Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SportTracks Running Software

Just wanted to share my new running software with you.  It's called SportTracks.  I found it via Runblogger's site--Pete uses it regularly with his Garmin watch and wrote a nice review of the software.  I've been going back and forth between Garmin's own "Training Center" (which resides on your PC), Garmin Connect (which is their web-based program), and Dailymile. They all have their pros and cons, but SportTracks easily beats them all for downloading data, syncing with other data, and supporting a variety of analysis and reporting tools--including third party plugins.  The only place SportTracks falls behind in is the social aspect...and there is a "dailymile plugin" that grabs your data and exports to DM with just a couple of clicks. Could this be my perfect solution to logging my runs? Well, I liked the free version of the program so much, I upgraded to the full version ($35) within 12 hours!  I also grabbed a few plugins (many plugins are free, others are limited use without a fee, and some require a small one-time fee--usually around $5).  The weather application is awesome!  A few features that I REALLY enjoy...

Let's start with one of three automatically supplied run-mapping options (this is "satellite" option):
My 5-mile trail route

Quick analysis of my heart rate over the course of the run, divided by my custom-made Maffetone zones...
Heart Rate Maffetone Zones

And I can look at my pace over the full run and divide that by walk-jog-run zones:
Pace "Zones" (Walk-Jog-Run) 

All of the settings can be automated by entering your age, gender, resting HR, and maximum heart rate. Then you can create your own zones (based on pace or heart rate) and there are tons of extra ways to slice your data.  In addition to the fine graphs, there are tables summarizing all of this data too--how many miles, time, and proportion of the run are in each zone?  How often were you gaining elevation? Losing elevation?  Running on the "flats"?  And you can click and transfer the zones to the map and usually see where you are running faster/slower, where you are going up/down, where your pace is fast/slow, heart rate high/low, etc. Pretty cool, eh?

This may be just another techno gadget for running...but it's got me motivated for a while.  Maybe in a few weeks or months I'll toss it aside...maybe not.  Coach Jeff should get a Garmin watch and this software...I wouldn't see him for days as he looks at all of his running ("jogging") data! 

PS: Another neat thing about the Garmin watch is that it stores 1000 data tracks.  So I can download all of my old data to this new software in one minute.  No entering old information manually.  And if I want to go back to Garmin's own software, I can download all the newer missing data with no problem--unless I go for more than 1000 runs before I change my mind.  Gotta love technology!


Ragfield said...

This looks relatively similar feature-wise to the rubiTrack software I use on Mac OS X.

Chris said...

Not familiar with Mac software, but it could be quiet similar. SportTracks has people creating extra apps that work with it--about 80 right now. Very cool. One weather app grabs my GPS location and time data and automatically downloads weather data from local stations and incorporates it into the running data. It was written by a European cyclist so it also grabs wind data for the full route and displays that on the GPS terrain maps. Not that useful for runners, but interesting nonetheless.

Just came back from a couple days in St Louis with my brother's family. Nephew starting med school at SLU. It's even hotter in St Louis than C-U! Noticed LOTS of cyclists (and a few runners).

Ragfield said...

> It's even hotter in St Louis than C-U!

Welcome to my world. It's just been within the past week or so I've finally started to feel the slightest bit acclimated.

The software sounds cool, right up my alley.

jeff said...

I've thought some more about a gps watch....if I do, you know I won'
t be doing any of that "jogging" stuff, its all running to me, not matter what speed.

I'm geting pretty tired of all the sweating all the time with this heat but it may have broken.

Chris said...


You like to sweat...this is your perfect "sweat factory." Enjoy.

Fande said...

Theyre adding social share (tweet/fb) in ST 3.1 too.

Chris said...

That would be nice to connect with FB and Twitter.