How Much Does A Running Coach Cost? + 9 Benefits Of Run Coaching

Last Updated:

If you’re looking to improve your running performance, working with a running coach can be an unparalleled transformation for your training.

But, how much does a running coach cost? Is a running coach worth it? How much does online running coaching differ from in-person running coaching?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of investing in a running coach, the factors that affect how much a running coach costs, and whether it is worth it to pay for a running coach.

We will cover the following: 

  • Do I Need a Running Coach?
  • Benefits of Working With a Running Coach
  • How Much Should I Pay For a Running Coach?
  • How Much Does a Running Coach Cost?

Let’s jump in! 

A running coach.

Do I Need a Running Coach?

Many beginners, recreational runners, and self-proclaimed “slow runners” assume that only elite runners or “fast runners” need (or deserve) a running coach.

After all, for professional runners, their performance in races affects their livelihood and their lives center around running.

If you are just an average, middle-of-the-pack runner, a recreational runner who does not run races, or a beginner runner, you might think that there is no need to get a Running coach or that running coaches are only for fast runners.

However, this could not be further from the truth.

The vast majority of running coaches work primarily with everyday runners, some of whom are just getting started running, many of whom will never even run a race but just want to run for fitness and stay injury free, or who are far from placing in their age group at a race.

A person talking to their online running coach.

Benefits of Working With a Running Coach

There are quite a few benefits of working with a running coach, even online coaching.

Here are some of the top reasons to hire a running coach:

  • Help reduce the risk of injuries
  • Help create customized training plans to reach your goals
  • Help you be more time efficient with your training
  • Assist in goal setting
  • Give tips and education to improve your running technique
  • Offer drills or exercises to correct muscle imbalances
  • Provide accountability and motivation
  • Provide strength training workouts and other supplementary adjuncts to running workouts 
  • Help correct gait or running form issues (often via video support if working with an online coach)
A workout plan written in a notebook.

How Much Should I Pay For a Running Coach?

As with many things related to running, from running watches to gym memberships, the cost of a running coach can vary widely.

The pricing fees for working with a running coach depend largely on the amount of support provided by the running coach, along with factors such as where you live and the experience level of the running coach.

Here are some of the primary factors that will affect how much it costs to hire a running coach:

#1: Type of Running Coaching

The factor that has one of the most significant impacts on answering, “How much does a running coach cost?” is the type of running coach you are looking to work with: an online running coach or an in-person running coach.

Years ago, in-person running coaches were primarily the only option for working with a coach, save for some telephonic coaching for more elite runners working with a running coach remotely.

A person waving to their running coach online.

Nowadays, online running coaching has likely surpassed in-person running coaching in terms of the number of runners working with an online running coach vs an in-person running coach.

Almost across the board, working with a running coach online will be cheaper than working with a running coach in person.

This is primarily due to the fact that an online running coach does not need to be physically present during your workouts, cutting down on time commitment both in terms of spending time with you at each workout as well as commuting to and from the location of the runs or supplementary workouts on your training plan.

For these reasons, an online running coach can theoretically work with more clients at a time, juggling the needs of multiple runners rather than needing to provide one-on-one running coaching in person.

With in-person coaching, the running coach has a much smaller finite number of athletes they can fit into their schedule because they are limited by the hours in the day and the logistics of coordinating schedules and time slots for different runners they coach.

A person running.

#2: Level of Support

Aside from the difference between an online running coach vs in-person coaching for runners, the primary factor that will impact the cost of run coaching is the level of support you’re getting from the coach.

Particularly when working with an online running coach, there is quite a range of services that you might be able to get from your running coach.

The least expensive running coaching typically involves the creation of a customized training plan.

For example, you might have a target 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon and want a running coach to create a personalized training plan.

The running coach will likely ask a bunch of questions via email, phone, or video and then use that information to build a customized training plan for a certain number of weeks to help you reach your goals given your fitness level, time to train, injury history, race distance, training preferences, etc.

A person running at sunset.

The cheapest customized training plans provided by a running coach are essentially static in that the running coach will create the plan with limited adjustments throughout the course of your training.

When you are able to pay a little bit more for working with a running coach, the coach may provide the training week by week, often through a coaching platform or interfaces like Training Peaks, and the weekly workouts will be based on your prior week, how you are feeling, how your fitness is improving, etc.

Then, a more comprehensive customized training plan from a running coach may also involve complete strength training workouts, cross-training, recovery modalities, etc.

Premium online running coaching may involve weekly or even daily email messaging, text messaging, phone calls, or video check-ins to discuss progress, address concerns, and answer questions.

There may also be some amount of nutrition guidance provided, depending on the certifications, specialties, and educational background of the running coach you are working with and your own needs and goals as a runner.

With any of these different levels of support, the longer the training plan, the higher the total cost, though many running coaches just charge weekly or monthly fees.

A person on their computer smiling.

#3: Where You Live

The going rate for running coaches varies geographically. Certain metropolitan areas in the United States tend to have a higher cost of living and overall higher fees for most services, including running coaching. 

Online running coaches may charge more or less depending on the country in which they live and in which the services are provided, along with any potential currency conversion rates for service fees to convert payments.

#4: Level of Experience 

In general, the level of experience of the coach will have more of an effect on the price of running coaching services rather than the level of experience of the athlete.

Coaches who have been working in the field for a long time, have a very full roster of clients, and are in “high demand “ will likely charge more than running coaches who are just getting started with professional run coaching and are trying to build up their clientele, reputation, and contacts.

In terms of the level of the runner, online coaching for elite or competitive runners is often a bit more expensive than for beginners. 

This is because programming is much more involved, specific, and time-intensive for an elite athlete than for a beginner or mid-pack recreational runner without significant challenges or deviations from “the norm.”

A person on their computer.

How Much Does a Running Coach Cost?

So, now that we’ve covered the benefits of working with a running coach and factors that affect how much a running coach costs, how much does a running coach cost?

Given the aforementioned factors, running coaches can cost anywhere from about $30 a month for limited support to $300 per month.

Most online running coaches that offer individualized training plans with weekly support charge about $150-180 per month.

More frequent or involved coaching and training plans will be on the upper end of that range or a bit higher.

Overall, most runners find that working with a running coach is one of the best investments to really take their running to the next level and help them hit big PRs, stay injury free, and find continued enjoyment and success in the sport.

Make sure that you choose a running coach that has certifications, an educational background in the foundations of exercise physiology and running, is passionate about helping runners that match your profile in terms of ability level and needs, and jives with you from a personality and training approach standpoint.

For our very own Marathon Handbook one-on-one online coaching, click here!

A runner celebrating.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.