A Hilly Summer App Update

I live and do most of my running in London, where it can be quite hard to find any type of hills and the elevation gain field from my activities is never the most relevant.

This summer I managed to escape London twice. The first week when the UK lifted travel restrictions and quarantine early July, I went to the mountains of the Valais in Switzerland and the last week before the quarantine was restored, I went to south france, 30 kilometres in land from Nice, where the Alps ease into the sea. So I got my share of opportunity for testing how to slice and dice elevation gain in ConnectStats.

To keep motivated, I also took a few Strava Challenges, including the august climbing challenge of running at least 2,000m of elevation. It became clear that ConnectStats required a few enhancement to properly track my progress on elevation gain…

This will result in a new version 6.3 of the app as soon as I come back to a place with decent internet upload speed 🙂

Seeing more on the Activity List

The main activity list and the fields displayed hadn’t really changed since the first version back in 2012 or so. The size of each row displaying an activity was the same as the default for the old trusty iPhone 3G. Of course now, I am using an iPhone X that has quite a bit more real estate. So I took the drastic step of adding one whole extra row, where I can display additional information, currently power and elevation gain.

This ended up useful, to find at a glance how much each activity contributed to my goal and which run to repeat to add more…

Summary Statistics

The next missing piece was to keep track the progress on my Strava Climbing challenge. How much elevation gain did I accumulate? This required enhancement to the summary statistics.

I made quite a few improvement to the statistics page, one of them being an extra row of data so you can see at a glance both the elevation gain and power for the period displayed.

You can also swipe left to change the plot at the top to display time or elevation gain for the period.

Because the number of combinaison and configuration of the statistics page is starting to become a bit too much for the two buttons approach, you can now also do a long press on the top right button to pop up a more detailed configuration screen as shown below.

Beside the usual configuration, you can have a few extra one, for example Rolling, will show you the total for the last year, week or month (as opposed to the calendar week or month).

You can also create with the top left button cumulative progress graphs for the weekly and monthly views.

Note that all the configuration combinations may not always produce something meaningful, but it enabled me to track how much I have climbed for each/week or month as well quite nicely, and put it in perspective to my previous years achievements.

Below you can see this month I climbed above 2000m, which was my strava challenge, you can also see graph where I show the monthly progression and the weekly progression in distance.

Happy training

12 thoughts on “A Hilly Summer App Update

  1. ❤️❤️❤️ – that’s really all I can say! Fantastic to see how you keep putting so much energy into continuous improvements of the app. You must be one of the top authors in the App store for “long term reliability”. Thx so much for this!

  2. Yes looks like great enhancements!

    What I look at a lot is WTD and MTD bar charts, to compare this weeks/month progress with prior weeks and months in the current training cycle. Unfortunately the graph then shows them for all weeks/months (making tiny narrow bars). Could I request the wtd and mtd charts are configured with a 6 months total?

  3. Hi, Been using your app for as long as I can remember! Nothing can beat it in terms of run visualisations and stats analysis! I think one of its iconic features is the colour coding of the speed in the run maps, which helps so much understand the run itself and linking up feelings with the real data. Which brings me to my little question: why did you reverse the colour coding? After so many years of use it’s quite disturbing ;). previously light blue=faster, darker brown= slower. A few weeks ago it reversed. Maybe I missed a functionality to change it? Anyway, huge thanks for all the time you spend on it. A very very grateful user, [posted it here as I couldn’t find another place, hope that’s ok]

    • Thanks for the message. Yes I changed the color coding to make it consistent with the other activity types like cycling and other fields like heart rate: better is red, lower Is blue. it was a request I kept getting, as when you run and bike the inverted Colors between activities were a bit confusing. I debated for a while but decided to do it… i always felt it was a mistake I had made a the beginning of the app but never bothered to make it consistent. I made the jump now. If you feel strongly would be easy to add an option to keep the old behaviour…

      • Hi Brice, thanks for the answer. Makes sense and no need to add an option, I’ll just get used to it! 😉 By the way, am sure you noticed, but Garmin have just introduced the colour coding on their maps too. Seems to me their colour coding shows the variance to an historical average rather than the average for the run, so less useful (to me). I guess copying is the sincerest form of flattery, so am sure you took it well, still amazed it took Garmin 10 years or more to do it. Thanks again for all you do for the community!

        • Yes I noticed and thought to myself one less distinguishing features of ConnectStats. I had just published a post on the differences… that said when I looked at the Garmin implementation I felt it was less clear as the run seem all compressed around a few colours, at least for my run. Yes, ConnectStats use a “very fancy” algorithm (just kidding, it’s simple…) to ensure the colours spreads all the value of each run… which makes it a bit more useful to me I think.

  4. As always I love this app and have been using it for years. Thanks for upgrading and maintaining. I don’t know what I would do without it now.

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