TrainerDay review - affordable access to personalised training plans for just $3.99 a month

For those self-coaching, you can also create your own bank of sessions

Screenshot of the TrainerDay app
(Image credit: TrainerDay)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

For $3.99 TrainerDay really is a brilliant app for cyclists new to the sport to get started, to help guide them with their training, to refine their sessions and increase the structure of their training plan to help them hit their goals. For more serious riders or racers there are elements of the app such as being able to create your own sessions that will appeal to them, however there are free alternatives on the market that can do this just as well.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Cheap alternative to a coach at only $3.99 a month

  • +

    Tailor made training that can be personalised to fit around your lifestyle and events

  • +

    Easy to use app, allows sessions to be imported straight to your GPS head unit

  • +

    Huge selection of sessions to choose from

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not much variety of sessions chosen when a training plan is created by the app for you

  • -

    All sessions pretty much involve some sort of changes of effort, not just steady Zone 2 days

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

With the cost of living leading to people searching for savings more than ever before, could this be a cost effective alternative to having your own personalised coach?

The concept is simple, TrainerDay uses a series of workouts created by Andrea Morelli, head coach for Mapei cycling team as well as previously the coach of Cadel Evans when he won the Tour De France in 2011. The belief is that “Training should be fun and you should be training smarter not harder” and TrainerDay helps you to tailor this training through the use of its smartphone training app. 

TrainerDay: first impressions

Coach Jack is TrainerDay’s virtual coach that when first logging into the app asks you a number of key questions. These include; event goals, hours and intensity you would like to train at, as well as analyzing your data from the previous three months. Coach Jack uses this information to create you a custom training program. It’s quick and easy to do, and the plan is able to be imported straight into your training platform such as Training Peaks or Garmin Connect. 

Alternatively, the app gives you the option to create your own plan. With close to 3,500 sessions to choose from you are spoilt for choice and it is easy to search for sessions you would like to do. For example if you only have 60 minutes or fancy some threshold efforts, the variety of sessions was refreshing and allowed for a plan to be quickly built up and sent to your chosen training platform. 

If a plan is not your thing then the app allows for singular sessions to be created or selected. Again there is a huge variety to choose from and in a matter of minutes I had created myself a custom threshold session on the app which I was able to easily send straight to my cycling computer

TrainerDay: on test

To really test out the capabilities of the app I imputed all of my details including my event goal, the mountain biking national champs. Selecting my weekly hours and intensity, the speed Coach Jack was able to create a tailor plan was amazing. I was set on a 5 week training plan to hopefully put me in peak condition for the race. Excited to see what I had been set I started to look through my plan. 

(Image credit: TrainerDay)

From a quick initial overview of the sessions there was not much variety. Each week I was set the same sessions on the same days with the only progression being a slight increase in duration of sessions. Furthermore, every ride involved some sort of effort. Even on easy free-ride days that were meant to be to develop aerobic condition, at no time was I able to just ride my bike. For instance I was set a 5 hour ride and at no time was I was set to ride at the same power for more than 15 minutes. 

Screenshot of the TrainerDay app

(Image credit: TrainerDay)

Creating my own cycling training plan did solve this issue by increasing the variety of my rides as well as the consistency of endurance rides. This is great for someone who has had previous experience of being coached or someone who really understands when they should rest and when they should train. But for people with neither of these experiences it makes it hard to get the correct balance, even though they are following these coach created sessions it is easy to do far too much or far too little. 

Example of a self-made training session.

(Image credit: TrainerDay)

Creating one off sessions was a personal highlight of the app. Being able to create your own session from scratch and be able to upload it straight to your cycling computer is a game changer when it comes to training. The cycling training zone you should be riding in, how long left of the effort and how many more efforts to go are all some of the things you can add to your data screens. 

TrainerDay: value and conclusion

For $3.99 or £3.14 a month TrainerDay is certainly very cheap in comparison to a full-time coach which can cost well over $/£100 a month. That being said, how does it compare to the best training platforms

When it comes to creating a training plan on TrainingPeaks it is going to cost you $19.95 or £15.72 a month and for this price you do not get a coach and instead have to create your own sessions yourself. The free version allows you to create your own sessions and upload them straight to your GPS head unit. If its individual session creation you prefer, then TrainingPeaks is a cheaper alternative providing a very similar experience - but if personalised training plans are more your thing the TrainerDay is the one for you. 

PILLAR is a very similar app to TrainerDay, coming in at £5.99 it is slightly on the pricier side per month. Both apps provide the ability to create personalised training plans tailored to you in a matter of minutes, however PILLAR does not have the option to create your own sessions which is where TrainerDay has the edge. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Couzens
Freelance Writer

Tom Couzens is a racing cyclist currently representing The Ribble Collective on the road and the Montezumas cyclo-cross team off road. His most notable results include winning the Monmouth GP national series race as a junior; finishing sixth in the 2022 British National Cyclo-cross Championships; and he was selected to represent Great Britain at the European Cyclo-cross Championships in 2020/21. Tom draws on his high-level racing experience and knowledge to help Cycling Weekly readers maximise their potential and get as much as possible out of their riding.