Complete guide to TrainerRoad: an indoor cycling app to rival Zwift?

There’s a variety of indoor cycling apps on the market to enroll to that declare to make you a fitter and sooner rider.
One that’s been round longer than most is TrainerRoad.
Unlike a few of its rivals within the fast-evolving world of indoor cycling, TrainerRoad is targeted nearly solely on assembly the coaching calls for of riders, slightly than making an attempt to replicate the actual world in a digital surroundings.
Want to know extra? Here’s our guide to TrainerRoad: what it’s, the way it works, how a lot it prices and whether or not it could be the suitable indoor coaching app for you.
What is TrainerRoad?

TrainerRoad is an indoor-cycling app that hones in on exercises and coaching plans. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad is an on-line cycling coaching programme, with a set of train routines that it claims will “make you quicker with science-based, goal-driven coaching”.
Its primary options are its personalisation and talent to tremendous tune its really useful exercises to your goals and progress.
TrainerRoad says its customers have accomplished greater than 100 million exercises over the ten years because it launched.
It’s additionally constructed up an enormous library of recommendation and steering on-line on all elements of coaching and diet.
What options does TrainerRoad provide?

TrainerRoad claims it’ll “make you quicker with science-based, goal-driven coaching”. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad is centred round its coaching plans and exercise routines, in addition to your private coaching calendar and rider profile.
It’s purpose is to present a personalised coaching programme primarily based on machine studying, to tailor your exercises primarily based in your objectives, efficiency and life-style.
It doesn’t offer you a gamified surroundings like Zwift, Wahoo RGT or Rouvy – we’ll cowl the competitors in additional element later – however as a substitute particularly hones in on coaching.
Training plans and exercises

Workouts are visualised on a easy interface. TrainerRoad
Let’s begin with the fundamentals. TrainerRoad says it gives 100 particular person coaching plans and greater than 3,000 exercises.
TrainerRoad’s Plan Builder units a coaching plan primarily based on six standards:
Training load
Start date
Target occasions or self-discipline
Your schedule

TrainerRoad’s Plan Builder places collectively a coaching plan primarily based in your desired coaching load and quantity, in addition to your expertise, driving specialism, goal occasions and private schedule. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad will then present an overview of your coaching plan, together with its phases and your exercises.
Alternatively, in the event you don’t need to observe a structured plan, TrainerRoad’s PrepareNow characteristic suggests really useful exercises primarily based in your current coaching historical past.
TrainerRoad’s exercises are visualised as a sequence of blue ramps to signify intervals, interspersed with restoration time, with textual content prompts and your experience knowledge, corresponding to coronary heart charge, energy, cadence, present energy and goal energy.

There’s no gamified expertise with TrainerRoad. TrainerRoad
Adaptive Training

Adaptive Training is on the coronary heart of TrainerRoad and gives a personalised expertise by means of machine studying. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad claims its primary benefit is its built-in evaluation and suggestions, primarily based on machine studying, which mix to personalise your coaching plan and exercises on an ongoing foundation, tailor-made to your objectives, health degree and present efficiency. TrainerRoad calls this Adaptive Training.
Adaptive Training was added to TrainerRoad in February 2021. Previously, the app’s coaching plans have been devised by coaches and a rider left to their very own units as soon as they’d chosen a plan.
Now, Adaptive Training displays efficiency in each exercise you full.
Once you’ve completed your exercise, TrainerRoad’s AI-based system analyses the way you’ve carried out to decide what it calls your ‘Progression Levels’, utilizing these to decide your future exercise schedule, displayed in an interactive calendar.
This suggestions loop repeats after each exercise to provide help to attain your health aims.

The PrepareNow characteristic suggests three exercises to dive into, primarily based in your current driving. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad will fine-tune your plan on an ongoing foundation, primarily based in your present efficiency, in addition to factoring in missed classes (with the choice to transfer or change a exercise) or deliberate break day.
Adaptive Training can be used to make PrepareNow suggestions, whereas for every session in a coaching plan, TrainerRoad will provide ‘Workout Alternates’. Here, TrainerRoad will make suggestions with an analogous issue and profile as the unique exercise, however with the choice to discover classes which might be shorter or longer, primarily based on the time you may have accessible.
Progression Levels

TrainerRoad’s Progression Levels offers a seven-point image of your health. TrainerRoad
Another key side of TrainerRoad’s method is that, slightly than simply measuring your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and its modifications over time, it measures your Progression Levels in seven areas, broadly aligned to the important thing coaching zones: endurance, tempo, sweetspot, threshold, VO2 max, anaerobic and dash.
The purpose, TrainerRoad claims, is to present a fuller image of how your health is evolving, slightly than counting on a single determine, as is the case with FTP.
“Each degree is individually measured on a scale from one to ten, with one representing the baseline and ten representing the very best degree of skill at any given FTP,” says TrainerRoad.
“In normal, your Progression Levels will begin out within the decrease vary as you start a coaching block. As you progress by means of exercises and coaching weeks your Progression Levels will change to mirror your growth in every zone.”

TrainerRoad can be utilized to present an overview of each your indoor and outside rides. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad says its exercises will give attention to the Progression Levels most vital to meet your aims, whether or not that’s to up your endurance, win a dash or climb higher.
TrainerRoad says your relative strengths and weaknesses throughout these dimensions can change, even when your FTP stays the identical and that it’s going to decide from its vary of exercises to match your coaching wants to enhance throughout every dimension.
After every exercise, it’ll grade you on how a lot the exercise has contributed to your development – most exercises are geared toward development in a single dimension, however you may additionally see development in different dimensions as nicely.
If you full a exercise at or under your present degree, you could not see a change. Equally, in the event you skip just a few days, TrainerRoad will regulate your Progressional Levels to mirror this.
TrainerRoad’s AI additionally extends to mechanically detecting modifications in your FTP, primarily based on each indoor and outside rides.
Career and Calendar

The Career display screen offers a snapshot of your present efficiency and subsequent coaching session. TrainerRoad
TrainerRoad’s ‘Career’ and ‘Calendar’ dashboards present an overview of your knowledge.
The Career display screen exhibits your subsequent exercise, present Progression Levels and a snapshot of your present coaching plan, in addition to primary FTP, weight and power-to-weight ratio knowledge.
The Calendar dashboard offers an overview of previous and upcoming exercises. TrainerRoad additionally gives the power to log indoor exercises and outside rides, so you possibly can view your whole coaching – and the related knowledge – in a single view.

TrainerRoad says it gives greater than 3,000 exercises.
How a lot does TrainerRoad price?
TrainerRoad prices $189 for a 12 months in the event you pay upfront. You can even pay month by month, which prices $19.95, understanding at $239.40 a 12 months.
That’s dearer than Zwift and Wahoo X, each of that are at present priced at $14.99. TrainingPeaks prices $19.95 if billed month-to-month, however you possibly can halve that by paying for a 12 months up entrance, making it considerably cheaper with a month-to-month equal worth of $9.92.
Whereas most different platforms give you a free trial interval earlier than you want to buy, with TrainerRoad you pay up entrance and it gives you a 30-day a reimbursement assure in the event you determine it’s not for you.
TrainerRoad vs the competitors

While TrainerRoad isn’t as scorching on social coaching as some apps, there’s a Group Workouts characteristic. TrainerRoad
If you need to experience by means of a jungle or climb a digital reproduction of an actual street, you’ve come to the flawed place.
TrainerRoad’s coaching surroundings focuses solely on exercises, with pictures of upcoming output ramps and your energy knowledge on display screen slightly than a digital world with avatars and actual folks to race in opposition to.
It’s a extra solitary expertise for riders targeted on coaching objectives and down to you to present – or discover – the motivation. TrainerRoad says its “easy interface may be simply mixed with no matter leisure you desire to to use to inspire you”.
The app does additionally provide a Group Workouts characteristic, so you possibly can full a exercise with one other TrainerRoad subsciber, see one another’s metrics and talk through video and voice chat.
The gamified digital driving expertise is roofed comprehensively by different coaching apps.

Zwift (pictured) is the main app for a gamified indoor-cycling expertise. Zwift
Zwift is the dominant participant, providing a spread of digital worlds to discover together with your customized avatar (and alongside hundreds of different riders). It additionally has gamified parts corresponding to PowerUps and the buildup of XP (expertise factors) to transfer by means of ranges, and enhanced social options, together with races, occasions and group rides.
Wahoo RGT and Rouvy are additionally amongst TrainerRoad’s rivals competing in that area.

Wahoo X (pictured) bundles collectively Wahoo RGT and Wahoo SYSTM. Wahoo
Wahoo RGT – previously often called RGT Cycling till its acquisition by Wahoo in April 2022 – gives digital recreations of real-world roads, together with Mont Ventoux and the Passo dello Stelvio.
You can even add a GPX file of a course of your alternative and Wahoo RGT will recreate the terrain, full with resistance modifications, in your good coach. Wahoo RGT additionally integrates with Wahoo SYSTM for coaching plans, which we’ll come on to.
Rouvy, in the meantime, is an augmented actuality cycling app, whereby your digital avatar is superimposed on actual footage of real-world roads. You can even race in opposition to digital avatars or different customers.

Rouvy (pictured) locations your avatar on real-world video footage. Rouvy
As for performance-minded riders, TrainerRoad isn’t the one app that focuses on coaching slightly than a digital cycling expertise.
TrainingPeaks, for instance, additionally offers you routine-based coaching with out the gamified factor. Wahoo, as we’ve already talked about, goals to cowl each bases. The Wahoo SYSTM element of Wahoo X gives structured exercises as a part of its content material, alongside the digital expertise provided by Wahoo RGT.
What TrainerRoad claims to provide that’s distinctive is the adaptive, personalised and science-led coaching factor, alongside the breadth of its plans and exercises.
What do you want to get began?

Like all indoor-cycling apps, TrainerRoad is greatest skilled on a sensible coach. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
The excellent news is that TrainerRoad helps a variety of {hardware} – it says greater than 200 units – and you need to use the platform with a easy setup.
Dumb coach
The most simple possibility is a ‘dumb’ (i.e. non-smart) turbo coach and a pace sensor. TrainerRoad has an algorithm known as ‘Virtual Power’ that converts your pace sensor knowledge into an estimated energy output.
TrainerRoad retains an evaluation of the facility curve for every supported mannequin of non-smart coach relative to how briskly you’re pedalling, so as to estimate the facility you’re placing out.
There’s a listing of supported trainers on TrainerRoad’s web site and it has a technique to ‘borrow’ a identified energy curve in case your coach isn’t listed. It recommends both Wahoo or Garmin pace sensors to present the pace knowledge it wants.
While this can be an reasonably priced route into coaching with (estimated) energy, it received’t be as correct as utilizing an influence meter or good coach. Also, what this setup can’t do, is automate the modifications in coach resistance, like a sensible coach can, that means it’s up to you to hit the required wattage throughout an interval
Power meter in your bike

If you may have an influence meter in your bike, corresponding to these Garmin Rally pedals, you possibly can sync the information with TrainerRoad. Simon von Bromley / Immediate Media
The subsequent possibility, in the event you don’t have a sensible coach, is to use an influence meter in your bike, providing you with correct energy output numbers.
This means TrainerRoad can use this knowledge to regulate your energy targets to your precise measured health degree. You can even take a few of your coaching outdoor, with TrainerRoad’s routines transferred to your bike pc slightly than having to sit on the turbo for each session.
This performance is out there with a Garmin or Wahoo pc, whereas TrainerRoad’s really useful energy meters are Quarq, 4iiii, Stages, Garmin and Favero.

TrainerRoad exercises can be displayed on a Wahoo or Garmin pc. TrainerRoad
Smart coach
Using probably the greatest good trainers is the ultimate possibility – and the one most riders will take.
Again, it means you possibly can practice with measured – and correct – energy, though clearly you’re not going to give you the option to carry out exercises outdoor, except you even have an influence meter in your bike.
Using a sensible coach means you possibly can set it to ERG mode, in order that your resistance is modified mechanically by the app as you undergo a exercise. This permits you to both focus in your exercise or, alternatively, zone out to music or Netflix and never fear in regards to the numbers in your display screen. It additionally means you’re hitting the numbers you want to, whether or not that’s throughout an interval or restoration.
If you’ve acquired each an influence meter in your bike and a sensible coach, you get the very best of each worlds as a result of you possibly can experience each indoors and out, and use your energy meter to management your coach, for constant energy outcomes. Once once more, TrainerRoad has a listing of supported good trainers.

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