December 19, 2008

TrainingPeaks now support mapping for Polar RS800CX

I wanted to blog this few weeks ago when the development team of WKO+ and TrainingPeaks contacted me if I would test some RS800CX related functionality for them. But back then I promised to keep my mouth shut until they had a final version of the WKO+ and announcement ready. Oh well then there was the marathon in Philly, lots of work in the office and all of a sudden we are few weeks later and I'm only getting to this.

It was more of a coincidence as I raised a support ticker with the Peaksware about the ability to import location data from RS800cx to WKO+ and TrainingPeaks. I wanted to use the functions they provide for any GPS logs like fixing the elevation data. I was pleasantly surprised when the development team contacted me few days later and provided early version of the WKO+ that supported the direct load from RS800cx to the WKO+. I did some test runs and loaded them to the TrainingPeaks and it all looked good. My only reservation is that the resulting log when loaded to the website shows only location information with no details about lap times, lap location, etc that you can get from PPT5 and GoogleEarth. So the result is not as useful for log analysis as what the PPT5 or WKO+ offer, on the other hand TrainingPeaks has ability to share workouts with others via e-mail or Facebook. So if you use WKO+ and TrainingPeaks you get best of both worlds - analysis of individual laps and ability to share workouts with others. With this functionality in TrainingPeaks you can easily link to your workout or race record from Facebook or send the log to your friends via e-mail.

Don't get me wrong I like the TrainingPeaks log viewer as it provides quite a lot of data for everyone to look at - practically all data your HRM can capture and if you want to re-live the entire 4 hours of your marathon experience (or whatever event you did) you can chose to view it as a replay at the same speed as it was recorded (or speed it up if you do not have 4 hours to watch...). I just wish it also showed lap times and added lap location to the map - perhaps in the next update (I hope Peaksware team reads this)..

I have captured recent race with RS800cx and loaded it to the TrainingPeaks. Click on the picture below to view the TrainingPeaks log if you want to see how the log file looks once it is loaded to TrainingPeaks. You can play around with it,no worries I will not see what you did and you can not mess-up the workout log. It is only a viewer after all.


TP-log.jpg

If you wondered about what Polar offers - well currently there is no support for location info on the Polar Personal Trainer site. The only HRM company that I know provides similar service at no cost to users is Garmin with their Garmin Connect site. I used the site when I had Garmin 405 and did not find it very useful beyond sharing the workout data with friends. I much prefer the combination of training planning / logging site with ability to share info than site that is built to share data only. But the Garmin Connect site is quite nice and many users find it sufficient for their needs. I only hope they already fixed the bug with average speed/pace that only took the last lap into account so your tempo workout showed overall average pace that was equal to the last lap pace. Perhaps Polar will introduce mapping and sharing capability over time as they seem to be re-working the site quite a bit. But I don't really know if I would use it since I'm already loading my data for my coach to TrainingPeaks...


4 comments:

gear fisher said...

Yeah, we're reading it :-)

We are working to improve lap support for all our devices. You'll note we have a killer "Laps and Splits" pod in our new 3.0 system, but it is only usable with the new Timex Race Trainer, Powertap and Garmin .tcx uploads. But, we are working to make it compatible with all devices, so, give us some time, but it will be there eventually.

kxux said...

Hi Gear,

thanks for the response. I need to look at the new Laps and Splits pod in the TP 3.0. I'm still very much sticking with the original interface (kind of got used to it). I'm looking forward to see the Polar and Suunto monitors added to the list of HRMs that work with the new pod.

Your post is actually exactly the reason why I like Peaksware products. The people that develop them and bring them to the market listen to the needs of the athletes and make changes as needed. I like the enhancements your team made for Polar RS800cx and use it for runs and rides where I take my G3 along.

dsware said...

I am trying to figure out mapping. I have 800cx and the g3 foot pod. I use the device and then download to PPT. I can open a "map" of the activity, but when I try to go to google earth, it says I can not do that, something about a "KML." I also tried to download to WKO and nothing happens there either. I get the HRM data but nothing else transfers, it is shown in red when I try to save. Is it me? Thanks for your help. Dave

kxux said...

Unfortunately the integration with WKO+ has not yet been brought to the new version of the WKO+. I have been told by TP team that they will have it ready for Feb release of WKO+. I'm hoping it will come soon.

As for upload to the TP.com you can load the HR file and GPX file to the same workout just fine and that should work at this point. But I still prefer to go through the WKO+ as I log all my training there.