Introducing Smashweather

Posted

Weather icons
Weather is a part of every run. You may slog through a long, midday run on a steamy August day and wonder why you even bothered. Or perhaps, on the first day of spring after a long winter, that same sun might inspire you to turn a long slow distance into a joyous fartlek. Or an approaching storm, may force you to run it out, only to get caught up in it, soaked through to the bone, leaving you overwhelmed with a glorious joie de vivre, suddenly aware of the natural world and your own glorious track star in training place in it all.

So it seems like we should put it somewhere on your By Run page. For now, we’re using free data sources for the last 30 days of history, and a paid data source for our pro user’s for the last 5 years. It’s actually a pretty mean feat, figuring out if it happened to rain on the particular patch of the planet that you were running across, on the particular hour you were running across it, four and half years ago. If you look at it that way, the data is really not bad. However, I think we might have to build some sort of edit weather functionality at some point so you can correct it when it’s wrong.

The global standards for weather types are super comprehensive. Sure 99% of the weather you might ever run in will fall neatly in the sunny to rainy spectrum you see on your local TV weather report, but what if you find yourself running in (or more likely away from, at top speed) an approaching sandstorm? Fear not! We’ve got you covered! (Well, at least, the reporting-after-the-fact bit. As far as the escaping-getting-sandblasted bit goes, I’m afraid you’re on your own.)

Also, if your run has a significant heat index (usually humidity over 50% and temp > 80F/27C) or a significant wind chill, a small triangle will appear next to the temperature that you can use to cycle your weather to view that effect.

Almost everyone should now be getting their runs updated with new data as you import them (provided they’re not more than 30 days old). And we’ve got a process running now, slowly slogging through all the back data of our pro users over the last 5 or so years, and updating the weather where it’s available. It’s looking like some locations might be having trouble. It just depends on if you’re near a supported weather station or not. We’ll be on the lookout for new data sources, and see if we can improve the data quality for everyone.

To provide the weather data, we’re currently using a combination of weather sources including: ForecastIO and OpenWeatherMap

Also, in this release we fixed the following issues:

  • Safari browser edit run bug
  • Issues with streaks on the one year view
  • Fixes for some extra pause issues with Garmin runs
  1. Neil Buesing

    This is a great addition. Nice when comparing runs to see what the weather was like between them as well.

  2. FRiC

    Great addition, but the weather display / day of the week additions seem to have broken the birthday cake icon.

      • FRiC

        That run was done at 8 PM. I’m sure some of my day time runs are much hotter than that, but I would be running in the shade with the GPS turned off. 😉

  3. Justin

    Thanks so much for fixing the streak issue! Also, some of my runs within 30 days show weather and some don’t, but they all were in the exact same geographic area.

    • Jacklyn

      We’ll take a look at it and see what the weather service provider is passing back. I’ll email you with what I find!

  4. Aaron Blair

    Awesome addition!

    It would be good to see some notables related to the weather, and even maybe some new badges? (Ran in the rain X times, Ran in super hot/cold conditions, etc.)

    Thanks!
    Aaron

    • Chris

      Right? And badges! “Snow stopping you”, “Rain man”
      It was hard to resist not putting them in this release. But there’s headliner features that got to get done first.

  5. Wilfried

    Hi, this is a great feature. But it seems to me that not the correct time is used for the temperature. It is always too cold. Could this be a TZ issue? I’m located in Germany.
    Wilfried

    • Jacklyn

      Could be a service provider issue … if so, we definitely have to get on that edit weather function. Can you send an example to jacklyn@smashrun.com? I can investigate it for you.

  6. Mike

    FYI – My temperatures are also showing too cold. Garmin says it was 90F but SmashRun says 68F. It wasn’t 68….it’s Afghanistan in the summer. But my runs from earlier this year also seem off.

  7. Chris

    Sounds like the data’s sometimes a bit disappointing. We spot checked quite a few against comments people had left and it had seemed pretty reasonable. I had really hoped it’d be better. If anyone has any suggestions for reliable services or methods (on a budget) send them along to hi@smashrun.com. In the meantime, I’ll do some spot checking and see what adjustments we can make.

  8. Adam Styles

    I wonder if the issue with temperature is that it uses the upload time rather than the run time. I ran in 23C temperatures at lunchtime and it uploaded as 14C which is the current temperature at 10pm. I cannot upload when I run as I have to use my home PC since work wont allow me to install Nike Connect.

    Just a thought.

    Love it though! Nice work.

  9. Pedro

    Great addition, but I agree with Karl-Olav – the free temperature provided to you seems rather conservative. My run yesterday was with 26-28 degrees C (even the Suunto reports that) but your source of data mentions 21C. Trust me, it was way more than this :-)

  10. FRiC

    The temperature seems to be an average temperature. I looked at a sample of my older runs from the middle of summer (April to May), and none are over 31 C. Granted I don’t run under the noon sun, but it just seems a bit strange. My run this morning was 29 C, and it was cold and rainy. Maybe I’ll try to upload a workout at noon to see what the temperature is like, provided it doesn’t rain. (It’s rainy season.)

    • FRiC

      Okay, I got 34C (heat index 41C) and it’s cloudy and windy outside, maybe I just never happened to run when it’s more than 31C. I guess temperature notables would be nice. (“was highest temperature ever.”) 😉

      • Christophe

        Alway the same route, every day ! that’s crazy :) are you a prisoner ? :p

      • Christophe

        Oops Not the same route, sorry :p You like to turn arround.

      • FRiC

        *ROTFL* Yeah I always run at the same route, only started turning around recently. 😉

  11. Mike

    Hey guys,

    I’m pretty new to the site and I think it’s great! But for the life of me I can’t find this weather info that you are talking about. Where in the world would I find it for each run?

    Thanks in adavance!

    • Chris

      Unfortunately it’s only available for GPS runs, and locations that fall into the coverage of the free data source we’re using (for nonpro users). We’ll keep trying to improve it, possibly falling back to an alternate source.

      • Mike

        Ah, OK Chris, thanks. I just thought ya’ll could pull that info from the Garmin Connect site because they track temp, humidity, and conditions.

        • Chris

          Yeah. That definitely would have made things a lot easier. Sadly, no way to do that they we’ve been able to figure out.

  12. Heather Jones

    I’ am not seeing the weather data and I have been doing gps runs. Just wondering if I’am doing something wrong.

    Thanks..

    • Chris

      Nice 5k PR today!! (you crushed mine)

      Sorry, about the weather. The coverage seems pretty limited for our free weather service. It looks like unfortunately you’re in one of the uncovered areas. But you can update it pretty easily, if you want to track it (sorry, realize it’s a poor alternative)

    • Chris

      Sorry you had to upgrade to get it. :(
      On the plus side your pace trends look awesome. :)

      We’re going to backfill all the pro users entire histories again in a day or two after we’re sure we’ve got the algorithm right. Still reserving hope we can figure something out for the non pro users outside of the coverage area…

  13. Ben Tuff

    Thanks for doing this. Really useful addition, great to have (and I was nudging for it a couple of months back!) The attention and responsiveness you give here puts most of the ‘big guys’ to shame, cough cough, Garmin.