Information - Design - Overview

Trainalyse is based on the idea to provide the functionality of a desktop application on iPhone/iPad. Hereby, the small screen of a mobile device implies the challange to present lots of information in a small area. Many apps solve that problem by presenting the different information of an activity in lists. In consequence, certain aspects disappear almost always from the screen. Further functionality is often strongly simplified, e.g. certain measurements are dropped or configurability is not made available. In Trainalyse, the solution for these challenges are hidden menus and the reduction of almost all options onto a symbol representation. This enables a compact representation while still providing many information and options. A good example is the hidden menu of the plotter: All measurement values can be made visible/invisible and the x-axis can be changed from time to distance and back.


Comparability - No Auto-Scaling - Configurability

Almost all sports apps and web portals scale the y-axis of their plots automatically. This leads to two challenges: First, the scaling becomes suboptimal in case there is only one irregular measurement. Second, it is difficult to compare the plots of different activities. The "height" of a curve is not in fixed relation to a measure because the minimum and maximum fluctuates between different activities. Trainalyse uses another method in contrast: The upper and lower border of a measure are configured via the zone configuration by the user. On the same time the colors of the zone configuration are used for the map visualisation. Further the zone configuration defines the range of a single zone, e.g. used in the "time in zone" evaluation. Therefore, the zone configuration is a key feature in Trainalyse. But configurability in Trainalyse goes further: it is possible to configure the granularity of the segments in the segment view (1, 2, 5 km/mi, at pauses), to configure the basis of the summation in the zone view (time/distance/percent), to configure the metric visualised on the map, ...


Data from GPS based recordings has often a poor characteristic: The speed fluctuates strongly from one data point to the next. The reason for this is the inaccuracy of GPS, as well as rounding inaccuracies regarding timestamps in most recording software. This results often in fluctuating plots and color jumps from segment to segment in map visualisations. Trainalyse includes an algorithm that optimises the data automatically in a way that strongly reduces unrealistic speed jumps. The algorithm does not simply compute a simple wide rolling average leading to a strong "smoothing" of real speed changes: It uses a special procedure consisting of multiple steps. The results are harmonic color changes on the map and plots without unrealistic "nervous" measurement curves.

Import via Dropbox

Trainalyse is independent from the recording application/watch as long as the three common exchange file formats FIT/TCX/GPX are supported. There are several ways to load data into Trainalyse; for example from the email app via "open with". But, the most simple way is via Dropbox. Trainalyse is able to import FIT/TCX/GPX files from any folder existing in a Dropbox. The files are not deleted from Dropbox while/after importing them. Trainalyse searches automatically for new files and downloads only these new files. In result, the export folder of a recording app (e.g. iSmoothRun) can be configured as import source in Trainalyse. After finishing an activity, export it it the recording app, start Trainalyse and start an import. The new activity will show up automatically in the activity list. The file will stay in Dropbox as a backup. It is also possible to incorporate internet portals such as Garmin Connect or Strava, however only via a workaround: The website enables to synchronize data between those portals and Dropbox. However, the raw data from a sport watch is often the best choice: Especially swim recordings loose sometimes details and metrics during the import to those web portals.

Import via "Open With"

FIT/TCX/GPX files can be send to Trainalyse from any other app via the "open with" functionality of the iOS operating system. After opening the share dialog, Trainalyse will appear in the list of possible target apps. One click is enough and Trainalyse will be opened and the file is being imported.

Import via ANT+

A specialty for owners of a sport watch with support for the ANT-FS file-transfer protocol (e.g. the Garmin Swim or Forerunner 610): Trainalyse is able to import activities directly from an ANT-FS capable watch via an ANT-Dongle. This way it becomes possible to evaluate the own performance directly after a workout.

Performance Analysis Sharing

It is possible to share the detailed analysis of an activity. Trainalyse generates an image with the current plot, or only the average values. This image can be shared with other people via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Email.

The Analysis View

The analysis view provides methods for analysing the performance during an activity. Four analysis methods are available: Plot, Map, Segments, Zones. The plot shows the measurements over time or distance. The visibility of measures can be enabled/disabled. The map visualisies the available measures via colors in geographic context. The segments view shows average and absolute values for segments of an activity in a table. The table cells can be colored according to the corresponding zone. The granularity of the segments is configurable. The zone view shows the fraction of time/range the athlete stayed in a certain measure zone. The configuration of those four analysis views is provided by hidden menus (see screenshot at Information - Design - Overview).

The History View

The history view has two purposes in Trainalyse. First, it offers a fast overview about the reached pensum in the last year/month/week. It can be switched between "current" and "last" for every timeframe. The aggregation for all sports is shown per timeframe. Below that numbers are the time/distance sum and averages of important measures for each sport located. This tiles are links for the history of the corresponding sport/timeframe combination, leading to the second purpose: The history (running/monthly in the screenshot) shows the pensum as well as the performance values in the different timeframes. It enables for example to judge a speed improvement over several months while keeping an eye on the change of the heart rate.

The List View

This is the default view in Trainalyse. All activities are shown in chronological order. The net time and distance as well as the average for the most important measures are visible. This allows a very brief first comparison of performance per activity.

The Fast-Select View

There is a "fast-select" view in Trainalyse in order to compare tracks in a fast and convenient way: The activity view is extended by a small activity list. Hereby it is possible to switch between the detail views of different activities. Therefore it becomes possible to compare plots or zone-percentages between different activities.

The Calendar View

The calendar view enables a fast overview of the number of activities performed in a certain timeframe. Especially the 6-month-view offers a good overview. The 4-week view presents also time and distance as well as the average values of important measures; thus the performance is more easy to judge.

The Settings View

The settings view allows to configure synchronisation (e.g. Dropbox), change units, as well as configure zones. Hereby, the zone configuration is the central element to adapt the analysis in Trainalyse to ones particular needs. The configuration of single measures can be done for each sport individually (except for heart rate). Zone borders can be shifted, zones can be added, and the color of each zone can be modified. Further, the upper and lower boundary of all zones for a particular measure determines the upper/lower limit of the plotter for that measure. The only exception is altitude The altitude limits are determined by an automatic clustering to provide high resolution while allowing to compare recordings from similar terrain. Further information about the effect of zone configuration onto the analysis modules in Trainalyse is available here: Comparability - No Auto-Scaling - Configurability.