( I updated this blog to just include the big three here New Review of 2016 Training Apps. )
I’ve attached a video blog at the bottom which is a summary of my experiences using Zwift, Trainerroad, Sufferfest, and Training Peaks this winter. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor do they have any influence on my thought process or decisions. I’m an average cyclist who enjoys training and challenging myself while chasing my kids around the house on a day to day basis. In the video I cover my experiences and decisions for using and sticking with a certain training software program. By no means is my decision your decision. Matter of fact, if I had endless funds, I would keep all of them. Unfortunately, the stay at home dad is on a budget. Each one of these platforms can serve anyone very well depending on your individual needs. One person may only need the Sufferfest App while another could benefit greatly from Trainerroad and so on.
Zwift is a fairly new and exciting platform. You ride indoors on your trainer but you are immersed in a virtual cycling world. There are endless opportunities for the future applications of Zwift. When you complete your ride with Zwift, it uploads to Strava just like any ride you did outside. Any person you rode with in the virtual world of Zwift will also be displayed as a riding partner on your Strava feed. This is a great application for the person who is more of a social cyclist, you want to meet and make new friends around the world, and you don’t care that much about training plans or structured training (They are developing this).
The Sufferfest app is also new to the scene for indoor cycling. For a very affordable monthly fee, you can stream all of the Sufferfest videos. Sufferfest provides the best training videos on the market. This is a great product if you are interested in doing the Sufferfest videos but do not want to invest a bunch of money purchasing them all. The Sufferfest app and videos will work for the person who needs that extra push doing workouts inside on the trainer. This rider may have a structured training plan but needs to mix up their training routine from time to time to avoid burnout.
Trainerroad has been around for 3+ years now. They are the closest thing you will get to having a structured training plan, a coach, and a detailed workout guide without paying a bunch of money for individualized coaching. Trainerroad’s plans take you from base to peak fitness and cover almost every sport that involves cycling. They host their own informative blog and podcast which is chalk full of very useful information. Trainerroad is for any cyclist that wants an increase in performance, additional structure in their training, and understands the basics of training in the sport of cycling.
Training Peaks has also been around for a long time. They offer comprehensive training with the ability to do a deep dive into metrics. They have a mobile app that allows you to continually track your progress and workouts in the palm of your hand. A premium membership gives you access to the mobile/online app, deep dive metrics, and a basic Annual Training Plan ATP to plan your season. Training peaks is the most expensive option for the athlete looking for structured training. The athlete that has additional money to spend will probably benefit greatly from accessing all of the Training Peaks options of premium membership, purchase of training plans, and purchase of individualized coaching.
Again, all of these applications are great for the cycling community. They open up a multitude of options for a wide variety of cyclist. My Video Blog below discusses my choices at the end of winter.