TrainingPeaks Retail Store is Now Open
Well the whole story was a pretty natural process for the people involved: Joe Friel, Dirk Friel and Gear Fisher. This is all about passion for athletic achievement and creating something new with existing technology.
It's probably pretty simple to understand how Joe and Dirk became involved in this project as they are a father-son duo and Joe is the author of numerous endurance training books, but what about Gear Fisher? To answer that let's start at the beginning.
In 1999 Joe had finished writing his series of Training Bible books and was well on his way to creating a high quality coaching and consulting business. Ultrafit Associates, was growing quickly and he had brought onboard several coaching associates including Dirk. The current process of coaching however had one big frustration and that was the reliance on the old-world pen and paper methods to record training and racing parameters. The scenario played out weekly as the athlete would have to record by hand what occurred each day, and then either by fax or by mail return information to his or her coach. Many athletes never could find the time to record and/or return their daily training logs. This meant the ability to coach someone to their potential was dramatically jeopardized as the coach and athlete in these situations were working with a communications gap. Fax and "snail mail" had just become too slow or unreliable.
At the same time book sales of The Training Bible series were very good and many of the readers contacted Ultrafit Associates for coaching services. Inquiries and general questions on training sky rocketed and many revolved around the demand for training software based on Joe's methods and philosophies. Some readers had even gone as far as to create their own Excel spreadsheets to help them plan their annual training plan yet they couldn't integrate their daily training log as easily. They could really benefit from a complete software package that integrated both their daily training log, a workout planner with workout menus and guidelines, and finally a graphing/analysis feature to spot fitness trend.
During the winter of 1999 Gear and Dirk planned a get together with their families in Vail, Colorado where Gear was living at the time. The two of them first became friends in the early 90's through cycling when they lived in Fort Collins, CO. They were such good friends that Gear was even the best man in Dirk's wedding.
During the Vail rendezvous the two friends had a chance to catch up on the year's events, which included the birth of Gear's daughter, Payton. Conversation also centered around the frustration that Dirk and Joe had been experiencing within their athlete development business- the lack of athletes training data being returned.
Gear confidently said that he could create a web-based data system that could act as a training log and coaching software. Why not just build a web-based program that included the coaching guidelines that Joe had been preaching for years? Not only could Gear create an interface between coach and athlete, but he could eventually create a self-coached version to help many thousands more.
Dirk was so excited and amazed that upon his return home he immediately called Joe to tell him about this magical idea Gear had proposed. Joe also saw the possibilities and gave the go ahead to start the project and within six months a beta version had been created.
Between June and October of 2000 TrainingPeaks.com was being tested by four coaches and their athletes. Ideas were developed, tested and applied to create a self-coached version that went live on October 1st. TrainingPeaks.com is still technology in development and all ideas and suggestions are welcome. One idea that was implemented was a message board where athletes could post their questions to be answered and commented upon not only by Ultrafit Associates coaches but also by other athletes who may have insight and value to add. Many have found this one feature to be worth their membership dollar.