Zwift + Trainerroad, a proper integration


#1

I’ve read a few different posts here about Zwift + Trainer road, but I don’t think any of them address the main question; why doesn’t TR build an integration with Zwift so your training calendar can show up, and your workouts can be performed in that environment, similar (but not limited to) how Training Peaks does.

A proper integration would negate the requests and arguments for workout “exporting”, which should only help to reduce the chance of IP piracy.

Running both apps concurrently is a technology hack, not a feature, which hardly anyone is going to do properly, and it has its own duplicate data issues to boot.

I am currently a paid subscriber to both Zwift and TR. When I ride in Zwift I am 95% of the time in workout mode, because I like the focus that mode provides. I get that lots of people like to use their own entertainment in workouts, I am in the camp of not being able to watch anything on TV as I find it way too distracting. I really want to focus on the workout, but I also don’t want to just stare at a small graph and lines. Zwift offers the focus of a structured workout but the environment of riding a bike outside and the changes in scenery and visual feedback you get from riding alongside people of all skills/abilities. Also, unless you are deep in an anaerobic interval, you can choose to interact with other people if you wish, or even ride the same workout with buddies. Or just cruise the world solo.

Trying to run the 2 apps alongside each other actually diminishes the experience because it takes away the features of workout mode in Zwift. When in a workout:

  • all the KOM and leaderboard UI’s are removed because they are essentially useless when your resistance is controlled.
  • The interface changes to show all the workout steps that you will experience in that workout in a fairly concise and out of the way list.
  • the interval time remaining and power targets are big and front-and-centre to easily have your attention, not to mention the in-world arches/gates which indicate on the road the start and end of each interval (this seems trivial but when you are deep in VO2 land, seeing a finish line coming can be a real inspiration.
  • Your in-game avatar also changes so that everyone else can see that you are in a structured workout (and therefore won’t wonder why you keep surging and backing off all the time).
  • In-game drafting is also taken away from you as a rider, so you cant make your workout easier by drafting other riders, but other free-riders can come and draft behind you for the ultimate compliment.

I really really want to use TR training plans and calendar over anything offered in Zwift, but I don’t have the time to create custom workouts or wrangle a multi-app array of sensor and data madness.

Perhaps there are commercial reasons, or ecosystem or IP concerns, but I feel strongly that a proper integration would only enhance the experience of both platforms for users.


#2

Why not ask zwift to buy trainer road workouts? TR doesn’t control or have interest in supporting someone else’s platform.


#3

The nature of an integration is not to be one-sided, it’s about finding benefits on both sides and a joint effort to make it happen.


#4

I’d like to see this too. I’ve done a lot of miles on the island but am on tr only now. I’d like to do both!


#5

Using both simultaneously, wouldn’t be able to hang on the trainer using TR alone otherwise. It is a hack however, indeed.


#6

I’d much rather TR develop what they do so well now than try and integrate into something that I’d imagine a lot of people don’t want to use hence their subscription to TR.


#7

Integration between the two is almost certainly a 0% chance - they’re two (awesome) companies competing in the same space.

If you’re wanting to run both, run trainerroad on the iphone over bluetooth, and zwift on ant+ on the computer - this way you can keep your miles in both. Bit of a hassle, but it can be done.


#8

While still difficult to see happening, due to there being still competitive concerns - I see less risk in implementing coordination along the lines that Training Peaks have done. Currently, if you are a Training Peaks member (even a free one), the current day’s workout is populated into Zwift and can be selected. I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes to make this happen, but I’ve used it in the past to recreate simple TR workouts to use in Zwift when I wanted to use that as my entertainment offering on my TV (step 1 - create workout in TrainingPeaks, step 2 - drag workout to current day or next day, step 3 - launch Zwift on whatever device).

As others have posted - there are more options when running entertainment through a desktop, but this works when using a TV as both TV and phone typically use the same bluetooth connection - meaning you can only use one or the other. Zwift is just one of many entertainment options (though the social aspect of it is also occasionally useful when training motivation lags).


#9

Its like asking Samsung and Apple to make a device that is compatible with both Android and IOS.


#10

I now run TR on my phone via BT, and I’m currently trying the free trial on zwift on the iPad via ant+ but don’t give it control over the trainer, seems to worked well


#11

Mmmm… Just swapped from Zwift to TR - nothing wrong with zwift, but I found the graphics too distracting when i’m Trying to hold a cadence with one leg while kicking and pulling - having either a slack face or a smile and trying to remember fatigue is no excuse for poor form while the sweat drips into my eyes … just as the wattage target goes up and try to clip back in without stopping pedaling… just saying…:flushed:


#12

Great analogy!


#13

I might be in the minority, but when doing a TR workout I don’t need to see myself noodling along on the roads of Zwift. Not looking for a debate, I just can’t see how that is fun or rewarding. I admit I like the Zwift races, but to do a TR workout while Zwift likeness is puttering along seems utterly useless.


#14

I don’t think its a great analogy, there’s a lot of specific hardware and software differences to how Samsung and Apple hardware are designed and built. This is far simpler than that, but I understand your point. However when you see the simple integration that TP has done, its hardly undone any of the success of TP and isn’t going to impact their core offering.

Also, as a timely and humorous note, in the recent CES announcements Samsung in 2019 is building in native support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 into all their TV’s, as well as building in a native app that will supply all iTunes content (rentals and purchases) to the TV too. Thats a serious collaboration right there :slight_smile:


#15

Yup, I understand its not for everyone, but I really enjoy it. In a workout there is no puttering though, its usually serious efforts and your speed is going to be reflected very accurately in the Zwift worlds. Visual gates for intervals is something I really like too, rather than watching seconds count down I can see the painful finish line. Also there is the social aspect in that you can workout with a friend at the same time both visually and via communication, not too different from a group workout IRL. Its also just great to see other people out and about doing their own workouts, you can give them encouragement etc as there will always be people both slower and faster than you.

Theres no way I can watch a TV show or movie in a workout, so I just like more of a cycling environment than a black screen and a graph.


#16

I do understand. I don’t see them integrating, but I guess the hacks will work with the data integrated into TrainingPeaks or other service.


#17

Same here. I “race” on Zwift and train on TR


#18

I’m not a Zwifter, not because I don’t see the appeal but more to do with the desire for more structured training, whilst I hate my wife telling me what to do I don’t mind coach Chad doing it :slight_smile:

With your valid point of training with TR and racing with Zwift do you not miss out on the leveling up opportunities in Zwift? Sorry as I mentioned I am not a Zwifter so this may be a stupid question.


#19

It’s my understanding that those who use the dual ANT+ connection save the TR ride and discard the Zwift ride. And as far as I know there is no real benefit to leveling up in Zwift, I guess some of the wheels/bikes could provide some benefit but it won’t be more than the generous 10% power gain smart trainers already provide. (and the 5-10kg optimistic weight reduction employed by most users).


#20

Below is not my understanding but my experience of Zwift.

When running both I get no duplication of ride if I finish them at approximately the same time, as I always do. The workout appears on TrainerRoad promptly. No Zwift ride appears as it can see that ride is already uploaded. I find Zwift uploads to Strava first, prefer this with virtual distance, maps, screenshots etc. TR probably tries but Strava already knows that ride exists. I don’t find myself having to discarding anything.

Reference weight. Would imagine users don’t update daily, but would be interested to know how you came across the 5-10kg reduction reference for most users? I myself would feel that the majority of users are within a kilo or two of their stated weight and honest about it. Myself I am often stated as overweight by a kilo, only when I hit a weight for a few weeks and stay at that level do I actually update my weight. Once my smart scales can automatically update this weight daily will I be able to say mine will always be accurate as can be.

10% power gain with smart trainers? If anything after drive chain loses I see a reduction on mine, but as we know there are so many smart trainers, some might get 10% . I grab my power from my Quarq and use power match.

Finally benefits of levelling up, if I hadn’t levelled up then I wouldn’t have my red stripey socks, they sure do make me go faster :wink: