How Much Does a Running Coach Cost?

How much does a running coach cost? Read the full article to learn about how much you pay for an online running coach.

The business of run coaching has boomed over the past decade. With this boom, a wide variety of running coaches has emerged – including a variety of price points. The cost of a running coach is not standardized, so you will see coaches cost anywhere from $50 to $500. This article breaks down the cost of a running coach and how to get the most value from your running coach. 

What You’re Paying For

Yes, you do pay for an individualized training program with coaching. But that’s not all you are paying for. You are paying for the coach: their feedback, analysis, instruction, support, and expertise. 

Time Invested in Athletes

Coaches who offer multiple levels of training will have scaled pricing to reflect the time invested. For example, coaching with weekly check-ins will cost less than coaching with daily check-ins. The more time your coach spends analyzing your training, the more cost you can anticipate. 

Experience and Education

Generally speaking, the more experienced and educated a running coach, the more they should cost compared to a novice coach. 

That said, higher cost does not always correlate with more education, since coaches set their own costs. Some coaches will base their rates on factors such as social media popularity. When interviewing a coach, always ask about their education – never assume based on pricing alone. 

That all said, experienced coaches have been in the industry longer – and they understand how the business works better. Many experienced coaches will charge $100-150 per month, even if their background warrants more. Why? Because that’s how much most runners want to pay for continual coaching. 

Desired Demographic

Typically, triathlon and ultrarunning coaches cost more than road running coaches. These coaches often require special certifications. A tri or ultra plan takes more work to structure, which is reflected in the higher price.

Some coaches deliberately set their pricing to make run coaching more accessible. They may be very experienced and educated, but they also want to work with runners who may not be able to afford $300/month. Additionally, some coaches do offer special scholarships for underprivileged athletes.

Operating Costs

While coaching may not have large amounts of overhead costs, most coaches still have costs of operation. Operation costs can include training software (such as Final Surge or Training Peaks), bookkeeping software, continuing education, website maintenance fees, marketing costs, and more.

 These fees add up. For example, a yearly subscription to Final Surge costs $390, while a yearly subscription to Quickbooks Small Business is $450 per year. And those are basic operating costs. If coaches travel to support their athletes in any race, their costs can add up steeply. 

If a coach runs a group of coaches, the costs may be higher to support the full team. Often, the head coach will set a percentage of each coach’s athletes; to balance this out, the overall cost of monthly coaching is more. 

In-person Sessions

Coaches who meet their athletes in person or run with their athletes will charge more. In-person coaching requires more time and energy (both mental and physical) from a coach. And it’s not just the time spent running – a coach will prepare in advance for the session, drive to the meeting place, etc. 

What is The Cost Of A Running Coach?

I recently surveyed runners on Instagram about running coach costs. A majority reported that they would pay $100-150 per month for a virtual running coach. For most people, this range realistically fits in their budget – especially for a long-term coach.

That said, you will find running coaches at all prices online. There is no standardization of rates – all coaches set their own rates (or have their rates set by a head coach). Some may cost less than $100 per month, while others charge $300-400 per month. 

When picking a running coach, consider how their cost fits in your budget. Additionally, consider how long you want to work with them – just for one race, or a year or more. 

How to Get Maximum Value From Your Running Coach

A running coach is an expense – and you want to get what you paid for. Coaching is a relationship – your coach should put in work, but you do also need to put in an effort to get the maximum value from coaching.

Communicate with Your Coach

Want to get the most value from your running coach? Communicate with your coach! The more communication you put in, the more you get out of coaching. Most coaches will account for how you feel during runs when building your plan. If you hate a certain workout, or it’s impossible to get to the track a certain day of week, or you don’t feel pushed enough, communicate that! 

Important things to communicate to your coach:

  • How runs are feeling
  • Schedule adjustments needed
  • Your energy/any fatigue
  • Any concerns you have 
  • What feels challenging
  • If you start dreading runs
  • If training feels too hard or too easy
  • New workouts you are starting
  • Job or life changes

Work Long-Term

Yes, working with a coach for several months – or even several years – is a financial investment. This investment yields greater results. A coach can keep you motivated between races and structure your plan with periodization so that you see more long-term growth. Additionally, the longer you work with a coach, the better they understand you as a person and an athlete. With this information, they can better tailor your plan to you. 

Ask About Bundle Payments

Some coaches do offer bundle payments – the option to receive a discount if you commit to or pay for a set amount of months upfront. If you are committed to a coach, this can be a great cost-saving option!

Consider Laura Norris Running For Your Online Running Coach Needs

The athletes I work best with are recreational runners who want to excel in their running – while also balancing work, family, and other aspects of their life. I set my prices based on this demographic and market research. I offer different coaching packages with prices varying on how often I communicate with you – and all packages involve unlimited athlete-initiated communication. 

Book a free 30-minute coaching consult here!

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