Why should I choose TrainerRoad over Zwift?

I’m one of those riders who pays for both since I find that both have meaningful benefits.

I started with TrainerRoad since I wanted to get faster, and really enjoy the structured component. Not having to think what to do next is a huge plus for me. However, the downside was, there are only so many action movies I can watch, and staring at the blue boxes waiting for the time to tick by is mentally taxing.

What I like about Zwift is that you’re riding with real people (whether you know them or not) and blasting by other riders is a huge motivator during a V02 or long difficult interval, or watching someone try to hold your wheel when you’re doing an extended 99% FTP interval and seeing when they crack. Not to mention, the incentive system of new bikes and kit and small victories is actually something to add some excitement to structured training. Couple this with some music, its a good combination of structured training, visual stimulation and consistent mental rewards.

So what I may suggest is set TR to control the trainer, and have Zwift “Read” the power from your trainer/PM (do not set trainer as controllable on Zwift, only pair PM/Trainer as “power source”), thereby overriding the feel of gradient changes, but showing your implied speed and moving your character.

Edit: per @mcneese.chad, re-creating TR workouts is a violation of TR T&C, so would likely advise against building workouts in Zwift. For me, I think TR does a great job at showing my historical metrics, TSS, calendar, etc. and frankly drives the workout since it’s so simple to use, which is why it is my primary program, whereas Zwift just adds the “fun” component of sometimes feeling faster than other people.

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Even if you are an active TR subscriber, recreating the workouts in ANY form other than provided by TR, is a violation of their T&C. It is not allowed in any shape or form.

c. Accessing (or attempting to access) any of our Resources by any means other than through the means we provide, is strictly prohibited. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of our Resources through any automated, unethical or unconventional means.

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Add this:

e. Attempting to copy, duplicate, reproduce, sell, trade, or resell our Resources is strictly prohibited.

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Why choose one over the other? I utilize both. I’ll complete my trainer road wk out while riding in zwift. I’d go nut just staring at the interval counter. I also prefer the visual of “chasing” down riders when doing my higher intensity workouts, more motivating to keep pushing for me then watching the timer count down. So personally combining both has worked well for me. On the recovery days I’ll tend to join a recovery group ride on zwift vs utilizing TR that day to mix it up some. I think both are good platforms and certainly can work w/one another, only drawback is paying two subscriptions.

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Money might be a reason. All those different services add up to quite a sum. I discontinued all but TR, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify. Sharing the latter two with my brothers.
I delisted services (Strava, Trainingpeaks, VPN, Sky, etc.) worth 80 bucks a month. Almost 1,000 Euro more in my budget without really missing out on anything.

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If you are using a coach or training peaks you don’t need to use TR.

A workout can’t be deemed a resource. They don’t own the rights to intervals.

Training plans yes, calendar functionality yes. But not workouts. For example, TR have basic 2 X 20s in their library. They were around long before TR.

I think that would depend on the workout and the ability of a legal team to prove the workout is unique. Likely they’ve put this language in place in their T&C to give them legal standing should a competitor or potential competitor start copying some portion of their IP, including workout progression.

IANAL but I assume that as with many things put into Terms and Conditions it would not be enforceable for them to go after an individual user who created a 30x30 workout at 120% in another system. However, if that user created something oddly specific like Tallac it might be legally provable that it was a copy of a TR workout and thus actually meaningfully copied.

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Agree but the case would fall down when you could provide examples of workouts that TR have in their catalogue that are contained in training programs well before their time. They couldn’t go after someone when a load of the workouts they have in the catalogue are copies of other workouts. Regarding workouts… utterly unenforceable.

I’m no lawyer, and don’t claim to know the details of what is and isn’t connected.

But claiming that workouts can’t be protected because they are made of intervals is kind of like saying that written property isn’t protectable because it’s made of words. Some copy is possible to protect, while other is not. Well beyond my direct knowledge to be any more specific.

Like @trpnhntr, I think the devil is in the details, and more unique workouts that are “new” and never existed before might be open for protection. But again, all guesses on my part, coupled with the comments I have seen by Nate in related discussion in the past.

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totally agree and I’m no lawyer either!! But many of the TR workouts in the library are standard workouts that have been used forever. So TR would /could stand accused of copying these. Unless TR have specifcally copyrighted or own the rights to certain intervals at certain wattages they could not pursue a claim. Song lyrics, books etc can be copyrighted. Intervals maybe as well but I’m pretty sure TR do not own these rights!
A 20 min ftp test was a direct copy of the protocol in training and racing with a power meter. Loads of workuts in the TR library that can be found in other places or are variants of other peoples workouts.

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copying trainerroad resources, which certainly includes the workouts, is a violation of the terms and conditions. regardless of copyright, that’s a claim for breach of contract

the other factors you’re talking about (people already did 2x20, etc) seem like factors one would consider in determining whether there actually was copying in violation of the terms, but i’m not weighing in on that.

*** IAAL but not providing legal advice ***

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I’m a long-time TR users, going back to pre-Zwift Watopia days. I don’t use TR any more though, the only reason I keep paying is that I’m grandfathered under the original price and I like the content on the podcast and forum, which I see value in supporting their brand. I still really like the TR plans and workouts, but I have a coach now, those workouts are loaded in TrainingPeaks (another subscription) and they’re automatically synced with Zwift. Doing my coach’s workouts in Zwift (when not doing them outdoors) is excellent. Racing on Zwift is next-level from an output perspective, less peaks than racing outdoors, but much high consistent efforts (comparing road races and crits), still need to do CX and MTB prep outdoors as the peaks are just so much higher and faster than my ramp up to 200%+ FTP on the trainer. Anyway, I’d say to choose TrainerRoad a dedicated training platform if you’re disciplined and want real results. I’d still say that having both is beneficial too, train on TR, race on Zwift.

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I gave TR a try but (in my personal experience) it was just mind numbing to look at the TR screen during workouts. I tried distraction by listening to podcasts, watching netflix/amazon etc. but just couldn’t stomach it. I joined zwift and signed up for a workout plan. It’s nowhere near as well organized as TR, its probably not as impactful as the TR workouts, but it is infinitely more entertaining.
My guess is that both TR and the likes of peloton are going to get incorporated into the VR world of Zwift or similar, either bought by Zwift or everyone getting gobbled up by a media behemoth. They all have something amazing to offer and are very different but coexist quite well. I hope all of the TR folks have lots of equity and make their **** you money when that happens!
I absolutely love the TR podcast and appreciate the depth that Nate and Chad and Jonathan bring to us for no cost, and these forums are amazing also. Thank you! I’m planning on signing back up for TR soon just to pay back the effort they’ve put out on educating everyone.

Choose both.

Zwift.
Nice to look at and passing other people is great. However doing a workout in zwift is a bit annoying as there is a lot going on on the screen. Their workouts are also a bit questionable on quality as others have expressed. The biggest pro to zwift is being able to race as much as you want/can for only $15. Most races or events cost more than that and you don’t have to deal with cars.

TrainerRoad.
Great structured workouts with a clear direction/progression. Seasons and plan builder make seeing growth and planning out the year easy. One of the underrated features is being able to see your previous attempts at a workout and seeing how much you have improved or how much easier a workout is now.

The blue bars of TR aren’t for everyone and thus zwift comes in as a great “distraction” as it helps to visualize the work you are doing. I use zwift with the UI turned off and overlay the minimal tr over it to show my power/cadence/workout and find it motivating enough to complete the workouts and enjoy it

If you can only do one then I think it is easier to find a distraction like YouTube, Hulu, Spotify etc. than it is to get good workouts with progression and direction plus analysis tool. So I would recommend trainerroad but I can see where the gamification of zwift is also very appealing as it takes away the need to manage entertainment

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Hi - i am looking to shift from Zwift - would i be able to get a free trial referral code?

You might have better luck in this thread.

thank you

Kind of off topic a bit but I find that many of the people that tout benefits of Zwift as being a virtual world, game like feel, and graphics are the same people that complain about kids and video games “these days”.

An interesting juxtaposition in that these same geezers complaining about kids with their faces in their phones/video games/social media devices also demand that in order to workout on the bike the too need social media/video games/and graphics.

Back on topic and as mentioned time and time again…go with whichever one has you on the bike more.

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When you consider the various on-line training programs/environments then their feature basically form a Venn diagram like:

That section in the middle is formed of the common components whereas the unique parts of each platform are the outer parts of each circle. Simply choose what’s most important or beneficial to you. Will it be optimal? Who knows, but persisting with a sub-optimal training plan* is much better than quitting from the optimal one.

  • Assuming no injuries result.
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