Gear's Thoughts: We Have Ignition

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | By Gear Fisher
 
 
 
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Exactly one year ago today, we started on a very big mission. That mission was to re-engineer our three main products: the TrainingPeaks.com web application, our iOS and Android mobile apps, and our industry-leading desktop analysis software WKO+. I dubbed the whole effort “Project Mars”.  

I chose the code name "Mars" because I knew the project represented a very lofty goal. Like Mars, we could see it from where we stood and we knew it was attainable, but it was enough of a leap that we weren't sure yet how we would get there. Just as mankind planning to set foot on Mars would require that we invent new technology, techniques, and processes to make it a reality; we too would have to reinvent ourselves as a company to get this done. The decision would mean that we would be devoting a majority of our development resources to these new products, and our existing products would be put on hold. The thought of converting our legacy Flex application to modern HTML5/JavaScript was scary to say the least. We had to serve our loyal customers but make sure we could deliver for you in the future.

We spent the summer of 2012 developing a strategic plan and laid out a rough road map of what we wanted to get done. With that plan, we set off and hired 13 people - that was "grow time". By January 2013, it was execution time, and we began development in earnest. We had many initiatives including: engineering an entirely new user interface, building a new API service layer, adopting a new development process, moving our hosting to the cloud, learning new languages, researching development libraries and techniques, and bringing in a phenomenal design team. We pored over every little detail along the way.

Today, we light the engines: We're starting the beta-test phase for the new TrainingPeaks web app.We’re far enough along that it’s time to start getting your feedback.

What Should Beta Users Expect?

First of all, we’re not done. For our beta release, we focused on the most fundamental parts of our core TrainingPeaks experience: the Calendar and Dashboard. We honed in on making sure you could upload a workout from a device, view the results, and see your improvements over time. 

 

The first thing you’ll notice is the new design. We strove for a strikingly beautiful, clean, crisp approach to displaying data visually and clearly. Of course, we took the opportunity to improve, not just duplicate our functionality. Some of my favorite new features:

Calendar

  • Infinite scroll with “week snap”
  • QuickView with more data, expanded view for fully interactive zoom and details
  • Visual weekly summary showing planned vs. completed information
  • Workouts in your library now show Distance, Duration and TSS
  • Drag a workout from your Calendar into the Workout Library to create a template
  • Drag and drop a device file onto your Calendar to upload the file
  • Use Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V (Cmd-C, Cmd-V on a Mac) to copy and paste workouts. Use Shift to select multiple days
  • Color coded workouts automatically display compliance by completed duration
  • Drag and drop a training plan from your library onto the Calendar to apply it

Dashboard

  • Every chart now can use the primary Dashboard date-range setting, or have its own
  • Customize the title of any chart
  • Double-click a chart to maximize and minimize
  • Consistent "drag and drop" function to add charts
  • Elevation gain by week chart

Maybe my favorite feature: it works on an iPad!

What’s not there yet? For now, you won’t be able to record meals, build your ATP or use VirtualCoach™. Keep in mind though that this beta release is just the beginning of our rollout of the new TrainingPeaks.

We know there are many things our users love about the current TrainingPeaks web app, so our primary goal was to improve the experience while maintaining a familiar feel. As such, the new version is beautiful, fast and familiar. Coupled with our new, native iOS app, and Android app (in beta also), we’re building tools that work together seamlessly for every screen of the modern world. I think you’re going to love it.

What about WKO+?

For the WKO+ users out there, I can also tell you Hunter, Andy and the rest of the WKO+ team have been hard at work on the new WKO+ 4, and it is very cool. Not only will you see a dramatic upgrade in speed, functionality and features (and did I mention native on the Mac), we will be introducing revolutionary new science for tracking and measuring endurance training that will help coaches and athletes better understand exercise intensity and its effect on the athlete. We will be making official announcements for WKO+ 4 by the end of October so make sure you check back with us for release dates.

iOS and Android

We're making great progress on the mobile front. iOS is live and we've released 3 updates already. Android is nearing completion and we're finishing up the beta test phase. It should be live here in the next few weeks. As you can see below, the apps closely reflect the design language of the web.  

Beta Test the New TrainingPeaks

Excited to test drive Project Mars? If you're a Premium Athlete Edition subscriber, you can apply for the chance to be a part of our beta testing team. Sign up for an invite here.

If you want to help us with our long-term goals, we’re looking for more high-quality engineers.

Engine 1 has been lit. The rocket may still be on the launchpad, but with your help, we’ll have liftoff.

-Gear

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