There is lots to like in the revamped TrainerRoad app, and I am especially interested in making it a part of my winter training schedule. I am not giving up on Zwift for the many things I like about it, especially the racing, free rides up mountains, and the social rides. However, I think TrainerRoad has always had the best plans and the best ability to keep my interest when I need a movie or a race video instead of a virtual world. The newly revamped mobile app does justice to the new TrainerRoad.
First off, the base, build, and specialty plans people have come to love are all right there at your fingertips. I am currently using a polarized training model with easy and hard days in the three zone system. I therefore am approaching TrainerRoad as a way to get my hard rides into my week. I chose a low volume plan because it is more focused on VO2 max and avoids much of the sweet spot workouts that the polarized model avoids. I am using the plan to get my hard workouts in for the week, and then I supplement this with easy days on Zwift or outside, and finish with a cross race.
See the low volume cyclocross plan above (this is the one currently kicking my ass a few days a week). The calendar nicely adds these workouts, and I can easily move them to the days of the week I want to do them on. I can also easily add my easy days (with TSS estimate), and I can delete the ones I am not planning on doing. The new calendar replaces the need for TrainingPeaks for me in planning and tracking sessions and fitness gains. TrainingPeaks has paid plans, so I find TrainerRoad has a real step up on them here. All the TrainerRoad plans are free with your subscription.
For example, this week (low volume cx plan) gave me hard Tuesday and Thursday workouts, mostly VO2 max intervals, and then a longer session on Saturday. Because I know I am racing tomorrow on Sunday, I deleted the Saturday session and did some easy openers on Zwift in its place. I can also easily add any TrainerRoad workout as a one off to the calendar and it shows up for me to execute using the phone or the laptop hooked up to the television.
I have no lack of tech in the paincave. I have a powerful gaming laptop that hooks to an older, but still useful and larger tv monitor. However, I like that I can run TrainerRoad flawlessly on my iPhone or iPad using BlueTooth. In fact, if TrainerRoad had the useful planning and calendar features earlier, I may have been using it all along. Because it is such a simple graphical interface, it is easily run on the phone or iPad. In fact, when I run it on the laptop, it is usually minimized and has a video of a race playing on YouTube in the background.
So, if you are looking to get into some serious or even just occasional training, you should seriously consider TrainerRoad this winter. It is easily run on laptop, phone or tablet. The workouts are hard, the plans make sense, and the whole package seems to be getting better.
Lastly, if you are considering a subscription, make sure you do it in the next two days. TrainerRoad announced a pricing increase for October 8, 2018. However, if you are a current subscriber, you will be locked in at the $12 a month or $99 annual rate instead of the new $15 and $129 plans. The company pledges to never raise your rate once you are locked in, so it would be a good idea to get onboard. I am told there are long term users who still are locked in at $7 a month. This is a great feature that I hope the company continues.