I decided to give Zwift a go, perhaps hoping it would unlock some magical winter mojo inside me that TrainerRoad had not.
Out of the box, Zwift is a cool concept. It’s visually stimulating, you’re riding with others, and you can customize your account and rider as you advance.
So what didn’t I like? During my test ride, Zwift calculated my speed much higher than what my Garmin was showing. I also didn’t like how it automatically lowered my estimated speed based upon a climb. If I had a smart trainer maybe my experience would have been better.
I also didn’t get a sense that Zwift would set up a plan tailored to my ride season like TrainerRoad does. Probably more importantly, I also discovered something about me while using Zwift: I don’t like starring at a screen all the time which is what you must do using Zwift.
My setup is primitive, to say the least, but that’s what I like: wearing my headphones and listening to music whose BPM’s is close to my RPM’s while TrainerRoad cues my next interval. Instead of starring at my stats and the screens, I zone out and focus on spin technique. All of this, in my opinion, develops mental toughness and discipline which are key to endurance events.
TrainerRoad also delves into the details of cycling technique. For example, today my “coach” had me work on some isolated leg work. I had learned about this workout last year, thanks to TR, and found that my left leg (non-dominant) was weak. Throughout 2019, I worked on getting this leg stronger, which it is, but today’s iso workout revealed that now my right leg had some “clunks” where my technique is not fluid. Good to know! Time to tweak it and get stronger.
Ultimately, you want a training app that you enjoy and helps you improve while indoors. For many, it’s Zwift. For this old dog, I’ll stay with TrainerRoad.