SportTracks by Zonefive software is a very interesting program. I use it with my Garmin Forerunner 305 (FR) sport watch and my Garmin Oregon 400t handheld GPS (as a backup). The FR comes with a nice program for downloading exercise/training logs (Garmin Training Center) but SportTracks (ST) is far more detailed and flexible. Does it help you in your exercise regimen? I think so. Whether you are exercising to lose weight, to just tone up a bit, or to get ready to run competitive races it gives you useful data.
The purpose of this article is not to teach you how to use it (I’m still in the learning curve) but merely to share some of the unique features. For the big picture there is a comprehensive “Activity Documentation” report (link is a PDF file). Road CR330 11-19-2010, Activity Documentation. It wraps a LOT of information into a single report. But for more detailed analysis there are individual report components, and each component has a variety of available charts. The “components” include a summary, splits, speed, elevation and workout. If you are cycling and have a cadence sensor on the bike, the FR records cadence which, with the other collected data, allows ST to calculate and report on cadence and power output (in watts).
The detailed reports start with an overall summary for a quick glance at the session. For a workout that has splits, the split analysis can be viewed many ways including the speed, heartrate, elevation, etc.
Each data component is shown both in a table format (and the columns are user-adjustable) and in graphic format with many different charting patterns available. These two graphics show the speed over the distance ridden. The graph is charted in one of many available ways. Other graph options include: speed/time, speed/zone, speed vs avg./zone, and a couple of others. The point is that you can look at your data graphically in many different ways.
On the left you see the elevation plot which I find interest to understand why I got so darn tired at certain points. You will notice the heart rate chart on the right tends to spike about where the elevation rise is steepest! Of course it does. Again, there are many variations to be obtained in each type of chart. Elevation “zones”
There is so much more that can be done with ST that it would take volumes to fully understand how to use it. The current version is 3.0 but I am still using 2.1. The other thing to know about, and use with, ST is that there are numerous 3rd party plug-ins that enhance and expand the utility of the programs. The best group appears to be those by “Old Man Biking” whose webpage also has a lot of good information about ST itself.