Structured training is the most efficient and effective way to become a faster cyclist. But getting started can seem daunting. Don’t worry; getting started with TrainerRoad is easy. In just a few simple steps you’ll be using science-based training, planning and analysis tools that increase your performance.

Step 1: Build A Customized Plan

First and foremost, you need a training plan. The best training plans take into account your goals, events you plan to complete, the amount of time you have to train, and your training experience. The good news is that you can create a custom training plan with Plan Builder.

A custom training plan, automatically built for your goals.

Try Plan Builder

With Plan Builder, you get a science-based program without the complications or guesswork. Using your current training volume, when and how long you can train, the events in your training calendar, and the demands of your goal event, Plan Builder builds the ideal training plan for you.

Step 2: Choose How You Want to Workout

There are three ways to complete a TrainerRoad workout—Outside, Indoors, or with your friends in a Group Workout. You can mix and match any combination of the three. Each method will make the most of your hard work in the most time-efficient way possible. 

Outside Workouts

TrainerRoad’s Outside Workouts allow you to take your structured workouts outside so that you can stick to your plan, wherever you are. The only equipment required for outside workouts is your bike. You can use a power meter or complete Outside Workouts without one by using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). Either way—you’ll maximize the time on the bike to become faster.

Required Equipment

  • Bike

Recommended Setup

  • Garmin or Wahoo head unit
  • Power meter

To use your Wahoo or Garmin device outside with TrainerRoad, simply click on a workout in your calendar, select Outside, and then save. Your workout is then ready to be sent to your device. 

Indoor Workouts

Training indoors is convenient, especially when you have a busy schedule and a limited window to train. If you want to train inside there is additional training equipment you’ll need, in addition to your bike. But there are plenty of setups for different budgets. Once your bike is on the trainer, open the TrainerRoad app on your mobile device or computer and pair your training devices. 

Required Equipment

  • Bike
  • Trainer
  • Either a speed sensor, power meter, or smart trainer
  • A device to run the TrainerRoad app

Recommended Accessories

  • A good fan
  • Water bottle
  • Towels
  • Sweatproof headphones to listen to music or watch a race video

You can start your workout in just a few clicks. In the app, click on the calendar tab. This will show all of your scheduled workouts. Next, click on the workout, then select the “load workout” button. If you have a cadence sensor paired, simply start pedaling to begin. You can find out more about getting started with indoor workouts in the Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Cycling Training.

Group Workouts

The third way you can train is with your friends in a Group Workout. You and 10 of your friends can do the same indoor workout while sharing voice, video, and data. Training with friends gives you a built-in support system and extra motivation to nail your workouts. Group Workouts help you get through the tough workouts and make training time fly by. 

Required Equipment

Recommended Accessories

  • A webcam if your computer doesn’t have one built-in
  • Sweatproof headphones

If your friends are unavailable to workout with you, don’t worry! There are plenty of like-minded cyclists in the TrainerRoad forum planning Group Workouts. The Group Workout Room Sharing thread is a good place to find others to workout with.

Step 3: Complete the Ramp Test

Once you have your plan and have decided how you will complete the workouts, it’s time to start getting faster. That means it’s time to assess your fitness. Every block of your training plan begins with a Ramp Test. This test estimates your Functional Threshold Power, which is used to scale every workout to your abilities. 

To get started with TrainerRoad you want to start with the Ramp Test.

The Ramp Test begins with a 5-minute warm up and increases the difficulty one minute step at a time, until you can’t maintain the target power any longer. It typically takes between 20 and 25-minutes to complete and requires no special preparation besides being reasonably rested. Designed to be completed indoors, you can complete the Ramp Test either by yourself or with friends in a Group Ramp Test. 

Once you have completed these three steps, you’re ready to keep working hard and complete your entire training plan. You can learn more about training in our Training Plan Guide: How to Coach Yourself to Peak Fitness.


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Jesse Fortson

Jesse Fortson lost over 140 pounds with TrainerRoad's help. He uses his experience as a teacher and race mechanic to get faster for crits, gravel, and marathon XCO races.