We’ve had our head down working on: Bulk export, Demographic ranks, and a greatly expanded API. And I’ll be honest. They are each complex challenges, but they’re also all just really very dull. Don’t get me wrong they’ll be great additions to Smashrun, but the work involved is just so exacting and tedious…
So, like a spoiled child avoiding his homework we played hooky for a day and made a new pro badge. It’s “Le Béret Vert” or as you may know it the French Foreign Legion. To qualify you need to run a at least 2,800 meters during a 12 minute Cooper Test.
The Legion itself, has a fascinating history. It has long been a beacon for the lost and abject, an opportunity for redemption and rebirth. They also get to wear really cool hats.
Note: A Cooper Test is just a 12 minute run at maximum effort. It’s used to estimate your VO2 Max. Usually you do it at a track, but any uninterrupted long flat path will do. To qualify for the badge you need to run for no longer than 12:05 and run at least 2,800 meters.
If you’re a Pro user and you tag a run as a Cooper test, you’ll see an estimate of your VO2 Max and how it compares to other people your age. Cooper tests are kind of like pain endurance tests. 12 minutes is just long enough that you can run at max effort the whole time without leaving anything in the tank. Then it really becomes a question of how much do you want to suffer to see what you’re really capable of at this point in your training. It’s a good way of seeing how your training is paying off in terms of raw cardiovascular improvement. But you’ll absolutely want to make sure you’ve had a doctor check you out first and quit running immediately if you experience any chest pain.
We’ve been pretty busy polishing up the new Garmin Push API, but we still made a little time to add some small but helpful features.
Projected finish time
If you’ve ever run a marathon, you’ve probably wondered: “If I had run the second half as fast as my first half, what would my time have been?”
Well, now you can. Just highlight a section of your pace graph on the bottom of your By Run page. And, of course, you can do the same for any segment of any distance run.
Stryd power meter support
We’re now importing running power from the Stryd power meter. Power meters are cool because they tell you how much energy you’re using instead of how fast you’re running. If you run faster but your power goes down, that means that you’re running more efficiently, and improving running efficiency is how you can see some of the biggest gains in performance. Power meters are also cool for trail runners, because they are unaffected by hills. Top athletes run fast down hills and slow up hills, but their power and heart rate stay mostly flat.
Note: We’re now importing this data whenever we can pick it up but, at present, the only way to analyze it is in the Smashrun Pro
We’ve added an option to correct the elevation for runs where the elevation looks a bit (or a lot) wonky. The data available for this correction comes from satellite topography, so the resolution is not wonderful. If you run over a bridge, it’ll show you running across the river. If you run through a tunnel, it’ll show you running up and over the top of the tunnel. GPS-based elevation data is, in general, pretty terrible and only a few lucky people have barometric altimeters (woop iPhone 7!), so there’s a lot of messed up elevation data out there. Using this option can be a big improvement.
Note that there’s over a dozen possible reference objects on the elevation correction dialog pictured above. They start with a giraffe and end with Mount Everest….not that it improves the usefulness that much, but you’ve got to admit it’s sort of neat, right?
To display the dialog and correct the elevation, click on the bad elevation tag.
After correcting the elevation, you can also click the bad elevation tag again to remove the elevation data.
After 4 weeks of testing, we’re happy to announce that the Garmin Auto-Sync is ready! We could not have done this without your help. We’d like to thank all of our users who helped out through our Garmin fund drive, and to everyone who put up with failed imports, weird data, and writing detailed bug reports to help us bring Garmin Auto-Sync out of beta.
As of today, all Garmin users who are currently Pro, or have ever had a Smashrun Pro account, will be able to connect to Garmin Auto-Sync. To enable it, just visit your settings sync page, scroll down to the Garmin Auto-Sync section and connect. Note that you should disable any pop-up blockers before trying to connect.
Once connected, Garmin will automatically push your next new run to Smashrun. It’s a good idea to disconnect or adjust your settings for 3rd party sync services such as FitnessSyncer, RunGap and, especially, Tapiriik. It can get messy when runs are pushed from two directions.
Yesterday there were some changes made to the Nike API that prevent us from syncing Nike runs to Smashrun. We’re looking into a resolution and will keep you posted.
We’ve reached out to the people at Nike’s API partner program. The program has been closed for some time, but we’re hoping that they might make an exception. We’re waiting on their response now.
Nike import is BACK UP. Still unofficial, but it’s working.
Yesterday Garmin invalidated the passwords of many users of Garmin Connect. If you’re having trouble syncing you’ll need to first login to Garmin Connect. Once there, you’ll be prompted to reset your password. After that go back to Smashrun and update your password on the Settings -> Sync page. You should then be able to sync without issue.
Note: If you’re logged in on Garmin Connect’s site already, you may need to logout and login again to receive their reset your password prompt.
We got bored working on the demographic ranks and waiting for Garmin to take our (your) money, so this weekend we decided to create some cool new badges. Since there’s absolutely no cooler badge than an FBI Special Agent badge, that’s exactly what we made.
Every year FBI agents need to meet minimum fitness requirements to pass their annual physical. This includes a 1.5 mile run within an age/sex graded pace. The minimum requirements to pass are fairly reasonable for most experienced runners, but to really excel they’re pretty challenging. So we’ve created 2 new Smashrun PRO badges. The Special Agent Badge – meet the minimum requirement for an FBI Agent, and the Super Agent Badge – score within the top 5% of all FBI agents. Good luck!
We’re still waiting for Garmin to sign off on our API request, but as soon as they do we’ll push it out to our beta testers. If you’re a pro user and want to help beta test the new API just shoot us an email.
Upside: Early access and helping the cause.
Downside: Potential failed imports and writing detailed bug reports.
If you’re in the market for a new running app (as I suspect many of you are) we’ve just gotten word that iSmoothRun has slashed its price by a whopping 60% for the next couple days. So for $1.99 you can get a rock solid app that exports directly to Smashrun, Dropbox, and a ton of other running sites.
When we started Smashrun we thought data viz + badges + running = awesome. But what we didn’t know then, was that we’d literally spend 80% of our time building a data aggregation platform against a quicksand of constantly changing API’s. Or that we’d be begging, buying and pleading our way just to be allowed access to any data in the first place. The remaining 20% of the work we’ve done has resulted in everything most people think of as Smashrun. It’s insanity. When you record a run, it should be just like taking a picture. You should own the finished product and you should be able to post it to any site you want.
So here’s the deal. We want life to be easier for our users. We want you to have great data. We want you to able to use any website or app you want without worrying about how it’s going to mess up your training history. So we’re offering a bounty to any app that integrates with Smashrun.
We have a great API. Its design is the product of learning from the work we’ve done with dozens of other fitness API’s. It favors data quality, simplicity, efficiency, and robustness — in that order. It’s vanilla OAuth. Some developers have built an integration with it in less than a day, and we’ve got tools to make debugging easier.
- Integrate with our API and send data smoothly and seamlessly immediately after a user finishes their run.
- Provide high quality data that users can use to analyze their run:
- Send the data in JSON format
- Encode pauses and laps
- No resampling!
- Include HR, Cadence and other details if you have them available
- We’ll feature your app, so that our users can discover it.
- Agree to our super straight forward terms of service.
- You can send data to any other sites you want, the more export options the better for everyone.
We’ll pay $5/yr for every Smashrun Pro user who uses the app integration.
Note: People may use many different apps, so see full terms.
This is, naturally, subject to approval and applies only to mobile apps and hardware devices, not fitness syncers – you must be the originator of the data.
So please spread the word!
Please tell your favorite apps or, if you’re a developer, maybe now’s a great time to build your own.
Apply for access to the Smashrun API and let us know if you’re interested in the app integration bounty.
We’ve finished the initial development of the new Garmin API Autosync integration. We’ll begin a very short beta period after Garmin flips the switch next week, following which we’ll roll it out to all pro users.
It appears that the runs from the new Nike Run Club app aren’t made available through the Nike API. Right now, we’re not sure what we can do to get them. Either they’re there, or they’re not. This is frustrating to say the least. Between the recent changes to the Nike website and the new changes to the app we’re hearing a lot of negative feedback, and I’m not sure what the fallout will be. If anyone uses any apps that successfully get data from the new app, please give us a heads up. Right now, it looks like every app we know of that uses Nike data is broken…