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How to Train More Efficiently With the TrainingPeaks App for Running, Cycling, and More

An in-depth tool for endurance athletes, the TrainingPeaks app offers a tremendous amount of data and feedback for every workout. In addition to providing a wealth of information on its own, the app also excels at helping coaches interact with athletes. Whether you’re looking to improve as a cyclist, complete a full Ironman, or something else entirely, it’s an invaluable resource for endurance training. Here’s what you need to know about the TrainingPeaks app and how it can benefit your own goals.

Getting Started with TrainingPeaks

In the TrainingPeaks app, the Home tab displays your performance metrics, upcoming events, daily training activities, and the weekly snapshot. Broadly, the performance metrics draw on data from previous workouts to help you train more efficiently, according to TrainingPeaks. Based on your Training Stress Score (TSS), it looks at the length and intensity of your workout.

You can also review the Compliance screen at a glance, which displays your weekly workouts in a pie chart. Completed ones appear in green, and skipped ones in red. Completing less than half or more than 150% of your workout results in a yellow or orange screen.

The Calendar screen, meanwhile, gives you a clearer view of past and upcoming workouts, while the Peaks screen displays your top performances for a given year (or for all time) based on duration, heart rate, or power (in the case of cycling). It’s a handy way to keep track of your fastest mile, 5K, and much more all in one space. You can also remove peaks without deleting the actual workout.

The basic TrainingPeaks app is free to download, and you can use it to upload workouts, receive workout summaries, and interact with a coach. It works on phones, tablets, and desktop computers. A Premium subscription, meanwhile, offers more detailed information about your overall fitness, peak performances, heart rate data, and more.

Download: TrainingPeaks for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)

Managing Workouts in TrainingPeaks

TrainingPeaks supports many sports and activities, including triathlon, running, cycling (road and mountain), swimming, and rowing. To record workouts, you can select the Completed As Planned button or Record Workout. In addition, over 100 apps and fitness devices connect with TrainingPeaks, including Zwift, Fitbit, Garmin, and Coros.

Many devices can upload completed workouts to TrainingPeaks automatically with the autosync feature. If you have a Garmin fitness watch, for instance, then navigate to the permissions screen in the Garmin connect app to connect with TrainingPeaks.

TrainingPeaks Workout Data

When you upload a workout, the TrainingPeaks app offers a tremendous amount of data to analyze. For a running workout, you can view the time, mileage, training stress score, and any peak performance scores on the Summary screen. Meanwhile, the map traces the route you took and provides detailed information on your heart rate, cadence, pace, elevation, and temperature.

There’s also a selection of more advanced metrics, such as your Normalized Graded Pace (NGP). Because GPS can tell when you’re running uphill or downhill, the NGP can report what your pace would have been on flat ground. As you can see, this app is perfect for athletes who like working with a tremendous amount of analytics.

Lastly, the Laps screen offers another detailed look at your heart rate, pace, duration, distance, cadence, training stress score (TSS), temperature, and more. Tap on a lap to see even more precise information.

Meanwhile, cycling data measures your cadence, speed, and power data. Finally, swim workouts, meanwhile, measure cadence, pace, and even pool temperature. (In this case, my watch doesn’t measure heart rate data during a swim, but people with water-friendly heart rate monitors will also get that data.)

How to Set Up a Training Plan With TrainingPeaks

If you want to use the app on your own, then there are plenty of training plans in the TrainingPeaks app. Whether you’re training for an ultramarathon, a century ride, or a triathlon of any distance, you’ll likely find a ready-made plan for your goals. Even better, you can sort by price, skill level, and the amount of time you can commit to training each week.

How to Work With a Coach in TrainingPeaks

Connecting coaches and athletes is where the TrainingPeaks app shines. You can either work with a local coach you already know or use the Find a Coach feature on the TrainingPeaks homepage. Once you’ve found a coach, they will send you a link to attach accounts. From there, your coach will send personalized workouts, analyze your data, and help you improve at your chosen sport over time.

Should You Download TrainingPeaks?

If you’re an endurance athlete who wants to improve your training routine, particularly for races or other events, then the TrainingPeaks app is an invaluable resource. It offers an incredibly detailed amount of data for just about everything related to your fitness and performance. People who enjoy analyzing their fitness data will appreciate these metrics.

In addition, one of the best components of TrainingPeaks is the accountability aspect. Trying to “go green” for the week by completing planned workouts is motivating. The app helps turn giant, intimidating goals—such as running a faster marathon—into doable, daily habits. In addition, it’s easy to chat with your coach about any questions you have regarding particular workouts along the way.

However, not every athlete wants or needs the amount of data provided by TrainingPeaks. In addition, the training plans cost an average of $60, according to TrainingPeaks, and not everyone wants to spend that amount. If you factor in the cost of a coach and premium subscription as well, then it can become a bit of an investment.

There are other options for meeting your fitness goals. Many athletes can get more than enough data with the free Nike Run Club app or other excellent activity tracker apps. In addition, MySwimPro and other apps for tracking swim workouts can help you get stronger in the pool.

Inform Your Training With Detailed Fitness Data from TrainingPeaks

If you’re an athlete who wants to prepare for a big event or simply improve at your chosen sport, then the TrainingPeaks app is a solid (but potentially pricey) choice. When paired with a coach or a training plan, it’s a data-heavy platform that can help support your success.


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