TrainerRoad gamification - can they go there and is there any interest?

Every once in a while you see TR users wanting some sort of beasting on the trainer but also some connection to other guys doing the same thing. The disaster w/o for example.

Could TR do really long race sims that all start in certain time zones and see who manages to complete them with a scoring system in place. Make it a type of series that runs a few times a year or even more regularly if it was popular. Clearly the concept is super sketchy and needs brighter minds to make it more interesting and workable, but I think it’s something I’d join in - there’s an attraction to doing hardcore events - for who know’s what reason, but even in my early days of trainer workouts I was thrilled when I discovered Tacx’s climbing series for example, and (although they’re a bit rough) they did provide some excitement when jumping on the trainer.

Obviously Zwift has taken this all to the next level but not everyone wants 2 subs and TR is uniquely placed in that they could design long ERG trainer rides that are brutal but physiologically possible if one was in the right competitive mindset. Could be tied to forum titles/grades or so to start with.

I’m not even able to do indoor training right now so not sure why this came to mind over the morning coffee :blush:

Edit: The biggest hinderance I see is that TR users are devoted to their plans, so maybe there could also be plans that are more… mixed, ie with these racy workouts thrown in at weekends. Or the regular plans could account for the TSS from these events and reshuffle the plan.

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I can only speak for myself here, but the thing I love most about TR is that it’s so focused. All I have to do is concentrate on the following the targets on the screen and keep turning the pedals. Looking at your question the other way, if Zwift started to provide workouts that were the same quality as the TR ones I’d still prefer the TR software for when I just want to get a workout done with no distractions.

Both platforms are useful tools in their own right and personally I’m happy that they’re taking very different paths. It sucks that I have to pay for 2 subscriptions, but both are good value for money in my opinion.


Once Zwift allows you to design your own private group WO’s that will be a reality (where the riders are tethered by w/kg). I would guess they will have that within two years. That’s just my suspicion and based on no knowledge of the what they are planning.

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The only thing i could see TR do for gamification purposes is Achievements and Levels, kinda like what garmin has. Or for those who know what it is, fitocracy. It’s points linked to your user profile… and you can get strong in different aspects of your fitness depending on the amt of sweet spot, or threshold or vo2max work you do…

Achievements for w/kg levels you gain… doesn’t have to be a competition, just self worth.


Hope not and no.


You wouldn’t have to do any plan or workout you don’t wish to, so why wouldn’t you want others to have things they want?

Yes that’s the grail isn’t it. Custom group workouts. Once that takes off coaches will profit greatly by marketing their plans and we will all benefit from a lot of variety. At the moment group workouts are revolutionary but nowhere near their full potential.

Speaking just for myself, but I don’t want any of that. I use TR to become faster and make the most of my scarce training time. I don’t want to race on the trainer or anything distracting from my workout. The most wonderful thing about TR is that I can give it everything in each interval. Any element of gamification would lessen that effect. It is a tool to race on the road.

Also, if it were my company I’d stick with doing my thing really really well instead of imitating other companies.


I can see the trend of gamification of everything, but I can’t see the use (or the point) in a training program that’s tailored to take you from point A to point B. You get to run a half marathon at the pace you targeted, or keep up with the pack in a bike race, or do that hard fondo with ease, isn’t that gamification enough?

Ok, rant mode = off.

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I think TrainerRoad’s advantage over other platforms is that it focuses exclusively on “making you a faster cyclist”. Whatever features @Nate_Pearson and the team choose to implement down the road, I hope this remains true. I’m not saying gamification, A/V entertainment, group workouts, et al. are necessarily bad, only that if TR implements them, it should be only in ways that increase their core focus, and they should avoid new features that obscure or detract from it.


I really hope not, personally speaking.
I love the simplicity and focus of TrainerRoad.
I get no satisfaction either when Garmin gives me some random badge or achievement. Also couldn’t care less about racing virtually against other riders.
My satisfaction comes from performing well in races, which I can do thanks to spending hundreds of hours staring at the little blue graph!


I prefer TR for it’s pure training focus. The rewards that matter for me are FTP gains, power PR’s and race results.

The gamification features are fine in the games (Zwift and such) but I think that TR is solid in it’s current direction as-is.


Please don’t. If i want a game i’ll play one.


No! No! No!

The beauty of TR is that it is lean and clean! All business! It’s where one comes to do the work and embrace the suck!


No thanks. I have a hard enough time not overdoing it as is.


What I would be interested in is a live workout with Coach Chad :smile:

It could be great motivation for a difficult threshold or VO2 max workout.


I’d argue that TR is already gamified enough.

That said, I do occasionally enjoy scrolling through the workout feed as it elicits a certain esprit de corps in that I see that I’m not alone with my struggles, occasional bailed workout, etc. Perhaps some ability to share efforts in manner that’s enriching for everyone involved?


Anything that improves motivation to complete difficult workouts would good.

Achievements with unlocking new themes could be good.

A friends list with live training feeds would be pretty motivating. I know if my buddies could see, I’d be less likely to turn down the intensity of my last few intervals.

I do agree that races would derail the whole purpose of TR which is structured training.

I don’t personally want trainerroad to change. I love how focused the training is, I wouldn’t want any gamification to detract from that.

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I think it’s admirable that TR has a devoted base, but even pros are spending increasingly longer on gamified platforms and incorporating that into training. And let’s be honest here, there’s always guys who’re super fast 5w/kg and up and enjoy a wide variety of training and racing on Zwift and they’re legit in real life too. Surely more fun training is the way forward for many who’re up for trying new things.

TR never has to change its existing plans. That doesn’t mean it can’t offer more things for other people too.