BLOG: Andrea Bell’s Level 2 Coaching Course

Athletics Australia Level 2 Coaching Course – Andrea Bell – 18/10/14

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Last weekend, I was lucky enough to find myself in a room full of people who love running at all levels when I took part in Perth’s first Level 2 Intermediate Recreational Running Coach course, conducted at WA Athletics Stadium. This is a new course, delivered by Athletics Australia as part of the Recreational Running Coaches framework. The course was written to meet the demand of coaching requirements, as recreational runners are increasing in Australia by the thousands each year, running distances from 5k through to ultra marathons.

The day began with the usual round-the-table introductions. The coach appointed to deliver the course had been sent over from Melbourne by Athletics Australia was Mr. Tim Crosbie. Tim looks after a huge running group in Melbourne called the Crosbie Crew and coaches athletes from beginner to elite, including Sinead Diver who recently ran a debut 2nd place, 2:34 Melbourne marathon! OK, so this guy knows his stuff! At this moment, I do reflect on how lucky I am. First of all I am guided by two of Perth’s best coaches in Raf Baugh and Ben Green, and second I am about to spend a day with one of Melbourne’s top middle/long distance coaches!

During our round table, I mention I currently coach with Raf’s Front Runner team in Perth.  As we move around the table, 4 out of the other 6 participants have experienced technique sessions with Raf and Ben, and some people were from country areas.  Feeling pretty proud at this point J

During the course of the day, we discuss general principals of coaching individuals and groups, through to structuring training programs for Marathon runners. A lot of the information was very familiar, as we apply many of the same principals, sessions, structures as Tim does with his runners in Melbourne. One area we discussed in detail was the different types of runs you will find in a training program, including the Long Run, Fartlek, Tempo, Quality sessions and Easy Runs. We discussed the importance of each run, and how runners tend to get most runs spot on, with the exception of the Easy Run – most runners down fall. The purpose of this run is to absorb the training load you have put through your body over the days prior, to recharge and re-set. All too often we see runners “smashing” their easy runs, because running fast is where it’s at! Great news is, thanks to Steve Monaghetti, we have a new name for the Easy Run… ABSOPRTION RUN!  This makes PLENTY of sense to me, and I am guilty of running my easy runs too fast. Absorption runs from now on, have a totally different meaning and if this crucial programmed run does not serve its purpose, we quite often end up at the physio with over-use injuries.

We then jumped out onto the track at the WA Athletics Centre for a portion of the session. How much fun running on the track, when the place is empty! We went through some very useful technique information, breathing, foot-strike, posture, core strength & arm movement. I did share with the group Ben’s Pringle exercise in order for runners to concentrate on keeping relaxed hands… I think a few will borrow that one! We also spent a good amount of time on hill running technique, which included going out to a hill and running it, and trying different techniques to get a good feel of where power and drive comes from.

The FIVE tips for effective hill running: –

  • Run on the forefoot
  • Lean forward into the hill
  • Keep a low knee lift and shorten stride
  • Use the arms for drive
  • Don’t look up!

One of Tim’s messages throughout the day, was no matter what level of runner, beginner through to elite, there is no reason why 5.5hr marathoner’s cannot complete the same training as 2.5hr marathoners. That is something we do very well within the Front Runner team. Every runner has the opportunity to train and participate no matter what level, or what time/distance they wish to achieve. Individual achievements are equally important; all that is needed is will, desire and determination from each runner.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and being able to take a sneak peak at Sinead Divers marathon program was a bit cool.

All I can say is LOOK OUT Front Runner SOR crew; your coach is armed and enthused!!!!


See you out there!

Andrea Bell

Level 2 AA, Rec Running

Front Runner Team


  1. Lauren cartledge says

    Spot on Andrea!
    I’ve already started to utilise the coaching tips gained.

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