We’re in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere, and lots of us are riding our trainers and loading the data to Strava. This winter, many people are riding with the popular new TrainerRoad application, which uses power curves from various trainer models to convert speed into “Virtual Power” and displays this onscreen as you ride one of their hundreds of structured workouts. One of the major benefits of using TrainerRoad is that it allows riders without power meters to get accurate power data (indoors only, of course), which is a huge benefit when riding on the trainer.
Here’s a tip for those riding with TrainerRoad and uploading the data to Strava, particularly if you don’t have a power meter. Rather than loading the data from your bike computer or GPS, like you’ve probably been doing previously, you should instead download the data from TrainerRoad onto your computer, and then upload this to Strava. The benefit of this approach is that the data you download from TrainerRoad contains power information, which Strava will see and process when you load it to Strava.
Here’s how it works:
- On the ride page on the TrainerRoad website, click the red Download button in the upper right.
- When prompted, save the file on your computer (it will have a “.tcx” extension). Remember the location where the file is saved.
- On the Strava website, hit the “Upload Activity” button, and then choose the option to “Upload files from your computer” on the left.
- Hit the “Choose Files” button, and select the TCX file you saved from the TrainerRoad website. That’s it, you’re done.
The data will upload as usual, and you’ll get a regular Strava trainer ride, complete with all the power data calculated during the ride by TrainerRoad.
The best thing about this technique is that it integrates perfectly with Strava’s new advanced power training analysis features (premium members only). Strava will use the power data calculated by TrainerRoad and give you detailed power analyses, including power curves, power band distribution by time, and power zone distribution. Some of this you can get on the TrainerRoad site, but not all (TrainerRoad doesn’t yet have power curves, for example).
TrainerRoad has said that automatically posting data to external sites like Strava is on their road map for 2013, but for now, you can use your TrainerRoad power data in other sites like Strava (and TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect, etc) today with the couple simple steps outlined here. Enjoy and ride lots!