Coaching Cost, Duration, Age

Thinking of coaching in the near future. I’ve been coached before but, over a decade ago. Talking to a national track champ buddy today I asked him what he paid and while he didn’t answer directly he said his coach demands up to $1000USD/month. Not planning on doing that and simply defining the high end. he thought a year minimum would be needed and thought an older coach who understands the decline in older athletes endocrine systems would be beneficial but, not necessary.

Later that day I stopped by and chatted with another former national master champ buddy who and told him I was thinking of coaching with Frank Overton who charges around $479USD/month. He thought that was really high. To me this is high but, perhaps represents the middle. He thought a year minimum and age didn’t matter

Other coaches who are under Frank charge $174USD/month. This would probably represent the lower end.

So my questions are:

  1. How much do you pay for coaching?
  2. Minimum time you think is needed to be coached?
  3. As a 50+ AGer do you feel a coach who is older would be better than a younger coach?

Doesn’t Amber Neben coach? I don’t know a thing about her except that there is a person who would definitely understand how to get elite level performance from a masters athlete.

Thats Tim Cusick.

She is also coaching as far as I know, he coaches her.

  1. Do not have a coach but done research and the sweet-spot pricewise was around 250-300 usd. For this kind of money you usually get assistant of a top coach. From my country perspective it is a lot of money (I pay the same for apartment monthly). The difference was also in accessibility of the coach - some of them have a limit of contacts per week (for example one / wk) other offer unlimited consultation. The other thing was the contract - if you can resign at any moment without paying any additional fees would be great.

  2. For me 10h+ was the time I was thinking about the coach. With these hours it is also the time when you have to balance intensity, recovery and volume.

  3. Not 50+ but someone who understand client’s situation is always desirable. You probably do not want to be coached as 20years old student with fast recovery and unlimited time :slight_smile: i would say that from “brand” point of view it would be not harming. Probably not a dealbreaker but another argument when closing the sale.

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  1. I currently pay $350/mth for my coach. I’ve paid less in the past with other coaches and find that the $ amount is tied to two things, education/certifications, and accessibility. Finding the right combination for you is important.
  2. As a master’s racer, I don’t view time as a weekly volume, but more of a matter of what are my goals and how much time do I have to recover from training mistakes I make from me learning on the job as a self-coach. With very specific goals in mind (Nationals TT podium) I think my chances of wasting a year of training opportunity self-coaching are greater than with a quality coach. The other aspect of time that I look at and is slightly related to the first is my own time. I have a degree in Exercise Physiology (I haven’t used it for years, but I have one) but have a busy senior level position in my company so I don’t have as much time as I would like to plan things out. I still read and learn a ton and my coach and I have some great discussions that inform my training, but to be able to have him take the planning part and be thinking of the macro cycle as well as the micro cycle is huge in maximizing my own personal time.
  3. It depends. I’ve had younger and older coaches and haven’t found age as big of a factor until the last couple of years. If the coach has experienced age-related changes, that gives them some valuable insight. If a coach hasn’t personally experienced it, I would want them to have some fairly significant experience coaching masters athletes. At 52, I’ve found this to be more important over the last couple of years. It was minor until I hit 50 and then I began to see more noticeable changes in how my body responded to volume and intensity. My coach is older and with that understanding, we have been able to work my plan to where I just finished the biggest block of my cycling career in terms of volume and intensity. It just took a little more time and planning to get there than if I had been 40.
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  • I pay around £100 a month. As mentioned elsewhere this is with limited contact, I felt I didn’t need it as I’m able to shuffle the plan myself if things come up.

  • I’ve been with a coach for 4 months, I don’t think there is a minimum time to benefit. The trigger for me to do it was to offload the session scheduling with a calendar that doesn’t stop changing. I’ve noticed that it frees up a lot of bandwidth, knowing that the training is sorted.

  • In my 30s, but I think a competent coach should be able to manage older athletes. This part is up to you also, you need to be on top of the feedback you provide, if your able to provide quality feedback and be involved in the process that helps a lot. I try to write up a review at the end of each month with what goes well, badly , how I’m feeling about the training and what’s coming up.

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What I meant by duration was not volume wise but, number of months you feel coaching is necessary say for a goal some point down the road. It’s variable I know but, just trying to get a handle on minimum number of months I should commit to. For example, if you had an A event in October 2022 would it be optimal for 1 year prior to be getting coaching? 6 months, etc…goal dependent perhaps. Just rough framework. I feel like 1 year would be logical to go through a full cycle but, I have nothing to back that up.

This will be difficult if not impossible for me and has been my training nemesis my entire professional career. Every week in July was completely different as far as work schedule. Different days working and different times I was working. Some day were early morning starts. Many were late. Some were all night. Far from ideal and is probably the main reason I resist paying for a coach. Doing the work is no problem when rested but, with a variable sleep schedule it’s become depressingly difficult to train at times.

It would be probably different for many people and you will find people who are 1 month from an event and want to go with it :slight_smile: personally, I would think 1 year or 6-8 months. Probably December-January as a start (you know - new year, new me etc) and A event around July-August.

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Just out of interest, did you check what coaching costs in your country? I get the impression that US coaches are a bit more expensive than those in other places. (I guess because of higher costs in general).

I keep thinking about trying a coach, but I think my training issues are not really the type a coach can fix, and also I quite enjoy the planning and learning aspect of it. And I hate people putting things in my diary, that wouldn’t help :laughing:

The surprising part was that they are not so significantly cheaper - the coaches that have some reputation, you can read some articles from them on trainingpeaks etc. and are not “I like to ride my bike and I will coach you now” are around 200 usd. It is cheaper but not so much cheaper that there is no point even considering other options.

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Then this is maybe where paying a premium for contact time comes in. If you can set that expectation early with your coach, that you’d like to be able to give 24/48 hours notice of disruption to the plan and expect them to assign training to accommodate it.

Or, maybe this is something that doesn’t need such an approach, maybe you can come up with some alternative sessions with the coach, I.e I’d assign you, 4x8min vo2, but if you’re tired we’ll switch to 40/20s at threshold power, or 16x2min at vo2 with shorter rests and a long rest every 4intervals.

In my mind the reason to get a coach is this type of thing. If you have a clear schedule and fixed calendar of events, don’t get sick, then putting together a plan is :ok_hand:. When things deviate from the ideal then it’s probably worth paying someone to fix it. As an aside, it’s situations like this that I think AI based training at the moment will struggle with.

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Hey @Landis I’m not at the pointy end of any race, and only seriously started road biking 5+ years ago. And nearing the end of my fifties so FWIW here is where my thought process ended up after a year of coaching… My goals with training and coaching are pretty simple: building a strong base of fitness in order to enjoy epic events and Wed night worlds. After doing some basic research I picked Coach Isaiah at FasCat, prepaid for a year for a 10% discount and that works out to something like $39+/week ($169/month). We have some good local coaches, and talking with riding buddies I believe most charge in $150-$250/month range on the low-end (and more interaction = more $$). For example the 22 year old LBS manager is paying $200/month for a former pro continental guy that lives in the area.

Minimum time to be coached? Hmm, seems like a very personal decision and related to your goals. I’m in it for a two year minimum and then re-evaluating. From talking with my coach I know some athletes sign up for a 2 month ‘crash course’ to prepare for a big event. This is a question only you can answer IMHO.

Older vs younger coach? My experience is limited and I’m going to say Coach Isaiah at FasCat is a true professional and totally on top of his coaching game. Very very happy working with him, his attention to detail on how I feel mentally/physically, and individual designing training blocks and individual workouts that are specific to me. I’m not his oldest athlete, and at the other end of the age spectrum he is very involved in coaching juniors. One thing about FasCat - they meet once a week to talk coaching. So if I throw a curve ball at Isaiah and he is looking for ideas, he can get feedback from the other FasCat coaches. My point-of-view is that you should find someone you mesh with, and ideally a professional with a wide range of experiences and has demonstrated a passion for coaching.

Hope that helps.

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Sounds quite reasonable!

I never even thought about a coach in the past. I kind of wish I had done similar about 7 years ago to fast track my fitness and knowledge.

I just hit a new fitness peak but it took me 4 years of reading and learning to get here and I still have a ton to learn. I already know how I’m going to do my fall/winter/spring a bit differently next year.

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Thanks for all the insight guys! It helps reading others experience/thoughts.

I think the biggest hurdle is just getting my schedule semi-normal. For example, I’ve been able to maneuver things around and get a block of 4 days free to train each week. The other 3 are hit and miss which to me is a huge hole each week which always leads to stagnation.

@bbarrera Fascat has that extensive questionnaire you send in to help them better determine who to put you with. Did they call you back and discuss the questionnaire by chance? I could probably just call Frank…

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Isaiah said I was an overachiever on completing the questionnaire :joy:

And I called Frank to discuss coach selection….

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@AJS914 yeah it’s been said if you enjoy figuring things out and really love say working and analyzing data then buying canned plans may be for you.

If you don’t like DIY and data then coaching may be better. I sort of have a love hate with data. I find being a slave to it sucks the fun out of riding which defeats the purpose. OTOH, some adherence to data is necessary to find that last little bit…

If your schedule is the same week in week out I’d recommend coaching to just about anyone who has that desire to push themselves. It’s my schedule that has me going in circles. I’m both the poster child for a coach and a coaches worst nightmare.

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Some coaches love a challenge!

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Oh I’m planning on being “that guy” with my questionnaire too! Like I wrote above, I’m the poster child for coaching but, also a coaches worst nightmare. Nightmare as in schedule…I think a call will be 100% necessary.

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