May 14, 2015

Personal Records

You've never seen a trophy room like this

Today we are thrilled to announce the public release of our brand new entirely redesigned personal records page. The new design takes the idea of a "trophy room" to a whole new level with some innovative features we think you'll like. This is a big feature release so be sure to read through to the end to get a full picture of everything you can do.

Interactively explore your PR history

When you visit the new PR page, you'll immediately notice a few new buttons at the top. You can now filter your data by sport and by date.

It seems simple at first, but this is an extremely powerful new way to look at your best efforts seasonally. For example, you can quickly filter by Cycling and click the previous year button to see how your Critical Power progressed over the year. We also show your estimated FTP for the time period, as well as your fastest times at common race distances.

Explore your progression through time

Below the header section is an entirely new visualization we've created to show your PR progression over time. Let me introduce you to the PR Timeline:

In the PR Timeline you'll see a circle for every workout where you broke a record during the time period. Move your mouse over the PR Timeline to highlight a PR stream for a particular record. For example - below is an illustrated history of every time I broke my 5K running PR:

I've got records all the way back to my first race in 2004 with my Forerunner 205 to my current record which was (sadly) in 2010. Move your mouse over a particular record to get more details, and a link to the workout:

The timeline reflects any sport and date filtering you've added. The image above is a great illustration of how you can use this. I haven't broken my 5K time (22:24) since 2010, but I did have a nice 8K in 2014 and I'm curious how that season stacked up. To find out it's as easy as filtering by 2014 and moving my mouse over the PR Timeline:

Ok... I was off by 1m 29s, not great. But what if I had only missed my PR by a second or two? You'd never know this from a PR page that only shows your best "all time" workouts. With our interactive timeline, you can reveal seasonal best efforts that may have otherwise been hidden.

~That's actually pretty cool~

You can also see from above that day I had seasonal PRs in every other distance (notice the vertical line of circles). That makes sense, I didn't have any other serious races in 2014.

Below the PR Timeline you'll see two columns of records - workout and time based.

Workout (segment) records

The left side should be familiar - this is the standard list of distance-based records you see in pretty much every app. But we've also made a significant leap forward here. Before the app only calculated your PRs if the entire workout distance matched the target distance. PRs are now calculated based on every portion of your workout that meets that minimum distance - what we lovingly call "segment records".

What does this mean in plain terms? You can PR a 5K (or 1 mile, or 800m) at any longer distance  - whether that is a 10K or marathon, we'll search the entire workout for your fastest segments and that will now "count" as a PR if it's faster.

In addition, when you click the PR (from the table or the PR Timeline) and zoom over to the workout you'll see the fastest segment conveniently highlighted in the workout details - on the chart, in the map, and in the browser URL which you can share with your friends.

At this point if you're following closely, you may be asking yourself - why is his best 1 mile PR in the last mile of an 8K race?!? There is actually a story to that which involves a bit of friendly competition - another reason why these new interactive PR features are so cool.

A note about official race records and historical records before you started tracking with GPS.

While the system will calcualte every segment record within a workout, you can also "override" a faster record by manually editing the workout and entering the exact race distance and chiptime. This is useful if for example the GPS bonked and came up short on your marathon, not giving you credit for the last 0.1 mile - just go in and edit the distance to 26.2.

This is also useful if you're new to the system and have old records you want to manually enter. It's as easy as creating historical workouts for those dates with the correct race distance and PR time. Grab your paper notebook of PRs and click the Add Workout > Enter Details menu item to enter them.

Timely records

To the right of the distance speed records column you'll find a new set of records that are calculated from your workout history. Here you'll find the time periods where you maxed your workout totals in: time, distance, elevation gain, calories, and effort. Like the PR Timeline and distance records, these records are also limited to any sport or date filter you've chosen, so you can show records for runs, bike rides, or even skiing.

From the top to the bottom you'll find a block each:

  • Best efforts for any single workout.
  • Best efforts for any single calendar month.
  • Best efforts for any single calendar year.

And, like the PR Timeline and distance records sections, all of these records have hyperlinks allowing you to jump to the relevant time period on your calendar.

Viewing sport-specific records like critical power

When you first visit the personal records page the sport and date filters are blank. You'll see all your current records for time and distance, along with the timeline at the top.

For multi-sport athletes - this can be a lot of data to absorb in one glance. With that in mind you won't see sport-specific records until you set your filter to a particular sport. This also makes sense for records that really don't make sense to mix across sports.

A great example of this is critical power - it's only relevant for cycling. To view critical power and estimated FTP, set the sport filter to cycling.

At this point the only sport-specific metric is critical power, but new ones may come in the future.

Removing bad records

The last feature I want to talk about is correcting PR records.

The downside of sub-segment record calculations is that the system has a lot higher reliance on your data being "good". A few minutes of lost GPS signal and suddenly your 400m time is faster than Usain Bolt. A spike in your power sensor and your 60 second critical power puts you in competition with elites. There are a bit of checks in the processing routines to ask "is this even humanly possible?" - those get tossed out - but there are times when you just need to manually remove a PR you know is bad.

Not a problem. We also allow you to remove individual segment records for any calculated PR, taking them out of your "trophy case". You may have noticed a lot of small trash can icons next to your records when you move the mouse over them. Simply click the icon in the segment record table or timeline and the PR is removed.

Have a coach? Or maybe you are a coach?

As you can see above we've added a lot of new features in this release. We've also made an important improvement to our security permissions for personal records. Starting today your coach can view your personal records page - just like your calendar, workouts, health and analysis pages.

If you're a coach, this means you can go look at your athlete's best efforts, using all the same filtering and interactive features that athletes get described above, including critical power bests from last season, or two years ago, and how they compare to where your athlete is at now. Important stuff.

But wait... there's more

In the personal records page you're seeing the result of a fundamental redesign of our records processing. Records are now processed at the segment level. Records are now calculated for multiple metrics (speed, power and heart rate... so far). And we've engineered an entirely new processing pipeline for record calculation to ensure website performance remains high.

This opens up a lot of new opportunities that you'll see delivered in the future. We haven't committed to putting any of these on the short-term roadmap yet, but we'd like to get you excited about potential by hinting at features we can now add with a LOT less effort:

  1. Records notification. You just finished a run and broke a record. It would be nice to get an email telling you that, right? It would also be nice for your coach to know, and maybe your friends on Facebook too. This is especially relevant for time trials where you hit a new high in your critical power. Maybe time to revisit your FTP?
  2. Workout comparison to best efforts. It's great to see how a particular workout you just completed compares with your best efforts. Now that we calculate segment records, it makes sense to show them in workout details. For example: "This run was your 5th (of 12) fastest 10K this year".
  3. Workout CP plots compared to best. Similar to #2 above, it makes a lot of sense to allow you to overlay your best CP efforts over the CP plot on the workout details.
  4. Race predictor. You've run a few 5K and 10K races - how would you do in a half marathon? We've now got data that we can use as inputs to algorithms that predict race times.
  5. Badges and accomplishments and challenges. Hurray - you rode 500KM in one weekend!! Beast mode!! A lot of websites do this. It's not really our focus, but we can easily add badges and accomplishments into our processing pipeline if people demand it.
  6. Comparison rank. We now have all the records of your friends - and strangers in your city and age group. Showing where you rank would be an obvious next step.
  7. More metrics! Vertical ascent records? Runstreaks? Farthest travelled between two workouts? Yep, we can add these too.

Shut up and tell me how to get this!

To access your personal records, move your mouse over your profile photo in the upper right corner of the website header and select "Personal Records" from the menu.

WHEW! This is getting into DCRainmaker territory. That's enough talk about software for now. Time to get out there and chase a few new personal records!

Questions, comments, feedback? Hit us below.


This is an absolutely super sweet implementation of this feature. Well done!
I know you have a lot of ideas listed under "more metrics!" but I can't help to push for the cooper test to be included.

This is a solid idea, and would fit well with the "Achievements" section that lists weird things like runstreak.

Would you want to see total distance and pace you ran it, or just the calculated VO2MAX estimation?

For me personally I'd be more interested in total distance covered as I think it's a fun and quick form indicator to use. But I think that many would appreciate a VO2max estimation as well. I would too actually... :)

Great!!! :-D Have some comments though:
1. Could you please remember last filtering used as you do on other pages?
2. Is there a way to force official race record instead of the one from GPS track? What I mean here is that sometimes you run through a tunnel or finish the race on closed arena where there is no GPS signal. That way the distance from GPS may be inaccurate but I do not want to use "trash" option for that activity because it still was my the fastest run in my life. Right now I manually modify the distance and time inside the activity details based on data provided in official race results. However it seems that data is not used in PRs anymore and GPS based data (nearly 2 minutes faster for half marathon in that specific case) is used in my case.
3. It seems that '2015' filter does not work too well as it filters the data to 2015 only but scale is from the hole last year.
4. Can you provide "Last Year" filter?

1. Yeah, this makes sense. We can add it in a few minutes, should have the website updated this weekend. Completely spaced that - sorry.

2. Absolutely. Every time we process a workout for records, we first look at the distance data (from GPS or other sensor), as a final step we take the total entered distance and time, and if it matches a "target" distance and is faster, we'll use that. So you can accomplish this by editing the workout and manually entering the distance and chiptime.

3. Aha! We show a minimum of 1 year in the timeline. The rationale is that it's going to look really empty otherwise (especially on a large screen) - and for a user that only has a month of data, it would look odd. we need to revisit this if the filter is enabled.

4. You should see a button in the date filter labeled "2014" - these are dynamic (i.e, next January it will say 2016, 2015)

1. Thanks! :-)
2. In my case loosing of GPS signal caused my watch to switch to cadence based distance estimation. As a result my watch claimed to register 22,3 km of running instead of certified half marathon race. So according to "segment GPS" metrics I run half marathon faster than in real life. And that is why I see 2 minutes faster time in PR than official score from the race.
3. OK, but in such a case you should filter the data the same. Seeing half of the axis empty looks odd if you train a lot ;-)
4. By "Last year" I meant from May 2014 - May 2015.

2. Click the trash button to delete the segment PR, it will then show the next fastest, which should be the entered time.

3. Yep, seems simple, we'll add that today.

4. "Previous 12 months". Will think about adding that. While we provide the ability to filter any dates, it's a bit cumbersome for these common scenarios. Probably a better solution is something that shows Year/Month, rather than exact dates. (then someone will complain they can't pick April 08, 2009 to filter from)

2. I did as you said and I just lost that activity from the axis at all. How to restore it with proper time?
4. Yes, it seems reasonable. In fact after a few years you may end up with no space for next year ;-). Moreover it will be consistent with your Health page filtering where you have "All", "Year", "3 months", "Month"...

2. You can edit the workout and save it and it will re-process the personal records.

However, that might be a problem we'll have to investigate. I'm not sure if there is a way to exclude only *SOME* segments of the workout, while including others. I'll have to discuss this with the engineering team to see how it would even be possible. Might be we have to allow users to manually edit segment time/distances.

A simple hack is to create a manual workout for the PR, and completely delete the old workout with the bad GPS data. Another option would be to edit the GPS data (using something like our PC app).

I occurs to me a REALLY simple solution: If the total workout distance exactly matches the target distance we're looking for, ignore the GPS calculated times and use the total time entered on the workout as the PR.

Currently we only use that time if it's FASTER, but it probably makes sense to use it if it's slower too - assuming the time is more accurate in these scenarios.

That would fix your issue. I'll talk to the team.

It seems OK but in such a case please provide the exact distances you use for marathon and half marathon distances ;-). It seems that you are using floating point values in GUI which may make it even more complicated. You may be forced to add some 'precision' margin. I predict some issues here.

Yeah - we always consider issues such as this, and have designed the total distance detection accordingly with a small acceptance range. At least in theory lol.

Ohh and on more.
5. Could you please add marathon and half marathon distances PR for inline skating?

5. Easy. What are the distances (in meters), and do you want them labeled in meters, kilometers, or with text "Marathon" / "Half Marathon".

I think that the best here would be to be compatible with your existing running PRs. The distance is the same as for running.

Hey, awesome new feature.

Is it normal for PRs to not "stay" deleted when I delete them? If I delete a PR vie the trash can symbol, leave the page and then return my change isn't remembered. This is a pity because I do need to change a lot manually and I will for sure stop using the PR table if I have to do it every single time!


The record is trashed permanently - only for THAT WORKOUT.

So if you have another workout that was 2nd fastest - this will become 1st.

Personally, for my 400m records a lot of my data was really bad (some 10 years ago), it took me about 10 minutes to clean things up, review the workouts, etc. Now it looks great and yes, it is remembered.

First of all, good job. The new PR page is great.

As Mateusz Pusz says in his first comment there should be a way to force a race to be a PR. For example, my best official half marathon has only 21.03 km. for my GPS, so I suppose the app doesn't considered it as a half marathon and it doesn't appear in the page.

Thanks for all.

I've edited the blog post to explain how to enter official records. Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks Aaron. Good job.

Well, first of all: !!!!!!! All right!! Thank you SportTracks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This kind of records page was my main request from SportTracks, and you delivered. Really, really welcome. Awsome work guys.

1) I like the overall look. It's quick to find information, and the graph with all the sports is surprisingly fast and intuitive to browse with mouse over.

2) The TRASH function is awsome. I had some garbage workouts back when I used a phone GPS, and it took me 5 minutes to cleanup my 400m/800m/1km invalid records.

3) It would be nice to have thre "Personal Records" tab button on the top, next to "Gear", now that it will be clicked on very often :)

4) I don't particularly like emails with acheivments or new records, but I would like to see some kind of notification on the workout page itself.
Maybe a text bar over the map and graph saying something like "Congratulations! New fastest run over 5km: 20:05!"

5) It would be great to be able to have a different kind of graphic available.
It would be a switchable option at the top, next to All dates / All sports.
You would need to select a sport and a distance, and it would show the best time for that distance for each week/month/year (selectable). A plot of your best results for a given distance over time.
The X axis is week/month/year, the Y axis is pace/speed.

6) Again, thank you guys!!!!!!!

Rodrigo Valle - Porto, Portugal

Looks great. However, not sure f this is a bug or I'm just being stupid. I removed all the non-race 10k PBs which worked great, but then when I changed my 10k race distances to 10km (edited each one manually), they seem to have disappeared from the PB page. Now it says I have no 10km PB. Is there a way to bring those back?


Saving a workout reprocesses the records. The previous records for the workout get immediately removed, then the processing is queued up separately in the background.

So records may not appear immediately, although it should be there in a minute or so (usually just a few seconds). If you continue to have problems shoot email a support with the details of the workouts you added.

I looked at your records and see two 10Ks on your timeline.

Thanks for the quick response. All makes sense and can see some of them starting to appear.

Thanks for the great work!

Awesome work guys. Really. This is so useful and given it provides the basis of the new features you've hinted at, then it's easily worth the asking price. Keep it up! (And, yes, you've earned your weekend beer...)

Hey all,

We just pushed an update to the website with a half dozen or so of the smaller feature and bug fixes people mentioned above in the comments.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback. Enjoy your weekend!

-Team SportTracks-

Fastest times are not really fastest race times which is a bit disappointing... they are the fastest 5km and 10km segments you have run which could come in a longer race or something. It would ge good to be able to ask for the fastest times for the distance you are running and have them blank if the distance is 10 or 15 percent longer than any given one... for example I have done no 400m races so why should i have a pr in that one?

Yep, this is exactly what our users asked for and we delivered - sub-workout segment PR calculations. It's been at the top of the enhancement request list - FAR above even the second place in number of votes - for about 9 months. For most people this feature enhancement is the opposite of disappointing.

for example I have done no 400m races so why should i have a pr in that one?

If you've run at that distance at some point in your history you certainly have a fastest time record. The question is why NOT show it? What you do with that information is up to you.

If your PRs are in runs that are not races, that is a good thing to know.

To be honest I want to know my PR for the races that most closely match the guven distances. A PR in 400m on downhill segments of longer mountain races (and I have to remove many) is not representative of my real speed. It would be good if you could accomodate users like me who want to see race pra not just segment prs which in many cases of longer distance runners might be in one specific race where you blew away your times! Until then I am not sure this has too much value for me

Well, there is some disagreement, I'm not sure what you mean by "real speed", when in fact, you achieved that speed, so... it is reality.

There is an extremely simple and low-tech solution if you don't want to see those records: don't look at them.