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Indoor Training Apps: Which one is for you?

Indoor cycling training season is nearly here – are you prepared?

We’re sorry to break it to you, but summer is over and the dark nights and wet roads of winter are around the corner. If you prefer to save your bike rides for sunny dry days and clean trails, then indoor training is your answer for when the weather turns sour!

There are so many apps out there now to entertain, motivate and structure your indoor cycling that it can be difficult to know which is the one for you. So we’ve saved you the energy and broken down the key points of the top apps to keep you ‘appy during your training sessions!

ZWIFT

Who’s it for?
The explorer

The selling point

Zwift is the daddy of cycling apps – as one of the first platforms out there, it’s arguably the one to beat. With a host of virtual worlds for you to ride around, as well as Zwift’s own take on Alpe d’Huez, New York City and Mont Ventoux, there’s endless entertainment. As well as unstructured rides and training sessions, you can also get stuck in to an all-out group race with riders from around the world so you can let that competitive instinct run wild!

What else do I need to know?

Be warned – it’s addictive! The great thing about Zwift is the combination of endless worlds to explore and the ability to ride with others from around the globe means you’ll never have enough of it! If you really want to max out the experience and use a Wahoo Kickr trainer, you can buy Wahoo’s Kickr Climb, a gadget that elevates and lowers your front wheel in response to the gradients of the platform!

TRAINERROAD

Who’s it for?
The training-focussed

The selling point

TrainerRoad is an endless database of training sessions and full plans that will suit anyone, whether long-distance roadie or full gas ‘crosser. There are a mind-blowing 1,000+ workouts you can choose from, and you can create your own to follow. And for those looking for structure, there are custom-made plans for all abilities and preferences.

What else do I need to know?

There’s no entertainment to keep your mind busy as the legs turn. The app’s visual centres on a graphic rendition of your training session with lines that chart your heart rate, power or cadence. However, you’re able to run your favourite favourite box set or movie on the computer as you use TrainerRoad so you can provide your own visual entertainment.

SUFFERFEST

Who’s it for?

The adrenaline-junkie

The selling point

The Sufferfest offers something for everyone, but undoubtedly the major selling-point is its high-octane, blood pumping workouts. You follow a carefully built workout that is synchronised to real life footage of pro racing, so you can put yourself in the saddle of your heroes! On top of the workouts, there are full training plans and follow-along yoga and meditation sessions, all aimed to improve your performance on the bike..

What else do I need to know?

Unlike the basic ‘FTP’ power model used by nearly all training platforms, Sufferfest uses its own ‘4DP’ test and algorithm to set your training sessions. The test and training sessions are equally effective to those used by ‘traditional’ training models, but it does mean you will need to put yourself through the horrors of a new fitness test before you get Sufferfest up and running.

ROAD GRAND TOURS (RGT)

Who’s it for?

The gamer

The selling point

RGT offers super-realistic renditions of iconic cycling locations such as the Stelvio or Mont Ventoux for you to train on from the comfort of your home. Having been designed by developers with a background in computer gaming, the graphics are awesome, and the platform offers the ability to ride and race against other ‘real’ cyclists in the same way as Zwift. The gamification of the platform rivals if not betters that of Zwift, with many rating the ‘ride-feel’ of sprinting, cornering and drafting on RGT as superior to its better-known rival.

What else do I need to know?

Given the superior graphics and high level gaming experience, you need to have a speedy, modern computer to get the best of the platform. While RGT offers plenty of training sessions and plans, they may not be quite as comprehensive as others. However, as RGT is a relatively new platform, you can expect for that to improve and expand as time goes on.

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