Is TR worth it if I do not race?

I am not in any way a very powerful cyclist I don’t even ride much outdoors in the winter. I also do not do well when given too much freedom to train on my own (Zwift is fun but does not focus my mind). I am mainly motivated by numbers.

So I guess the question really is, to improve my endurance and fitness on the bike and for general cardio conditioning, is TR worth it ? I do not have the patience and definitely not the knowledge to build my own training plan on zwift, i just want to follow a plan made for me and my limited abilities.


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100%. It’s a great way to add some structure to your training. If you haven’t done much structured training before you will almost certainly make some pretty big gains early on.


Can i ask how old you are? As the current TR plans have a very high amount of vo2 and threshold work (ssb2 and build).

I think it’s perfect for your use case. Use plan builder and tell it you’re not training for any event. It’ll build you a plan to just get faster and improve your numbers. If it’s too intense just use workout alternates on days when you’re not feeling up for intensity.

I don’t know if our goals are similar at all. I rediscovered biking last year after a multi-decade hiatus – primarily because I was having “the talk” with my doctors more often. (I’m 48, BTW.)

TR has been a huge boost to my training regimen and ability to stick with a fitness routine.

BUT – I’d challenge your comment in the headline. Without a race, or even a scheduled ‘fun’ ride to help you stay on track or committed to training, I think its the rare individual who will stick with it.

TLDR – races and rides are good for training consistency

A couple other threads with non-racers:

Short story, TR can work well for a general fitness goal.

Yes. I originally started using TR as I could not keep up with the buddies I ride with. I have seen huge gains in fitness and endurance over the last couple of years as well as ftp.

Absolutely 100%. Actually, it sounds particularly suited for you. Some TrainerRoad users have trouble disciplining themselves to actually do their structured workouts, and not just go out for an unstructured solo or club ride but it doesn’t sound like you’d have that problem and thus would get stronger faster

yeah i love my group ride on Saturday/Sunday but i love that for the social aspect , i am not happy training on roads as it is quite trafficky where i live. Much prefer the efficiency of indoors training i just need structure and guidance. Something to tell me today you do this tomorrow that and so on. I can also make sure i can schedule this around work, because if i rely on myself to get on the bike after work it is a bit of a struggle.

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sorry missed this, 43

Its definitely worth it if you want to go faster and/or longer, even if that is in a group ride or solo ride setting rather than a race. It also can be quite helpful for general fitness to have a workout schedule laid out for you in advance on a calendar to keep you motivated.

If you like numbers, you’ll love TR! If collecting data and using that to systematically driving change in key numbers over time sounds like something that will get you motivated, you’ll love a power based training program like TR. Structured power based cycling training is number heaven! The program can do most of the number crunching for you but you’ll be involved enough with the data to geek out to your heart’s content.

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Heck yea, start at low volume and then add easy endurance rides. You’ll see some fast gains if you’re new to structured training. Even if you pick train now workouts I think it’s valuable if you’re looking for less structure and just want to have a hard workout.
If you do pick a plan, don’t be scared to modify workouts or even taking a day off or even an easy endurance ride. Especially if you’re tired, the plans are the blueprint and are good to follow especially with the workout surveys at the end.
If you have strava, you could even pick a segment you want to PR as your goal, if not TrainerRoad is great to increase bike fitness.
There’s plenty of free resources from TrainerRoad and this forum to help you.

Absolutely, I’m 55 and I find the structure invaluable for becoming a fitter individual which also drives a healthier lifestyle.

Consider a low volume plan which avoids the accumulative stress on your body which the higher volume plan attracts.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the process

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I’m 42 and never race, been using TR for nearly 5 years now! Just keeps me in tip top condition for someone who loves cycling and is a Time Crunched Athlete :smiley:

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Totally, yes.

I use it for the sheer meditative pleasure of putting on some banging tunes and pushing out an hour or 90 minutes of sweaty exertion. I’m on my own in my garage alone in my own headspace and it’s physically and mentally the best part of my day. I’ve been doing this for about 5 years so i know what works for me. I’ll pick a TrainNow workout: mostly sweetspot or occasionally VO2 max depending on what I feel like doing. Sometimes i’ll use Zwift for visuals often i’ll just use the graphs. Because I am 51 and don’t race i don’t have to be too rigid I can do whatever the hell i want. I’m somehow at about 320W so when i jump into a Zwift race I am up at the pointy end and in the summer i can drop random other riders- (who don’t know that we are racing :slight_smile: ) So it totally works.

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You’re getting all the right advice here from the forum community; that there’s a LOT to be gained from structured training as a non-racer! Being fast is fun; wether you pin a number on or not. :wink:

I just want to drop one more resource in here, and let you know to message me anytime if you need a hand with Plan Builder, have any questions, or need a second look at anything once you get going. The line is open!


I don’t really ‘race’, but heavy user of TR (previously other indoor training, with a coach). Main objective is fitness, and a plan does that really well. I book some “races” (read, events) as challenges to myself (Am not in a position of a “good” finish), as an extra motivation for the training. I try to pick “nice” events (e.g. Ridelondon, Marmotte, Rift) with something special (Ridelondon is ugly but fun - I’m based in London, others have great scenery and gives me a sense of adventure).

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Mountain biker here and while the downhill is still the fun part when your in shape getting to the top sure does suck a lot less when you’re in shape. More fitness = longer rides = more fun. Well until you get home and your significant other is curious why it took so long. :grin:

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I think trainerroad is ignoring this market a little. Longevity is such a big topic nowadays and low intensity biking is one of the most forgiving and easy exercise -when performed in a sensible way and compared to other sports- which more or less everybody can jump on a bike and rotate the cranks. If I were Nate I would even consider looking for an alternative business model and if it doesn’t fit, under a different brand name I would seek for opportunities on partnering with mainstream strength apps (i.e. freeletics etc), integrating some plans around longevity, having an interview with Peter Attia, Andrew Huberman etc might attract a lot of people.
Your product is shining with racers, pros and keep supporting them but do something on longevity field too. I know i have so many ideas when it is not my resources to risk but I would even consider making some deals with big gyms and maybe creating a gym workout library or user profiles for people trying to use this for weight loss, warm up before strength exercises etc.

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