The Best Running Coach Certification Online: UESCA Review 2023

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Have you thought about how you might become a running coach? In the modern world, you can now obtain your running coach certification online.

This is huge news for those who love running and helping others but don’t have the time commitment to meet for weekly sessions to learn in person.

And the best news of all is that the best running coach certification program is available online. So let’s get to it so you can become a running coach ASAP and help others cross the finish line of their dreams.

UESCA Running Coach Certification

What Does UESCA Stand For?

UESCA stands for United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy.

If you thoroughly enjoy endurance sports, you’ll find many great coaching programs with UESCA, all of which can be completed online following your availability.

Why is the UESCA Running Coach Certification the Best?

Many elements make the UESCA running coach certification the top program.

Above all, the program’s convenience of being 100% online is a significant selling point. You can complete your certification in the comfort of your home at whatever time is most convenient.

If you’re a long-distance runner in the middle of marathon training, managing your family life, and working full-time, midnight to 1:00 am may be your only free time. That’s cool! You’re welcome to chip away at the program any time of the day.

The standout advantages of choosing UESCA are divided into the certification process and the post-certification coach benefits.

UESCA Certification Benefits

The following are the benefits you’ll experience while obtaining your certification.

👉🏼 Entirely online

👉🏼 30-day money-back guarantee

👉🏼 Access to all content immediately after purchase

👉🏼 Take up to a year to test for certification

👉🏼 No re-test fee

👉🏼 Write a short, science-based paper every two years to renew your certification.

👉🏼 Lifetime access to materials

UESCA Coach Benefits

You’ll receive these benefits once you complete your certification and pass the exam. In addition, UESCA is continually expanding and strengthening its offerings.

👉🏼 UESCA Coach Certificate

👉🏼 Use of the UESCA Logo

👉🏼 Access to purchase 3rd party liability insurance

👉🏼 Receive CEU for NASM, ACE, USA Triathlon ISSA, AFAA

👉🏼 Access to UESCA Coaches Facebook group

👉🏼 Add your profile to UESCA Coaching Directory to attract clients.

I'm posing at the finish line of my twelfth marathon. Becoming a running coach was a goal of mine after finishing this race.

Why I Chose UESCA Running Coach Certification

In the winter of 2021, I decided to take my running to the next level.

At the time, I had completed 12 marathons and 12 half marathons. I was a qualified Marathon Maniac and had raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through my distance races.

But I wanted more (cue Ariel singing).

I knew that becoming a certified running coach meant that I could help people cross the finish line when they might not believe it. I wasn’t a great runner but had accomplished marathons and half marathons, and I wanted others to feel that feeling.

Additionally, I knew that learning the science behind running meant my running would improve. And I was right.

I began the UESCA Running Coach Certification online in January 2022. Each coaching module taught me more than I thought I’d ever know about running. By the end of the month, I had completed the course and earned my certificate.

I finally got back to running races in the fall. After two years of no races due to COVID-19, I was itching to be out on the race course and aim for a new PR.

I ran two half marathons in October and one in November. My half marathons in October handed me times of 2:13:05 and 2:13:50, roughly six minutes slower than my 2015 PR.

In November, I ran the Run Nash Nashville ½ Marathon with a time of 2:04:43 – a time nearly three minutes better than my previous PR.

Without my UESCA running coach certification, I wouldn’t have earned a new PR. Knowing how to train me properly, listen to my body, and improve parts of my training plan that I had previously lacked helped me.

Why UESCA Over Other Running Coach Certifications?

I researched all the options for running coach certifications before choosing UESCA.

Other running programs had tiered levels of coaching certification courses. While this may benefit some, I wanted to acquire all the knowledge from the get-go.

Many running programs require a commitment to a specific schedule, even for online study. For example, I wasn’t in a position to dedicate eight-hour days to learn all I needed to be a great coach.

I was excited to learn and apply my knowledge, but I wouldn’t have been able to finish a program with such rigid requirements.

With flexibility, UESCA helped me understand the importance of focusing on heart rate, strength training, and proper steps to prevent running injuries.

Something else I love about UESCA is the desire to expand and share with the coaching community.

When I first completed my running coach certification program, there wasn’t a section regarding female physiology. This is very important and something I needed to know to become a better, healthier runner.

A section dedicated to this information was later added, and I gained even more knowledge at no additional charge.

Additionally, UESCA doesn’t require its certified coaches to complete continuing education to remain certified. Instead, coaches can pay $99 to test, write a short, science-based paper, or complete a new certification program offered by UESCA.

Something I didn’t know before registering with UESCA – the community support is top-notch. The Facebook group and constant outreach from the company via email make me confident that they care.

I’ve been satisfied with my choice of UESCA Running Coach certification daily.

What other Certifications Does UESCA Offer?

As of the writing of this post, UESCA offers the following certification programs:

➡️ Running Coach

➡️ Triathlon Coach

➡️ Cycling Coach

➡️ Ultrarunning Coach

➡️ Endurance Sports Nutrition

Are you interested in multiple certifications? Bundle and save 15% when you purchase two or more certificates together!

Investing in multiple certifications will allow you to have a well-rounded coaching background. This will provide your clients with excellent knowledge and ensure you are a highly desirable coach to be hired.

I'm jumping in the air after finishing the Rock n Roll St. Jude Nashville Half Marathon. Becoming a running coach means helping others cross the finish line.

UESCA vs RRCA Certification

When you go to the internet to find the best running coach certification program, you’ll come across RRCA.

RRCA has been around for over two decades and has had many runners complete their running coach program. However, there are a few reasons I found UESCA superior to RRCA, which may help you best decide on a certification.

⭐️ UESCA doesn’t use tiered levels.

If you’re going to be a successful running coach, you should know as much about the scientific aspects of running from the start. You’ll dive deeply into this information at the second level with RRCA.

With UESCA, you get all the information you need at signup.

⭐️ UESCA is 100% online, self-guided, at your own pace.

RRCA used to require in-person courses, two days, back to back, eight hours a day. They now offer an online system for two days, back to back, eight hours a day.

Learning in person is incredible. But if becoming a running coach isn’t your main job, this can be difficult to facilitate. A running coach certification online program might be your answer.

For me, learning everything in a short amount of time also means I’m likely to forget things quickly. Having access to the UESCA course to learn at the pace that allows me to study best, learn, and apply the information to my coaching.

⭐️ UESCA is More Affordable

Of course, you get what you pay for in most instances. But sometimes, you need to look at the details and decide whether you’re getting your money’s worth or a business is maximizing profits.

Currently, the price of any UESCA coaching course is $499. Compared to the running coach certification with RRCA, it’s very affordable.

The RRCA Level 1 certification is $335. To complete Level 2 certification, you’re looking at another $650.

While RRCA may have the most suitable program for you, these are the top three reasons I chose a UESCA running coach certification.

Running Coach Certification: FAQ

If you’ve got a question about running coach certification, chances are you’ll find the answer here. These are the most frequently asked questions about running coach certification.

Do You Need to Have a Certification to Be a Running Coach?


This was the exact question I had before I became certified and I was honestly shocked to find out that being a running coach doesn’t require a certification. However, getting certified is a good idea if you’re considering starting a business as a running coach.

1️⃣ Clients will more likely trust you.

2️⃣ You’ll have a network of certified coaches to ask questions.

3️⃣ You’ll learn the legalities of being a running coach. This is very important.

If you’re already a personal trainer, you might not feel the need to get your running coach certification if you’re looking to expand your client reach. However, you stand to benefit greatly from the right certification program.

How Do You Become a Running Coach?

To become a running coach, you’ll need to find a program that helps you achieve your goals.

First, identify what type of running coach you’d like to be.

You might decide general “running” is what you’re most interested in. This means you might be able to help your clients with sprinting, running distances such as 5ks, or even helping them reach the finish line of a marathon.

Alternatively, you might want to coach ultrarunners or become a cross-country coach if that’s more your speed. Identifying the type of coach you want to be will help you focus on the proper certification.

Next, you can find a company that offers the best program for your learning style.

If you require in-person instruction to learn, then maybe UESCA isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy moving at your own pace and like to learn independently, UESCA might be the best running coach certification option.

A general running coach certification program will provide instruction to learn running mechanics. It will then show you how to apply this knowledge to your clients’ running goals.

Most certifications require you to pass a written exam showing that you have learned the material thoroughly. After you pass this exam, you will be a certified running coach.

How to Become an Online Running Coach

To become an online running coach, you should first go through the process of becoming a certified running coach.

Although certification is not required, it will help you immensely, even if just for helping you understand the legal concerns.

From here, decide what type of clients you’re looking to take on. You may find clients from different outlets, including:

✔️ Word of mouth

✔️ Local running store or club

✔️ A coaching directory you join

✔️ A website you build for your coaching services

✔️ Offerings through your social media channels

Once you’re set up with a way for clients to find you, you will use what you learned through your coaching certification to help them reach their goals.

How to Become a Certified Running Coach

Becoming a certified running coach requires participating in a certification program to learn what a coach should know.

First, you can find a running coach certification that fits best with your goals as a coach.

Next, follow the coaching certification process. This may include completing in-person instruction at a running track. Alternatively, you may pursue a completely online program, such as UESCA.

Finally, complete the certification. This is usually done by passing a written exam to show you’ve gained the knowledge necessary to support other runners.

Is a Running Coach Certificate Worth it?

Big yes!

I feel passionate about this one. But getting your running coach certificate is worth it if you’re serious about running and helping others succeed.

With the option to complete your running coach certification online, getting certified has no drawbacks or inconveniences.

Benefits of a Running Coach Certification

1. Clients will trust you.

With so many options for running coaches available on the internet, being certified will make you more trusted by potential clients.

If you have the choice between a hair stylist that went to school to learn their craft versus someone who enjoys doing hair, you’ll probably choose the one who went to school.

Even if the one who enjoys doing hair is just as good, the education is what may hook you in from the start.

2. You’ll be up-to-date on all things running.

While you might know a lot as someone who happens to be an avid runner, chances are you won’t know everything there is to know about running.

By registering through a coaching certification program, you can gain as much knowledge as possible. This means your clients have a coach who can guide them even in particular situations.

3. You’ll be more valuable.

When you pay for your running certification, you make your coaching services more valuable.

If you’re hoping to make this new business of coaching runners a full-time gig, then certification means you can charge more for your coaching services. Paying for coaching certification means you can make more money from each client.

You won’t need more clients than you can handle to pay your bills. This also means that your clients will benefit from having more of your time. In the end, everyone wins.

4. You’ll become a better runner.

This was a big seller for me. While I love helping others, and I enjoy seeing the happiness on the faces of those who reach their running goals, I was stagnant in my running journey.

I learned so much from my UESCA Running Coach program that I was able to apply to my running. And sure enough, it helped me reach a new goal and PR.

5. You’ll have a network of coaches.

A significant bonus to becoming certified with UESCA was access to the coaches’ Facebook group.

Here coaches discuss specific coaching questions, learn about new launches from the company, and experience a general sense of camaraderie. When choosing a great coaching program, you’re never alone in your running coach journey.

I'm posing in front of a bridge in Chattanooga, TN. Becoming a running coach through an online certification program can help you improve your running.

What to Look for in an Online Running Coach Program

The following are some essential things you’ll want to look for when choosing what running coach certification program is best for you.

✅ In-person or Online Instruction

Choose what works best for you. Don’t discredit yourself as a great running coach if you opt for online.

If you can apply what you learn from an online program, you can be a running coach that helps many people achieve their goals.

✅ Science-based Knowledge

Running and its mechanics are explained best using science. This will be invaluable to you and your clients.

If a coaching program only focuses on constructing client training programs and not the science behind running, it’s not a quality program. The fitness industry is full of companies trying to take your money without giving you value.

Don’t waste time or money on a program that doesn’t help you learn the science behind your sport.

✅ Coach Support

When you finish your certification, will the company allow you to contact them with any questions or concerns? If not, this program might care more about making money than helping coaches.

✅ Assistance with Coaching Needs

If you plan to coach in the US, you aren’t required by law to have liability insurance. However, you run a significant risk by coaching without it.

Rather than rolling the dice, look for a running coach program to help you find everything you need to coach with legal protection. UESCA lists liability insurance companies to help you cover your back. 

Final Thoughts: UESCA Running Coach Certification Online

While not required, a running coach certification will help you be the best running coach. Additionally, with options to complete your running coach certification online, there’s no reason not to do it.

You’ll learn how to build quality training plans, have a great community to discuss coaching with, and provide your clients with the best and most up-to-date knowledge to improve their running performance.

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