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A look at five indoor training applications

If you’re like most Canadians, chances are the weather is either too cold, windy or snowy to get outside and grind away on the roads. Even if you do head down south for a few weeks of training, you can’t solely rely on a training camp to get you ready for the triathlon season.

Thankfully, the world of indoor training is rapidly developing. With the creation of smart trainers, you can mimic the conditions of training outdoors in your basement. Add the social and visual stimulus of training applications like Zwift, Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, Rouvy and FulGaz, training indoors isn’t that bad – some may actually prefer it to the real world.

Here is an overview of the indoor training applications out there.

Zwift: The video game for triathletes

Widely used, Zwift is a great all-round virtual reality training application. Zwift pairs your bike with indoor training gear (trainer, a heart rate monitor, speed sensor or power meter) to create a virtual environment.

Zwift riders in the midst of a training session. Photo: Zwift

With five different worlds, you can explore real-world courses like Prudential RideLondon, or test your legs on two UCI World Championships courses – Richmond, Virginia and Innsbruck-Tirol. You can even see what New York may, or may not look like in the future. Zwift also offers its virtual world of Watopia.

With hundreds of training programs, races and social group rides to choose from daily, the friendly competition not only motivates you during a session, but throughout the winter.

Related: How to set up Zwift – the most cost-effective way

With a seven-day free trial period, Zwift gives you unlimited access for CAD 18.99/month.

The Sufferfest: Put the hammer down

As the name suggests, The Sufferfest puts you right into the hurt. Partnered with races like the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, World Championships and the Spring Classics, The Sufferfest throws you into the action with official footage from some of the hardest races in the world.

The Sufferfest throws you right into the action. Photo: The Sufferfest

With a variety of training sessions and plans, The Sufferfest prides itself in being a high-intensity/low-volume training application.

With real-time ride profiles, interval timers, sound alerts, effort indicators, storylines that draw you in and provide you “enterPAINment,” you will be more than motivated to jump on the trainer for a high-end interval session.

Along with the hundreds of training sessions, you also have access to hundreds of training plans structured to help you reach your goals.

The Sufferfest has two pricing options: USD 12.99/month or USD 99/year.

TrainerRoad: Plans to reach your goals

Want unlimited access to over a thousand structured training sessions from professional coaches and athletes? TrainerRoad has you covered with an impressive library of resources.

TrainerRoad offers an impressive library of training sessions and plans to help you reach your goals. Photo: TrainerRoad

With a hundred different training plans, you can build your base throughout the winter and peak for your big race in the summer. With real-time data analysis and guided workouts, you can stay on top of your power and other key training outputs.

Using a speed sensor and trainer, power meter and trainer or smart trainer, you can complete TrainerRoad’s Ramp Test to get over a thousand workouts automatically scaled to your fitness level.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, TrainerRoad has two pricing options: USD 12/month or USD 129/month

Rouvy: The Strava of indoor training?

Like Strava, but for indoor training, the Rouvy community builds and shares local routes from places all over the world. Photo: Rouvy

Rouvy allows you to ride anywhere around the world with over 1500 courses, and you can do it with anyone. You could even have over three other friends and connect to one computer.

Related: Rouvy takes indoor training to another level

Like Strava, but for indoor training, the Rouvy community builds and shares local routes from places all over the world.

New to the training application market, Rouvy offers a two-week free trial period with two plans – standard for USD 6.25/month and premium for USD 10/month.

FulGaz: The resolution may just be better than real life

One of the newer training applications out there, FulGaz provides you with hundreds of amazing rides around the world. FulGaz is filmed with 4K resolution, giving you unprecedented clarity when riding.

Shot in 4K resolution, you can view the Ironman World Championship bike course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Photo: FulGaz

Not only can you ride the Ironman World Championship bike course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, but you can go for a hilly ride in Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada, or go for an hour and a half ride up Alpe d’Huez.

With footage from easy rides to races, FulGaz offers a high-quality image that will immerse you into your training.

With a two-week free trial period, you can get a feel for FulGaz and then join for CAD 12.99/month, or  CAD 123.66/year.