Running in a pandemic

For some, running is a solitary experience, a chance to be by yourself, to collect your thoughts alone and be lost in nature. But for many of us, it’s something very different – running through city streets and crowded thoroughfares, passing through throngs of people.

And so now, we each have a choice to make. Suddenly we’re responsible not just for our own health, but the health of our loved ones and the health of our community. How much risk are we taking? And how can we mitigate those risks?

For those running streaks, the choice can be much harder. A streak is something you’ve invested in. Many runners haven’t missed a day this year, but others are on multi-year streaks. These streaks are a real accomplishment, they represent hundreds of hard choices where you put your health first when you really didn’t feel like running. But now, suddenly, that math has changed.

We can take less busy routes. We can cross the street. We can wear a mask. We can head straight to the shower when we’re done. But at the end of the day, each run represents a non-zero risk not just to ourselves but to others.

Being human means taking on and managing risk. We weigh the variables and we make informed choices. Sometimes we’ve run by motorways, or down icy trails, or pushed our body and heart to the limit to hit a PR. But those choices were different. They were personal choices.

And sometimes, and I don’t say this lightly….sometimes, the trappings that go along with those choices can really make things complicated. Trappings like streak numbers, goals you’ve set for yourself, and super-awesome-and-rare badges.

So, I have a proposition. If one day, you go to leave for your daily run, and you think “I’m not really sure this is a good idea.” Just do this: *Skip the run* Give yourself a pass. Sure, you ran through rain and snow. You ran on hot days and freezing ones. You ran for a dozen days in a row, you ran for a hundred or even a thousand. But, today, you didn’t run because it wasn’t the right thing to do. And that’s a good thing.

If you decide to make that choice, we’ll sort out the badges and even the streak counters. There’s a global pandemic. You get a pass. Email us, and we’ll figure it out. We’re not sure how we’ll implement it just yet. But even if it means writing code for specific for individual users we’ll do what’s needed, just email us and let us know.

Better streak tracking

We’ve adjusted the streak tracker to make it a bit easier to keep track of your current streak. Now, if you’re running a streak but it’s not your longest streak, we display your current streak alongside your longest streak.

Like this…

And likewise if you’re taking a break from running, but it’s not the longest break you’ve taken, then we also show your current break.

Like this…

That said, if you’re not on a streak or on a break (or if your longest streak/break is the one you’re currently in the middle of) the streak tracker will look the same as it always has.

This release also contains dozens of assorted bug fixes. If you’ve reported a problem recently then the odds are that it should be patched in this release. If not, let us know, as we’ll sort it out.

Earn badges again

Update Jan 3, 2020. If you decide to reset your badges, but you’re also going for the 366 days in a year badge, then you’ll run into an issue, because your badges will start counting from the day you reset it. Email us at hi@smashrun.com and we’ll manually adjust the reset date to Jan 1.

For many of us there’s this kind of honeymoon period with the badges on Smashrun. You earn a few badges, it seems silly, but fun. You set your eyes for some harder ones. Before you know it you’re running a streak, you’re building a staircase, you’re piling on longer and longer runs each month. And what started out as just a little fun, has ended up transforming you into altogether better runner. It’s the Smashrun magic.

But then you run out of badges to earn. The magic wears off a bit. Sure you don’t need badges to motivate you to run, but it might be nice to have something to shoot for again.

Starting today, we’ve got a pretty good solution to this problem. If you’re a Smashrun pro user you can go to your Settings page and select reearn badges.

What this will do, is take all of your existing badges and add a +1. That’s it. All the badges will start again with your next run. Run a mile or more for your next run – You’ll get the 1 mile badge. Good on ya!

Now, let’s say, you do this, and suddenly you think: “Good lord, what have I done! I only had one stair left in my Towering Staircase. Now I’m back at the first step!”

No problem. Just click Undo. This will get rid of your +1’s and flatten everything out just the way it used to be.

So, let 2020 be a year of badges! Start your staircase. Kick off your streak. Or just take the simple pleasure of counting off each new month with 10 days of running.

The Leap Year Sweep

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a chance to put your running front and center. 2020 is also a leap year, and that means that it’s a chance to pick up one of the most rare and coveted badge on Smashrun – the Leap Year Sweep.

To get it you’ll need to run every single day for 366 days starting on Jan 1. There’s no minimum distance requirement (although some people set one for themselves). You just have to run Every. Single. Day.

That means scheduling, making sacrifices, and being very, very careful to avoid injury. You’ll need to listen to your body, keep the long range goal in mind, and not take risks by going too hard or too far than your body is ready.

If you pull it off, you’ll earn at least 5 badges, but more importantly you’ll have taken your running to a whole new level.

There’s a reason that just 137 people have earned it. If you want to take a shot you have to commit now and stick with it. Are you in?

NOTE
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We hit Strava’s daily rate limit today. This is pretty disappointing, but the first time it has happened so far. We’ve had a lot of new registrations connecting to Strava today, so hoping this won’t be a problem going forward.

That unfortunately means, until the rate limit resets, you’ll need to upload a TCX or FIT file.

Plan your goals

You can now setup your goals for months in future. It’s simple. Just select the date, and add your goal. 🙂

* Note that the dates will be greyed out because there’s no data yet.

Virtual Runs
We’ve also added another small improvement. If you run on a a treadmill that does virtual runs (like a Zwift for example), then you may find yourself collecting location notables for places you’ve never physically been. You can now tag these runs as “Virtual” and that will solve the problem.

New integrations are live

Import for Suunto, Polar, Strava, Fitbit and MapMyRun

You can now import from 5 new sources: Polar, Suunto, Strava, Fitbit and MapMyRun!

This means that Smashrun now supports every single app and watch with an open API. There’s still a lot of closed ecosystems out there (we’re looking at you Nike), but this should still give you a lot of flexibility to run with what you want, and use it with Smashrun.

Some things to keep in mind before syncing a newly supported source:

  • We try to do our best to prevent duplicates, but for some of these sources the start times can be a little off the original source. This can sometimes create dupes, if you already have runs on Smashrun that you’ve synced another way. So remember: set a minimum import date.
  • If you notice an issue, please send us an email at hi@smashrun.com We’ve done our best to address all the issues that came up in the beta, but sometimes there’s problems unique to certain accounts or certain runs, we’ll fix them as soon as we can, but be sure to let us know.
  • Remember, there’s a ton of ways to get your data on Smashrun. In addition to syncing from a support source, you can import via email, use an integrated app, or import FIT/TCX/GPX files directly. You can even zip up a whole bunch of files and import that.
  • More importantly, there’s also a ton of ways to get data out of Smashrun. Unlike many sites we’ve spent a lot of time making sure you can easily export high quality data and store it for you records, or use it on another site.
    • You can request a full export.
    • You can export individual runs.
    • You can use our API (immediately without prior approval).
    • You can export a CSV file you can use in Excel

Thanks to all the beta testers who helped us iron out the bugs! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Revising your Run Report

Do you ever get your Weekly Run Report on Monday, and then immediately get a sinking feeling because you forgot to upload your long run on Sunday, but now it’s too late?

Starting this Monday, there’s a solution for that. If you add old runs after the run report goes out we’ll automatically send you a revised version with the new updates included. This process will run once per hour in the 24 hours after the run report goes out. As long as you remember to sync your runs sometime in that period you’ll soon find a revised report in your inbox.

New ways to highlight your best runs

When a friend asks you, “How was your run?” there’s usually a lot more to share than just how far and how fast you ran. Maybe it was a slog along a muddy trail by a river, or maybe it was hilly race on country roads in the rain. Now you can share those details on Smashrun.

Let’s say you’re feeling pretty good about your last run. The first step is to click the like button. Liking your own run will alert your friends that you’re feeling pretty good about it, and it will show up in their notifications feed. Then you can add tags to fill your friends in on the details. 

But, let’s say you’re not feeling that great about a run. It’s not a bad run per se, maybe it’s just the kind of run you don’t want to bother your friends with. For example, a short recovery run where you took a long break in the middle for a visit to a public restroom. If you click the new “No Social” tag, the run will disappear from the social feed entirely. 

Note: If you have social disabled, this is entirely unnecessary because all your runs are private.

 

When you’re tagging a run you feel pretty good about using any of the tags on the tag popup will modify your notification. When the algorithm can figure out a way it will combine the tags to come up with a meaningful notification.

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of notifications you can create:

(hard + no sleep + parkrun)

 

(muddy + hill repeats + new shoes)

 

(a 26.2 mile run tagged with scenic + riverside)

 

 


We also put out a few recent bug fixes…

  • Fix for the 1st week of the month calendar bug (sorry about that)
  • Fix for km/mi switch when a user is logged out
  • Fix for “Run location sometimes now showing up”
  • Streak now displays correctly in the user profile popup
  • Fix for some Garmin runs which weren’t syncing correctly
  • Show confirmation before unlinking an account that is still importing run details
  • Fix for splits showing up in miles in the Facebook share image when account is set to KM
  • Fix for a rare issue importing some FIT files

 

 

3 new ways to share your runs

We’ve improved sharing on Smashrun! Now you can choose between three different images to share on Facebook or Twitter, and highlight the information that matters most for that run.

Sharing Modal

Runs with GPS

Take advantage of the Smashrun Pro map and share a more detailed visualization of your running route. Choose to display your pace graph, elevation profile, or HR data depending on the type of run.

For example, intervals tend to look better when visualized by pace.

Run with GPS

Whereas, trail runs are often better viewed with an elevation profile.

Run with Elevation

Footpod runs

Similar to our original format for shared runs, activities that only contain pace data and lack GPS can be shared as pace graphs including the HR, if available. You can also choose to share GPS runs this way, if you don’t want to publicly post your map.

Footpod run

Manual entries or treadmill runs

And if you happened to run indoors or don’t want to share your route/pace graph, due to bad GPS, you can also share a watch face with two data fields including the run’s notables. And if there are more than 5 notables, we’ll take the top 5 🙂

Manual run or treadmill

Your privacy settings will still apply to how you share your runs. And you can share the same run in different ways depending on what you want to post on Facebook or Twitter. Currently, the Facebook sharing option will now also allow you to post a run to a group instead of just your timeline. Win!

FB share options

From the share modal, you can also control how you want to be prompted to share your runs. You can choose to be prompted after each new run, after only particularly good runs, or to never be prompted at all.

When to share

Regardless of which option you choose you can always manually share a run by clicking on the share icon from your “By run” or “Run list” page.

Share run to Twitter or Facebook

Share run to Facebook or Twitter

Questions about sharing? Leave us a comment or send us an email at hi@smashrun.com.

Now go share some great runs!

Mobile updates for social

This week, we released some changes to Social making it easier for you to interact with your friends and followers, view your notifications, and add or invite your friends on mobile!

We decided to disable the Explore view on mobile for now, but we are working on releasing a modified mobile-friendly version. Additionally, if you need to update your Social privacy settings, you can do it by clicking the menu on the top-right, then choose “Privacy Settings”. Remember that you’ll need to select one of four social configuration options in order to use or disable Social.

You’ll find the Social and Notification buttons at the bottom of the Overview pages.

Once you load Social, you can switch activity feeds by clicking on the top left icon for the current view. You can also click on user profile photos to load their bio and quick stats.

To view different time periods when comparing Quick Stats or Trends, just click any of the Trailing Sum options.

As always, if you have any questions or if you happen to come across any issues, please don’t hesitate to email us at hi@smashrun.com 🙂