Why should I choose TrainerRoad over Zwift?


Ditto, getting spanked in virtual C grade races was doing nothing for my confidence :joy:


Can only speak for myself and at the risk of again going off topic, I don’t use Golden Cheetah or Training Peaks. I still subscribe to Strava summit, and that gives me everything I need in the form of a power curve and fitness/fatigue/form graph. I’ve gone back to an old fashioned hand-written training journal this year.

Again from a personal perspective, I’ve learned that the traditional base method doesn’t work for me. I don’t have the hours to put in to stress my body through duration so I need to maintain some intensity all year round. I’ll plan my training always working back from the races I want to be at my best for. For example I know that I can’t peak more than twice in a season, so I’ll choose the two races I want to perform best in and the rest are treated as training. I’ll look at the profile of the routes and figure out what sort of efforts I’m going to need to perfom and train specifically for those. Below are a couple of example of training sessions that I repeated over the summer as race simulation efforts:

Short climb repeats
Long hill efforts

From some of the threads and posts on here, a theme that I’ve observed is a tendency for people to over-think or over-analyse the numbers without looking at the big picture. At the level that I suspect the vast majority of us are at (i.e. working folk, keen to improve our riding, and not likely to be signed up for the pro-peleton), we are just delving too deeply into realms we don’t understand. And then when we don’t see the gains that others are making, blaming equipment or missing a scheduled session etc. A little knowledge in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing.


100% agree. I’d imagine there are medal winning Olympians spending less time worrying about power curves, TSS, CTL etc. than most folk on here.

I guess it’s the nature of the TR software - it attracts the over-analytical, data geek personality types (myself included).

There was a good podcast I listened to with the Norwegian triathlon team head coach (Arild Tveiten); at the end of the interview he was asked for tips for age-group athletes - he said most age-groupers spend so much time worrying about the tiny details that they forget the basics. Think there’s a fair bit of truth there.


I probably fall into the group that could happily write my own training programmes, I’ve written them for others at times.

There’s no chance in a foreseeable future of TrainerRoad being comparable to Golden Cheetah in terms on analysis which is my main analytical tool, it’s got a fair way to go before being anywhere near Training Peaks let alone GC which is again a different level completely to Training Peaks in terms of analytical power. This of course may well not be the direction TrainerRoad is planning to go anyway, they obviously have their own road map of which we have some but not all the knowledge (and neither should we.)

However I have no intention of leaving TR for many of the reasons @mcneese.chad outlines

That sums up most of it. I’ve been with TR since the original beta but haven’t followed a full plan exactly for a good few years. I adapt them for my use based on what (I think I) need. @chad does the work so I don’t have to. However they are the base on which I can plan my training, the workout progressions are already there for me to use, and my race performances have improved over the years so the combination of TR and my effort has worked for me.

Add into that the whole ecosystem, the Podcast, now a forum on which some of the companies main employees (and @Nate :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) regularly post and a customer service which replied to me, the day before yesterday, less than 24 hours after I contacted them about an issue that I was fairly sure wasn’t directly TR related with a helpful response. TrainerRoad is a product which I think provides a genuine and tangible value to me.

That may not be the case for everyone of course and I absolutely understand @AndyGajda’s rationale. I’ve begun to use Zwift recently and have an active subscription at the moment. It’s a bit of fun doing TR workouts in Zwift and I’ve ‘enjoyed’ a couple of Zwift races but I’ve no real intention of using it long term. TR does need to be wary of Zwift improving the ‘training’ part of their programme but I’m not entirely sure that’s the real goal of Zwift anyway with their seeming focus on eSports moving forward.

For me TR is the backbone of my training with Golden Cheetah providing the main analysis for rides and races and a bit of Strava on the side for the social stuff and the ‘compare rides’ feature for TT’s and triathlons - each have their merits and I don’t see that changing for me, in the near future anyway.


Agree. Even though i pr FTP/kg should be on the verge og cat B i always ended up as one of the last i C cat :slight_smile:


I see Golden Cheetah mentioned a few times. Is there a easy way to import rides or is it manuall import only?


I don’t know for sure, but I think if you link a TR to a Dropbox account, I think GC can pull from there automatically.

I reserve the right to be wrong :stuck_out_tongue: , so I hope an actual user will clarify what I think I have seen mentioned in the past.

Edited: One good option added below.


I tend to agree the overthinking part. First get the big picture right before going into details as nicely described here:

I think if TR would just add 2-3 most used metrics / graphs (maybe in an “Advanced Metrics” section) it could then be the complete package for those of us that already have the big picture right by strictly following a (TR or self made) plan and keeping an eye on sleep/recovery and nutrition. So no need for GC any more. As far as metrics are concerned I think of:

  • Overall time in zones by date range (especially for the polarized group)
  • Showing W’ Balance for workouts and rides
  • Maybe some indicator along HR/Power correlation
  • Maybe some metric/graph with regard to Form


There is an interference for importing from Dropbox for example. Or you just bulk download your data from the service that you use and then in GC you can do a mass import from local folder.


I’m using the latest/development Golden Cheetah, which integrates with Strava. So I end up using Strava as an intermediary. Outside (Strava mobile app for me), Zwift, or TrainerRoad rides all go to Strava, then get imported automatically to Golden Cheetah.

Rides I do directly in Golden Cheetah (I have a huge selection in my library) still go to Strava, but don’t have to come back in obviously :).


Not sure which version I have. Just downloaded it last week. The main reason I started using it was to compare my power meter profiles but it wouldn’t hurt to start loading my rides into it for 2019.


I think the official download is still version 3.4. Strava integration is part of 3.5, so you need to download the development version. I downloaded 3.5 in early November and it has been fine. At least as much as Golden Cheetah is ever fine. I have gripes about it here an there, but it is still where I do most of my analysis.


Does it have to be an either/or choice? It’s possible to run both at once.


Several above have already stated they use both (including myself).


Wow, what a great article, thanks for posting that.


I use both. Zwift if you want something to look at, but TrainerRoad is more polished and serious when it comes to actual training.

It was the podcasts that originally prompted me to sign up – and I’m glad I did. The podcasts alone are worth the price of admission, IMO.


Like many replies here, I use both and generally at the same time with TR in minimized mode with Zwift something to look at. If push came to shove, I think I’d take TR because of the expertise and passion that goes into it that is on display every week in the podcast. Zwift races are fun, but so much weight doping and other nonsense. I do like Zwift and recommend it to many people to get them at least on the bike but for serious training, TrainerRoad is the way to go.


I am tentatively planning to switch over.

  • the podcast is amazing.
  • I don’t have a smart trainer any more so Zwift is not significantly different to just watching a guy ride down the road, at least that’s how it feels to me. So since I end up just watching TV anyway while Zwift runs on my iPad I may as well change to TR and get better workout plans.
  • I don’t do much in the way of events/races etc. anyway on Zwift so a major part of the platform’s selling points are lost on me.

With a smart trainer and a big screen, Zwift is really cool. Doing the Alpe for the first time was a genuinely memorable experience. Will likely revisit it for “just rides” when I upgrade trainers.

I do really wish the company wasn’t so much “we know what you want better than you do”. See: world switching. The upper management seems to have no first-hand experience of MMORPGs because if they had, they would have understood that world selection (still doesn’t exist), grouping (very recent addition), guilds or in this case clubs most likely (still don’t exist), are absolutely fundamental to the functioning of the genre and even the most basic free MMOs have these features from day one. So, much of what I wanted out of Zwift, they don’t seem to even understand the need for.

Actually TR and Zwift are such utterly different products it feels quite odd comparing them.


Zwift is seemingly dumping on the very reason for their success, and that’s the community itself. The don’t do a great job fostering it, like you mentioned. Their attitude is something I mentioned too. Not at all reassuring or indicative of them seeing us with any more value tha. An active account.


You shouldn’t. Yes it does.