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Trainerroad vs. Strava | MOTTIV

Are you comparing Trainerroad vs. Strava?

Trainerroad and Strava are two of the best-known apps for endurance athletes. They will both allow you to train for cycling events, but Strava offers run training plans, while Trainerroad offers triathlon and duathlon training plans.

While each app offers training plans, the type of athlete they're best for is different.

The main difference between Trainerroad and Strava is that Trainerroad is a training tool primarily designed to offer cycling and triathlon training plans. Strava is designed more for connecting with other athletes than it is for offering training plans.

In this article, we'll discuss all the pros and cons of Trainerroad and Strava, and we'll answer the following questions you might have:

  • What are the main features of Trainerroad and Strava?
  • What are the pros and cons of Trainerroad and Strava?
  • How much do Trainerroad and Strava cost?
  • Are Trainerroad and Strava good for beginners?
  • What athletes should consider Strava vs Trainerroad?

BONUS: We'll also discuss our app MOTTIV which is a really good alternative to Trainerroad and Strava if you're trying to decide on a platform to use, but these two apps don't sound quite right for you.

Trainerroad vs. Strava vs. MOTTIV Summary

What kind of plans? Very generic template-based plans for: running and cycling Personalised plans for cycling, triathlon, duathlon (no running plans) Personalized training plans for running, triathlons, cycling events, duathlons, swimruns
Can training plans be combined? No Yes Yes
Strength Training None None Fully guided strength videos you can follow along with included at no extra cost in all plans
Mobility Training None None Fully guided mobility videos you can follow along with
Progress Stats Yes Yes Yes
Nutrition Guidance No No Yes (on every workout)
Connect With Other Users? Yes No Yes
Ease of Use Easy Very easy Very easy
Free Plan Yes. But training plans are only available to paid Strava premium users No Yes
Indoor Training Experience? Yes Yes No
Pricing $11.99/month or $79.99/year $19.95 or $189/year $19.99/month or $179/year
Avg. User Rating 4.7/5 Stars 4.9/5 Stars 4.8/5 Stars

Trainerroad Review

Trainerroad Overview

Trainerroad is a web and smartphone-based app geared towards cyclists, but triathletes and duathletes can also create plans on the app. Athletes can train for multiple races at a time, and their workouts are personalized to them.

Trainerroad uses AI to determine a cyclist's strengths and weaknesses, and creates training plans designed to create a well-rounded athlete.

Trainerroad is the only online training tool in this article to connect directly to your indoor bike trainer to control the pedal resistance, so you can follow their prescribed workouts and training plans. Compared to Strava, Trainerroad indoor training plans are much more detailed and personalized.

Trainerroad Pros

  1. Connections: Trainerroad connects to a lot of devices and apps directly. If you plan on doing most of your training indoors on a bike trainer and want an app to control the trainer, Trainerroad enables users do just that.
  2. Adaptive training: Trainerroad uses your workouts to develop a profile of your athletic abilities, then recommends training based on that profile. It's still unclear whether this actually generates improved performance, but it's a cool feature.
  3. Hard workouts: Many people love how difficult most Trainerroad sessions are. You'll feel like you're getting a solid workout every time you follow one of their recommended workouts (although this is also a con for many people).
  4. Easy to use: Most people can figure out how to build plans quickly inside the Trainerroad app.
  5. Stats: Users can easily track their stats without understanding much about the app.

Trainerroad Cons

  1. No free version: Trainerroad doesn't have a free version, you have to pay for a Trainerroad subscription to use their training platform.
  2. Burnout: Trainerroad's workouts are very hard, and many people report getting faster initially but start to experience burnout and plateau after six months.
  3. Poor running support: There aren't any running race-specific plans, and running workouts can't be sent to fitness devices to follow along. This is not great if you're a runner, triathlete, or duathlete.
  4. No strength or mobility training: Strength training is one of the most significant performance enhancers endurance athletes can do, and mobility workouts will help athletes avoid developing tightnesses and physical limitations during training. There are no strength or mobility workouts within Trainerroad.
  5. No nutrition guidance: Pairing the right nutrition with every workout will make the workouts much more effective. Trainerroad doesn't provide any nutrition recommendations at all.

Trainerroad Ease of Use

Trainerroad is very easy to use because it is designed for the end user. It is also very simple to understand, while Strava feels like a much bigger app with many features you might never use or even be able to find.

The TR user experience can be complicated for people completely new to setting up training, but most people will get the hang of it within a few days.

Trainerroad also doesn't have much information inside the app or within its workouts about how or why the training is designed the way it is. Athletes just have to trust the training is correct or figure it out for themselves. However, Trainerroad has a very active forum community to help with support.

Who is Trainerroad Best For?

Trainerroad is best for cyclists who want a training plan designed by artificial intelligence that addresses an athlete's weaknesses. It is also great for athletes who mostly do indoor cycling on a smart trainer and want an app that will control the trainer for them.

Trainerroad Pricing

  • No free plan
  • Paid: $19.95/month, $185/year

Strava Review

Strava Overview

Strava is a web and smartphone-based app designed primarily as a social media app where you can follow the fitness activities of other people.

Strava displays activities, allows you to see routes, create your own routes, and see how people rank on leaderboards for sections of activities from all around the world.

Compared to Trainerroad, Strava is much better for connecting with friends and strangers, but the training plans offered to paid Strava users are very generic and much less personalized than Trainerroad's.

Strava Pros

  1. Connections: There's an almost unlimited number of fitness devices and apps that can sync with Strava.
  2. Huge community: Strava has roughly 100 million users, so you'll have no shortage of athletes you can follow.
  3. Free version: If all you want to do is follow other athletes, you can do that for free.
  4. Stats: Strava can be your all-in-one lifelong fitness activity app, so you can always change your fitness devices and not worry about losing all your fitness data.

Strava Cons

  1. Paid version: Strava has struggled over the past several years to show its users that the paid version actually has value.
  2. Training plans: Strava training plans are limited to runners and cyclists, and the training plans are extremely basic and not interactive whatsoever.
  3. Complexity: Strava has suffered "feature creep," where there are so many features available on Strava many users don't even know all the available features or where to find them.
  4. No strength or mobility training: Strength training is one of the most significant performance enhancers endurance athletes can do, and mobility workouts will help athletes avoid developing tightnesses and physical limitations during training. Strava doesn't include any strength or mobility training in their plans.
  5. No nutrition guidance: Pairing the right nutrition with every workout will make the workouts much more effective. Strava doesn't provide any nutrition recommendations at all.

Strava Ease of Use

Strava is very easy to use because it is designed for the end user (as opposed to being designed primarily for coaches like Trainingpeaks).

The most difficult thing new users need to learn with Strava is where everything is. Strava has been around since 2007, so the app has grown quite large, and there are a lot of features users can find and play with.

When it comes to Strava training plans, they're easy to use once you locate them (run training plans can be found on Strava here, and cycling training plans are here). They are very basic without many details, so athletes will have an easy time using them, but they'll find them generic and not personalized to their goals and abilities.

Who is Strava Best For?

Strava is best for athletes who want to track their fitness activities in one place to see what they did, what their friends or favorite athletes did, and how they compare. Strava is not a good option for training plans.

Strava Pricing

  • No free plan
  • Paid: $11.99/month, $79.99/year


MOTTIV Overview

MOTTIV is a training app that can be used on the web or in a mobile smartphone app that creates a personalized training plan for athletes looking to prepare for any combination of running races, triathlons, cycling events, duathlons, and swimruns.

Athletes just need to enter the dates and distances of their races, how much time they're able to train, and their current fitness abilities, and they'll receive a personalized training plan that gets them ready for all their races at the same time.

Of course, we're biased, but we believe MOTTIV excels at keeping athletes on track to reach their goals. Getting a training plan is one thing, but having the support and motivation to stick to that plan is far more important. MOTTIV keeps you motivated throughout the training process so you always know you're on track and your goals are within reach.


  1. Ease of use: MOTTIV is designed for athletes who want a training plan that's done for them and is easy to follow. All you need to do is input some data, then be ready to show up willing to work and follow the plan every day you have training scheduled.
  2. Unlimited training plans: Whether you have one race or 20 races to train for, MOTTIV can create a training plan that prepares you for all of them. Premium members can add as many races as they want at no additional cost.
  3. Strength & Mobility: MOTTIV strength and mobility workouts are full-length videos you can follow along with to make sure you're performing the exercises correctly.
  4. Nutrition guidance: Eating the right thing before, during, and after your workouts will make every workout you complete much more effective. Every single workout in the MOTTIV app has nutrition recommendations that are personalized to you.
  5. Progress stats: MOTTIV tracks and displays all of your workout training data and progress stats. You don't need to learn how to work the app or where to find stats to know if you're on track or not, MOTTIV allows you to easily see if you're headed in the right direction.
  6. Motivation: MOTTIV has some excellent features that help keep you on track with your training plan because we all need a little support sometimes.
  7. Cost: MOTTIV provides all your endurance training, strength training, mobility training, personalized workout nutrition, and stats tracking, all in one place for one flat fee. Getting all these services separately would cost well over $60/month.


  1. Workout complexity: Some people find our workouts a little hard to understand if they're just starting in endurance sports, but we're in the process of simplifying workout language.
  2. Device connections: Although MOTTIV currently offers full workout synchronization with Garmin Connect, and connections to Trainingpeaks, Strava, Zwift and more, our list of possible connections isn't as robust as some other platforms.
  3. Lack of flexibility: While most people want a training plan they can simply follow for great results, some people want one they can customize by adding, subtracting, and changing workouts as they see fit. While you can move workouts around in MOTTIV, the structured training is designed for you to follow along as closely as possible for the best result.
  4. Slower interface: MOTTIV hasn't been around for as long as Trainerroad, so some screens take a few extra seconds to load because the app is still being fully optimized.

MOTTIV Ease of Use

MOTTIV is designed to be the easiest app for endurance athletes to use. All you need to enter to create a personalized training plan are your race dates and distances, how much time you can train, and your fitness abilities.

In addition to it being easy to create training plans, MOTTIV has features throughout the app that tell you why and how to perform every aspect of your training, so you're never left guessing.

Who is MOTTIV Best For?

MOTTIV is best for athletes looking for a holistic, custom plan that includes endurance workouts, strength training, mobility workouts, and nutrition guidance.

If you want to know what to do and have a little help knowing that you're on track and doing it right, then MOTTIV is for you.

MOTTIV Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Paid: $19.99/month, $179.99/year

Trainerroad vs. Strava vs. MOTTIV: Which One is Better?

When comparing Trainerroad, Strava, and MOTTIV, the answer to which one is better is like most things: it depends.

If you're primarily a cyclist and you're looking for an app you can connect to an indoor bike trainer to guide every single workout, then Trainerroad is ideal.

If you already have your training plan taken care of and you're just looking to connect with as many other athletes as possible, Strava is the app for you.

If you're looking for a holistic training plan builder that can create a personalized plan for multiple races at a time, and keeps you motivated to stay on track to reach your goals, then MOTTIV is the app for you.

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