July Update: Open LiveTracking, New Graphs & Results

Are you sweating like we are? It has been one hot summer here. And not just because we now include temperature with our workouts. We’ve also got some hot new releases just finished rolling out this month. 🙂

I did my first half-marathon in a long while last week and just about collapsed, the heat was killer, and I think I went out too fast for the heat. According to iCardio I finished in 1:59:58, but official time ended up being 2:00:01 – so close. Still, a shiny new medal and a sense of accomplishment. I’ll take it and call it an excellent weekend!

App Releases Hot Off the Press

Apple | New Graphs
Hot off the heals of Power Sensors and Power Zones support, we’ve added trend lines and current readings to our graphs. A great way to easily judge your averages over each lap, and keep yourself on target!  A personal favorite feature, for sure.

We haven’t got the Apple Watch stand alone out yet, but continue to work hard to put the finishing polish on it. We’ll keep you posted.

Android | Custom Dashboards & More
Show you what you want, the way you want it. Yeah baby. A new, very powerful custom dashboard feature comes to Android.  One stat or many, you get what you need. We’ve also added auto-swipe for screens, which is great when in the gym or Spinning® class. Check it out and let us know what you think!

LiveTracking | Open Tracking
Track your workouts and have your friends and family join in without having to log in – new on my.fitdigits.com profile Account Settings. Star members set your LiveTracking sessions on Open, and the link you can share (or not) is open to anyone you share it with, no login or account required.

Thank you for allowing us to do what we love and to serve you. We appreciate you being on the health journey with us. Stay strong and keep cool when you can, but remember sweat is good too!
Chris

Chris & Team Fitdigits

June Update: Welcome to Summer with Power Released, Strava Integration

Welcome to Summer! It’s the season for long runs, rides, hard sweaty workouts, and fun new features.

It's a Fitdigits Summer!

The first day of Summer. Time to review how you did over spring, and set new goals for the long warm days ahead! Check out this presentation we did to remind you of the hard work you put in this last Spring:

 

YOUR SPRING WORKOUTS IN REVIEW

 

Now it is time for beach, bathing suits, long days like today and tons of fun!

We hope our members have been enjoying having the Weather recorded automatically on each workout! We think it is totally cool and critical info.

We Have the Power! Watts that is.
Just released for iOS is Power Sensors and Power Zones support, mainly for our cycling friends, though we look forward to hearing good things from the Rowing community as well. Let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear from you.

This also marks the first time our full product line is available in Spanish, and the re-introduction of Strava as a share partner. Woop!

The Apple Watch stand-alone is still in Alpha, but making progress. Sorry for the delay there. We are still hoping by the beginning of July for Beta.

On Android, we are putting the final touches on custom dashboards as we get ready to add more types of sensors to the apps. Looking good on that front.

Once again, we enjoy serving you, and look forward to a long and healthy journey together. Stay strong and have fun this summer!
Chris

Chris & Team Fitdigits

May 2018 Update: Weather, Power & Watts Support, Apple Watch

Cold, hot or just right? How temperature affects your exercise.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Bless all those in uniform, current and past, who allow us to be where we are today. So many of my personal friends and family I need to thank, I am grateful and blessed.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, time for winding up of school years and thinking about fun in the sun activities. It’s the perfect time for barbecue and working out!

With summer comes temperature changes. Temperature has such a significant impact on performance when it comes to working out, which is why we’ve now released a great new feature for members – Weather! We now automatically add weather and local temperature to your tracked activities. Wonder why your heart rate was more elevated last weekend? Maybe because it was over 90 degrees out? Now you’ll know and track it with everything else.

But that isn’t all. We added Power / Watts support for our cycling friends out there, in the spirit of the totally inspiring Amgen Tour of California. Those guys are amazing! They even came through our home town of Ventura this year. It was fun watching them ride through our neighborhoods with the rest of the Fitdigits team.

We’ve also released updates to our debug logs (to make tracking down those hard-to-pin-down issues easier), and a bunch of other fixes and improvements.

Next up for the next iOS releases, look for Power Zones support, now in beta. We’re also getting our feet wet with a Spanish version (looking for beta testers btw :), and adding Strava as a share partner. The real big news though is Apple Watch stand-alone officially hit Alpha, and it looks great!

On the Android side, we are putting the final touches on custom dashboards as we get ready to expand the different workout sensor types supported. Totally revamped, you can choose between one and many metrics on any given dashboard and add as many as you want. Currently in beta, this gives you the ultimate control over what data you want to see in your workouts.

We enjoy serving you, and look forward to a long and healthy journey together.
Chris

Chris & Team Fitdigits

Customize Your In-Activity Dashboards – Android

(View for iOS)

Your dashboards can be fully customized to look just like you want them to, with the options and metrics you choose, and to add as many as you want! Simply swipe between them in your workout. Interested in heart rate monitoring only? Or maybe pace/speed and time? It’s easy.

Add a Custom Dashboard

  1. Customize Dashboards on AndroidSelect your Activity type, tap the Activity Options (gear icon)
  2. Tap Dashboards
  3. Tap “Add New Dashboard” to create a new dashboard

Creating & Managing Your Dashboards

  • Tap and hold a previously defined dashboard to delete it
  • Turn the toggle on or off to show the dashboard while in your workout
  • Tap the dashboard to edit a previously defined dash
    • Note: You can have up to 4 sections on each dashboard, and as few as 1 section with just 1 metric (if you like a really big heart rate readout!). Each section can have up to 4 metrics. The metric sizes are auto adjusted to fit the space.
  • Tap on any given metric that is already in place to edit the metric that shows in that section.
  • Tap “+ ADD” to add another metric to that section. The order of the metrics and how they are added is shown in the screen shot below, and depends on how many metrics you are going to have in your given section.
  • If you want to remove a section, tap each metric and tap Remove – once all metrics are removed the section will be removed and the remaining sections will expand to fit the space.
  • To add a section, tap the “+ SECTION” button at the bottom of the screen. Note there is a maximum of 4 sections per dashboard screen.

Viewing / Adding Multiple Dashboards

Viewing multiple workout dashboards in a single workout is especially useful for custom workouts or sensors stats. For example, one dashboard tracking distance, speed and cadence. Another dashboard for heart rate, calories and time elapsed. A third dashboard for zone stats if you are using custom heart zones. On the other hand, there are people who want to focus on a single metric. Either way, a great way to customize your tracking!

 

 

Power Sensor Support & Power Zones

Ready for some Power? We are! Cranking up the Watts just makes you feel, well, powerful. And according to science, there is no more accurate version of calories burned than Kilojoules, something you can only get accurately by measuring watts. For cycling, it is the rage, and for good reason. If you are interested in learning more on the history and the power revolution, listen to this great podcast with Hunter Allen at VeloNews.

So let’s jump right into the nitty-gritty. The requirements are pretty basic – a compatible BLE Power Meter, an iOS compatible device with one of our apps installed and a Star Membership.

Pairing your Bluetooth low-energy Power Meter

Menu > Sensors > Power > tap the + sign while engaging the power sensor (turning the crank)

Tap OK to pair with the sensor.

Note: If there are multiple sensors found, like if you are in a Spin(r) class, you will also see a proximity meter next to the sensors. Typically the most powerful signal is the one closest to you. Tap that sensor to pair.

Running a Workout with Power

Once your sensors are paired, simply hit the play/go button on the activity type you’re using the sensor on, or chose any number of ways you can start your workout / workout routines. It will acquire the sensor as you activate it, and begin the workout. If you want different data then what is shown on the default dashboard, you can easily setup custom dashboards, even one just dedicated to Power metrics. You also can swipe to a Power (Watts) graph, with Power Zones if you have set them up or done a Personal Power Assessment.

Setting Up / Editing Power Zones

Edit Power Zones(Coming soon in version 8.122)

Setting up Power Zones is easy, and allows you to start designing workouts specifically targeting different systems and improvements. You typically want to personalize your zone set (see more on the Personal Power Test (PPT) below) to customize your zones to your current fitness level (we are not fans of default zones here!! We are all individuals and very different, and we respect that!). If you are familiar with customizing and managing heart rate zones, it’s the same process.

Select your activity type for the Zones, tap the Gear / Activity Options icon.

Under the Preferences section, Tap Power Zones > Add Zone Set

Tap the title to change it, change the values on the right to modify them, tap the zone name to change those if you want.

Edit Power ZonesTap Save to save the set. That will bring you back to the Zone Set list. Tap again into the details and tap Set Default at the top if you want to use that zone set as your default.

To delete a zone set, in the Zone Set listing, tap edit, then tap the red delete icon on the left.

Personal Power Test (PPT) – Power Zone Assessment

Training at various intensities gives specific physiological adaptations. The most accurate way to categorize intensity ranges is by measuring the work-rates that cause various physiological responses. Power Zones are based on a percentage of a rider’s baseline fitness marker, known as Personal Power Threshold (PPT). PPT represents the rider’s ‘work-threshold’ or their current level of fitness. With power meter technology of the Spinner® Chrono or the Crank, the result of a relatively simple and straightforward test can accurately establish your PPT. Once determined, riders can train in their unique ranges based on a percentage of their PPT. Since power is dynamic and improvement in fitness will increase PPT, it is important to retest quarterly (or sooner) to track progress and re-establish zones that match the rider’s current fitness level.

Personal Power Test AssessmentThe Personal Power Threshold Test (PPT Test) is a sub-maximal, repeatable test to determine PPT. It is:
• The personal results of an individual rider
• A scientifically validated incremental test
• Easy to learn
• Repeatable and Reliable
• Sub-maximal, and so can be performed by nearly everyone

After a 10 minute warm up (you can skip this by double tapping on the screen at any time), the test consists of back-to-back two-minute stages, in which the rider sustains a cadence goal within 5RPM of the target, while remaining a seated position, in Hand Position two. The first stage begins with light resistance on the flywheel. Each corresponding stage begins by increasing resistance, while keeping cadence and riding position the same.

The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE (Real Perceived Exertion) to the next level. This also noted as increased wattage. Since individuality and fitness level will determine the actual wattage change, it will generally be around 5–20 watts. Adding too much resistance will bring the rider to threshold too soon. Adding too little resistance will extend the overall duration of the PPT Test. Generally speaking, a rider should aim to complete 5-8 2 minute ramps to completion.

The graded ramp process continues until the rider can no longer sustain the workload for an entire two-minute stage. This will be noted by an obvious decline in the ability to sustain steady pedaling, cadence and riding position. The rider’s PPT is the workload sustained during the last fully completed stage.

Below are the guidelines for implementing the PPT Test. This assumes you have your power meter already paired (see above).

  • Tap Indoor Cycling or Bike (outdoors)
  • Tap the Activity Options (Gear Icon located in lower left of the Activity type screen)
  • Tap Assessments
  • Tap PPT Assessment
  • Warm up countdown will begin. Warm-up for 10 minutes at an easy pace, shifting through different resistance loads and incorporating a few 10-20 second hard efforts. Include some transitions in and out of the saddle. You may advance to PST Test at any time during warm-up, by double tapping the countdown bar.
  • After warm up, begin Ramp 1 with light resistance on the flywheel, at a low workload and cadence that feels relaxed and most natural. The app will begin to countdown 2 minutes. During this time, the app will use your current cadence to determine and set a cadence goal for the proceeding ramps.
  • After 2 minutes, app will transition for 15 seconds to Ramp 2. During the 15 second countdown, the app will inform rider of cadence goal to sustain for next ramps. Increase resistance, while keeping target cadence and riding position the same. The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE to the next level. This will also be noted as increased wattage. The app will begin to countdown 2 minutes. Maintain the target cadence range, within 5 RPM, while maintaining riding position and resistance. The app will inform the rider if their cadence is higher or lower than the target cadence. After 2 minutes, app will transition for 15 seconds to Ramp 3. During the 15 second countdown, the app will inform rider to increase resistance, while keeping their target cadence and riding position the same. The added resistance should be enough to feel the change, as if increasing RPE to the next level. This will also be noted as increased wattage.
  • The ramp process continues until the rider can no longer sustain the workload for the full 2 minute duration. At this time, rider will slide HEART ICON to stop the PPT Test.
  • The app will display a summary of the PPT Test Ramps. Rider will choose the last fully completed as their PPT.
  • Once the PPT is determined, unique Power Training Zones will be determined based on a percentage of PPT. Power Training Zones allows riders to build their training intensity and boost their current level of conditioning in their current training programs.

 

Auto Share to Partners

With our Star Membership, you have the ability to auto-share to your partners! Turn on or off auto sharing on the Partners page on the web for all those partners who allow sharing workout details, and activity providers will be automatically updated every time you do a workout. For those who have a lot of data on another platform, this can be a real time saver!

Auto Share to Partners

 

For an overview of social sharing and other share functionality see our post: Share Your Fitdigits Activities to Our Partners 

Weather & Workouts

Whether there is Weather is not the question. Of course there is weather. And for all our subscribing members, we give it to you!

iCardio Now Supports Weather!A lot of things about your workout is affected by the weather, but until now it has been tough to track it with the workout. We’ve long provided the general weather – cloudy, sunny, raining, even indoors (for many) and more. But now you get the temperature as well for every workout. That way you, your groups and coaches all have more insight into just what the workout was like.

In fact, just knowing the temperature can help you customize your effort levels accordingly.

Slower than normal, higher heart rate, but done in 90 degree heat? To be expected.When it is hot, you need to adjust your efforts. As the Mayo Clinic points out:

“To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. If the humidity also is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. That pushes your body temperature even higher.”

The same is true for cooler weather. You need to adapt. Remember you don’t want to reduce your fluid consumption.

Sweating rates are lower in the cold than in the heat, but cold weather exercise can still be dehydrating. Water is lost from the respiratory system at a higher rate on cold days, and exposure to cold air can increase urine production. The cold air can also make you feel less thirsty, which can result in dehydration, damaging your performance and making it harder to stay warm [1]. Even more tips and information for weather can be found all over the internet. Check out this fun article from Bustle on weather and workouts – even includes a gratuitous puppy picture.

Weather added to workoutsBasics of Weather on Fitdigits Apps

On the start of the workout, we will ping weather servers for your location weather. We promise we won’t hold up the workout waiting for the results, as sometimes the servers can take a bit, and we know you want to get going, but we’ll give it a shot. It is good to know.

After the workout is complete, you can see the temperature in the Notes page. We default to the weather type indicated from the servers as well if we received a response. We do realize there is no job harder / easier than weather, partly due to how difficult it is to get accurately in any given situation, so we also give you the ability to edit both the overall weather icon as well as the temperature. Editing is currently only on the web, but coming very shortly to the app too, expected by the end of May, 2018.

 

iCardio Version Migration

iCardio ♦ iRunner ♦ iBiker Version Migration

App Migration PromptIf you are reading this, my apologies, you most likely saw a screen shot like the one to the right. On the positive side, the app you love is alive and evolving, and all your data is safe and sound.

Some great new features and updates on the new version you may enjoy includes custom countdown timer settings, improved stability, and for certain members, weather / temperature integration and LiveTracking too, just to name a few. It’s worth it!

Base Facts

If you are being prompted to download a new version of the app, please do so, and login with your existing username and password. All your data and purchases will come down, though some custom settings may need to be re-set to match your current defaults.

Download on iTunes:

iCardio  ♦  iRunner  ♦  iBiker

If you have trouble or something doesn’t come down quite right, we are confident your data is safe in the cloud. Please contact us at support and we will do what we can to set things straight for yoApp Migrationu. Once you have things all set and are confident everything is in place, please delete the older (red icon) version of the app.

Why Do You Need to Migrate?

If you have been prompted to download a new version of your app – iCardio, iRunner or iBiker, that means you are on a version of the apps that were created in an attempt to keep the apps alive at a time where the good people at the companies involved either didn’t have the ability, due to technology restrictions and/or trademark reasons, to migrate the apps or names to the Fitdigits portal after Fitdigits acquired the apps, nor could Fitdigits take over the original Apple account.

Things being what they are, duplicated apps had to be created and put in the wild for a while to keep them in the store, alive and available. However, as time passed and technology evolved, things that were at one time impossible (like transferring apps) became possible. In the end, instead of having to migrate the vast majority to a single app, there is only a small percentage that need to migrate. Apple has granted us this build to inform you of the need to migrate in order to keep using the app and your Fitdigits accounts.

On the plus side, as mentioned above, there are some great features available to members and others that aren’t in your current builds! As always, we thank you for joining us on the journey to and through a healthy life. Sorry for the extra hassle. We look forward to being your activity tracking partner for many years to come.

 

 

Starting a Workout & Customization

Starting a workout is pretty simple, hit the big play button on the home screen to start. After acquiring sensors and a quick countdown, you’re off. For members, you can also see the weather and temperature too!

But there are times when you might want more time, or less, or you might want to change from outdoor to indoor workouts, as GPS isn’t always available in the basement gyms. Customize Workouts Starting

Customizing the Quick Start Countdown

  1. Choose the activity you want to set a custom countdown on
  2. Tap the gear icon to go to Activity Settings
  3. Tap Countdown Timer section under Preferences
  4. Set the value anywhere between 0 seconds and 6 minutes

Open Ended Starts – Outdoor & Indoor Options

Sometimes you want to just get all sensors acquired, be ready to go, but still not sure how long before you begin. Kids, teammates, your partner, all can effect the start of your workout. In this case, you may want to just have everything ready by launching, but not starting your workout.

  1. Choose the activity you want to perform
  2. Tap the gear icon to go to Activity Settings
  3. Tap Outdoor Workout or Indoor Workout (Indoor will not use GPS)

The workout will launch, but not start. To start, whenever you are ready, tap the Start button at the bottom.

Ending a Workout

Slide the heart button to the right, to the pause icon, to pause the workout. Then tap End.

Alternatively, double tap the pause icon, then tap End.

Launching a Custom Workout Routine

When you want to run your 4 mile standard run, or do a hard HIIT workout your trainer gave you for homework, it’s time for launching one of your routines!

  1. Choose the activity you want to do a routine with
  2. Tap the gear icon > Activity Settings > Workout Routines
  3. Choose the predefined workout or make one up on the fly!

More on Custom Workout Routines

Launching a Fitness Assessment

For more on Fitness Assessments, see our post here.

Managing Notification Preferences

Fitdigits apps can give you many different types of feedback and encouragement. Of course, not every option or metric is for everyone, so we try to do our best to make the level and types of engagement so there is something for everyone, even if that something is nothing.

Daily Steps & Progress Notifications

Daily Activity Notifications

Fig. 1 – Local Apple Health Notification Options

Local notifications about steps on a daily basis when you are connected to Apple Health or Google Fit. The following options are available:

  • Off (no local notifications)
  • Summary (just a previous days summary each day)
  • All (a few encouraging messages through the day).

Manage these notifications in-app under Partners (Fig. 1), at the bottom of the Platforms section.

Resting Heart Rate Notifications

Local notifications about your resting heart rate on a daily basis when you are connected to Apple Health, which is really based mainly around users with the Apple Watch. Since your Resting Heart Rate is really mostly important when you are starting the day to see how stressed or ready your body may be for exercise, it doesn’t do a Summary option, only an All or Off option. Summary is the equivalent of All.

Manage these notifications in-app under Partners (Fig. 1), at the bottom of the Platforms section.

Heart Rate Zone Change Notifications

Local notifications about when you change heart rate zones during a workout. Since these are very oriented towards the in-app workout experience, you can turn them on or off in your app under Activity Options (gear icon) – select the activity type, tap the gear icon in the lower left, tap on Heart Rate Zones. You will find the preferences at the bottom of the list of heart rate zones associated with your account.

See more on these specific zone notifications.

Goals Notifications

Email and push notifications when goals are reached. Future development to include optional goal progress notifications.

New Personal Records & Bests Notifications

Email and push notifications when new personal bests are reached in a given year. Future development to include optional monthly best notifications.

 

OS Notification Management | All Notifications On or Off

Whether you are Android or iOS, the devices settings under the App details can be modified in a variety of ways. These will affect both push and local notifications.

iOS (device/iOS level):

Settings > Notifications > iCardio (App Name)

OR

Settings > iCardio (App Name) > Notifications

Please see the following article on what the Notifications options are on an Apple iOS level.

Fitdigits iOS Notification Options

Android (device/iOS level):

Settings > Apps & notifications > App info > iCardio (App Name) > App notifications

Fitdigits Android Notification Options

We hope you enjoy your messages and settings and find them motivating and informative.