Trail Log for Pocket
Trail Log is copyright (c) 2002, 2003 by Andrew Whaley. All rights reserved.
Terms of the 3 Month Trial
You may use Trail Log fully until the product expires (approximately 3 months following installation). You may not reverse engineer, modify or otherwise tamper with Trail Log in order to circumvent the trial period expiry. Trail Log uses sophisticated cryptographic techniques to prevent this and attempting it could immediately expire the trial or cause the loss of the data already entered in Trail Log. You may register Trail Log at any point before, during or after the trial. You will not lose any data if the 3-month trial period expires and you haven't registered. Once expired Trail Log will continue to function in every respect other than the ability to record new runs is removed.
Trail Log is supplied on an as-is basis with no warranty expressed or implied as to its fitness for any particular purpose. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage arising from the use or misuse of this software.
Whilst every effort will be made to support this software, all users are responsible for confirming that this software performs as required on their own systems.
Your use of this software confirms your acceptance of these terms.
Introducing Trail Log
Trail Log is a runners training log for Pocket PC handheld computers. It allows runners to log details of their training and race runs electronically. Keeping a training log is recognized as a key motivator for runners and Trail Log aims to make this task as chore free as possible while allowing detailed statistical analysis of performance.
Unlike most training log software, Trail Log uniquely accounts for the elevation of routes. This may not be a concern for road runners that generally run flat routes but elevation is a significant factor in trail and fell races. How can you compare your pace on a flat route to a hilly route ? Once calibrated Trail Log allows you to do this by calculating an equivalent flat pace for your hilly run.
Constant feedback from your training log is the reward that makes it worth using and to keep you motivated to improve your performance. Trail Log does this by telling you each time you set a new record for a course and providing constant race time predictions based on recent training runs. Sophisticated flexible reports allow you to view your training data to discover optimum training patterns or just provide confirmation of improvement.
Trail Log Screens
To make Trail Log easy and quick to navigate, the application is divided into four main views; Runs, Routes, Shoes and Reports. All views behave identically in that they consist of one or more 'pages' of records that can be paged through by using the up and down control buttons or by tapping the 'next' and 'previous' links on the page. The records can be edited by selecting them and then clicking the edit icon. Similarly records can be deleted by selecting them and clicking the delete icon. The views can be changed by selecting from the tab panel at the top of the screen and can be one of :-
These are your entered run records, the view is always in reverse date order i.e. the most recent at the top. The run view shows :-
Date - the date the run was run,
Route - route that was run and the number of laps if not 1, if this is a time only run then the estimated distance is shown,
Time - the duration of the run,
Pace - the average pace for the run, this will be the equivalent flat pace if Trail Log is configured to use elevation features,
Type - the type of run (if specified),
Whether the run sets a new record for the route.
These are your predefined routes. Each route record shows the following information :-
Name - The name of the route,
Runs - The number of times the route has been run,
Best - The best recorded time for the route,
Distance - The UK Fell Grade, length and ascent of the route (in the entered units),
Ascent - the ascent (rise) of the route in the entered units,
Best Pace - the average pace of the best run.
Routes can be sorted in any
of the following order by changing the 'Route Sort' in the settings dialog :-
Alphabetic - Alphabetical order of the route name,
Longest - The longest route listed first,
Shortest - The shortest route listed first,
Most Hilly - sorted by hilliest first i.e. greatest ascent rate (ascent / distance),
Least Hilly - sorted by flattest first i.e. lowest ascent rate (ascent / distance),
Toughest - the longest route with greatest ascent first,
Easiest - the shortest route with least ascent first,
Most Recent - the route run most recently first,
Most Frequent - the route run most often first.
Your shoe records. The shoe view shows the following :-
Name - the make and model of the shoes,
Runs - the number of runs recorded against the shoes,
Distance - the total distance the shoes have run (in the preferred distance unit),
Purchase Date - the purchase date of the shoes,
Discussed in more detail later but the report can be one of the following :-
Weekly Summary - an aggregation of 3 configurable weekly statistics, the 1st and 2nd are graphed,
Monthly Summary - as above but monthly,
Yearly Summary - as above but yearly,
Race Times - A list of your race records against common race distances and a prediction of race times based on your recent runs.
The main screen, the only field that is mandatory is the time field. If a time is not entered then the run is not recorded when the dialog is closed. The fields are :-
Date - This is the date the run was done. This field defaults to today's date,
Route - Drop down selection of the route run. If no route is selected then the run is a 'time-only' run and the distance is estimated or you can enter a distance ,
Laps - The number of repetitions run e.g. laps around the track or number of treadmill kilometers etc.
Distance - read only field populated when route is selected or you can enter if no route is selected,
New Route Button - allows a new route to be created on the fly without leaving the run details dialog,
Time - The duration of the run in hours, minutes and seconds,
Type - The type of run, e.g. Easy Run, Hard Run, Fartlek etc. Free format text with drop down list for previous entries,
Race - Indicates whether the run was a race or not,
Shoes - Drop down list to select which shoes were worn,
New Shoes Button - allows the creation of a new shoe record without leaving run details,
The notes dialog allows you to enter a completely free format text note against the run. This may be useful to record weather conditions or other points of interest for the run.
If you use a heart rate monitor, then this screen allows you to record the following details :-
Average Heart Rate - the average heart rate for the run,
Peak HR - the peak (max) heart rate recorded on the run,
Time in TZ - the time spent in the heart rate 'Training Zone'.
To make entering records as painless as possible, Trail Log remembers the previous type and shoes used for a route. When the route is selected these two fields are automatically populated with the previous values used for that route.
Entering Time Only Run Records
It is not uncommon to go for a run without sticking to any particular route but just run for say half an hour. Rather than having to setup lots of different pseudo-routes to cater for this, Trail Log allows you to enter a run without selecting a route. If you just enter a time and no route, Trail Log estimates a distance based on your configured default pace. You can configure your default pace by it setting directly in the Trail Log settings or you can select another run and then select the Edit->Set as default pace menu option which will then use the pace from the chosen run as the default pace.
In addition to time-only runs, you can enter any arbitrary distance e.g. 5.0, 5.0m or 5.0k into the distance field. As with time-only runs make sure that no route is selected and then enter the distance in the field. The distance entered will be assumed to be in your current preferred distance unit unless you suffix the distance with either 'k' for kilometres or 'm' for miles.
From the 'Route' view click the 'New' menu option. This will open the 'Route Details' dialog ready to enter a new route. The dialog consists of the following fields on each screen :-
The name and distance fields are mandatory. The fields are :-
Name - The name of the route,
Distance - The distance of the route in one of the selected distance units,
Distance Unit - the unit of the entered distance (miles or km), this defaults to the distance unit chosen in the settings.
Ascent - the total ascent of the route. This is often published for fell races or can be calculated using a tool like Trailgauge.
Ascent Unit - the unit of the entered ascent value (metres or feet), this defaults to the ascent unit chosen in the settings.
From the 'Shoe' view click the 'New' menu option. This will open the 'Shoe Details' dialog ready to enter a new route. The dialog consists of the following fields on each screen :-
Shoe records consist of :-
Name - The make and model of the shoes,
Purchase Date - The approximate date of purchase (this is purely for your own use, this is not used by any calculations).
The immediate benefit of using Trail Log rather than a paper training log are the available reports. Accessed through the 'Reports' tab at the top of the screen, the reports view offers different views of your log data. There are basically two types of report; Race Times report and Summary reports which are selected from the 'Report' menu or by tapping on the report title on the screen.
Race Time Report
The race time report lists the popular race distances of Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 Miles, 10 km, 5 Miles and 5 km and against each shows your best time recorded as a race in your training log and the date and route name where it was achieved. Any other races that you have done of different lengths or ascents will also be listed. An example could be a Half Marathon with say 600m of ascent, this would not be listed under 'Half Marathon' but would be a separate race entry since times would not be comparable with a virtually flat half marathon. If the 'Use Elevation' setting were switched off then the above example would indeed be listed under 'Half Marathon'.
Against each race distance is also shown a predicted finish time. This time is derived from your best training run (race or otherwise) recorded in the last 30 days.
The summary reports offer a very flexible and graphical statistical view of your training log data. The summary reports offer three configurable fields aggregated either weekly, monthly or yearly. The screen consists of a table of 6 records of the time period and the three field values at the top of the screen. The bottom part of the screen shows a graph consisting of a histogram (bar chart) of the first report field and a line graph of the 2nd report field. This flexible arrangement allows you to quickly show which training strategies are leading to fitness or performance improvements. It is recommended that you use a logged parameter such as distance or duration as your 1st field and a performance indicator such as VO2max or average pace as the 2nd parameter. If you wish to monitor fitness using your resting heart rate then you can enter this against a run at least once in each reporting period in the peak heart rate field. Using the next and previous page buttons increments or decrements the display by 6 records. The configurable fields are selected from the Tools->Report Fields menu option and can be :-
The reported fields can be selected from :-
Distance - the total distance run in the time period in the preferred units configured in the settings,
Duration - the total number of minutes spent running in the time period,
Time in Training Zone - the total number of minutes spent in the heart rate training zone,
Average Pace - the average (equivalent flat) pace for all your runs in the period,
Best Pace - the best pace achieved during the time period,
Average Heart Rate - average heart rate for all runs in the period (where recorded),
Peak Heart Rate - highest recorded heart rate in the period,
Number of Runs - the number of runs recorded in the period,
Calories - energy in kcal expended running during the period,
Calories in Training Zone - energy in kcal expended in the heart rate training zone.
VO2max - the estimated aerobic transport capacity of your body. This figure is calculated for each run in the period and the best figure is displayed. This is a particularly good indicator of your overall fitness since it is independent of distance unlike pace which tends to be slower for longer distances. In Trail Log, this figure also compensates for inactivity by modeling fitness loss at a rate of 2% per week. To make best use of this indicator you should run 'hard' at least once during the report period (e.g. once a week for the weekly report) as this will expose if a new maximum has been attained. During or after periods of hard training you should see this value trend upwards. In inactive periods the value will trend downwards. This figure was often used by sports scientists to predict performance, although better indicators have been found for this, VO2max remains a good measure of overall fitness for endurance sports such as distance running. By selecting this value as your secondary reporting field, e.g. against distance, you can discover where training patterns have led to a direct increase in fitness.
Pace Format - the format which paces are displayed throughout Trail Log. This can be either minutes per mile, minutes per km, miles per hour or kilometers per hour,
Default Pace - the pace used for time only runs in kilometers per hour,
Use Elevation - enables or disables the elevation features of Trail Log,
Elevation Factor - the factor used in calculations for equivalent flat paces and predicted race times,
Weight - your weight in kilograms used for calorie calculations,
Distance Unit - your preferred distance unit (miles or kilometers),
Elevation Unit - your preferred elevation unit (feet or metres).
Week Starts - the day of the week that your training week starts on,
Route Sort - the sort order on the Routes tab.
The elevation features of Trail Log make it unique amongst training log software. Most runners don't run exclusively flat routes all the time and yet most running log software assumes that this is the case. Everyone knows that it takes longer to run a hilly route of the same distance as a flat one so it is pointless comparing paces across different routes unless you can make them comparable. Trail Log does this by using a variation of Naismith's famous walking formula. The way this works is to equate the ascent of the route (a measure of hilliness) to extra distance. A 'rule of thumb' that has been used by fell runners in England is that a climb of 100m is equivalent (in time) to running an extra 1km i.e. 100m ascent = 1000m distance. This 'rule of thumb' therefore uses an elevation factor of 10 since 100m x 10 = 1000m. Trail Log allows this factor to be configurable since it is unlikely to be identical for two runners. Naismith’s walking formula uses a factor of 7.92. I personally find that hilly road routes tend to require a factor of around 6.0.
Once you have configured this factor, Trail Log is able to calculate an 'equivalent flat' pace for all your routes (flat or hilly) so that you can directly compare your performance across all of them. Also once configured, Trail Log is able to accurately predict finishing times for races that include significant ascents e.g. trail, hill or fell races even from performances on purely flat routes.
How to Configure the Elevation Factor
Clearly meaningful use of the elevation features of Trail Log depends on having an accurate value for the 'Elevation Factor'. The best way to do this is to run two routes of varying ascents but similar distances around the same time (e.g. same week) at a similar intensity. An example might be a fairly flat 6-mile route and a hilly 6-mile route. You will need to know the ascent of both routes (a topographic map or GPS device could be used to determine this). A heart rate monitor may help ensure that the intensity remains fairly constant. Having these two run records entered in Trail Log, adjust the elevation factor in the settings until both runs show a similar pace figure. A way to check this is to select 'Toughest' as the route sort on the route screen. If the elevation factor is correct then the routes should also be sorted in descending time order, i.e. the toughest taking longest.
How to Register Trail Log
If you wish to continue using Trail Log after the 3 months evaluation period has elapsed, you will need to register. This costs just $12.95 (USD) and is instantaneous in that an email containing your personalized Activation Code is dispatched as soon as your credit card transaction has been authorized. To do this, please visit the website http://www.traillog.com and click the 'Register' link. You will be guided through all the necessary steps and should receive your email within a few minutes.
After receiving your email, start Trail Log and select the Tools->Register menu option. Enter your name, email and Activation Code supplied. It is important that you enter the name and email exactly as entered on your registration order and the Activation Code exactly as supplied in the email.
Trail Log will then be registered for continued use. It is worth keeping a copy of the email, in case you upgrade your Pocket PC or have to re-install Trail Log for some reason.