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1998 Forum Archive - RunCoach C

RunCoach Forums 1998 Archive - RunCoach C

System Clock does not work

From: Anne
Category: Admin
Date: 7/1/98
Time: 12:31:02 PM
Remote Name: 202.139.4.1

Comments

When trying to start the evaluation version of RunCoach, a dialog box says, "Your system clock does not work", and I can not view the evaluation version. How can I make the evaluation version work?

Re: System Clock does not work

From: Paul Shields
Category: Admin
Date: 7/1/98
Time: 1:47:11 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Anne,

Some people reverse their system clocks to thwart an evaluation period. RunCoach's copy protection scheme does a check on the system clock of your computer and checks to see if time has gone backwards since it was installed.

The message you received means that your system clock has got an earlier time on it. This could be due to several things:

- somebody has adjusted the clock since RunCoach was installed

- your system clock does not, in fact, work

- there is an error in your hardware not allowing RunCoach to check the system clock

There may be other reasons. If you check all of the above and it still doesn't work then send me an email and I will let you know what to do to bypass the problem.

Regards

Paul

Re: System Clock does not work

From:
Category: General
Date: 7/1/98
Time: 2:42:51 PM
Remote Name: 202.139.4.1

Comments

Paul,

Due to recent development testing of a program on my PC, I did in fact change the system clock.

Is it possible to get the RunCoach evaluation version working again?

Re: System Clock does not work

From: Paul Shields
Category: Admin
Date: 7/1/98
Time: 4:05:45 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Anne,

Sure I can help. Just send me an email at runcoach@sportscoach.com.au

Regards

Paul


The 'current ability' doesn't match my PB

From: David Swanson
Category: Coach
Date: 7/10/98
Time: 7:54:22 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Hi,

I'm an officer in the army and downloaded runcoach v1.0b2 to try and help a soldier improve her 2 mile run score. I used my own statistics to feel out the program. My question relates to the estimated run time. I'm a 26 y/o male, 66in 145lbs. My last 2 mile run was in Feb of this year and was 13m0s at 6000ft. The run 6 months before that same location was 13m30s. The computer comes up with a estimated capability of 22m45.62s for the 2 mile and tells me my goal of 12m30s is hopeless. How is this calculated and is there a way to change it.

I'm allows curious as to the body index, is that similar to body fat and how is that calculated. If indeed it is body fat then that too is high for me.

I would appreciate any help you can give me regarding this program.

Thank you

LT David E. Swanson

Re: The 'current ability' doesn't match my PB

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/10/98
Time: 7:58:26 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

David,

There are many different people from the armed services around the world that are using RunCoach exactly as you are. Although I am a bit dubious of the scientific basis, the 2mile run is certainly a popular distance for you guys.

When I enter 13m0s as my current 2 mile PB RunCoach tells me my current ability for 2 miles is 13m. If I then ask it to suggest a goal it suggests 12m32s. This is very close to your goal of 12m30s so is probably achievable. If you are getting different results then there must be something different about how we are both entering the data.

My guess is that it is in the PB entry. There are a number of things to check. I will briefly outline them:

- Check which User you are set on. If you are using the 'Example' user then they already have a PB in there for 10k. This will be used as well as any others you enter.

- In the PB enter screen you will need to add a new '2 mile' entry or adjust an existing one.

- To add a new one first click the '+' button in the row of buttons at the bottom of the screen, then enter the name, date, distance and time. The most important of these are the distance and time entries. (The name entry is just for your reference)

- To modify an existing entry. Change the distance and time, and optionally rename it and add a date.

Once the PB entry is done then exit the PB screen and enter the 'Create a program' screen. Change the goal distance to 2m and see if a green colored Current ability appears with a time close to the one you just entered. If that is the case then all is well. Click on 'Suggest a goal' to get RunCoach to pick a target.

A detailed step by step guide to designing a running program is in the discussion database at http://www.sportscoach.com.au/runcoachdiscus/_disc1/0000001d.htm You might want to have a look.

Body mass index is the current method used by the US Government(NIH) to test for correct weight for height. It doesn't directly relate to body fat although there is some correlation. A more detailed description is available on the discussion database at http://www.sportscoach.com.au/runcoachdiscus/_disc1/000000b0.htm

Hope the above helps.

Paul


RunCoach V1.0 beta 2b Update release

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/10/98
Time: 10:10:36 PM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Hi,

I have released the beta 2b version of RunCoach. It is available at the Website (http://www.sportscoach.com.au/RUNC10B2.EXE). So far I have been able to keep to the development schedule. If all goes well you should see the final beta 2 update release in a couple of weeks (beta 2c) and then a hiatus of about a month before beta 3 is released. I am hoping that the beta 3 will be the last beta before final release so please keep those suggestions coming.

This release sees a few bugs squashed and some nice new additions. The most major addition is support for the Polar HRM pulse files. RunCoach will now import heart rate monitor data and provide you with graphical analysis. I have also made the data displayed in the calendar customizable. You can now choose what you want to see in the calendar (eg weight or pace). There is now also a year summary option for the status line at the bottom. (In addition to the daily, weekly, and monthly options!). The data fixup subsystem has been made more robust, and the Summary reports have been extended and modified. A full list is attached below

It has also been another hectic few weeks with the discussion database. I am currently looking into some way of including a static version of it with RunCoach as there is a wealth of information contained in it. A list of the topics covered since the last email is also attached.

Hope everybody is running well and injury free.

Regards

Paul

PS Anybody who needs an extension for testing please let me know.

Ver 1.0 beta 2b

- added a yearly summary option for status screen

- added the work/rest field to the interval entry screen (it had got lost)

- added the ability to customise what is displayed on the calendar

- fixed bug with year display not updating when not visible

- updated the Database Edit function with better 'Fix' and Summary re-calc

- improved the summary reporting system and added program summaries

- Added Polar HRM pulse data import and graphing for polar .HRM files

- released 10th July 1998


My data seems corrupt how do I fix it?

From: Ray Hinton
Category: Diary
Date: 7/12/98
Time: 12:17:27 PM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Paul,

I do not know what is happening it has gone crazy. I'm getting a message that says (is not a vilid floating point value) and my calendar has numbers and letters all over it. I turned it off and came back on. It looked OK until I tried to change it then it locked up.

It was doing everything OK when I first downloaded the up grade but it just started this morning. Hope I have not lost last year and this year!

Ray

Re: My data seems corrupt how do I fix it?

From: Paul Shields
Category: Diary
Date: 7/12/98
Time: 12:29:27 PM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Ray,

I am sure we can get your data back. If you have made a backup then all should be okay. The first solution is to try and get RunCoach to fix it itself. To do that take the following steps:

1) Start RunCoach

2) Go to the following menu commands

a) 'File' -> 'Edit Database' -> 'Person'

3) Click the button 'All' in the top right hand side of the screen.

4) Several things should happen, wait until the hourglass turns to a pointer

5) Exit the screen and test your data

If the above doesn't work then you can try and load your last working backup. You can do this by first making a new backup then exiting RunCoach and deleting the 'Data' directory under the 'RunCoach' directory. Start RunCoach again and restore your old backup (not the new one). After that check to see if all is fine.

If neither of the above steps work then you can email me the backup data (.RBK file) and I will fix it at my end and email it back to you.

We will get the data back and RunCoach working.

All the best,

Paul


Problems with Reports

From: Don Lookingbill
Category: General
Date: 7/12/98
Time: 8:32:32 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.186

Comments

When I run one of the following summary reports: Full, Short, I get the following error message: "Floating Point Divison By Zero". Any ideas?

I think your doing a great job with this software!!! Keep up the good work.

Re: Problems with Reports

From: Paul Shields
Category: Diary
Date: 7/12/98
Time: 11:12:02 PM
Remote Name: 203.8.223.2

Comments

Don,

Thankyou for the positive comments about RunCoach.

I thought I had checked everywhere there was a division in the summary reports. Obviously not! I will have alook through and see if I can identify the offending divide.

If you get a chance it would be good if you could make a back-up copy of your data and email me the .RBK file. I could then replicate the problem and make sure I get have rectified it.

The fix will be out in the next beta. (2c)

All the best,

Paul


Plan+Actual Daily Graphs

From: Jean-Noel Marchalot
Category: General
Date: 7/17/98
Time: 4:01:44 AM
Remote Name: 143.209.18.206

Comments

It seems that the version prior to beta2a did not have this little defect. When you look at the daily graph with Plan+Act selected, you have all these very thin columns representing the data point. They are very thin because of the number of points represented on the graph. This is unavoidable. However, when you zoom on a certain period, the lines remain very thin. This could be OK also, although wider columns, when there is enough space are easier read. The bad part is that the columns for actual and planned are superimposed, which makes it difficult to read and rather confusing. It seems to me that the previous version was producing wider columns in zoom mode, with an offset between the actual column and the planned column.

Following your request for improvement suggestions, here another one, still related to the graph issue: Either offer a choice of basic formats, such as a line graph in addition to the column graph, or provide an export file in Microsoft excel format (or simply in text format) so that someone could use the powerful graphing capabilities of another application to generate other graphs in different styles. In the same spirit, the whole database could be made exportable for that kind of graphical processing.

Best Regards,

Jean-Noel Marchalot

Re: Plan+Actual Daily Graphs

From: Paul Shields
Category: Diary
Date: 7/17/98
Time: 11:42:06 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Jean-Noel,

Thank-you for the suggestions. I will try and get them implemented for the beta 2c release in about a weeks time. Some comments.

RunCoach Graphing

Although RunCoach provides hundreds of different graphs it is not as flexible as a dedicated graphing package. Graphing on RunCoach is provided by an add-on package. When choosing the package I had to make a choice between the size of package and it's power. I chose a middle of the road graphing system that was quite small and fast but not with as many capabilities as the bigger products.

Not withstanding all of this I intend to overhaul the system at some point and provide an increase in options. One of the issues is the overlapping plan and actual lines. Hopefully I can solve this one by beta 2c

Exporting Data

This is a great suggestion and should be fairly easy to implement. The format for export I will use is CSV(comma seperated value) which will allow for import into many other products and databases etc including Excel.

All the best,

Paul


Great program, some bugs, and suggestions

From: Johan Hellström
Category: General
Date: 7/21/98
Time: 1:31:41 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Hi!

I have enjoyed Runcoach since the first release.

I am interested in AI and when I studied prolog I came in contact with Runcoach (dos version) and I have also programmed visual Prolog from PDC.

I have the following bugs.

1) Some times when I exit I receive a message: "Grid out of range".

2) When I review my training program and modify the distance there is no calculation of "week total distance". I also receive errors if I try to change heart rate etc. I receive " is not a valid integer value".

3)If I try to do a backup to another drive/directory than the Runcoach data directory I receive a File Open Error

I believe Runcoach is going to be great when it is finished. Anyway I do have 2 suggestions for improvement.

1)I would like to be able to redesign the running program after it has been developed so I can do some changes.

2) Every morning I measure my heartrate with a blood pressure monitor. It would have been nice to be able to but blood pressure values in the daily dialog.

I haven't registered yet but plan to do so.

Greeting from a Sunny Sweden

Johan Hellström

Re: Great program, some bugs, and suggestions

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/21/98
Time: 1:36:36 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Johan,

Thank-you for the positive comments and the bug reports.

Firstly don't worry about the evaluation period. If your time runs out and you need more time then let me know and I can give you an extension.

Looking at each of the three bugs:

1) I am not sure what the 'Grid out of range' error is. You are the first to report it and I have not noticed it here. If you can replicate it then backing up your data and emailing me the .rbk file would be of great help.

2) I have both of the modifications you suggest on the plan to fix for the next release (a week or so away). I will get it to re-calculate weekly distance and allow modifications of the heart rate fields. All other fields in the program should be modifiable.

3) The back-up problem is also a known bug and a fix will be avialable in the next release.

Regarding the suggestions.

1) You should currently be able to modify the training program once it has been designed. This was a planned feature as many people would want to alter the RunCoach programs. Currently only the heart rates should be causing problems. I will look into it and check that it can be done.

2) I have added three extra fields to the workout database for people who want to record other information. This has not been implemented in the user interface yet and is planned for the beta 3 version in about 1 months time. You can see them by using the data edit function on the workout file. You can even add data to them in this mode. Another alternative is to use one of the other fields (eg calories) to record your blood pressure information.

Thanks for your suggestions.

All the best,

Paul

Re: Great program, some bugs, and suggestions

From: Bruce Arthur
Category: General
Date: 7/22/98
Time: 1:33:05 PM
Remote Name: 202.139.4.1

Comments

Yes, you can modify your training plan in the database view, however it is very tedious and requires careful attention.

-To move a session from say a Tuesday to a Wednesday, 7 fields must be individually cut and pasted.

-To change a time, distance, or pace field, the integer must first be decoded from its database representation.

-Also, weekly total distances must be recalculated manually.

While the current functionality is good, it would be nice to be able to have a better interface to modify the training program.

Functionality to copy and paste a days plan, or a weeks plan to another week would be nice and would save a lot of tedious work, when trying to modify plans.

By the way, the reason I had to modify the plan slightly is because I am trying to peak for 4 races over 6 weeks, rather than a single race. Currently, RunCoach only designs programs for peaking in a single race. Are there any plans to incorporate multiple target races into the program planning?

I enjoy RunCoach thorougly. Keep up the good work.

Re: Good suggestion, will implement for next release

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 10:52:54 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Bruce,

Thank-you for the positive comments about RunCoach.

You suggestion about the ability to cut and paste the the suggested program days and weeks is very good. I will try and implement it for the beta 2c release in a few days. If it misses that then it will certainly appear in the beta 3 release.

All the best,

Paul


RunCoach got me a new PB

From: Bernard Thielens
Category: Coach
Date: 7/21/98
Time: 1:53:52 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul

I ran on 28/06 a 10miles race prepared with a plan from RUNCOACH. You gave me some additional advice by e-mail because I was worried that I coudn't run more than 50 minutes during the week and the plan proposed some runs longer than 50 minutes. Your advice was "don't worry about it and keep me informed"

The goal race was 1h06m (my PB was 1h08 on April 98). Training was very good and my feeling during race was great. My time was 1h08min11sec but the 10 miles distance was incorrect (the organization confirmed officialy 830m too much).

If the length of the race was corrected for the 10 miles as announced, I would have run in 1h05min13sec ! ! ! ! ! ! ! better than I could have imagined.....I'm very happy. Thank you very much for RunCoach and the advice!

I prepare now a 21k100m for September 6th with a goal of 1h28min. I have not been feeling well recently. I felt tired but no problem, I'll make this week lighter and I'll be ready for the 06-09-98 and I'll run the half marathon in 1h28min because of the plan of RunCoach!

I have some suggestions and bugs.

1) I downloaded the beta 2b version but a error-message appeared "file already exists; do you want to replace". I entered "yes" but the version stayed the same. I didn't get the "yearly" choice for the reports so I think I still have v1.0 beta 2 version. No problem, I can wait the 2c or beta 3 version.

2) I don't know if it 's possible but I think runcoach would be better if it was possible to enter some time-constraints to plan. It's already possible to chose the days of runs, the long day run, the number of hard days... but if it was possible to enter - Monday : 50min max; Tuesday : 1h10min max; etc .....it would be more personalised.

Thanks for everything

Bernard

Re: RunCoach got me a new PB

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/21/98
Time: 1:57:56 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Bernard,

Thank-you for your email. Well done on doing your PB on corrected time!!

Thanks also for the feedback.

You should have a break after your new PB try and have rest days equal to the distance in miles. So after the 10 mile event you should have about 2 weeks with no hard sessions (intervals, long runs or threshold runs) then slowly build up again to your half marathon.

1) You did the right thing by saying yes to the replace question. It should have upgraded you to the beta 2b release. You can try and fix it by loading the beta 2b version of RunCoach to a new directory then backing up the old data to a .rbk file, move it to the new directory and restoring it.

2) I agree with you about adjusting the daily times. It is however a big change so I will have to put it on the list for the new version.

Let us know how you get on with the next race and if you need any help with the program then get back to me.

All the best,

Paul


Looks good, A few questions

From: Scott Janisch
Category: General
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:15:49 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul

I have downloaded Run Coach Ver 1.0b2a and started to experiment. I am a software engineer doing windows programming, often thought of creating something like it myself. (out of frustration of the product offerings that are currently available, now I may not have to)

Looks well done, you have done well on the UI, a couple of questions for you:

Does the coaching feature take into account hard/easy days (I assume it would)?

Does it understand longer distance goals (i.e. marathon)?

(I would be interested in more details about this area in general, although is SW engineering for 15 years, have no AI knowledge)

Do you have any plans to add any cross training features (biking, weight lifting, triathlons)?

Does the Gear tracking include alarms (when reaching a certain number of miles)?

Will the first official release of the windows version include the online help?

I am currently using UltraCoach, which also (claims) to use AI to suggest your next workout, One of the frustrating things is it's hard to tell what it is basing the suggestion on. ( I have run 20 mile training runs for a marathon and have it tell me to run another long run the next day or day after, this didn't seem very 'intelligent' to me - artificial or otherwise) It also will only give you one suggestion (day) at a time, not a planned workout schedule for multiple days/weeks/months.

How does this compare to RunCoach?

Any support for import of text data (CSV for example)? Or can I edit the database directly if I have a bunch of entries to make? (I will want to move over my data from other logs)

Any registration discount to converting from a competitors product?

thanks

Scott

Re: Looks good, A few questions

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:23:42 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Scott,

You have a few questions. I will try and answer them all. This is a long post.

Thanks for your positive comments. Since ver beta 2a I have released beta 2b and am about to release beta 2c. I have appended a list of changes to this post.

The answer to you questions about coaching are all yes. RunCoach does have a hard/easy regime built in. A summary of some of the factors it trys to optimise when generating a program are as follows:-

- internally classifies runners into five major groups

- takes into account age, experience, PB's, sex, training program etc

- able to select days of the week you can run, and your long run day

- provides feedback on whether you are capable of meeting your goal time

- can suggest goal's based on your individual ability

- provides a schedule even if RUNCOACH is sceptical you can reach your goal

- knows about VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, efficiency, long runs etc

- has many rules for minimising injury

- has a variety of individualised speedwork schedules built in

- understands periodisation and complex schedules and selects between them

- uses a hard/easy concept both daily and for microcycles (weeks)

- can predict race results for distances not previously run

- can produce a schedule for the complete beginner through to the elite

I do have plans to add cross training features. Beta 3 will have the ability to record other sports than running. Whilst version 2 will include other coaching modules.

The gear tracking has provision for alarms at either date or distance milestones. This is implemented both in the database and the UI. I haven't activated the alarms yet. It is a simple fix and is planned for beta 3.

Yes the official release will include online help. I am hoping to have this 80% complete by the beta 3 release. I have about a quarter of the help system done so far, and are tossing up whether to include the 'as is' help with the beta 2c release in a few days.

UltraCoach is a relative newcomer to the AI coaching. I have seen many comments like yours about it producing silly suggestions after hard or long training sessions. RunCoach produces a whole plan and so can deal with incremental approaches and programming a good mix of workouts. You might like to look at other products like PC Coach or the add in training plans for Athlete's Diary if you want more program oriented coaching advice than UltraCoach. On the other hand UltaCoach can give good suggestions.

I have just implemented a CSV export function for the beta 2c release. Currently RunCoach can import from an Athlete's Diary database and Polar HRM files. I will add the CSV import into the beta 3 version.

You can edit the data directly in RunCoach using the 'File' -> 'Edit Database' -> select a file menu options.

I don't give any discounts for swapping from competitors products as many people seem to do this.

Hope the above has helped,

Paul

Version history

Ver 1.0 beta 2b

- added a yearly summary option for status screen

- added the work/rest field to the interval entry screen (it had got lost)

- added the ability to customise what is displayed on the calendar

- fixed bug with year display not updating when not visible

- updated the Database Edit function with better 'Fix' and Summary re-calc

- improved the summary reporting system and added program summaries

- Added Polar HRM pulse data import and graphing for polar .HRM files

- released 10th July 1998

Ver 1.0 beta 2c

- Added checking for corruption on database opening.

- Fixed divide by zero error in Summary reporting for less than 1 week of data

- Fixed minor problem in interpreting grams in the weight input fields

- Added a check for underweight and raceweight in the BMI calculator

- Modified HRZ calculator to use screen fields and added 'Date Tested' adjustment

- Fixed minor bug with time summary field update in Workout file

- Added data export to .CSV files (allows import to Excel etc)

- Fixed a bug in the backup that still wasn't letting it backup to other directories

- Allowed edit of pulse fields in the program display

- Fixed the weekly distance display. Need to Edit Database -> Prog -> Fix

Re: Looks good, A few questions

From: Scott Janisch
Category: General
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:37:49 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul

Thanks for the post, it all sounds great!

Regards

Scott


Can RunCoach handle more than 1 runner?

From: Liz Randall
Category: Diary
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:31:03 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Hi Paul,

We've downloaded the free trial version of your coaching program and are very interested. Can it be used for more than one person?? I put my details and asperations in, then my son's and the program seemed to still have my aims in ( I'd be happy just to finish a 10km run and still be alive and he plans to run 33 mins).

The program felt his goal a bit ridiculous given that it had 65 mins as my current pace and thought we were one person. Did I go wrong or can it only be used for one person???

We also have a polar HRM but it is not the model that downloads, so I guess I'll have to do that manually.

Looking forward to your reply.

Liz

Re: Yes it can

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:34:45 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Liz,

RunCoach has the ability to have as many runners loaded into it at the same time as you like. The way to add a new runner is as follows:

1) Make sure that you a in 'Full' data entry mode. You should have a multi page screen on the left of the main calendar. The basic/full button on the top left status line switches between the two modes.

2) Go to the 'general' tab. Click the 'General label in the tabbed multi-page screen.

3) Just type the name of the new user in the top UserID field and press the 'return' or 'enter' key

4) Enter the PB's for the new runner then 'Plan a Program'

5) To swap between runners just use the drop-down menu on the userID field (top field) in the General tab.

Regards

Paul


Marathon in 3h30m

From: Staffan Malmberg
Category: Coach
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:42:32 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul,

I have downloaded RunCoach, and told it a bit about myself.

I´m surprised that it is not possible for me to run marathon in 3h30 min in June 1999 if I run 43 km every week, 30 km as long distance and interval training 5*1000m for the rest.

My personal best is 3h58m from June this year. Surely it must be possible to run next year at 3h30min ?

Best regards

Staffan

Re: Marathon in 3h30m

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:45:30 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Staffan,

Most people will not increase there PB's by the amount you want to. There are some however that can and you might be one of them. RunCoach is just letting you know that the target you specify would be a difficult jump for most people.

Although the long distance run of 30km is okay when training for a marathon your total weekly distance of 43 km is on the light side. Many people train at over 100km per week for a marathon and elite marathoners train at over 160km per week. About 60km per week is normally considered the bare minimum.

In short, it may be possible to run the marathon at 3h30m next year but unlikely. RunCoach will still produce an optimal program to achieve this target so that you can prove it wrong!!

Regards

Paul

Re: Marathon in 3h30m

From: Staffan Malmberg
Category: Coach
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:48:25 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul,

I put in what I used to run before: 1 time/week, about 30k. I also put in my target time of 3h58m after 1 year of training. The program answered with HOPELESS. Nonetheless I achieved it! So I will struggle on with my new plan and hope I will make it in 3h30m next year.

Regards

Staffan

Re: Marathon in 3h30m

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/23/98
Time: 7:51:31 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Staffan,

You certainly must be a talented runner to have run a marathon with only 1 run per week training. Perhaps the goal of 3h30m is not as hopeless for you as Runcoach thinks!

As a suggestion, have the interval setting in the 'Plan a Program' screen set to one or two. RunCoach will then produce some intervals. If you can do the times for intervals in the weeks preceeding the race then it is a good indication that you will reach your goal.

All the best with your training, and let me know if I can help out.

Regards

Paul


Suggestion: Planning for multiple goals

From: Bruce Arthur
Category: Coach
Date: 7/27/98
Time: 1:48:28 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul,

Do you have any plans to permit a user to specify multiple race dates when creating a plan? I would find this really useful for orienteering as the National Championships (main goal) are normally preceded by the various State Championships in the preceding 5 or 6 weeks.

Also, have you considered the need for mid season peaks? Sometimes we have World Champs selection trials in the middle of the season. It would be nice to plan one program for the whole season with 2 or 3 peak periods, rather than 2 or 3 separate programs. This is because a new program does not seem to know what you were doing in the previous program. (apart from long run distance and new PBs)

I realise that these suggestions may not be easy to implement in AI, but is something to think about for future releases. I would be very impressed if these suggestions are implemented.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Bruce Arthur

Southern Arrows Orienteers

Re: Suggestion: Planning for multiple goals

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/27/98
Time: 1:50:45 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Bruce,

Several other people have made the same suggestion as you. It is quite normal to have several events to peak for in a season. It is however, much harder to get optimization for these types of programs but not impossible.

I am looking into this issue at present hoping to have something available for version 2 of RunCoach. It would need to take into account a series of major peaks (or critical events) and a number of other less critical minor peaks.

Version 2 should see a complete re-write of the AI program generation section. Amongst other things I am also going to have varible length macro and micro cycles and better targetting of interval sessions.

All the best,

Paul


Handling English and Metric Units

From: Gianluca Guandalini
Category: Diary
Date: 7/27/98
Time: 1:54:20 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul,

I just downloaded the trial version of your RunCoach program. It's quite good, but... in our old Europe we are unable to think in miles, minute/miles and fahrenheit degrees, we always use kilometers, minute/kilometers and Celsius degrees. Why don't you add a configuration section in the program, in which the user can set those units once forever?

Or, why don't You make the program able to get the right measurement system from the control panel in the Windows configuration? This is integration and information sharing!

All the best,

Gianluca

Re: Handling English and Metric Units

From: Paul Shields
Category: Diary
Date: 7/27/98
Time: 1:59:26 PM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Gianluca,

RunCoach is quite capable of operating in 'English' or 'Metric' units. It has more capabilities in this area than many other running diaries I have seen. (In Australia we use metric units like you). I will tell you a bit about it and show you how to use it.

The units are customizable for every person entered into the system. You can even enter your data in any units you like and RunCoach will change them automatically to the units of your choice. Also at any time you can swap back and forth between any system and all of your historical data will be converted.

To change the units for a person you need to go to the 'General' tab in the Full system and look for the 'Units' field or in the Basic system the 'Units' field is near the top of the screen.

Whatever system you select you can still enter data any way you like. For instance, if you select the 'Metric' system, then everything will be in kilometres but you can still enter a distance as '21mi' and it will automatically convert the miles to kilometres. To see possible entry methods, make sure that hints are on then hold you cursor over the field where you want to enter data and a hint will pop-up showing you how.

To make sure RunCoach operates with the largest number of systems Windows 3.0,3.1,95,98,NT it is a 16 bit program. Unfortunately on the early Windows operating systems there was no control panel for international settings. This is why RunCoach does it internally.

Regards

Paul


RunCoach Ver 1.0 beta 2c release

From: Paul Shields
Category: Coach
Date: 7/29/98
Time: 9:51:40 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Hi,

RunCoach version 1.0 beta 2c is now available for download at the website. The address is http://www.sportscoach.com.au/RUNC10B2.EXE

This is mostly a bug fix release but also has some useful improvements. Firstly the BMI calculator has had some minor improvements to provide a better indication of racing weight. Also any data within RunCoach can now be exported to a CSV file. This means that people who use Excel, for instance, can export, graph and analyze their run data as much as they like. It has been made easier to modify and redesign programs generated by RunCoach. You can now cut and paste program days and weeks. A PB analysis sub-system has been added to the PB menu. This will predict your PB results based on your current weight and age as well as provide and indication of your best distances and how you compare with the world's best. Finally I have included the first draft of the Help system. This is a long way from completion (est beta 3 release) but may provide some guidance. A full list of these changes is appended.

There are also some improvements to the Website. I have added a series of calculators. All of these are built into RunCoach, but are now also accessible via the web for people who prefer that approach. (http://www.sportscoach.com.au/runcoachwidget/default.htm)

Body Mass Index

This provides a correct height for weight index. This particular measure is used by the US government (NIH) to generate obesity statistics. It has been modified here to provide some guidance for running weights.

Basic Prediction

This calculator provides an indication of a performance at one distance based on a result from another. This is quite an advanced system using three integrated models. It provides reasonable accuracy right through the range from 100m sprints through to 6 day Ultra's.

Advanced Prediction

This improves on the basic prediction by taking into account other factors. This calculator also includes weight, age and time since your performed your base input PB.

Heart Rate Zones

This is a standard heart rate zone calculator. It calculates you pulse rates for a variety of standard runs. The calculator uses both the Karhonen heart rate reserve as well as straight percentages.

PB Analysis

This calculator accepts PB's for up to 10 distances and then analyses your ability; It will give you a relative performance ranking based on a couple of criteria. How well each stacks up against a world championship performance and indicate which distances are your forte.

Finally the Discussion Database (http://www.sportscoach.com.au/runcoachdiscus/default.htm) has also been active. There have been discussions on the effects of weight and age, what to eat before a race, sciatica, pool running and even someone announcing a new PB from a RunCoach schedule. I have appended the full list below.

Hopefully this will be the final beta 2 release and I can head for a beta 3 release in about 4 weeks. Beta 3 should see amongst other things a much improved help system and better support for multiple sports.

As always I am interested in suggestions and bugs, and anybody interested in an extension of their trial please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Paul

paul.shields@sportscoach.com.au

Ver 1.0 beta 2c

- Added checking for corruption on database opening.

- Fixed divide by zero error in Summary reporting for less than 1 week of data

- Fixed minor problem in interpreting grams in the weight input fields

- Added a check for underweight and raceweight in the BMI calculator

- Modified HRZ calculator to use screen fields and added 'Date Tested' adjustment

- Fixed minor bug with time summary field update in Workout file

- Added data export to .CSV files (allows import to Excel etc)

- Fixed a bug in the backup that still wasn't letting it backup to other directories

- Allowed edit of pulse fields in the program display

- Fixed the weekly distance display. Need to Edit Database -> Prog -> Fix

- Added the ability to cut and paste program days and weeks

- Fixed a bug which created a message 'Window can't be created'

- Added a PB Analysis section which lets you know your best distances

- Fixed a minor bug in time display where a 's' would display with no seconds

- Added a very preliminary version of the help system

- released 28th July 1998

Discussion Database Topics

My data seems corrupt how do I fix it?

Problems with Reports

Effects of Age and Weight

Plan+Actual Daily Graphs

What to eat before a race?

Dead Legs

Sciatica

Great program, some bugs, and suggestions

RunCoach got me a new PB

Looks good, A few questions

Can RunCoach handle more than 1 runner?

Marathon in 3h30m

Suggestion: Planning for multiple goals

Handling English and Metric Units

Pool Running, How to run when you can't


Runs and the connection with Workouts and Locations

From: Scott
Category: General
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 12:01:18 AM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Paul

One question regarding the locations tab in runcoach.

It is unclear to me how the locations and daily run tabs relate/interact. I viewed the locations tab as a list of locations to be reused when entering daily runs. But yet for an interval workouts the details of the workout (the details button) are accessed from the locations tab not the daily run tab.

I also haven't fully figured it out yet, but it seems like if I change the workout type/location on one tab, (sometimes) it effects the workout type on the other tab.

Why is the workout type on both the daily run and the location tab? If the daily run tab has both a location and workout type, but they don't correlate to the location and workout type on the location tab then which takes precedence?

I hope this is clear, it is kind of hard to explain... Can you maybe clear some of my confusion?

(I will try to reproduce the steps I went through and give better information)

Scott

Re: Runs and the connection with Workouts and Locations

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 12:15:12 AM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Scott,

I am sorry I haven't got a proper help file yet. Hopefully by beta 3 it will be better.

Basically selecting a workout in the 'Runs tab' will cause that template to be copied into the daily run. This can then be edited as required. The most use of this feature is for multi-part runs (like intervals) where the actual workout can be quite detailed.

Also locations and workouts in the 'Routes tab' are quite different. Firstly locations and workouts are completely seperate entities. For instance you can do the same type of workout at several different locations. There should really be two seperate tabs, one for locations and one for workouts. I have just put them on the same tab to save space. Maybe I should add a line drawn through the middle. When you select a workout on the 'Runs tab' it uses the workout infomation from the 'routes tab' and when you select a Workout on the 'Runs tab' it uses the workout info from the 'Routes tab'.

This seperation enables you to do say an interval workout or a long run at any location you wish. You don't have to create a duplicate workout for each new location.

Hope the above is clear,

Regards

Paul


Bug with European characters in beta 2c

From: Johan Hellström
Category: General
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 12:09:38 AM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Hi again Paul

BUG

When I create my own routes and workouts they get duplicated in the combobox. After a wile I have several workouts and routes with the same name. In the previous version that caused the 'Grid out of range' error. I send you the rbk file. Maybe the Swedish special letter å,ä and ö cause the problem.

Suggestion for improvement

I use the polar heart rate monitor. The problem is that after a run the watch report to me how much time I have had above, in and under the planned interval. This means that I have to use an calculator to recalculate that in to percent. It would have been nice if you could have that feature in the program (just put in time, not percent)

keep up the good work.

Sincerely

Johan

Re: Bug with European characters in beta 2c

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 12:23:51 AM
Remote Name: 203.8.222.67

Comments

Johan,

Thanks for the report and suggestion.

I am looking into the problem at present. It does seem to be caused by the Swedish special letters. The database fix command, which woud normally correct this problem, just deletes the records with these characters because it thinks they are corrupt. I have fixed that problem but am looking into the duplicate records issue. It seems that when RunCoach checks to see if the location already exists it decides that any record with a name having special characters in it does not exist so it creates a new one. It doesn't happen without the special letters. I am sure we can get a fix.

Will look into the polar changes. RunCoach extracts the actual time and converts it to percentage. I might change that back and just store the actual time.

Thanks for the reports and positive words.

Regards

Paul


Time and Distance entry suggestions

From: Thomas Roos
Category: Diary
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 10:36:22 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul,

I like your program, but nothing is perfect, so here is a list of problems and enhancement requests I have:

I would like to see some way of choosing what fields are displayed or can be used when entering data. Unwanted fields could be either greyed out or not displayed at all. This would make entering data a lot faster.

Another improvement I would like to see is the ability to enter distances and times without units. Examples: Distances:

99 is 99k

99.900 or 99.9 is 99k900m

.900 or .9 is 900m

Times:

33 is 33m

33:33 is 33m33s

33:33:33 is 33h33m33s

:33 is 33s

My point is that it is easier to use only one character as delimiter when entering data h, m, s, k is too much and too separated on the keyboard.

I'm also missing a pace field on the full run display.

Thanks,

Thomas

Re: Time and Distance entry suggestions

From: Paul Shields
Category: Diary
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 10:38:25 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Thomas,

Thanks very much for your suggestions and feedback. I will do my best to answer them below.

I am looking into ways of customising the displayed fields. The 'Basic' and 'Full' data entry screen goes someway towards this but only allows two choices. I will see what is possible to do. The easiest will probably be to offer a customisable selection on the Basic screen.

Distances should default to 'k' or 'm' (miles) if you omit the trailing letter. In fact I just tried it with beta2c and it worked fine. 12.9 turned into 12k900m. Let me know if it doesn't work with you.

Most people like the RunCoach time entry method as they don't have to use two hands and hold the shift key whilst pressing ':' I will however be putting in support for the ':' character in time entry as this is a standard method and many people are familiar with it. (Expect it in the beta 2d release)

I deliberately left off the pace field in the full run display as you can get the information by switching on the daily summary display. I should probably find some room and add it to the Runs screen. I will look into it and see what I can do.

Hope that the above helps, and if you have wny further questions, problems, feedback don't hesitate.

Regards

Paul


Help file, Hills, Heart rates and Backup/Restore

From: Scott Janisch
Category: Diary
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 10:51:23 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Paul

Thanks for your help so far.

Regarding the help for the new beta (v1.0 beta 2c)

I can't get the help to display thru the menu's - I get: 'The file is not a windows help file' followed by 'A newer version of help is needed to read this help file' However, if I access it by double clicking the .hlp file in explorer it works fine. I am running NT4.0 (service pack 3)

Other ideas/comments/questions

1) regarding hill workouts,

Is there any point in tracking the incline,decline during a hill workout? or is the theory that basing it on the difficulty (i.e. heart rate) is more accurate and in general more flexible for your coaching algorithms?

2) regarding heart rate information

I sometimes workout on a treadmill (more often for specific hill and interval workouts) and sometimes outside. Often for my easy runs I randomly go around town. I.e. I have no particular route and am not sure of the distance covered, but I base the workout on heart rate. Does a feature like the following make any sense?

Based on past run data (given distance, time, heart rate) that is accurate, have runcoach tell me how long (time) to run at my specified heart rate to cover a given distance?

(Obviously I could go back and look at past workouts and figure this out myself). It may be necessary to somehow indicate for a workout if the distance was known or estimated, this would be used to determine which workouts could be used to accurate predict...

3) Regarding file management

It seems that runcoach does not follow the typical windows paradigm...

I would prefer to see file 'open', 'save', 'save as' on the file menu as well as the toolbar. It is not clear if there is a difference between open and restore (and between close and backup). The name of the current file in use should be indicated in the window border somewhere If I open a file make a change then exit, it does not prompt me to save, It just goes ahead and throws away my changes - this is bad if you don't have the habit of saving often There is no file association between the .RBK file and runcoach I should be able to double click a RBK file and have runcoach open it

for information's sake only,

regards,

Scott

Re: Help file, Hills, Heart rates and Backup/Restore

From: Paul Shields
Category: General
Date: 7/30/98
Time: 10:54:40 AM
Remote Name: 203.38.32.115

Comments

Scott,

You certainly are giving RunCoach a workout. That is great for the beta testing.

I haven't tried the help system with NT4 yet. It works with 95 and 3.1. I will have a look later on and see what I can do to fix it. RunCoach is a 16bit program so there may be nothing I can do.

1) Hill workouts

The hilliness of a route is important. RunCoach takes this into account using the 'Terrain' field in the 'Routes tab'. There are a few classifications of increasing difficulty.

2) Heart rate

RunCoach provides a couple of ways to run for a period of time not knowing your distance. The first is using your pace. If you can judge your pace then run for the period of time at approximately the suggested pace and you will have done about the right miles. The other way is using heart rate. RunCoach provides some heart rate suggestions for each workout. Set your upper and lower alarms then run anywhere for the planned time within the heart rate range and you will have approximately covered the distance. Unless your lactate turning point is known accurately the heart rate ranges are only an indication and will vary with individuals.

3) File management

Firstly RunCoach should save everthing automatically when you exit the program. All changes should still be there when you start again. If that is not happening then let me know and I can look into it.

Originally I had file 'open' and 'save' in the menu but as RunCoach automatically opens the files when it starts and closes them when it exits these are redundant. The backup and restore commands are truely backup and restore. They don't save any data rather just make a copy of the data currently being used. As such, there is no 'current file in use' but there may be a 'last backup file restored from'. I should perhaps record this. Most windows programs do not display the last file restored from backup but if they do open and close files they do mention this. RunCoach doesn't allow opening and closing of other databases.

RunCoach is a 16-bit program can't assume that the computer has a registry (Like 95, 98 or NT). This means that file association won't work. I will implement this for version 2 which will be a 32-bit program.

Thanks very much for the suggestions. As always I will try and implement as many as I can.

All the best,

Paul


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