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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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The Pain of Change

Comments (23)

I’m looking for a new running log.

I’ve been using Cool Running as my log.  They were bought by Active sometime last year.  Last month Active discontinued Cool Running and migrated all the data to Active Trainer.  I was optimistic that Active had thought this through, as I like the Active folks and think they’ve generally done a great job integrating their acquisitions.

To my great disappointment, I discovered that Active Trainer stinks.  Cool Running was 95% of what I wanted to track my running.  Active Trainer is maybe 50%.  Clunky UI, missing data, hard to get at summary information, and a generally crummy user experience.

Oh well.  I’ve been on both sides of buying and selling companies (and web services) and I know that sometimes transitions don’t work out as planned for end users.  In this case I’m too impatient to wait a year for Active to get their service to parity with Cool Running, even if they chose to.  So – it’s time to look for a new running log.

Now – I might not find one.  I might end up staying with Active Trainer.  But I’m going to play the field and see what my options are.

I’m looking for suggestions from any runners (or other folks that track their workouts online) out there.

  • http://blog.jparkhill.com Jay Parkhill

    Trainingpeaks.com kills it. It's $20/month, but nothing else I've found has nearly the analytical ability. Happy running!

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      Jay – thanks for the reminder. I've used TrainingPeaks on and off over the years and have always liked it a lot. I found Cool Running a little simpler, but I think I'll probably go back to TrainingPeaks. Now – if I can only figure out how to import my Cool Running data (which I did manage to get out of Cool Running.)

  • rich w

    Polarpersonaltrainer.com

    You need not be a Polar hardware customer to use it. It's simple but functional.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      That one isn't going to work for me. I'm a fanatical Garmin 305 user.

      • rich w

        I realize this since I'm a regular reader. If you're willing to manually enter the data it may give you what you want. There is a demo if you go to the site.

  • curmudgeonly troll

    mapmyrun.com has a log feature

    • http://www.naffziger.net/blog Dave Naffziger

      Second on mapmyrun (although I've only started to use it and can't give it too hearty of a recommendation yet.

      It has become way more than a simple mashup.

      The UI is a little clunky, but they are definitely building a feature rich application. It might be a bit more targeted towards the non-gps runner, but it handles nearly all types of fitness activity.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/heather_duey heather_duey

    I also use a Garmin, and I mostly just use the software provided. However, there's also Motion Based http://www.motionbased.com/ (which may be the old name for Garmin Connect), which gives a whole lot more feedback (real maps, weather conditions, etc). I don't use it much because I just don't have time to fool with it, but it was pretty comprehensive as I recall.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/heather_duey heather_duey

    I also use a Garmin, and I mostly just use the software provided. However, there's also Motion Based http://www.motionbased.com/ (which may be the old name for Garmin Connect), which gives a whole lot more feedback (real maps, weather conditions, etc). I don't use it much because I just don't have time to fool with it, but it was pretty comprehensive as I recall.

  • http://migratetousa.blogspot.con Klaus

    Paper! Nothing compares to paper.
    Buy a Moleskin, and: write down your logs.
    Digital content vanish, but memories on paper will last forever.

  • razorshine

    I notice on Garmin's website they talk about a Garmin Connect site that has the ability to analyse and share data.

  • http://www.riazkanani.com Riaz Kanani

    side comment: not sure why but logging in using openid logged the above comment without logging me into intense debate properly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/heather_duey heather_duey

    I also use a Garmin, and I mostly just use the software provided. However, there's also Motion Based http://www.motionbased.com/ (which may be the old name for Garmin Connect), which gives a whole lot more feedback (real maps, weather conditions, etc). I don't use it much because I just don't have time to fool with it, but it was pretty comprehensive as I recall.

  • Heather Duey

    I also use a Garmin, and I mostly just use the software provided. However, there's also Motion Based http://www.motionbased.com/ (which may be the old name for Garmin Connect), which gives a whole lot more feedback (real maps, weather conditions, etc). I don't use it much because I just don't have time to fool with it, but it was pretty comprehensive as I recall.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      I use Motion Based all the time. The only problem is it does not have a “manual entry” mode so if you have done a run without your Garmin (say – on a treadmill) you can't put that data in. So – I use Motion Based to capture all my Garmin data and then manually put the summary data into something like Cool Running.

      TrainingPeaks has a pretty nifty Garmin importer so I can use that also.

  • http://zviband.com Zvi Band

    I bought the nike running attachment for my ipod a few weeks back. The UI isn't that great (http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/), but I like how it automatically uploads my runs whenever I sync my ipod.

  • http://zviband.com Zvi Band

    I bought the nike running attachment for my ipod a few weeks back. The UI isn't that great (http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/), but I like how it automatically uploads my runs whenever I sync my ipod.

    • http://www.scrollinondubs.com Sean Tierney

      the other advantage of the Nike+ appliance over a GPS-based approach is that it will track your treadmill runs if you run in a gym. Not sure what other data you need to track but the website mentioned above tracks the basics and allows you to compete virtually and compare your runs with friends online.

  • Brian M.

    I've tried out a few. MarathonGuide.com has a pretty basic one with few analytical capabilities. The RunLogger app on Facebook is somewhat interesting for the ability to share run info with your network. Also, if you use Garmin or Nike+, check out runnerplus.com.

  • Steve Bergstein

    Before my injuries got to the point where I can no longer run, I used an Excel spreadsheet that kept track of the number of miles on my shoes as well as my running. I had a graph that updated certain metrics on a daily basis. I'm away from my computer right now, but I'll send it to you when I can. I realize that it's not web-based but I liked it better than anything that I found on the web.

  • http://www.diverdiver.com/egovblog.html Alan Mather

    I've tried all the ones mentioned so far and ended up with what i think is a great product – from http://www.zonefivesoftware.com. It's called “SportTracks” – free to download but they do ask for donations. It downloads from my Garmin devices (a forerunner and an edge). Give it a try – I think it does the job perfectly.

    • http://mobileanalystwatch.blogspot.com/ John

      I'm not the biggest fan of online running logs since they either have no Garmin compatibility and/or only offer rudimentary features, which is why I second SportTracks wholeheartedly. I use the current version although they are beta testing version 2.0.

      It's only for Windows but has a ton of great features and easily pulls data from my Forerunner 305. Since you use a treadmill as well then get the Garmin Footpod so you can track and upload your indoor miles. Good luck.

      • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

        Good suggestion on the footpod. It turns out that TrainingPeaks.com has very good Garmin integration.

  • http://coreyh.com Corey

    http://www.flocasts.org/flotrack/flotrackr/index….– This one is by a small track running community. It is on the simple end of the spectrum.

    I tried a bunch, and ended up building an ever-complex Excel spreadsheet, really an application at this point that tracks stuff I want to track and only that stuff. I'd be happy to share, but it has been so tuned to my needs exclusively it would be hard for someone else to get used to.

    My main criteria is to be able to gauge fitness over time to be sure I'm still improving. I need to be able to see that under similar weather conditions on the same circuit that I've either gone faster or with less effort (lower avg. HR).

    The best part is there have been many times where I've finished a really grueling run just because I didn't want to have to type a bad performance into my log and see it bring down my moving average on my chart.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/coreyh1053 coreyh1053

    http://www.flocasts.org/flotrack/flotrackr/index….– This one is by a small track running community. It is on the simple end of the spectrum.

    I tried a bunch, and ended up building an ever-complex Excel spreadsheet, really an application at this point that tracks stuff I want to track and only that stuff. I'd be happy to share, but it has been so tuned to my needs exclusively it would be hard for someone else to get used to.

    My main criteria is to be able to gauge fitness over time to be sure I'm still improving. I need to be able to see that under similar weather conditions on the same circuit that I've either gone faster or with less effort (lower avg. HR).

    The best part is there have been many times where I've finished a really grueling run just because I didn't want to have to type a bad performance into my log and see it bring down my moving average on my chart.

  • http://coreyh.com/blog CoreyH

    http://www.flocasts.org/flotrack/flotrackr/index….– This one is by a small track running community. It is on the simple end of the spectrum.

    I tried a bunch, and ended up building an ever-complex Excel spreadsheet, really an application at this point that tracks stuff I want to track and only that stuff. I'd be happy to share, but it has been so tuned to my needs exclusively it would be hard for someone else to get used to.

    My main criteria is to be able to gauge fitness over time to be sure I'm still improving. I need to be able to see that under similar weather conditions on the same circuit that I've either gone faster or with less effort (lower avg. HR).

    The best part is there have been many times where I've finished a really grueling run just because I didn't want to have to type a bad performance into my log and see it bring down my moving average on my chart.

  • Rick Mason

    Viewed an online presentation a few weeks back where the developer of this site, http://www.walkjogrun.net/, detailed all the money he saved moving to Amazon S3. Not sure if it does everything you want but it's actively being developed. The founders name is Adam Howitt.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    That one isn't going to work for me. I'm a fanatical Garmin 305 user.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/riaz riaz

    side comment: not sure why but logging in using openid logged the above comment without logging me into intense debate properly.

  • curmudgeonly troll

    mapmyrun.com has a log feature

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/brian_m3892 brian_m3892

    I've tried out a few. MarathonGuide.com has a pretty basic one with few analytical capabilities. The RunLogger app on Facebook is somewhat interesting for the ability to share run info with your network. Also, if you use Garmin or Nike+, check out runnerplus.com.

  • rich w

    I realize this since I'm a regular reader. If you're willing to manually enter the data it may give you what you want. There is a demo if you go to the site.

  • Klaus

    Paper! Nothing compares to paper.
    Buy a Moleskin, and: write down your logs.
    Digital content vanish, but memories on paper will last forever.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/steve_bergs2127 steve_bergs2127

    Before my injuries got to the point where I can no longer run, I used an Excel spreadsheet that kept track of the number of miles on my shoes as well as my running. I had a graph that updated certain metrics on a daily basis. I'm away from my computer right now, but I'll send it to you when I can. I realize that it's not web-based but I liked it better than anything that I found on the web.

  • razorshine

    I notice on Garmin's website they talk about a Garmin Connect site that has the ability to analyse and share data.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    I use Motion Based all the time. The only problem is it does not have a "manual entry" mode so if you have done a run without your Garmin (say – on a treadmill) you can't put that data in. So – I use Motion Based to capture all my Garmin data and then manually put the summary data into something like Cool Running.

    TrainingPeaks has a pretty nifty Garmin importer so I can use that also.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/john3901 john3901

    I'm not the biggest fan of online running logs since they either have no Garmin compatibility and/or only offer rudimentary features, which is why I second SportTracks wholeheartedly. I use the current version although they are beta testing version 2.0.

    It's only for Windows but has a ton of great features and easily pulls data from my Forerunner 305. Since you use a treadmill as well then get the Garmin Footpod so you can track and upload your indoor miles. Good luck.

  • Alan Mather

    I've tried all the ones mentioned so far and ended up with what i think is a great product – from http://www.zonefivesoftware.com. It's called "SportTracks" – free to download but they do ask for donations. It downloads from my Garmin devices (a forerunner and an edge). Give it a try – I think it does the job perfectly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Good suggestion on the footpod. It turns out that TrainingPeaks.com has very good Garmin integration.

  • Jay Parkhill

    Trainingpeaks.com kills it. It's $20/month, but nothing else I've found has nearly the analytical ability. Happy running!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rich_w3879 rich_w3879

    Polarpersonaltrainer.com

    You need not be a Polar hardware customer to use it. It's simple but functional.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Jay – thanks for the reminder. I've used TrainingPeaks on and off over the years and have always liked it a lot. I found Cool Running a little simpler, but I think I'll probably go back to TrainingPeaks. Now – if I can only figure out how to import my Cool Running data (which I did manage to get out of Cool Running.)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dave_naffzi2081 dave_naffzi2081

    Second on mapmyrun (although I've only started to use it and can't give it too hearty of a recommendation yet.

    It has become way more than a simple mashup.

    The UI is a little clunky, but they are definitely building a feature rich application. It might be a bit more targeted towards the non-gps runner, but it handles nearly all types of fitness activity.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rick_mason3943 rick_mason3943

    Viewed an online presentation a few weeks back where the developer of this site, http://www.walkjogrun.net/, detailed all the money he saved moving to Amazon S3. Not sure if it does everything you want but it's actively being developed. The founders name is Adam Howitt.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/walkjogrun walkjogrun

      Thanks for the mention here Rick and the referral to this blog. @brad – let me know if there is anything you'd like to see in an online pedometer since we do respond pretty quickly to feature requests.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/sean_tierne2149 sean_tierne2149

    the other advantage of the Nike+ appliance over a GPS-based approach is that it will track your treadmill runs if you run in a gym. Not sure what other data you need to track but the website mentioned above tracks the basics and allows you to compete virtually and compare your runs with friends online.

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