Question from a Zwifter: Isn't Trainerroad boring compared to other platforms that add more gamification?


It is not about “Boring”, but “concentration”. In a hard effort, say an over under I am simply focussed on the cadence or power number and keeping form. Everything else is blocked out. Even the radio on in the background. The TR window is great for this. (I suspect it might depend on the session)

I found with Zwift workouts there was a lot of distraction. Also they insist on a cadence and I want to train at different ones to them. That was irritating. So instead of being nagged at by Zwift for not being at “Their cadence” I am advised by “Chad” to choose a cadence. i can ignore that if he is saying try to reach 95 and I want to do 105.

Since staring TR I have not used Zwift. Not sure I will renew this month.


As someone has mentioned above, my wife does not care about getting faster and is in no way interested in following any kind of training program, so TR would be a total waste for her, that is why we got her going on Zwift and she putters around aimlessly in Zwift for 45min or so, three times a week, and she absolutely loves it!

I then got TR for me because I want to get fast and I follow the TR plans religiously…BUT I go onto Zwift’s Workout Creator and re-create the TR Endurance (and some SweetSpot) workouts, then I do them in Zwift. But for all VO2Max, Threshold and Overs/Unders I do them in TR, not in Zwift. So Zwift and TR work together for us, and it works very well.

I feel that the three main players can be summed up as follows:

  • Zwift - For those who like the gaming type things, not great for training plans!
  • Sufferfest - For those who like to have entertainment and training in one place, with decent/good training plans
  • Trainerroad - No frills, no fuss, get the job done type, REALLY Good Training Plans!!

They cater for different users, but ultimately they all get people riding, and that is great from all three of them.

One thing that sets TR miles and miles apart from the other two is that the big wigs (Nate, Jonathan & Chad) are just like you and me and they are involved on a personal level with us as customers. This forum and the Podcast are great examples of this and I hope TR never ever loses this. From Sufferfest and especially Zwift, I get the “Big Corporate B/S” feeling, where TR you feel like you know the big wigs… :blush:


The one thing Zwift gives you that other platforms don’t is the ability to race. You’re racing real people in real time. No workout prepares you for having to be attentive to attacks and that ability to go, then go again, and again. Or the feeling of working hard to get in a break and making it stick. Race simulation workouts just don’t prepare you for that challenge.

Just riding around on Zwift is junk miles, just as it is on the road. The workouts of Zwift I don’t think are as good as the TR workouts. But TR doesn’t give me the option to race. And once you learn the ropes, it’s every bit as challenging as racing for real, albeit without the risk of crashing or having to steer!!


I run them both simultaneously. The TR plans are fantastic. But chasing people down and trying to drop people who want to draft makes it easier for me to keep the VO2 and over unders powers maintained.

My 9 years old son is very intreagued by Zwift. I put his bike on the trainer next to mine and he biked for 80 min pretending he was my avatar. I ordered some road shoes for him so I can put my P1 pedals on his bike and have him control the avatar. I hope it sticks and becomes a regular thing. That is worth a lot to me and Zwift would make that possible.


My kids are equally intruiged by Zwift! They found it bizarre that they could watch a live feed of a race I was doing on facebook, whilst I raced my daughter’s pal’s dad who was in his garage a mile away!!!


Agreed, Racing and the Fondo rides are fun diversions to mix up in the TR training plans. It’s great to have access to these events in the winter, to help stoke motivation on the bike and between sessions.


I use TR with Zwift almost all the time. Zwift is a great distraction, doing intervals, putting in the hard work of a TR session and seeing the results instantly on screen as I fly past Zwifters I feel like I’m resting in the recover valleys as Zwifters fly past me. Long threshold intervals, I’ll climb Alpe du Zwift, effort feels worth it. Indoor training started for me with Zwift and I’ve moved on to the TR plans. I like them being separated from Zwift, never like seeing the finish line of an interval, never appeared to be getting any closer!

Can’t see me doing without either one in the long term, it’s what makes me want to train and that’s what counts.


Agreed on the zwift races. Those are hard and are no joke. i’m about to drop my Zwift account since I’m going to be charged the increase, but my team just did a group ride last weekend that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. But, not worth $15 for the occasional race here and there. Especially when following the TR plans.


Quick!!! Get them into cycling an they will never have enough money for drugs. :crazy_face:


Pretty sure you meant to quote a different post than mine (one about kids and Zwift presumably).


Been using TR since day 1 basically. I have tried Zwift multiple times but it just isn’t for me. I don’t find the graphics very compelling, they don’t hold my attention, and I am so used to doing hard workouts in Erg mode that the unstructured nature of Zwift ‘races’ seems like a waste of time vs. the training efficiency I get with TR.

The racing would be more compelling if I weren’t convinced most people were lying about their weight or otherwise cheating. It just doesn’t do it for me. Give me TR + some music in the headphones + cx races on the laptop.


Meh, cheating in Zwift is real and won’t go away.

Unless you are intent on winning (which is effectively pointless), use the people at rabbits to chase and ignore potentially unreal performances. There are almost always going to be people around to follow.

The point is to use them for motivation to pull more from yourself than you might do on your own, not fulfillment of outcome goals or race results.


Right, as an old road racer, that puts Zwift in a bit of a gap between real racing and structured training for me. If it’s not a fair fight then the racing aspect isn’t there. And since it’s so unstructured compared to TR, the training aspect isn’t really there either… so it never sticks for me and I haven’t lasted more than a month each time I’ve signed up.


I read this article a while back and it convicted me of my need for near constant entertainment. Then iOS 12 came along with screen time and I realized “Wow, I really need to cut back on my screen time.”
Some of my best thinking time comes on my trainer, while my son sleeps, and I just stare out the garage at the trees, the sky, and the clouds…

I am sure Zwift is a lot fun (I don’t want to open that can of worms) but letting my mind wander (those little ‘dings’ when the captioning starts up sure are helpful) for an hour or so is wonderful.

This is obviously my personal take on it, certainly not trying to come across “holier than thou”. Plus if I’m really honest I’d have to say my wife would be really un-happy if I were to add a Zwift membership to my TR, gym membership, and GNC regular deliveries… :wink:


I think use whatever works for you to get faster / stronger / fitter /healthier etc. I’ve used most platforms and prefer TR based on its focused and well thought out plans and overall package of support - not forgetting the new calendar features which bring it all together… I still use Zwift for a bit of variety but only if part of a structured ride… currently RCC training camps (2x20min SP)… lots of folks cheat mind (w/kg) so could drag you down seeing those Rip by … on TR it’s me versus the session not the dolphins and volcano ash with folks ripping by on a set plan ride doing 100w and 35kmh… but each to their own something for everyone… just wish the back biting opinions you see on other forums would not be so narrow minded … we are all cycling after all !:wink:


Have been using them together for a couple years now. Every ride on the trainer is TR running the workout and Zwift in the background as something to look at. For some reason I also find leveling up and getting new virtual bikes and gear motivating as well. Don’t care too much about the social aspect and I find racing and group rides to be kinda a joke with everyone weight doping. If I could only have one it would be TR without a doubt, but they are so different I find having them both to be optimal setup.


Each to their own, but I find anything above threshold so taxing that I have little ability to focus on anything but the job at hand. Even music fades into the background. I found Zwift a too much of a distraction.


I think there’s a fair bit of cheating going on in Zwift, but I do believe the top guys racing are genuine.

The focus I’ve had during some recent Zwift races has had to be incredible!! There’s times a 50 min race has passed so quickly I haven’t even noticed what songs were playing!!!


I have tried hard to use TrainerRoad but I will get bored and drag myself to do them, i could never follow a plan since I will always missing too many them finding some excuses, zwift is much more fun having to do a ride and just keeping into the wheel of some category stronger feels like the real thing for me, and the chatting and the banters is awesome. I am still planning to be a TR member, I do once or twice a week some intervals and I’d rather do that (not mixing with zwift because I really don’t see the point). Ramp test is fantastic on TR too!


I’m both a TR and Zwift user, however a lot more heavily on TR. As a triathlete I use TR workouts 3 times a week and use zwift once a week, zwift mainly just for recovery rides or to warm up before/after a TR workout or for a bit of variance in my training and have some gaming fun, I don’t take it seriously at all. I get my fitness and improvement improvement from TR though