How much does a cycling coach cost in Australia?
Hiring a coach is a rite of passage in many cyclists’ journey through the sport. You may consider hiring a coach if you hit a plateau with your training, have decided to start racing, want to hit a big goal, or simply want to get faster than your friends on the local bunchie. A good coach can help you hone your skills, provide valuable feedback, and design training plans that align with your unique physiology and goals.
But how much will hiring a cycling coach set you back? The cost of a cycling coach will vary based on several factors. This article will examine those factors and, depending on your needs, what you can expect to pay (on average) for a cycling coach in Australia in 2023.
Type of Coaching Program
Price will vary depending on the level of personalisation you want from your coaching program. If you are completely new to structured training, it is quite likely that you will improve just by following a stock, non-individualised training plan that aligns with your goals, whereas a more experienced athlete may seek out a plan that is personalised to their needs.
Non-personalised, one-off or goal-based training programs
One-off programs are perfect for cyclists who are new to structured training and looking for a short-term fitness boost (for instance, to increase V02Max or sprint power) or a specific training plan for an upcoming event or goal. They are often a fraction of the price of a personalised monthly program, but provide little to no ongoing support and adaptation.
A one-off, non-personalised 4-week training plan with no ongoing communication, revisions or coach support can cost in the range of $20 to $80 (paid once). The cost will vary depending on the number of workouts included, the coach who built the plan and extent of personalisation for individual power and HR zones etc.
Group or membership training programs (online and in person)
Group or membership training programs are cost-effective, as the cost is shared among multiple participants. These programs often include in-person group training sessions or an online community - making them a great choice for those who enjoy social interaction and group motivation. However, such programs lack the personalisation of individual coaching. They are generally charged monthly, and can cost around $50 to $110 per month.
Personalised monthly training programs
The personalised monthly training program is the go-to for serious athletes or those looking for ongoing engagement with and guidance from a coach. These programs have no set “end date” and are tailored to meet the individual athlete's specific needs and goals. As they demand more time and effort from the coach, they tend to be more expensive than group training or one-off programs. These training plans are generally paid on a month-by-month basis. A mid-range plan (see more detail below about the different variations) will typically cost in the range of $250 to $300 per month in Australia.
Personalised, target-event or goal based plans (similar to personalised monthly training but of a defined duration) are typically cheaper than ongoing monthly training programs. This can be the perfect compromise for the cyclist who doesn’t want to commit to an ongoing coaching relationship, but wants the benefit of a fully personalised training plan to hit their goal-event in peak form. Such plans tend to range from $100-$200 per month.
Level of package, experience and other variables
Level of coaching package
Many coaches offer different “levels” of personalised monthly training programs based on the services provided and level of support and communication. These are often labelled along the lines of “bronze”, “silver”, “gold” and “platinum”.
Top-end, heavily personalised monthly programs with unlimited coach communication and feedback and extra features like strength and conditioning coaching, nutrition advice and HRV monitoring can cost in the range of $350 to $1000 (or more) per month.
Experience and seniority of the coach
New coaches generally have fewer years of experience and may lack advanced qualifications. As they build their reputation and initial roster of athletes, their rates may be lower than those of established coaches. This may be a good option for the budget-conscious cyclist — and what junior coaches lack in experience, they often compensate for with enthusiasm and up-to-date knowledge.
“Start up” fees
In addition to the cost of a personalised monthly training plan, many coaches will also charge a one-off “start up” fee for new athletes. This fee covers the time-intensive activities associated with onboarding a new athlete — including communicating with the athlete about their history and goals, reviewing and uploading past activity data, and setting up the tools that will structure the athlete-coach relationship. Start-up fees are typically in the range of $50 to $250 (paid once).
Choosing a cycling coach is a highly personal decision. While cost is undoubtedly a significant factor, start by identifying what you want to achieve and what type of coaching support you require, and then use price as one of the variables in making your decision.