MUST use TrainingPeaks/Zwift. Should I keep TrainerRoad too?

I’ve signed up with a local coaching group to train for triathlons. I’ll be working with them for about 18 months, and they use TrainingPeaks and Zwift. My goal is to complete an Olympic tri before my 50th birthday (March 2022).

I’ve been very happy with TR and have had good results. I like it! But there’s only so many calendars I want to update with my workouts, and only so many subscriptions I want to pay for. And TP/TR seem to have a lot of the same functionality (seems to me at first sight).

So, given that I must use TrainingPeaks and Zwift now, what might be the reasons to keep my TR subscription for that year-and-a-half? Any suggestions or comments welcome, and thank you.

My triathlon club uses TrainingPeaks and Zwift too. The TP account is free and I only use it to download the running workouts onto my watch. I’ve used Zwift in the past and not really cared for it so I don’t follow the bike workouts that are scheduled for it. I really prefer to follow the TR workouts in my TR plan and listen to the TR podcast. It’s “me time” away from teammates; sometimes you need to do your own thing and not follow the pack. I think they are misguided in not having a TR option :slight_smile: Also, if you get the TR annual plan it’s well worth it.

Do you have to use Zwift? Can you recreate/substitute the TP workouts into TrainerRoad?

Before cancelling I’d try Zwift, I really couldn’t get on with it for the trial period, something about the graphics just didn’t sit with me. I am a numbers/spreadsheet/database type of person so everyone’s mileage varies.

I don’t care for Zwift. Your TP workouts will sync to TR and just do them in a resistance mode (not Erg). The only reasons I can think of that a coach would say “use Zwift” is a) sim mode with a smart trainer, in order to simulate climbing, and b) to simulate racing. Even then you can simulate climbing with TR in resistance mode.

I was in the same situation recently and tbh you don’t really have a use for TR at the moment. If you need to use Zwift/TP then drop TR. You can always go back to it later. I’m not a huge fan of the zwift graphics etc but it has a very high “just works” factor for custom workouts from TP. I didn’t want to pay 3 subs either.


Also bear in mind that you will have to pay the applicable subscription if you want to resubscribe to TR in the future whereas my understanding is that you remain on the same subscription indefinitely if you keep it running.

If you’ve signed up with a coaching group then presumably they’re setting your training plans and workouts? In which case I’m not sure what you’d use TR for, plans and workouts is kind of the point! Only reason for keeping TR subscription going in that case that I could see would be if you were grandfathered into a good price and were planning to come back to using TR plans after your 18 months with the group, in which case in the long run it might be cheaper to stay subscribed to protect against the subscription cost going up.

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My coach assigns workouts in TP. Those workouts can be easily/seamlessly performed on the trainer in many ways:

  • synced to TrainerRoad and using TR app to control trainer
  • synced to Zwift and using Zwift app to control trainer
  • synced to bike computer and using bike computer to control trainer

He recommends using resistance (not Erg). All of the methods above support doing workouts in resistance mode. Requiring Zwift doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, with a couple exceptions I mentioned above.

I don’t have to use Zwift, but my coach and the other athletes have training sessions, group rides etc on Zwift. Also, as a coached athlete I don’t need any of the training plans etc from TR, and Zwift offers more in that case in terms of being passingly entertaining and also having racing which can be used time to time. I think TR’s primary attraction (for me) is the programming.


Sure and I have a different point-of-view. As a coached athlete its my choice how to execute workouts inside on the trainer. I vastly prefer TR app to Zwift app. Also, I’ve been a TR subscriber for 3 years and Zwift is more expensive. So for me, TR’s attraction is a better app and some of the analytic features (and deeper analysis in WKO5).


In that case then it’s worth keeping Zwift as it means you can join in on the group rides as that’s part of bonding as a team.
Also, if you don’t need any of the TR plans then it’s hard to justify the cost.

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Thanks for the feedback! My situation is similar to @novemberdelta in that my club’s coaches do both training and group rides (e.g. recovery) in Zwift which is why they suggest that I use it, but it’s NOT required. Since I’ve never used Zwift, I’m quite happy to take it for a spin, if you will.

I’m sorry if I didn’t explain it better before, but what I’m trying to understand better are the pros/cons of TrainerRoad vs TrainingPeaks. My first impressions are:

  1. TP has a FAR better calendar.

  2. TP has better tracking of fitness/fatigue which is great since I tend to overtrain out of enthusiasm.

  3. TP’s training plans are a mess, a marketplace of tons of folks hawking their own stuff. Sure, lots of great content in there somewhere, but yeugh. Much prefer TR’s consistent philosophy and methodology (plus the ability to customize)… but for the moment since I’m going to be working with a specific coaching group, that’s less important.

  4. No idea what their “workout builder” is like, but will try it…

Seems like, for now, TR is sort of redundant in my setup. But I wanted to get the feedback/thoughts from people who’ve been there and done that. I really like TR as a product and as a company… still, the total lack of useful run/swim functionality is a BIG problem for me.


I’m still a little confused about your “local coaching group” - do they have TP coaching accounts and load your workouts? If so then at a really basic level both Zwift and TrainerRoad are simply workout players for indoor bike workouts. Thats my simplified view of the world.

Strictly speaking you only need free TP account if a) you are working with a proper coach (with TP coach account), or b) have purchased a plan from TP marketplace. A paid account is only required if you want TP analytics or the freedom to plan beyond today/tomorrow. The free TP even includes ability to create a structured workout for today or tomorrow. There are some nice benefits to paid TP account, and I have one right now (for modifying paid plan, before I hired a coach), but may drop at renewal because I’m using WKO5 for analytics.

I don’t get this at all.

Trainer Road is effectively your coach, but you are being coached elsewhere. Why on earth would you need TR? (Unless it’s about cheap grandfather rights).

I think you have your analysis about right. Imo it’s zwift for you. Sure TR is a GREAT product but only if you need it. If you want to join the coached riders you can only do it on zwift.

There are other ways to support TR like being active on the forum, reviewing the podcast etc .

From a personal perspective I’d rather compete against someone who’s been zwifting all winter rather than a winter of TrainerRoad behind them.

The question I think needs rephrasing? Rather than a binary zwift/TrainerRoad it seems it’s a question of group training/riding with friends or a focus around solo training on a trainer.

I’ve chosen the latter, as there’s no right answer, just the one that suits you best.

As mentioned by @bbarrera it’s a way to follow a workout assigned in TP. Required? Certainly not as he also provided two other methods.

Maybe I don’t… that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Probably the issue is that I’m very much a beginner and not explaining things well. The coaches (same three coaches behind the Alien Endurance group and The Miami Tri Club) do use TP coaching accounts to deliver workouts, and those can be completed on TR, Zwift, or wherever (though group rides are obviously on Zwift).

The issue is not TR/Zwift, it’s TR/TP. I’m a planning-oriented guy, and I’ve put a lot of work into my training blocks and scheduling on the TR calendar. And having all of my history on the same platform is valuable to me because I do really get into the analytics.

So, it seems to be a ton of totally duplicated work to keep all of my planning and history updated on both the TR and TP calendars. I want to have one primary calendar and put in the work to make sure ALL my data is on that platform. I guess my choices are:

  1. Continue as I’ve been going with TR as my main calendar, use free TP to get/complete workouts from the coaches, and sync them to TR.

  2. Drop TR, use that money to pay for TP, and move my data so TP is my primary calendar.

I’m wondering which is the better choice in terms of features, analysis, and helping guide me to better results over time. Does that make more sense as an explanation?

TP has far more Calendar and data features. I’ve got data going back to 2014 or maybe earlier. About 3 years paid and 3 years free. TP is designed for coaches to work with athletes. TrainerRoad started as workout player + training plans. Then added essential analytics and calendar.

FWIW I have Garmin sync to 5 or 6 different platforms including TR and TP. I don’t ‘maintain’ my TR calendar and instead just use TR for some convenient analytics and as a workout player (TP workouts sync seamlessly to TR).

The few Zwift rides from 2017 and 2018 were synced to TP and TR and Strava. I may have gotten them on Garmin as well. At this point I have more data (bike, hikes, and swimming) in free TrainingPeaks than Garmin Connect and it’s my master repository with GC having all rides except a few Zwift. No matter what you can’t go wrong syncing all data to free TP.

Question: for data and analytics, is better than free TP?. Thanks.

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