TomTom Integration

A few weeks ago, TomTom approached us about becoming an early adopter of their new API Program. We’re happy to say that the process was pretty smooth and the integration is now live!

The original TomTom Runner and the newer TomTom Spark are rock solid GPS watches. You can pick up the original Runner for well under $100 on Amazon. It’s got remarkably good GPS and nice big numbers on the display. The new Spark is more expensive but it’s leaner with an updated interface. It also and adds options for an optical heartrate sensor unlike most, according to DC Rainmaker this one actually works. Spend a bit more and you can get built in Bluetooth music streaming. This means you can leave the iPod and chest strap at home, which is, well, just really awesome. Both the watches also have several modes for running including the ability to set target pace, target HR, or set individual run goals by time or calories instead of just distance.

Here’s how you import your runs from TomTom MySports

Note: If you’ve ever synced your TomTom runs through Nike+ or via a 3rd party app sent by Tapiriik, you should definitely set a minimum import date to avoid potential dupes.

While logged in, go to the Synced Devices page, scroll down to TomTom and click ‘Connect’. You’ll be prompted to authenticate with your TomTom MySports account. Once you’ve entered your credentials and clicked ‘Authorize’, you’ll be all set to sync!

tomtom-integration

Just two things to note:

  1. If you disconnect your TomTom account on Smashrun, the only way you can reconnect is by removing Smashrun as a 3rd party application on TomTom MySports and then you can reconnect.
  2. TomTom is currently sending your runs in GPX format. That means, if you run on a treadmill, there’s no GPS points, so we can’t calculate your splits. Instead, you’ll only be able to import the summary details. We’re following up on this to see if there are plans to fix it.

We’ve tested the TomTom integration as best we could but, like all new integrations, we need your help to make it perfect. So, if you find anything unusual, please send us an email at hi@smashrun.com so we can take a look!

PS – The excellent TTWatcher app still works, so if you’d prefer not to skip sending your runs to MySports before syncing to Smashrun you can still do that.

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New mobile site + race stuff

We pushed out a few new features yesterday. The big one is that we’ve improved the usability of Smashrun on your phone’s mobile browser. It’s only a step, but a fairly big step. It used to be that Smashrun worked great on mobile for anyone with extremely tiny fingers, 60/20 eyesight and an 8″ or larger phablet. But as of yesterday all that changed. Now you can totally get by with 20/20 eyesight. In this release:

    • Your run syncs automatically the first time you open the browser.
    • The most used features have found their way into a hamburger menu
    • You can click to zoom into the more detailed charts.
    • The friends view might actually be better on the phone than the desktop.

Friends mobileMobile charts zoomedMobile menu

That said, this is definitely a half step. It’s a long way short of a full blown mobile app, and the main dashboards are still configured the same way as they are on the desktop, so less than ideal for the mobile form factor. But progress is progress, and we’re hoping that this will take some of the pain out of using Smashrun on your phone. Meanwhile we’ll continue to work to make things even better. Please be sure to send us any bugs you encounter or issues with particular phones. We’ve done a fair bit of cross platform testing but we’ll definitely need your help to get it to 100%.

We’ve also bundled in a few other small but pretty cool things…

Your races now show up as stars on the calendar navigation.

race-300x149

And for Pro users they show up as circles on your pace trends.

Pace trends races

And while you’re on the pace trends you can now change your reference time to see relative improvement over a variety of set distances.

Pace trends reference time half marathon

In addition we’ve patched over 2 dozen bugs, and undoubtedly introduced a few more, so please give us a heads up if you encounter any.

Keep  your eye out for a direct TomTom integration in the next couple weeks.

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Microsoft Band Integration

Microsoft Band 1 and 2

The Microsoft Band 2 is packed with 11 sensors including a barometric altimeter (whoop!), accelerometer, optical HR sensor (bit delayed) , gyrometer, GPS (fast syncing), skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, ambient light sensor, capacitative sensor, microphone, and a galvanic skin response sensor. Its GPS quality rivals the top dedicated running watches (although sampling rate is a bit low), and it’s got 24/7 heart rate monitoring, all in all it’s a pretty slick device to track your running.

So we integrated it with Smashrun!

Set up is super easy.

While logged in, go to the Synced Devices page > scroll down to Microsoft Health and click ‘Connect’. It will prompt you to authenticate with your Microsoft account and you’re all set. At present we’re just pulling in running data, but we’ll see how demand is and may consider making use of some of the other data down the line.

Feel free to reach out to us at hi@smashrun.com if you have any questions or problems!

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New Badges!

As of today, there’s now 35 more badges that you can earn on Smashrun! Here’s what you need to know.

The Smashrun Pro badge series are the first badges where you can choose which runs count towards them. Basically, you can choose to earn them based on your registration date (that means we calculate the badges retroactively so you might earn a lot of them immediately) or based on the day you unlock them (such as from today onwards).

Some badges – like the travel series – are harder to earn if you’re starting from today, so you may be tempted to calculate your new badges based on the date you registered. But if, like many other Smashrunners, you have a long and multifaceted training history, you might find that you’ll earn at least half of all the new badges if you set the calculation to your registration date.

Either way – it’s up to you. And, if you change your mind, you can switch your badge calculation date for the Pro series on your profile settings. Below are the details on the new badge series!

Explore the World

travel-series

For runners who often go on “destination runs” or have the willpower to run while on vacation, there’s now a set of badges for travelers. Think of them as a good excuse to run in a new city, or just extra motivation to bring your running shoes the next time you schedule a trip abroad.

Astronomical Phases

astronomical-phases

There are early birds and there are night owls. Then there are those who like to schedule their running around sunrise and sunset. We like to think that there’s something a little special about running during certain astronomical phases, so we created the sunrise, sunset, full moon, and solstice badges. You can even start with the Winter Solstice, which is coming right up!

Further to Farther

further-to-farther

Some of these badges can be as challenging or as easy as you’d like it to be. The thought behind it is pretty simple – run a longer longest distance each month. That means it’s up to you. You can even tailor it to a training plan you’ve got in mind. Or you can use it as motivation to build up for your next event.

Pace Variability

pace-variability

Pacing, as a strategy, is one of the most successful ways to set personal bests. The pros swear by it. There’s empirical evidence to back it. And, honestly, it just makes a lot of sense. So, consider these as training badges towards your next several personal bests!

Alternating Days

alternating-days

We did the streaks, extended the streaks, and went as far as challenging runners to do a Leap Year Sweep! (By the way, 2016 is a Leap Year, if you want in on that badge.) This time, we’re rewarding runners who have a different kind of stick-to-it-ness. When you’re trying to break out of a rut, you need consistency. And running every other day is not a bad place to start.

Elevation Gained

elevation-gained

You can now earn an Everest badge! And you don’t even have to earn it in one single run. You get a whole month to stack up your elevation gains. If you’re not much of a hill runner – time to shake things up!

Great Ascents

great-ascents

These are harder than the elevation series. You have to earn each badge in one run. Just think of how awesome your legs and glutes will look after ascending the tallest man made structure in the world sans elevator.

Whew! Hopefully, these badges can keep you motivated during the dreadmill months!

UPDATE
Gareth Beavis is going to attempt to earn every single Smashrun badge in 2016. He’s tilting at windmills, foolhardy at best and totally insane at worst, but I can’t wait to read about his attempt in his regular column on TechRadar.

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FitnessSyncer Integration

Smashrun is now integrated with FitnessSyncer, a cloud synchronization service that helps you consolidate and publish your fitness data into multiple platforms. It’s free and it automatically syncs your activities, and lets you back it up on Amazon S3 or DropBox, every night. If you’re using a Withings scale, you can also use it to keep your weight data up-to-date on Smashrun!

How it works

To set it up, register an account on https://www.fitnesssyncer.com/sign-in and click on Account. You need to add each data source and destination separately. You can also apply filters to each source so that you’re only grabbing the activities you want to include.

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When you add Smashrun as a Destination Task, set it as Type: “Synchronize with Service” > Sync Type: “Activity” > Destination: “Smashrun” > Save. FitnessSyncer will then grab your activities from the source and push them to Smashrun every night.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 5.21.12 PM

FitnessSyncer supports a lot of different apps and, uniquely, Google Fit, Microsoft HealthVault, FitBit, and MapMyFitness. It also lets you schedule a weekly email report that gives you a summary of all your different fitness activities, whether it’s running-related or not. Give it a go and let us know if you have any questions!

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Exclude bad HR and bad elevation

Last night, in preparation for next week’s release, we added two new tags within the By Run page that allows you to exclude bad elevation and/or HR data from any runs. So, in the event that you lose GPS, find yourself with spiky elevation or HR, you can just click on the “Bad Elevation” or “Bad HR” tag and we’ll remove it!

Matterhorn

Here’s how it works

You can use the tags for personal reference (e.g. they won’t recalculate anything) or you can use the tags to actually remove the data from any calculations or visualizations where they apply.

For Smashrun Pro users, you will be prompted if you’d like to exclude elevation data from the Overview pages, the Pro Map, the Change in pace over route chart, and your Training Bands. If you click “no”, the elevation data isn’t actually excluded – it just highlights the tag.

For HR data, both Pro and non-Pro users can click on “Bad HR” to exclude HR data from a particular run. That means it will no longer show up on your pace chart. If you’re using Smashrun Pro, we’ll also exclude HR from the Pro Map and your Training Bands.

Note: if you’ve ever run with a friend and you’ve had to use their data because your watch died or your app flaked in the middle of the run, you can also use the bad HR tag to remove their HR in case they happened to track it.

And, if you mistakenly apply either tag, you can undo it by deselecting the tag(s).

We hope you find them useful!

There are also a few fixes and additions
  • For Smashrun Pro users, when you double-click a highlighted segment on the pace chart, it now auto-zooms into that segment within the Pro Map
  • We now detect “walks” and “run/walks” and have adjusted the way cadence is displayed for them in the Pro Map
  • “Walks” will have the “fastest similar walks” instead of “fastest runs of a similar distance” displayed in By Run
  • Duration is now displayed on the List page

As always, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, let us know by emailing us at hi@smashrun.com.

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Caledos Runner Integration

Caledos-Smashrun integration

Windows Phone users can now use Caledos Runner to track runs and auto-send it to Smashrun! Caledos is a free app that supports SensorCore technology and Bluetooth SMART devices. It has built-in audio cues in 9 languages and just recently released live tracking. Setup is super easy, it’s free, and you can even run with it “offline”.

To set it up, load Caledos Runner on your Windows Phone, then:
– go to settings > Share
– select Smashrun > authenticate
– enabling sharing

Caledos Settings
Sharing Enabled

After each run, when you click save, you’ll be prompted to share your run to Smashrun!

Share run

Make sure you give it a go if you’re on the lookout for a Windows Phone running app! The developers are also pretty cool and they are quite keen to hear from their users. Just check out their ongoing collection of postcards from runners all over the world.

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New outdoors map

When Mapbox released their Run, Hike, Bike map, we thought it would be a step closer towards better route discovery. Yet, we found that it didn’t really do a good job of highlighting the information that runners might care about most.

At our default zoom level when displaying your run, you don’t really see much. And the streets, regardless of whether or not it’s a main thoroughfare or a motorway, are virtually indistinguishable.

run, hike, bike

This is okay for a minimalist map, but we wanted it to be better. So we switched over to Mapbox’s Outdoors map, which includes the same elevation detail, but with greater landcover data so it’s easier to discover trails, hikes, or footpaths that are off the beaten track.

Then we modified it to de-emphasize anything that runners don’t really care about such as:

  • miscellaneous points of interest including shops, hospitals, universities, etc.
  • colorful building outlines
  • green areas that you can’t actually go to (like areas of tourist attractions)

Afterwards, we differentiated the main roads and motorways from streets and highlighted any footways, paths, designated hikes, and trails (they’re all some shade of dotted green line) – basically, any place where you can probably run, you’ll be able to find it. Bike paths are shown as red dotted lines for anyone who wants to avoid them (or for the duathletes among us).

We toned down the colors (a lot), adjusted the level of detail per zoom level, included some additional basic points of interest like tramways, and railways – if you really zoom in, you’ll find the cafe’s (for the early birds) and bars (for the night owls). And now we’ve got a slightly better map for planning runs and viewing them as well!

outdoor-runner

Of course, all of this data is entirely based on Open Streetmap (OSM), which is open sourced. So, if you see something missing or incorrect, you can just create an account/login on OSM and sort it out!

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Ghostracer integration

smashrun-ghostracer

Ghostracer is now directly integrated with Smashrun! This is hugely exciting for two reasons.

First, Ghostracer is just an all around great Android app. It’s primary feature which allows you to race against “ghost runners” representing previous runs is pretty killer. But what’s really exciting is its untethered integration with the Sony Smartwatch. This means you can run without your phone and then seamlessly upload the run to Smashrun when you get back home. And, since it’s directly integrated, there’ll be no worries about picking up pauses, heart rate, cadence, or elevation.

You can download it for your Android phone and/or Smartwatch from here. It’s also super easy to get in touch with the app’s developer on Ghostracer’s community page.

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Monthly cumulative elevation

This week we’ve added cumulative monthly elevation gain for Smashrun Pro users. It comes with a handy animation that can help you spot which months had lots of elevation gain relative to total distance run. Also, the tooltips on many of the overview charts now include a line for total elevation. Of course, time spent at grade (in the Pro Training Bands) is still the most comprehensive view for hill training, but this provides a far more familiar metric. It’s also possible that you might find it useful for tracking your progress toward earning elevation based badges…should such badges materialize in the semi-near future.

elevation

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