Build Better Training Habits

With Smashrun, our goal has always been to help people become better runners, but “better” is different for everyone. Sometimes, it’s as straightforward as adding a recovery day or balancing hard runs with easy ones. Other times, it’s not so obvious, like getting enough sleep or keeping track of what you eat.

Recently I’ve started using an app called Lift to help me to “pay attention” to some of the habits that might help me improve my running beyond just logging the miles.  It’s pretty basic. You check a box when you keep a habit. I thought maybe some of you might find it helpful, so I set up a Smashrun group there if anyone wants to join me.

We’re starting off July with three fairly simple habits, in addition, to running: exercise, eat a balanced diet, and sleep before midnight. Every month, I thought we could focus on something new like proprioceptive cues, running drills or plyometrics (oh my!).

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Run Annotations

Users with GPS data can now annotate their runs within route maps!

Annotations allow you to identify events or points of interest within a specific run. It’s got some pretty awesome use cases including, but not limited to:

  • Tagging water stops on a race route
  • Noting the distance marker(s) where you paused because of a stoplight
  • Indicating where the hills are located along a trail
  • Elaborating on u-turns because of dogs and/or geese

It’s also super easy to use! Start by going to a recent run with a route map and click on the outline of your map. Once the map is loaded, just click on the notepad icon on the top left.

Notepad icon

The icons across the top of the modal are your different markers. Mouse over each one to see what they represent. The slider shows you where the annotation goes. You can also associate a sentiment (good, neutral, or bad) for all the different icons.

Annotate your run

We made descriptions optional, but it’s much nicer to mouse over an annotation and see a little tooltip about that part of your run.

Mouse over markers to see tooltips

Editing your annotations is also very easy. Just click on any of the annotations you added (or mouse over it and click on the tooltip, if you added a description) and that will reopen the modal. If you change your mind about the annotation, you’ll also see the option to remove it while editing.

Edit your annotations

Check it out and let us know if you have any questions. In addition, we also released a patch that should sort out the mismatched “fastest runs of a similar distance”, which affected a couple of users. Otherwise, we hope you like the new feature!

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Garmin integration and GPX, TCX, HRM support

After nearly 1,000 hours of coding, testing, retesting and a lot of feedback from our Garmin beta testers, Smashrun has finally released Garmin integration with added support for GPX, TCX, and HRM files!

Garmin users can import their runs by linking their Smashrun account to Garmin Connect under settings > Synced Devices. Just remember to set a minimum import date before you click sync to prevent duplicate runs from being imported (in case you’ve been using the TCX2Nike+ importer).

Runs can also be imported individually or in bulk by uploading a GPX/TCX file, which is accessible by mousing over the gear icon on Overview > click ‘Import file’.

For information on how Smashrun processes GPS data, there is a separate FAQ section that addresses questions regarding pause calculations and distance discrepancies.

If you don’t currently run with Garmin, but do run with mobile apps, we can import app data as long as they provide GPX or TCX exports. You can find a Smashrun-friendly app in the App Finder, or if you’ve been thinking about switching to a device but need to weigh the pro’s and con’s, check out the apps vs. devices section on Run Tracking 101.

Again, thanks to all of our beta testers for helping us fine tune Garmin integration! And thanks to everyone as well who take the time to give us a heads up when things don’t quite work as they should! Our user emails keep us on our toes and we’re always on the lookout for ways to make Smashrun a better place for runners.

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More fixes and an improved map

Update as of 2:45PM EST > site outage was delayed to 2:40PM EST, we expect to be back up before 5PM EST.

Just released another patch this morning that sorts out the remaining Nike import errors and missing run charts. If you had any trouble with:

  • Missing “Change in speed over route” charts for Nike+ foot pods
  • Opening certain route maps
  • Inviting friends to Smashrun
  • Following back
  • Resetting your Smashrun password
  • Setting your birthday to earn the birthday badge
  • Empty route maps for Nike+ Sportwatch
  • Different weekly mileage between Ranks and your friends drop-down
  • Linking to specific runs from the badge detail page
  • Tags breaking when you add one
  • Viewing actual pause calculation, where applicable

All sorted out! If you find otherwise, please leave us a comment or email us directly at hi@smashrun.com so we can look into it immediately.

Smashrun’s emails have also been redesigned (and all links should be working now!) in preparation for additional changes we’ll be rolling out this summer. So next time you send out an invite, it’ll look just a tad bit friendlier.

smashrun-email

And for our users who requested a different map view, we added a new default map for runs with GPS data.  If you click on a route map within By Run, all maps will default to the new version. The “switch” between views is the globe icon on the top-right corner of the map.

new-map

For our Garmin beta testers, several fixes went out with this morning’s patch including:

  • Improved pause detection
  • Revised distance calculation to better match Garmin’s summary details
  • Support for combined HRM and GPX  import via email
  • Fixed missing charts for footpod-only data
  • Fixed “Change in speed over route” charts and route maps for combined GPS and footpod-only data

For all Garmin, GPX, TCX, and HRM related issues, please email jacklyn@smashrun.com.

Nike sync fix

We had an issue affecting a small number of users who couldn’t sync from Nike. If you were one of those users, then we’ve got good news! The problem should be resolved. (hopefully)

If you notice any further problems with the Nike sync, let us know and we’ll look into it right away.

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Boston

It’s hard to find words to express the shock and sadness at the events of today. We know that some of you, some of your friends, were running and supporting the runners in Boston. Our thoughts are with you.

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A few reflections on Smashrun’s 3rd birthday

As far back as I can remember birthdays have always been as much for me about celebration as they’ve been about introspection. It’s important, I think, to occasionally pick your eyes up off the road beneath your feet and look off into the distance to be sure you’re going the right way, but also to look back behind to see if you’re happy with where you’ve been. Seeing as this past week marks Smashrun’s 3rd birthday since it’s launch, and since the vantage afforded from here is as good as any I am likely to find. I decided to write blog a post.

Smashrun is Jacklyn, Steve, and myself. We aren’t funded. We don’t have sponsorships from big fitness companies (or small ones for that matter). And for the last 3 years we’ve paid our expenses out of pocket – with the notable exception of our 6 month participation in Start-Up Chile. Thanks people of Chile!

Considering that Nike, Garmin, RunKeeper, MapMyRun, etc have literally millions of dollars in funding and large engineering/UX/design teams I think we’ve done pretty well. The thing is, when you’re working on something that you’re really passionate about, devoting yourself to it completely isn’t something that’s difficult to do. And I think that’s really the magic that has allowed us to accomplish all that we have with so little.

But what I think has really been astonishing is how much you guys have chipped in to help. When I put together the first mockups of the site, we decided to include a little line on the bottom that read:

“Questions, problems, ideas or just want to help? hi@smashrun.com”

Since then we’ve had people offer their help coding, drafting design mockups, sending detailed bug reports, beta testing new features, even offering to print smashrun decals for us. So, in a way, as much as we’ve invested in our users, they’ve also invested in us. And that to me feels a lot like family, which is a pretty wonderful thing to feel.

So, here we are, now and where are we going? Garmin support is big on the list. It’s in beta right now. We’ve been working like crazy to resolve all of the issues our beta testers have found. And it’s almost ready.

We’ve also made the decision to allow pretty much unlimited running histories. We’re hoping that one doesn’t come back to bite us. Between all the new Garmin data and the extended histories, our database is now growing at nearly a gigabyte a day. Our current servers are holding up, but at this rate, they won’t be for long.

Clearly, for Smashrun to grow and thrive, it’s going to need to be self-sufficient. So with that in mind, we’ve also been working on some “pro” features. These are things that we’ve always wanted to build, but that we knew would put a big load on our servers if we did. By making these features part of a subscription, we hope to cover our server costs, but more importantly we want to be able to fund the development of all of the cool stuff you’ve been suggesting to us. (Shout-out to those who completed their surveys. We’re listening and taking notes.)

So happy birthday Smashrun! Thank you to everyone who’s been with us from the beginning. And thanks to everyone who’s joined along the way. Hopefully next year our family will be a lot bigger, and we’ll have built a lot of those features you’ve requested and that we’ve always wanted ourselves.

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Mid-March Update

Hi everyone,

Last night, at 11:03PM EST, we released our second patch for the February Release. Any issues associated with delays in importing Nike+ GPS data or problems with loading maps have been resolved. Please let us know if you find any other problems and we’ll make sure it goes out in our final patch!

In addition, we also included a button within badge details that lets you “relive the joy” of earning your badges. Here ya go – give it a test drive.

longStairs

You can even share the badge url or post it to Facebook and when someone else clicks on it, they get to see it in the same way you did when you first earned it. Yeah!

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More things are coming over the next few weeks and thanks so much to everyone for the ongoing feedback.

Happy running, Smashrunners!

Quick patch

We just released a patch for a number of issues that popped up after our release last week.
Thanks to everyone who emailed us about the problems you’ve encountered. Hoping this should resolve a great many of them.

If you’ve had trouble with:

  • Syncing runs from Nike
  • Editing manual runs
  • Importing from or linking to Garmin (beta testers)
  • Getting a Corleone Badge before missing any days
  • Missing runs charts.
  • Missing maps

Hurrah! We’re reasonably sure you should be all sorted out.

If you’ve had trouble breaking your 10k PR. Then we suggest you use another browser besides Internet Explorer, and hold down shift while clicking refresh immediately before your next run.

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February 2013 Release Notes

We are super excited to share with you our very first release for 2013! We’ve got running streaks on the Overview pages, and route maps are finally here!

You can view your longest streak on a yearly or monthly basis and we threw in a couple of easter eggs (like my sad Wylie Coyote) to make it more interesting as you hit certain milestones.

longest streak

Then, in preparation for Garmin’s integration, we’ve brought back the ability to re-import your running data with GPS so that we can backfill any of your old runs with its corresponding route map. You can access the re-importer on settings > SYNCED DEVICES.

Reimport

However, before you opt-in to reimport all of your Nike+ GPS data, it’s very important to understand that doing so could change your current stats on Smashrun (and, for the most part, in a very good way!)

You see, every run tracking device has a different way of processing your metrics and smoothing out the data. So every time you import your run from one source into another, there are algorithms that are being applied to clean up the pauses or breaks in GPS. Some methods are more accurate than others. To ensure that any run you upload into Smashrun is handled consistently regardless of what device you used to record it, we need to start calculating your run details from scratch. This means that re-importing your data will allow us to calculate your metrics using only the trackpoints in your GPS data.

The upside to this is that we’ll be able to provide you with more analysis since we’re backing the summary details straight from the source. The downside is that what you see on Smashrun will not always match what you see on Nike+, but it’ll always be very close. Not to mention, your route maps will look pretty friggin’ awesome.

routeMaps-blog520x91

Rio520x310

But if you’d rather not touch your old stats, don’t worry about the re-import (you don’t have to do it). You’ll still get your route maps for each new run you sync going forward! Yay!

Let us know your thoughts. We’re actively testing Garmin with a few users over the next week and hoping to get it out to everyone as soon as we can. Hope you guys like the new additions!

PS: We did add several new privacy options in conjunction with the release of route maps. So if you wanted to only show the shape of the map but remove any actual location details and remove the ability to click on it, you can do that as well. Just go to your settings page > scroll to the bottom > expand privacy settings and check what you want to apply > click save changes once you’re all set.

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