This is the answer my wife gave to her Zwifting collegues
Question from a Zwifter: Isn't Trainerroad boring compared to other platforms that add more gamification?
TrainerRoad’s focus is on training and making you a faster cyclist.
They leave any and all entertainment options to you.
Edit to add, here is the official company line related to entertainment.
Hi David, unfortunately that’s not on our road map at the moment. We focus on making cyclists faster, and we haven’t found the video integration or social aspects to be useful toward that goal. That’s why we leave the entertainment up to you! You can use the desktop apps in “minimal” mode and watch any videos you like behind the app, or use any combination of phones, TVs, etc to set up your own entertainment. As far as racing your friends, we think that’s the most fun to do outside on the road - after training on your own it’s fun to surprise them.
I and many others use TrainerRoad and Zwift together.
I can find many different ways to entertain myself.
When I want to train, I’m there to train. Turn up, do the work, simple.
I’m level 22 on Zwift. I haven’t been on it for about two months as I just got so bored with it. Same old same old. I cancelled my membership. TR is so much better.
Nice! I actually did Wright Peak-1 today with Zwift and TR going together and got bored looking at my Avatar on Zwift so I switched to Netflix. I’m actually on the fence with Zwift right now. I do enjoy a race here and there but for training purposes I much prefer TR.
Personally, I find the game-y entertainment-first platforms very annoying & distracting. I’m there to train, I don’t need bells & whistles & lame race footage to try and trick myself into a state of amusement.
FWIW, I tried SF last year and found it to be quite…adolescent. Funny that they have revamped their platform to mimic a lot of TR aspects.
But if you’re really that bored on your trainer, try doing more VO2max intervals.
I found Zwift before TR and the novelty wore off incredibly quickly. I didn’t race (mostly down to timing), found group rides tedious and the graphics are really not that good.
Before long I was watching movies/tv to distract myself anyway so it was pointless having the game aspect.
The one thing that kept me using it was the quality of the workout interface. When I realised TR had better plans/workouts etc I switched immediately.
I just don’t find the virtual riding thing all that interesting/distracting/motivating. Each to their own though.
I quit Zwift just before the price increase, not that I had used it much during the Canadian summer. I might join for two months in the spring when I want to add some unstructured intensity in the Zwift races, but that will be it, April and May.
I dropped zwift a couple of months back, I was running it concurrently with TR for the visuals and occasional social interaction if I saw people I know. But really I wasn’t all that focused on the screen. I actually just listen to the local sports radio and don’t even watch anything and do just fine. I admit I did get back on zwift this week to do a race ride with some of my club mates, so it does have it’s place and fun, but for training having zwift doesn’t really do it for me
I’m not entertained by watching avatars. There are some entertaining games in the world, I don’t think zwift is one of them.
I’d much rather put TR on my laptop and then come up with my own distractions/entertainment.
And I didn’t think I’d feel that way, I started on zwift and it was a neat novelty for a while but it wore off quickly.
I messaged and did the social thing a bit but realistically we’re not at a loss for communication. If I want to interact with my friends or whoever while I’m training I don’t need my training software to provide that.
And if one thing really tipped the scales for me my experience is that TR does a better job controlling my trainer.
Best comparison I can make as a triathlete is to swimming. I get in the pool, I stare at a black line for an hour, and it’s amazing! I get out at the end feeling so mentally refreshed because my only distractions were someone letting me know they were going to share the lane 40 minutes ago, and noticing that someone in another lane had admirable form 20 minutes ago.
I don’t wish I had virtual sharks chasing me or that I was racing someone when I did 100s at VO2max.
Maybe it’s because I grew up playing video games but I find the graphics and world in Zwift to be really low quality and not interesting. They might have changed it by now but the fact you could only ride in certain zones on specific days was also a deal breaker.
I tried Zwift for a day or so and I just didn’t get it. Granted I didn’t try a race, was just trying to get the feel for it and I got really bored starting at that screen to start with. Not sure how people use that as their form of entertainment. TR I’m using to get faster, follow their workouts with some music and a random bike race on the tv.
Maybe I’m good with this because I spent 90%+ of my training throughout the year on the trainer, and just recently got on a smart trainer so I never had a problem doing that. I just know when I’m in the middle of 5x15 or 3x20 or whatever else Chad has put together I’ve never thought to myself “man I’d love to get on my phone right now to give a thumbs up to this video game character next to me”…
I tried Zwift once, really, only just once, just to find out it wasn’t my thing at all. All the ride-on things etc. distracted me way to much to be able to TRAIN effectively. All entertainment I need while training, is music from the headphones. Same thing while riding indoors, or doing a gym workout.
I was on Zwift before coming over to TrainerRoad. I actually enjoyed the group rides and races, the problem was that it was had to coordinate my schedule to meet the event start times. I found just riding around got boring pretty quickly.
I love Trainerroad precisely for its honest purity and lack of anything superfluous to its sole overriding aim - to provide the best possible platform for making a cyclist faster.
This it does extremely effectively with, like all the best inventions, beautiful simplicity. No gimmicks or marketing hooks. Lots of substance.
I personally love watching the minimalist blue blocks of doom marching slowly on, while I get rare uninterrupted time to listen to my favourite music while I endure the most exquisitely designed, unadulterated suffering, perfectly targeted for my own personal self-improvement!
To each their own.
The blue blocks of doom is now my new favourite way of describing them!
I also think there is value in just being focused on the task at hand. I’m gonna suffer on race day, might as well practice that on the trainer making me the best at suffering.
TR is pretty dull compared to Zwift. I had been a subscriber on TR for years and used SF and PerfPro as well. Once I tried Zwift (almost 4 years ago now) I used the other apps less and less and it got to the point where I used TR less than 10 times in 18 months so cancelled my subscription.
For me I found that by doing a variety of rides on Zwift loosely based around a training plan I started to make bigger gains than I had done on TR due to me actually wanting to jump on the bike.
The group training rides are fantastic as are the group workouts and you can’t beat the races for a strong thrashing.
Zwift group rides make a long ride so much more enjoyable than any other app due to the interactive nature and I would always recommend Zwift to anyone.
Trainer Road is a great product though if you can put up with the boredom.
It would probably be good to use a mix of both to get an overall good result.
I’ve taken out a month subscription again for now but not used it yet after a week (can’t get away from Zwift) so I’ll see what happens.