Are you comparing Trainingpeaks vs. Strava?
Trainingpeaks and Strava are two popular apps for endurance athletes. Trainingpeaks is great for creating training plans with a coach or by yourself, while Strava is good for following the activities of your friends.
Each app offers training plans, but depending on what you're looking for, one might be better than the other, or they both might not work for you.
The main difference between Trainingpeaks and Strava is that TP is used for creating training plans on your own or through a 1-on-1 coach, while Strava is primarily for connecting with other athletes and following their activities.
In this article, we'll discuss all the pros and cons of Strava vs. Training Peaks; we'll answer the following questions you might have:
- What are the main features of Trainingpeaks and Strava?
- What are the pros and cons of Trainingpeaks and Strava?
- How much do Trainingpeaks and Strava cost?
- Are Trainingpeaks and Strava good for beginners?
- What athletes should consider Trainingpeaks vs. Strava?
BONUS: We'll also discuss our app, MOTTIV, which is a good alternative to Strava or Trainingpeaks if these two apps don't sound right for you.
Trainingpeaks vs. Strava vs. MOTTIV Summary
Trainingpeaks is an app that can be used on the web or in their mobile application that provides training tools for endurance athletes and their coaches. Athletes have the ability to create their own training plans from scratch, purchase template training plans, or work with a coach who will create their workouts in the Trainingpeaks app.
Athletes can connect their fitness devices to download workout data to their devices, and their workout data will be imported into Training Peaks, where users can review their workout stats and track their training status.
Compared to Strava, Trainingpeaks is much better for planning and monitoring your training plans, but it isn't good for connecting with other athletes because there are no community features.
- Connections: Trainingpeaks connects to more fitness devices and other apps than any training app on the market. If you want to synchronize your fitness data with a less popular fitness device (like Coros or Suunto, for example), Trainingpeaks will work for you.
- Fitness data: Premium Trainingpeaks users can get a lot of performance data when they synchronize their fitness devices. Coaches love the ability to get almost any fitness metric they can imagine.
- Training plan options: Athletes can purchase a training plan from tens of thousands of coaches from all around the world who have uploaded template plans for any event you can think of.
- Free version: Although it can be free to use, athletes don't get much on free Trainingpeaks. Athletes can't get a training plan created for them without paying for it, and the stats that free users can track within the app are very limited.
- Cost: To get many of the progress-tracking features people want to monitor, athletes need to be on a paid plan (Trainingpeaks Premium). In addition, athletes must purchase almost all training plans, which cost an average of $75 for four months of training.
- Ease of Use: Trainingpeaks isn't very self-serve. You typically need to learn how to work the app to get training plans to work for you.
- Training plans: One of the biggest cons of Trainingpeaks is that if you purchase multiple training plans for a full season of racing, the training plans will conflict with each other. You may end up with workouts from four different training plans, all on the same day, and not have any guidance on how to train for multiple races at one time.
- Training personalization: Training plans are based on templates, and while many training plans allow for some level of personalization, they're still generic templates.
- Holistic training: Many training plans in Trainingpeaks won't have strength workouts, mobility workouts, or workout nutrition advice. These added aspects of training are critical for keeping you healthy and allowing you to get the most from your training.
- Motivation: Trainingpeaks doesn't have many features that keep athletes on track and motivated to reach their goals.
Trainingpeaks Ease of Use
Trainingpeaks is designed primarily as a planning tool for coaches to manage their athletes, so it's not designed to be a self-serve app that you can easily use on your own.
Athletes who like learning about training and designing their own training plans will enjoy learning how to use Trainingpeaks, but athletes who just want a training plan that's put together for them will have a lot to learn in order to get comfortable using the app.
Who is Trainingpeaks Best For?
Trainingpeaks provides an excellent app for athletes who are working with a 1-on-1 endurance sports coach or self-coached athletes who want a powerful analysis tools to dive into all the data that they possibly want from their training.
- Free: limited features
- Paid: $19.95/month, $49/quarter, or $124.99/year
- Training plans: $75/four months (on average)
Strava is a web and smartphone-based app designed primarily as a social media app focused on tracking 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 Trainingpeaks, 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 Trainingpeaks training plans.
- Connections: Strava connects to an almost unlimited number of fitness devices and apps.
- Huge community: Strava has roughly 100 million users, so you'll have no shortage of athletes you can follow.
- Free version: If you only want to follow other athletes, you can do so using a free Strava account.
- 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.
- Paid version: Strava has struggled over the past several years to show its users that the paid version (Strava Premium) actually has value.
- Training plans: Strava training plans are limited to runners and cyclists, and the training plans are extremely basic and not interactive whatsoever.
- Complexity: Strava has suffered "feature creep," where so many features are available on Strava that many users don't even know all the available features or where to find them.
- 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.
- 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 is a huge number of features users can find and play with.
When it comes to Strava training plans, they're easy to use once you find 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 the workouts and training plans, but you'll find them generic and not personalized to your goals and abilities.
Who is Strava Best For?
Strava is probably best for athletes who want a training log to track their fitness activities and actual training 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.
- No free plan
- Premium version: $11.99/month, $79.99/year
BONUS: MOTTIV Review
MOTTIV is an app that can be used on the web or in their 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.
- Ease of use: MOTTIV is designed for athletes who want a training plan that's written for them and 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.
- 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 subscription members can add as many races as they want at no additional cost.
- Strength & Mobility: MOTTIV strength and mobility workouts are full-length videos that you can follow along with to make sure you're doing the right movements.
- Nutrition guidance: Eating the right thing before, during, and after your endurance training sessions will make every workout you complete much more effective. Every single workout in the MOTTIV app has nutrition recommendations that are personalized to you.
- Progress stats: MOTTIV tracks and displays all your workout and progress stats on your dashboard. You don't need to learn how to work the app or search for where to find stats used to track your progress. MOTTIV easily shows you if you're headed in the right direction.
- Motivation: MOTTIV has some excellent features that help keep you on track with your training plan because we all need a little support sometimes.
- 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.
- Workout complexity: Some people find our workouts hard to understand when they first start using the app.
- Device connections: Although MOTTIV offers full workout synchronization with Garmin Connect, plus connections to Strava, Zwift, Wahoo, TP and more, our list of possible connections isn't as robust as Trainingpeaks.
- Lack of flexibility: While most people want a training plan they can simply follow and get good results, some people want one they can customize themselves to add, subtract and modify workouts as they see fit. MOTTIV is designed for you to follow along as closely as possible to get the best results.
- Slow interface: MOTTIV hasn't been around for as long as Trainingpeaks or Strava, so some screens take a few seconds to load because they haven't been 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 current fitness abilities.
In addition to it being easy to create training plans, the MOTTIV app 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 training plan that includes endurance workouts, strength training, mobility workouts, and nutrition guidance.
If you are the type of person who wants to know what to do and get just a little guidance to show you're on track and doing it right, then MOTTIV is for you.
- Free plan
- Paid: $19.99/month, $179.99/year
Training peaks vs. Strava vs. MOTTIV: Which One is Better?
When comparing Trainingpeaks, Strava, and MOTTIV, the answer to which one is better is like most things: it depends.
If you have a larger budget and you like figuring out training on your own, you have a coach, and diving into your training as deep as possible is important to you, then Trainingpeaks probably is right for you.
If you're just looking to find and follow other athletes, Strava is the app for you.
If you're looking for a holistic training plan app that can create a personalised training 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.