How many of you realised that Worcester’s friendliest running club boasts 27 trained LiRF leaders?
If you’ve attended a club night in the last few months, you may well have heard talk of this so-called LiRF qualification, but what does it stand for, what does it mean for the club and, maybe you are asking, what could the qualification mean for you?
What does LiRF mean?
LiRF stands for Leader in Running Fitness. Those who have attended the course are given tools and methods to deliver fun and safe sessions to multi-ability groups, provide advice and support to new runners, as well as to develop pathways for those who want to progress. The course focuses on understanding and overcoming barriers to participation in running and how to increase participation by those not traditionally attracted to a running club.
What are the benefits?
So how is that translated into both club and member benefit? Well it will attract new members, possibly those who have traditionally not felt comfortable running with a club. As major running advocates ourselves, why on earth would we not want to spread the word and share our love of running to the masses? We all know the physical and mental health benefits and, as a running club that has readily bought into the benefits of attaining the Clubmark status, this helps to embed many of the underlying principles. Improved safety for EVERYONE and an inclusive, welcoming and encouraging environment without discrimination. For many this just makes our group an even better entity to be a part of.
What has been organised thus far?
For individuals starting out, existing BPJ members or not, you have Couch to 5K (C25K) training sessions. You can then progress to an intermediate level and increase your distance via the 5k – 10k programmes. New courses are currently being advertised for Monday evenings. Specialist speed improvement and fitness courses have also been devised like Derek’s 16 week parkrun improver’s course and Jo, Claire, Dave, Helen, Mark and James’ Kenyan Hills work outs. These are open to all abilities and levels on a first come first served basis as benefit can be derived whatever your speed.
What was already in place?
Just as an aside, long term members will know that trained coach John has been offering his Thursday night hill rep sessions up Jacob’s ladder for years and Phil heads up the Sunday morning marathon training runs, now also catering for half marathon distance and always accommodating every speed. Other leaders regularly lead running groups during the regular club run sessions. It is worth noting that these people are selflessly prepared to give up their time and often their own training sessions to coach others in their endeavour to help YOU improve. Don’t forget that without leaders, LiRF trained or not, these running sessions would not happen. They are, after all, volunteers and what they do is highly commendable.
What would you like?
So as active, proactive and vocal members of Black Pear Joggers, what do you want to see? How would you like help from these qualified leaders to improve your or a group of people’s running? Make a suggestion and who knows, they might be able to accommodate. If you want to become LiRF trained yourself please fill in the LiRF Leader Application Form. For any questions or feedback, please get in touch.
For those already qualified and wanting to progress further you can train to become a Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF). You have to have had at least 6 months experience in the LIRF role leading programmes and training sessions, but we currently have two leaders who are already half way through this process too.
The club is expanding and a lot is being done to make it a secure, all-embracing, fun, welcoming and supportive place to train. Get involved. This is YOUR club, you pay annual membership fees so make the most of them and have your say. The committee welcome your opinion, ideas and suggestions so they can shape Black Pear Joggers into the club that YOU will get most value from.
Visit the Meet the Joggers page to get the latest list of our members that are LiRF qualified.