Guide Indoor Training

How To Run Zwift And TrainerRoad Simultaneously

It’s January, and the Polar Vortex is doing its thing here in the northern hemisphere. But that didn’t stop cyclists and triathletes from firing up their indoor trainers and chugging through their training plans to be ready for their upcoming racing season.

Many have left wondering which indoor cycling software to use, TrainerRoad or Zwift? I’ve covered this topic in a different post which you can read here:

Some athletes want to use both simultaneously and wanted to know if this is even a possibility. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can enjoy the benefits of both applications.

To run both applications with your smart bike trainer, you first need to pick which software is going to control the trainer. In this guide, I am going to assume you want to follow a training plan on TrainerRoad and immerse yourself in Zwift imaginary world.

You can run Zwift and TrainerRoad in two way:

  1. Method 1: Tablet and PC
  2. Method 2: Run TrainerRoad and Zwift Simultaneously on a PC
  3. Also here is a video explaining Method 2
  4. TrainerRoad mobile & Zwift on Apple TV (the link will take you to a YouTube video on how to do this)

METHOD 1:

Tablet AND PC

In this method, you can simply run TrainerRoad on your tablet and Zwift on your PC or vice versa.

Using this method is simple and each device will have full power to run the application rather than having each application share device memory and CPU and slow things down, even possibly crash in the middle of your workout.

zwift_trainer_road_ipad

Assuming your smart bike trainer is Bluetooth and ANT+ FE-C compatible, you can choose how to connect to your trainer from each device. For example, you can choose to connect to your trainer via Bluetooth from TrainerRoad and ANT+ from Zwift.

If you decide to run TrainerRoad from your tablet, then it might be easier to use Bluetooth and avoid using an ANT+ dongle altogether. However, TrainerRoad might not support your trainer Bluetooth connection and you are forced to use ANT+. In this case, you might need to get an ANT+ key to making that connection.

Connecting Zwift To The Trainer from your PC

  • Open Zwift and go to Paired Devices screen.
  • Make sure you are using ANT+ protocol to make the connection. You should see an ANT+ icon next to your choice.
  • Under Power Source: select your smart trainer. If you want to use power from your power meter, you can select that here instead.
  • You can add a connection for your cadence and heart rate monitor if you wish.
  • Leave Controllable Trainer blank. Nothing should be paired there.

This is how your Paired Devices screen should look like:screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-11-40-44-am

Connecting TrainerRoad To The Trainer from your tablet:

I am using my iPhone in this example but the setup should be similar to the iPad or any other compatible tablet.

  • Open TrainerRoad and go to Devices
  • Your trainer should be listed under Devices. Select it and you can choose if you want ERG mode enabled or not.
  • Select your power meter or any other device you want to connect to, such as heart rate monitor and cadence.
  • You can use either Bluetooth or ANT+ to connect to your devices but you can’t use Bluetooth from both PC and tablet.img_4201

Now you should be able to select a workout from TrainerRoad workout library and start your training. Both applications should automatically start once you start pedaling.

METHOD 2:

RUNNING ZWIFT & TRAINERROAD ON A PC SIMULTANEOUSLY

In this example, I will walk you through running both applications on your PC and connect to your smart bike trainer. I am also using a Tacx NEO which is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. My PC is a Mac Mini which is Bluetooth compatible and I have a Garmin ANT+ stick connected to the back of my Mac. You should be able to follow these steps with your Windows PC and any compatible trainer. If you are looking for a smart trainer, you can see which trainer we recommend for Zwift and TrainerRoad here.

I will also be using a workout from TrainerRoad and use ERG mode, which means TrainerRoad will control the trainer. Also, I will use ANT+ to connect from Zwift and Bluetooth to connect from TrainerRoad to my Tacx NEO. If you are having difficulties with Bluetooth connection, then you might want to use a second ANT+ stick. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use one stick to connect from both Zwift and TrainerRoad. Each application requires its own ANT+ connection.

Connecting Zwift to the Trainer

  1. Open Zwift and go to Paired Devices screen.
  2. Select power from your trainer. If you want to use power from your power meter, you can select that here instead.
  3. Make sure to Unpair anything under  “Controllable Trainer”. We don’t want Zwift to control the trainer in this example.

This is how your Paired Devices screen should look like:

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-11-40-44-am

Connecting TrainerRoad to the Trainer

  1. Keep Zwift Open in the background.
  2. Open TrainerRoad application and go to Devices.
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on and your trainer isn’t connecting to anything else via Bluetooth.
  4. Select your Trainer from devices.
  5. Go to workout and select the workout you want to do in TrainerRoad
  6. Once the workout is open, click on Minimal in the right corner of the screen.

NOTE: If you want to use ANT+ to connect to both, you need to have two separate ANT+ Keys. Always open TrainerRoad first, pair to your trainer, then open Zwift and pair to your other devices.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-6-13-01-pm

Trainer Road should minimize and doc at the bottom of the screen.Go back to Zwift and use your mouse to adjust the screen to fit right on top of TrainerRoad.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-6-20-02-pm

Go back to Zwift and use your mouse to adjust the screen to fit right on top of TrainerRoad.

Now start pedaling. Your Zwift avatar should start moving and TrainerRoad should start as well.

Here is a little video explaining all the steps mentioned in method 2. If you have any question, feel free to post in the comment section.

 

TRAINER ROAD  & ZWIFT ON APPLE TV

If you run Zwift on Apple TV and TrainerRoad on a mobile device, then you might be forced to using Bluetooth on both, here is a recent video I did on how to how to go around that and run both simultaneously.

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5 Comments

    • Yes you can but since iOS devices communicate in Bluetooth only, you will be able to pair with one device at a time. If your trainer can communicate in ANT+ as well, then you can get an ANT+ key like the Wahoo ANT+ key that you can plug into your phone or iPad or an ANT+ to Bluetooth bridge like the 4iiii heart rate monitor. Then you will be able to pair your trainer to both devices. One using the trainer Bluetooth signal, and the other one using the trainer ANT+ signal via your Bluetooth bridge (4iiii).

  • Am I right in assuming I can connect with Trainerroad on Android letting it control the trainer and with Zwift on ios at the same time?

    • Yes, you should be able to. Just keep in mind, you can only connect using Bluetooth to one device at a time. So if you connect your smart trainer to Android via Bluetooth, you will not be able to connect to iOS via Bluetooth. You will have to use ANT+ FE-C on both devices or Bluetooth on one, and ANT+ on the other.

  • I am using this method. Use TR on PC with ANT, MacBook connecting Zwift with Bluetooth.
    One thing I have noticed is that Zwift when starting up will find a controllable device, if it had been closed with a connection to a controllable device. Even unpairing will still leave TR and Zwift fighting for control. You must unpair controllable device, then stop and start Zwift. Zwift will then start up and discover power source, but not controllable device. Finally if your TR ride has ended close TR, then go into discovery on Zwift, and pair to controllable device, Bluetooth, then ride to your hearts content.