RRCA Coaching Certification + Running’s RAD

Local runner, Richard Dodd, has a long running resume. He’s competed as an elite runner and currently is the Head Boys & Girls Cross Country Coach & Assistant Track Coach at Hartford High School as well as the Race Director of the Adrenaline Marathon in West Bend, the Adrenaline Half, Quarter and 5K; and Adrenaline Triathlon in Random Lake. Now he adds RRCA Certified Running Coach to the list.

Read on to learn more about RRCA certification process as well as Coach Dodd’s new coaching business, Running’s RAD!


Can you start off by telling us what it means to have an RRCA Coaching Certification?
It means that I’ve taken the two-day RRCA Certification Course (18 class hours total) and passed the exam as well as received certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED Training. I’m one of only 19 currently such-certified coaches in Wisconsin as of today!

What was the coaching course like and what did you learn?
It was a very intense weekend with 9-hours of class (in South Carolina) both Saturday & Sunday, and some “homework.” One thing that was encouraging to me was that a lot of what I’ve gleaned over a 42-year running career and 19-year coaching career was reinforced in class, meaning I’ve been doing a lot of things correctly for some time! I had been “weaned” on Arthur Lydiard, Joe Vigil, Jack Daniels, etc., so it was a little like “old home” weekend for me!

What was the testing process like? What requirements did you need to meet to receive the certification?
The 100-question, multiple-choice, online test afterward was actually quite daunting with the knowledge if more than 15 answers were wrong you failed the test – with no refunds. Even though it was open book(s), there was a lot of material covered – It took me some 10 hours to complete! Once you hit “submit” your test was scored, with no recourse. After that I had to pay for and take a course in Waukesha for my First Aid/CPR/AED Training, all within a month’s time of taking the RRCA Course.

Do you feel it was worth it to get a Coaching Certification? Why should people interested in coaching get certified?
I honestly think that the RRCA Coaching Course was well worth it. The class-manual and Jack Daniels’ book and the in-class learning justify the time and cost. I believe that if you’re going to coach other individuals that you need to know what you’re doing as well as basic first-aid procedures & CPR. A course has just been posted for Milwaukee in October – hurry, they fill up FAST!

Had you done any coaching previously? What made you decide to get RRCA Coaching Certification?
I have been a high school cross country and track coach for boys & girls for 19 years now (over 1,000 athletes) – 16 years at my alma-mater Whitnall HS and the past 3 years at Hartford Union HS. I was named Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel “Coach Of The Year” in 2004. The high schools sports that I coach are “no-cut”- meaning that I coach boys and girls of all abilities.

In addition, I’ve coached a number of adults gratis; most notably Matt Kruger (2:39 Marathon) and Jessica (Davida) Hoepner (owner of Performance Running Outfitters) to a 3:16 Marathon debut at age 21.

I’ve also been inspired by my outstanding (Hall Of Fame) college coaches at UW-La Crosse in Dr. Phil Esten and Gary Wilson

Can you tell us about your new coaching business, Running’s RAD?
While it is still definitely in its infancy and is a work in progress, I have already had the pleasure of coaching some clients to (modern-day) successes! One item I need to address soon is expanding the website; computer technology is not a strength of mine – but I am improving! I came up with the name because RAD is my monogram and, well, Running’s RAD! I plan on expanding my clientele into the fall marathoning season and beyond! I’m also volunteering my time & services to help the Badgerland Striders’ Half Marathon Buildup Program get off the ground this summer.

What types of coaching services do you offer?
While more of a hands-on (i.e. in-person) coach by design, I do offer online and cellphone planning/tips. In the 51 marathons I have completed, the last 50 are Boston-Qualifiers (I missed by 31 seconds in my first attempt at age 18) – so I would have to say marathons (2:19:38 PR) and half-marathons (1:08:29 PR) are my strong suit; although I’ve coached everything from the ½-mile (800-meters) on up! I also have completed two Ultra-marathons, including a 2:59:56 (WI State Record) 50K, and would feel comfortable working with runners with those aspirations.

I am a big believer in the psychological side of running/racing – sometimes a runner is only six inches – the space between their ears – from a great race!

Thanks for chatting with us, Coach Dodd! To learn more about Running’s RAD, you can connect here:

Website: http://runningsrad.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/runningsrad
Phone: (608) 770-5906

To learn more about the upcoming RRCA Coaching Certification course in MKE, visit http://www.rrca.org/programs/coaching-certification/

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend! And as always …

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

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