Outside of the working life at Shape, the majority of my time is spent training for Triathlons. As we head into the New Year, I have started planning the races I am going to enter, which means I can start to get my training structured around them so that I am prepared for them come race day.
Along with this sport comes a love of numbers and statistics. Numbers are everything. They show how far, how long and how hard/easy you have gone for every session and most importantly show progression and improvement. As a digital designer and developer I am always on the look out for different platforms to store this data for future analyse.
There are a number of websites and applications that help turn your numbers into visuals for analyse and I have decided over the next coming months, I am going to try a number of them out and see which works best for me. These include Strava, Training Peaks and Train xHale to name a few. First up, Train Xhale…
So for the past couple of weeks I have setup an account with Train Xhale to see what it’s about, and my first impressions are very positive.
The first screen you see is the dashboard, which holds information of what you have planned for the current day, and upcoming day / week. It also holds a list of the races you have penciled in. Nice and simple. A nice feature with this platform is the ability to see the latest updates that have been added.
This appeals to be being a developer as it’s essentially the same as Change Log and is great to see that it is regularly being updated.
Now this is where the real business begins. The Training Diary holds all the gold. Here you can create your training plan and click through to your activities to analyse. Setting this up is very simple and quick, each day you can add what you plan to do and include your target training time / distance and include notes on the session. This is handy for adding what session you plan on doing on TrainerRoad for example, or what Man Tri Swim Set I plan on attending and where. Not only that but you can include the target intensity level of the session. This allows you make sure you aren’t increasing intensity volume to soon over the weeks.
Once you’ve added a session it is then stored in the Training Diary Calendar and is colour coded depending on the intensity level, and shows an icon for the session type along with the target time / distance. All nice and easy to analyse. Exactly what you want from a Training Plan!
Once you have completed a session and have connected your Garmin device to your computer, you can upload the activity straight into the training session you have setup in the Training Diary. Once you do this you get a lovely tick in the box to show you were a good boy and completed the session!
From this point on you can then dig into the session and see how you did. Alongside the training plan notes, you can add a description of how the session went which is handy for coaches to look at and get an insight into how you felt during the session, for example if you felt fatigued from a recovering illness. Or a good place for people to write excuses for not performing to their best ability, slackers!
You can click for more details on each session which is where you can see all your numbers in lovely tables and graphs. I must say, comparing this analyse page to ones I have used previously, I would say this one hits the nail on the head in terms of how much information is shown. There is plenty to go off, but you don’t feel overwhelmed. Nice!
The final area that I feel is worth mentioning is the Weekly analyse area. As I mentioned before, you can set the planned level of intensity per session, which is very important. And from here you can see the actual intensity of your sessions. It also creates some lovely pie charts to split this up per activity, as you can see from mine, I smashed the bike this week (see our Instagram shot of mine and Mikes pretty awesome mid-ride fuel).
There are a few other features within this platform that I haven’t chance to delve into just yet including ‘Periodisation’ which so you can really plan out peaking for your ‘A’ races. Which sounds like a great feature and one I intend to look at setting up shortly!
But for now I leave with a very positive opinion of this application!
Since reviewing this, I have also had a good play around with Training Peaks. Have a read of my thoughts of Training Peaks here.