Running Zwift and TrainerRoad Together

Running Zwift and TrainerRoad Together

Many cyclists like myself love TrainerRoad for its plan builder, calendar, and massive library of progressive plans. But these same cyclists are often Zwifters who want to rack up Zwift miles while training! Additionally, Zwift’s virtual worlds are more engaging than TrainerRoad’s charts, often proving a welcome distraction from the suffering of a tough interval session.

Because of this, many cyclists go with the “best of both worlds” approach: letting TrainerRoad control the workout, while riding in Zwift for a more engaging and interesting visual experience.

But how is that done? Here are complete instructions for accomplishing this dual platform feat using a Windows PC.

These instructions have been tested and proven with a Wahoo KICKR v1 and also a Wahoo KICKR v5.

How to Run Zwift and TrainerRoad Together on a Windows 10 PC

Two ANT+ adapters

Using ANT+

Assuming you already have a PC running Zwift and an ANT+ USB adapter, you simply need to buy a second ANT+ USB adapter. Ensure both are plugged in at the same time.

(I use this Anself USB ANT+ Stick and two of the Syncwire USB Extension Cables to get the ANT+ USB sticks closer to my KICKR. Read “Recommended ANT+ Sticks for Zwift” if you’d like further recommendations.)

Next, double-check that both ANT+ sticks are working and identified in Windows. Open device manager and check you have two devices shown under libusb-win32 devices.

You also need to run Zwift in Windowed mode, not full screen mode. This option is found under the main settings screen in Zwift:


Now that both ANT+ USB sticks are plugged in and working, start Zwift first and pair your devices. If you want to use TrainerRoad in ERG mode for the workout (the standard setup) do not select anything in Zwift for controllable power:

Next, start up TrainerRoad and pair your trainer and heart rate monitor. (I usually press the Windows key and then choose TrainerRoad from the start menu.) What is happening is that Zwift is paired to one ANT+ stick, then TrainerRoad is pairing to the second stick:

Once TrainerRoad is paired, open up your desired workout and click the small icon on the bottom right, the one with the four arrows all pointing inwards. You should then have Zwift taking up most of the screen, with your TrainerRoad workout shown at the bottom.

Ready to ride!

Now just start pedaling! The TrainerRoad workout will start and your Zwift avatar will start pedaling. The TrainerRoad workout instructions will appear in the center of your screen if they are provided and you have switched them on, as the video below shows:

Using Bluetooth

You can run Zwift + TrainerRoad side by side in Windows 10 using Bluetooth, with two caveats: your computer must support Bluetooth 4.0, and that your trainer must support multi-channel Bluetooth.

The Wahoo KICKR 18 onwards and KICKR Core support this with the latest firmware. My Polar OH1 heart rate monitor does not support multi-channel, so in my testing, I could only get it connected to either TrainerRoad or Zwift. (These tests were carried out on an HP Envy 13 running Windows 10 20H2.)

I’ve not tried this out for extended periods, so please share in the comments if (and how) you’re able to run both apps on the same computer using Bluetooth.

So to run both, start up TrainerRoad and pair your trainer and HRM (if desired):

Now launch Zwift on your Windows laptop/desktop and also launch the Zwift companion app on your phone. Within Zwift ensure the settings are as follows to pair using Companion:

On the Companion app you need to wait until you see this screen with the orange bluetooth icon. From there you can then pair your trainer. If it doesn’t show at this point, jump into your phone’s Bluetooth settings and make sure it is seen and connected there.

You can now pair your devices from the main Zwift screen. In this example my HRM is paired as I didn’t pair it with TrainerRoad. Again, assuming you are doing a TrainerRoad workout, ensure nothing is selected for Controllable Trainer within Zwift. This allows TrainerRoad to control the resistance on your trainer.

Now open up your desired workout within TrainerRoad and click the small icon on the bottom right, the one with the four arrows all pointing inwards. You should then have Zwift taking up most of the screen, with your TrainerRoad workout shown at the bottom:

Now just start pedaling! The TrainerRoad workout will start and your Zwift avatar will start pedaling. The TrainerRoad workout instructions will appear in the center of your screen if they are provided and you have switched them on, as the video below shows:

How to Run Zwift on a Windows 10 PC and TrainerRoad on a Second Device

The other option is continue to run Zwift as you do today and use a second device to run TrainerRoad. The specific instructions below are for a PC running Zwift over ANT+ and an iPad running TrainerRoad using Bluetooth. I have also used this method to run TrainerRoad on an iPhone as well as a Macbook.

First, pair your devices within Zwift, but do not select anything in Zwift for controllable power:

Then start up TrainerRoad on your iPad and pair your trainer and heart rate device.

then chose the workout on TrainerRoad on your iPad and simply start riding!

That’s it! Any questions? Ask in the comments and I will help if I can.

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Greg Hilton

Greg lives in Leeds, UK and has been interested in sport, technology and gadgets since his teenage years. He joined the Zwift beta in January 2015 and uses Zwift for workouts, recovery rides and the occasional race. It really was and still is a revolution in indoor training in his eyes! Last year Greg tried out Triathlon for the first time and really enjoyed it so fellow Zwifters may see him on the bike or treadmill. Ride on!

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Jared
Jared
3 months ago

I really wish these two companies would partner together to strengthen both of their products.

Diddr
Diddr
3 months ago
Reply to  Jared

Fully agree. As written it would be the best of both worlds. But I lost my hope that Zwift is looking for the ambitious riders and focuses more on the „mass“ to grow. There is so much potential in the workout area as you can see at TrainerRoad. And Zwift is still adhering to training plans without flexibility and not allowing to move anything.

Mat
Mat (@m77-fortier)
3 months ago
Reply to  Jared

TR plan are so much better: quality, specific and flexible towards your goal!

Colin C Ferguson
Colin C Ferguson
3 months ago
Reply to  Jared

Agreed. I can’t understand when people say TR and Z are competitors. Totally symbiotic products. For the record, I’ve run TR and Z together on a single macbook, and also concurrently with Z on the Mac and TR on Android; those setups work well, too.

Michael Hanan
Michael Hanan
3 months ago

Well they ultimately are competitors, since the amount most people are willing to spend on e-training/bike apps is limited. Also, Zwift has introduced a lot of training plans and training rides, which is a feature that directly competes with Trainer Road.

This is coming from someone who uses Zwift and Trainer Road together all the time (multiple times a week).

Alex
Alex
3 months ago
Reply to  Jared

Zwift and TrainerRoad are competitors in the same way Chick-fil-A and Pizza Hut are competitors even if their menu doesn’t overlap at all.

The number of people willing to pay for two subscriptions at the same time is probably very small and having to do workarounds like the one described in the article isn’t something for the masses. Remember Zwift actually thinks one of the things holding them back is the onboarding process.

Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
3 months ago

I love Trainer road and Zwift I just run Zwift from an Apple TV and TrainerRoad from my iPhone, works great so me. The iPhone is on a holder attached to the handlebars and the ATV powers a 55″ Flat screen attached to the wall in front of me.

AutoxNYC
AutoxNYC
3 months ago
Reply to  Steven Nelson

Hi, I have the same setup. How do you pair the trainer to both devices? I believe both are BT only. Does the trainer allow 2 simultaneous BT Connections? Thanks

mbiales
mbiales
3 months ago
Reply to  AutoxNYC

I use the 4iiii V100 HRM.

Connect my S3 and Assioma Duo via BLE to my iPad running TR. Connect my S3 and Assioma Duo via ANT to the HRM, and then connect the HR to Zwift on my Apple TV. There are some YouTube videos and blog posts that do a better job explaining it.

Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
3 months ago
Reply to  AutoxNYC

I use an Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter with a Wahoo Fitness Key for iPod/iPhone which I purchased from Amazon a few years ago. This changes the signal from ANT+ to Bluetooth. You just need to make sure the iPhone is charged as it prohibits you from charging it while you ride.

Alicia Butler
Alicia Butler
3 months ago
Reply to  Steven Nelson

I use a similar setup: Wahoo Kickr Snap, MacBook Pro with ANT+ dongle running Zwift set to receive power data (but not to control the trainer), and iPhone running Trainer Road with Bluetooth connection to control the trainer. My Polar HR strap broadcasts simultaneously to both Zwift and TR via Bluetooth. Works great for me.

Christian
Christian
2 months ago
Reply to  Alicia Butler

Your Polar HR monitor runs to one via Bluetooth and the other via Ant+? I am hoping to use a similar setup, which is why I am asking. Thanks.

Jor
Jor
3 months ago

If I remember right, Eric Min said in a Zwiftcast that 1/3 of Zwifters mainly to workouts (1/3 races and 1/3 free rides). That’s a substantial part of Zwift. Let’s hope that they will rework their workout area.

Richard Neil
Richard Neil (@richardneil)
3 months ago

This artical is incorrect in stating that 2 Ant+ receivers (dongles) are required – dual receiving is perfectly possible with one. Unlike me Bluetooth Ant+ is a “one to many” protocol. I do this all the time with Zwift & Xert.

K B
K B
3 months ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

I run both with 1 ANT+ receiver on a PC

Janpeter Lassen
Janpeter Lassen
3 months ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

I just ran TrainerRoad and Zwift with just one Ant+ receiver on my MacBook and a Tacx Neo. Worked perfectly.

Andras
Andras
3 months ago

I run TR and Zwift on W10 with TR on Ant+, and Zwift using built-in Bluetooth. No need for two Ant+ neither multi channel Bluetooth

Gustavo Gomez
Gustavo Gomez (@mgfjd)
3 months ago

This is what I do. First I open Zwift, then connect power and cadence through ANT+. Second I open trainer road and I connect everything through Bluetooth.

Russell Shaw
Russell Shaw
3 months ago

Been using the two together for years now. I’ve changed methods several times but have settled on Zwift on Apple TV and Trainer Road on an iPad running the workout. I’d say 90% of my indoor rides are done this way.

Can’t see them ever getting together as TR has a singular focus on getting folks faster and they are very good at that. Zwift on the other hand is pretty much all over the place and seems to lack a specific direction. Can’t see two companies meshing that have completely different ways of approaching their business.

Ziizii
Ziizii
3 months ago

Another option I’ve used for a while is Zwift + Xert:
– Xert Player on an iPhone
– Zwift in Windowed mode + Xert web based dashboards on a PC
– Wahoo Kickr 2018 connected via Bluetooth to PC/Zwift as Power Source and for Cadence
– The Kicr also connected via Bluetooth to iPhone as Power Source, Trainer Control and for Cadence

Works like a charm 🙂

Ivanfernan
Ivanfernan
3 months ago

I use to do another way: i créate my specific workout and run it on my Garmin 530; the garmin controls my Elite direto in ERG mode; in Zwift Elites Power is configured as Power source and in Comtollable no FE-C option seleted.
This configuration allows me to do a workout in ERG mode while taking part in any group ride or Race.

Barry Beswick
Barry Beswick
3 months ago

Mind boggling.All I want to do is workout.Where do I get my IT degree.

Nick Hickman
Nick Hickman
3 months ago

I often run both together (Zwift on laptop, TR on mobile phone) and that works fine but often now I create a custom workout on Zwift to be identical to the TR one I want to do and then just use Zwift. The Zwift workout builder is not great but there are some very good alternatives out there (I use zwofactory.com) and unless it is a very complex workout it only takes a couple of minutes to build and then can be reused whenever that one comes up in my plans. I lose the TR coaching instructions but when one… Read more »

Rob C.
Rob C. (@roberto-concheiro)
3 months ago

Great article. Can you write a similar one for Apple TV?

Donald
Donald
3 months ago

Curious why you are connecting the HR monitor to both Zwift and TR? Can’t it just be connected to one or the other?

Wally
Wally
3 months ago

If you have a modernish BT-equipped PC and an ANT+ stick already, you can just run TR using ANT+ and Zwift over Bluetooth, or vice versa. No need for two devices or two ANT+ adapters. I use a Wahoo TICKR X and it communicates simultaneously over ANT+ and BT just fine, so both Zwift and TR get heartrate data. The caveat to make sure nothing is selected in the ‘controllable’ box still applies. ZwiftHacks has a couple apps that make this easier, the one I find most useful is using their config tool to toggle Zwift in and out of… Read more »

Trond K samslått
Trond K samslått
3 months ago

I run Zwift with Apple tv. Can i then run trainerroad on PC? Like mentioned here, no controllable trainer on the Apple tv, then pair trainer and hrm with ANT+ to the PC?

Jelantik
Jelantik
3 months ago

I don’t have any luck connecting via Bluetooth only from Ipad (Tranierroad) and Mac Mini (Zwift) to my Neo 1. So I turned off Bluetooth on my Mac Mini and connect to Zwift via ANT+ and TR via Bluetooth. Works nicely. Since my HR is dual channel, I can also see my HR both in Zwift and TR. My Zwift is projected on the big TV and the TR screen is on my old apple cinema monitor sits at the bottom of the TV. The nice thing about ANT+, I don’t need to worry about what Bluetooth or multichannel Bluetooth… Read more »

Aaron Keating
Aaron Keating
3 months ago

Has anyone simultaneously run Trainerroad on iPhone (via Kickr’s Bluetooth signal), and Zwift on iPad (using CABLE device to rebroadcast Kickr’s ANT+ signal as Bluetooth)? It seems like it should work, would love to hear from someone who has tried/succeeded.

A G
A G
3 months ago

Or these companies like TrainerRoad could let us import the workouts into Trainingpeaks and we could bypass all this ant+ bs. Once your workout is in TP you could select it in Zwift and you wouldn’t need to run 2 apps. It’s a win win for everyone.

Janpeter Lassen
Janpeter Lassen
3 months ago
Reply to  A G

Not a win-win for everyone IMO – TR will be the looser in this scenario! Their workout library (and their training plans as well as the plan builder) is a big asset, which they will (rightfully) try to protect. Sure, You can rebuild TR workouts in Zwift or TP, but that is a time-consuming process.

Andy Boettcher
Andy Boettcher
3 months ago

Help — I run ant+ on my android phone & Bluetooth via Zwift on a Win PC; it causes my power meter to read off & I need to reboot my PM — any thoughts?

Christian
Christian
3 months ago

Thanks for this information. Sorry if you already answered this and I missed it, but will two rides appear on your Strava? One ride from Zwift and one ride from TR? If so, how do you handle that? Just delete one of them through Strava?

Janpeter Lassen
Janpeter Lassen
3 months ago

Thanks for this post! Reminded that I always wanted to try this to give my (triathlon) training more structure while still having the welcome distraction 😎

Christian
Christian
3 months ago

Thanks so much for this! My second Ant+ stick came in the mail today (bought the one you recommended), hooked it up, and completed a TR ramp test while riding in Paris on Zwift. Worked great! My only question is: do you upload your rides to Strava? If so, do you just go in and delete one of the rides so you don’t get duplicate miles? I went into Strava and deleted the ramp test but kept the Zwift ride. Thanks in advance.

Christian
Christian
3 months ago
Reply to  Christian

Didn’t realize I already asked this question. Sorry for the double-post. Can’t figure out how to delete it. But fwiw, your directions worked like a charm! 🙂

Julie
Julie
3 months ago

Any recommendations for MacBook Pro computer memory required to run TR and Zwift simultaneously? Thanks.

Christian
Christian
2 months ago

I just ordered a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle for my Windows 10 PC. I am planning to run one of the programs through the PC using Bluetooth while running the other program through the same PC but through an Ant+ dongle. Will that work? I have been using the two Ant+ dongle option but my devices have been dropping during the ride, either in Zwift, or in TR, and I have to close everything out and start all over setting them up (following your instructions above for two Ant+ dongles). I use an Elite Suito trainer and I just picked up… Read more »

Matt Wainwright
Matt Wainwright
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

I’ve run Zwift with the ant+ and TrainerRoad with Bluetooth but had a few Bluetooth drop outs. Also for some reason even though same trainer (drivo ii) the wattages that Zwift and TrainerRoad report back are about 20watts different at about 250 watts

Gemma Felstead
Gemma Felstead
1 month ago

I used to run TR and Zwift on my Mac together, no issues, no Companion App. On my Windows machine, it doesn’t behave in the same way. Both programmes can see the trainer but (usually Zwift) says No signal. Does it have to be paired through the Companion App and why would it have worked on my Mac? TIA

Matt W
Matt W
1 month ago
Reply to  Gemma Felstead

No idea why it would work on Mac and not pc but I have the same issue if I open TrainerRoad first. I’m guessing for me TrainerRoad pairs with it and then I open Zwift, zwift can see it but not get a signal from it as TrainerRoad is paired with it.

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