Training Logs for Triathletes

About a month or 2 ago I ran across a question on Facebook asking what is the best Training Log.  I’ve since been asked this question several more times recently.  Real good question, but this is also like asking what is the best car for you to drive.  The answer is….Well, it depends.  And it doesn’t really depend on all the bells and whistles that each training log has, or all of the other nifty features.  It depends on “you”, the athlete.

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Photo by: Hey Paul

There are several types of athletes when it comes to to the sport of triathlon, and more personalities that I can count.  Here are some very general examples:

  • Hardcore Henry:  Has an aero-helmet, carbon fiber water bottle holder, PowerTap, and Zipp 404’s for training rides. 
  • Molly the Mingler:  Just enjoys the sport the because you get to meet so many different types of people.  Likes to train in groups and work together toward a common goal. 
  • Tri-Geek Tony:  Loves all gadgets.  Likes to analyze data to the n^th degree.  Always looking to understand more.
  • Project Manager Paul:  Likes to have a paper trail of all training sessions.  Not so much to analyze, but more just for tracking purposes.  Paul is not trying to find the meaning of life here, but rather to show progress and completion.

So I did some research and found a pretty good list of online Training Logs for Triathletes.  At first, I signed up for each one and began tracking workout data.  This proved to be an exercise in futility, with all of the data entry processing for the different accounts. So, following is a list of the some of the training logs that I discovered, grouped by one of the athlete types mentioned above.  If you’re looking for a training log, hopefully you’ll fit one or more of the above athlete personalities and have a couple of Triathlon Logs to check out.

Note: Some training logs are mentioned more than once.  There is a huge gray area in personal preferences one may have, so I’ve included some under multiple personalities.

Hardcore Henry

  • SportTracksThis is my personal favorite.  This is an application that you can load on your PC.  You can track just about anything imaginable.  You can upload data directly from Garmin, and others sites.  There is a huge list of plugins available to add specific functionality.  This is like a an “a la carte training log”.  Computrainer Plugin makes viewing your trainer workouts a breeze.  Also cool Training Load plugin to track current fitness and taper periods. 
  • Trainingpeaks.com – It’s one of the most complete fitness tracking sites and has the most customizable UI with their "pod layout" concept. You can slice and dice workout data any way you want to.  You can upload your data in just about any format, including csv. gpx, pwx, sdf, srm, txt, wko, xml. Data can be shared for viewing if you have a personal trainer/coach. 
  • Garmin Connect -  If you have a Garmin HR Monitor, this site is great.  You basically just plug in the ANT+ to your PC after you finish your workout, and everything is synced to the Garmin Connect Website.  HR, Speed, Pace, Weekly totals are all right there for analysis.
  • Runsaturday.com – Allows for Garmin uploads, Polar, Nike+, Adidas micoach, Nokia, GPX files, any pretty much any other extension you can think of.  Also has Sport Tracks Plugin!! Sweet.  This is a really great site, and easy to use.  Once cool thing I noticed on this site was that you can check out a Google StreetView Tour, if you have the route data already loaded.  So, with biking for example you could get a rough idea what the roads and traffic are like.  Lots of neat charts, graphs, etc.

Molly the Mingler

  • Dailymile.comIt’s a social training log – Facebook for your workouts. The set up is exactly the same as your Facebook wall or News Feed.  You basically just update your Workout Feed in the same way.  This is not really for me but I could see how some folks would like this if you are training together with a group of friends to towards a common goal.  This is a good set up to keep the group accountable to each other.
  • Strands.com – Allows for uploads from Garmin, Nike+, Suunto, Polar, CSV, and GPX. Track Food, Weight(Import Withings Scale), Sleep.  Share Events like upcoming races with your friends.  Create Groups Ex: Cycling buddies, Running club, etc.  You can Follow, Be Followed (Like Twitter).
  • Runsaturday.com – Allows for Garmin uploads, Polar, Nike+, Adidas micoach, Nokia, GPX files, any pretty much any other extension you can think of.  Also has Sport Tracks Plugin!! Sweet.  This is a really great site, and easy to use.  Once cool thing I notice on this site was that you can check out a Google StreetView Tour, if you have the route data already loaded.  So, with biking for example you could get a rough idea what the roads and traffic are like.  Lots of neat charts, graphs, etc.
  • Sportypal.com – Easy to use intuitive application for your mobile phone.  You activate it when you start your running, cycling, walking, rollerblading or similar exercise.  In two simple clicks it will start to log and map your position, movement, distance, tempo and calories burned.  Not sure how useful this is.  This does not appear to be something that is integrated with your HR monitor.  This is basically just taking advantage of your GPS functionality on your phone, wrapping it up in an application so that you can share your route with others online.

Tri-Geek Tony

  • SportTracksThis is my personal favorite.  This is an application that you can load on your PC.  You can track just about anything imaginable.  You can upload data directly from Garmin, and others sites.  There is a huge list of plugins available to add specific functionality.  This is like a an “a la carte training log”.  Computrainer Plugin makes viewing your trainer workouts a breeze.  Also cool Training Load plugin to track current fitness and taper periods. 
  • Trainingpeaks.com – It’s one of the most complete fitness tracking sites and has the most customizable UI with their "pod layout" concept. You can slice and dice workout data any way you want to.  You can upload your data in just about any format, including csv. gpx, pwx, sdf, srm, txt, wko, xml. Data can be shared for viewing if you have a personal trainer/coach. 
  • Runningahead.com – Allows for Garmin uploads/Polar uploads/mapmyrun.  Reports, summaries, graphs.  This is actually a nice training long.  there’s no adds popping up all over the place.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  The layout is very simple.  The calendar has a summary of your weekly totals.
  • Logyourrun.com – Allows for Garmin uploads and others like Polar, Nike, etc…If you have data in another standardized format please contact us and we will try to set up an import filter for your data.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  This also has a simple layout with calendar that shows your weekly totals.
  • Garmin Connect -  If you have a Garmin HR Monitor, this site is great.  You basically just plug in the ANT+ to your PC after you finish your workout, and everything is synced to the Garmin Connect Website.  HR, Speed, Pace, Weekly totals are all right there for analysis.
  • Runsaturday.com – Allows for Garmin uploads, Polar, Nike+, Adidas micoach, Nokia, GPX files, any pretty much any other extension you can think of.  Also has Sport Tracks Plugin!! Sweet.  This is a really great site, and easy to use.  Once cool thing I notice on this site was that you can check out a Google StreetView Tour, if you have the route data already loaded.  So, with biking for example you could get a rough idea what the roads and traffic are like.  Lots of neat charts, graphs, etc.

Project Manager Paul

  • Ontri.com – Very basic.  Does not allow for Garmin uploads. For those that just like to manually enter their workouts.
  • WorkoutLog.com – Very Basic, but does also allow for Garmin uploads. Had to cross this one off the list(only free for 10 days).
  • Beginnertriathlete.com – Does not allow for Garmin uploads.  Can display in graphical format to show % of time in each sport. Allows you to document everything(Distance/Time/HR/Weight/Sleep/Comments, etc.  Everything needs to be done manually.  Downside is there are lots of adds to get you to upgrade.
  • Mapmyfitness.com – Allows for Garmin/Polar/GPX/Nike+ file uploads.  Easy to navigate, and manually add workouts.  Doesn’t really have a way to show what your training volume has been in the past.
  • Runningahead.com – Allows for Garmin uploads/Polar uploads/mapmyrun.  Reports, summaries, graphs.  This is actually a nice training long.  there’s no adds popping up all over the place.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  The layout is very simple.  The calendar has a summary of your weekly totals.
  • Runnersworld.com – Did NOT see a place for GARMIN uploads.  You can add/draw routes.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  This also has a simple layout with calendar that shows your weekly totals.  Also lots of calculators on this site.
  • Logyourrun.com – Allows for Garmin uploads and others like Polar, Nike, etc…If you have data in another standardized format please contact us and we will try to set up an import filter for your data.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  This also has a simple layout with calendar that shows your weekly totals.
  • Myswimbikerun.com – Allows for Garmin uploads.  You can add all data manually and quickly.  This also has a simple layout with calendar that shows your weekly totals.  No adds.

Know of a different training log that is not mentioned above that you think should be?  Post a comment so that others may benefit.

Thanks for reading!

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10 Responses to Training Logs for Triathletes

  1. wayne says:

    could someone please tell me how to transfer data from timex ironman to sporttracks? I’m stuck on training peaks at the moment and would like to try sporttracks but don’t know how to do this (if it is at all possible)

    Thanks

  2. Jeff says:

    Hi Wayne,

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this is supported yet. I checked the plugin catalog and did not see anything for the Timex GT. I have the same problem with the Computrainer plugin for the Sporttracks 3.0. I sent the folks at ST an email to find out if there are plans for support for both the Timex GT and the Computrainer. I will post here if I get a response back.

    Cheers,
    –Jeff

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  4. Jeff says:

    Wayne,

    I heard back from SportTracks regarding your Timex question. Here’s the deal:

    Hello Jeff,

    Sorry for the delay in response as our offices have been closed last week

    You can import timex global trainer files by finding the folder that the timex agent downloads them to and importing directly the “PWX” files. There are no plans to do further direct device integration as timex has exclusively partnered with training peaks for their software and is no longer open to 3rd party developers.

    With respect to computrainer, the developer of that plugin has dropped out of sight and there are currently no plans to bring this to 3.0 – the source code was never opened up to other developers, the developer can no longer be reached.

    Regards,

    -SportTracks Support-

  5. Andrew says:

    You can now upload directly from your Garmin into beginnertriathlete.com, even with a free membership. All data is uploaded, but you can only see detailed lap data with the paid memberships.

  6. Carter Ralph says:

    Yep, you can directly import pwx files to SportTracks. I do this on a daily basis, and it’s very easy. Once you locate the folder to which Device Agent saves your .pwx files and do the first import, SportTracks remembers the folder location. Here’s a hint, sort that folder by date from most to least recent so that your latest workouts show up at the top of the import dialog in SportTracks. SportTracks handles the import very well. It’s a wonderful alternative to TrainingPeaks, and I have been very happy with it.

  7. Daniel Dietz says:

    Carter, can you tell me how you are able to adjust the activity duration in SportTracks? I have version ST3 and import my .pwx files into SportTracks exactly as you describe. The ‘Time’ factor in ST3 always includes watch pauses and so it skews the activity duration. I have deactivated the ‘include stopped time’ and also ‘include watch pauses in stopped time’ but it seems to have no effect on the results. It appears that ST3 uses time-event (which includes pause time) instead of using time-split (which is activity duration) at import for the ‘Time’ field. I have to manually go in and adjust the actual time in ST3 after each workout. Is this the same behavior that you experience or have you found a work around?

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  9. B Miller says:

    I realize this in an old post but I ran into it some how and wanted to add a new program. Been using Addaero Solo for a few months and love it. It can accommodate many sports but I’ve been using it for triathlon training. http://www.addaero.com/solo.html

    Hope this helps rekindle the discussion up again!

  10. Mathis says:

    Like B Miller said it’s and old post, but I found Runalyze (runalyze.com) really useful. Seems to be free. Does not have any community features, but the said that it will be added in the future.

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