Should I use TrainerRoad if I'm not racing?

I have been using Zwift for the past 2 years and have made good progress on my cycling fitness. I currently do one endurance ride a year but am trying to decide if I want to do multiple per year. Each of these would be considered Gran Fondo with 100+ miles and over 8,000 Ft of climb. The biggest thing to note here is that these are RIDES and not RACES. I’m not looking to get into racing. With that said, do you think TrainerRoad is “overkill” for those of us just looking to not suffer as much on long endurance rides or is TrainerRoad really meant for those looking to race?
I may be overthinking this but I like the social aspect of Zwift but feel the TrainerRoad plans are more suited to getting better/faster and I don’t want to pay for both!
Any help with this decision is greatly appreciated for this middle aged dad of two young kids and a full time job just looking to stay in shape!

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Anyone that’s using it for racing is using it to “not suffer as much” in racing.

Any of those gains for racing will help in your endurance rides. It’s only “overkill” if you make it that way.

I imagine a large portion of TR users aren’t racers. I’d also imagine an even larger portion of those users “race” but only for PBs or fun… Not to be at the pointy end.

TR has a money-back first month. No harm in trying it.


I’ve been using TR for almost five years, and really not for racing, but for keeping fit and at one time being able to keep up with my friends on group rides. Actually, I started because of injury. A broken collarbone, and buying a smart trainer to get back into riding and not losing fitness during the recovery period.

After that, I included it into my riding, and in the past year, have used it to train for eRacing.

I suppose that’s contradicting what I said above, but I never thought Zwift races were technically racing as what I’ve seen outside. But I think those particular races are a good way to build up a fitness schedule using TR.


I use TR although I don’t race. I’m able ride at the same pace with less effort and fatigue. I’m also able to ride faster than before with the same level of effort and fatigue. There’s nothing wrong with getting stronger even though we don’t compete with others.


I am so far from the pointy end of every race I do but I still like getting personally faster. TR is brilliant even without a racing goal (plan building is a bit of a juggle without dates but still works out). TBH I rarely even look at races now, just sportives, long-distance stuff and riding with mates (although maybe the Wednesday Worlds are races?).

As an example of my lack of pointy-ness: the last crit I was 100W down normalised from the person in 7th and I called it a win as I didn’t get pulled off or come DFL (dead f-ing last). Every race’s goal is not to DFL it.


It would be interesting to see the stats regarding how many of the TR community actually ‘race’; I suspect that they are in the minority.

I have been using TR for three or four years now and certainly do not ‘race’. I do have target events that I want to do, whether they be a sportive / fondo type ride, or for the past couple of years, Everesting. Input your goals and TR spits out a plan. Ride the plan and enjoy the process / progress … and I enjoy the process as much as anything else.

I also enjoy being able to go and ride (as I did this morning) at a reasonable pace for 100km, without feeling particularly beaten-up at the end of the ride. That is entirely down to consistent, and progressive riding / training that the TR plan provides.

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I haven’t done a true race in probably more than a decade. I will occasionally do a Fondo or a group ride. I ride road, gravel, and mtb, frequently solo. I use TR to keep myself fit on the bike so that I can hang on those group rides, suffer less on those epic Fondo type days, and have more fun when i take cycling vacations.

The TR plans are far superior to the Zwift ones. The problem you may run into is that with Zwift, there’s an entertainment factor in being able to chase the person in front of you, see a simulated hill or vista, etc., which can make time go by much faster. If you only want to pay for one service, I use Netflix to keep my brain busy on long steady distance rides, and use music for motivation when doing the hard stuff.


It really just comes down to what you want to do and what you enjoy. You can get plenty fit for your rides by just riding. If you wanted to get fitter and/or optimize your fitness for the type of event you could use structured training.

I don’t race but I do the weekly Saturday group ride throwdown. I got my fittest last season using a tempo build (up to 4x20minutes) and I would have never come up with that by myself. It really improved by durability and my 3-5 minute power without having done VO2 intervals.

That said, once you’ve done some structured training, it’s really simple to implement a basic plan in Zwift or out on the road. I personally don’t think you need 5000 different workouts to get fit. And I think most people could get pretty fit on some very basic structure.

I know a fast guy who maintains a 275 watt FTP on 3-6 hours per week of riding. All winter he does some combo of 21 minutes of threshold work twice a week (like 3 x 7min or 7 x 3min) plus endurance. He’s an engineer and made this up by himself. He probably read a book. I asked why 21 minutes but he just smiled and couldn’t explain it. He probably just liked 21 minutes.

TR is great. They package it all up for you and make it easy especially if you ride indoors a lot.

That is part of why I’ve stuck with it. I could run a ramp test on my head unit and make a few workouts for each zone from a bit of reading but tbh I have a technical day job and at times I’m lazy and want it on a plate. Just tell me what I need to do 3 days a week and I’ll do it.



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