of not gaining the qualification at the end of the process.

DBS & UKA Mandatory Training Module:

For a leadership license to be processed, leaders are required to complete the UKA Mandatory Training Module and have a current police record check, DBS. 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.

Course Structure

The course structure is summarised below:

  • Attend the one day course (9am-5pm)
  • Submit DBS form
  • Complete the UKA Mandatory Training Module
  • 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?

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.


All of the excellent resources for the Leadership in Running Fitness award can be found in your My Learning section. Once you have booked on the course, you will receive a direct link to this.

Resources are available in enlarged print. Please contact your Home Country Education Coordinator for further details.

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