Windows Phone version coming soon!

We’re in the final stages of testing a new version of SpeedCoach Mobile for Windows Phone. If all goes well, we’ll be submitting for approval in the next couple of weeks, and it should be available in the Marketplace shortly after that.

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Version 3.0 now available!

SpeedCoach Mobile version 3.0 is now available in iTunes. This update adds support for live-streaming your workouts via MapMyTracks.com. The update interval can be set from 2 seconds (for near-instantaneous tracking) to 5 minutes (for best battery life). The app can be configured to be “offline”, “online public”, “online private”, or to ask you for your preference at the start of each practice or workout.

The new version also includes a couple of bug fixes, and support for heart rate and stroke rate in the GPX export format (using the Garmin Oregon GPX extensions).

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SpeedCoach Mobile version 2.5 released today!

The latest free update to SpeedCoach Mobile was approved by Apple today and is available for download from the app store now. This version includes two new heart rate options, detailed stroke force data, a new “total distance” data field on the row/paddle screen, support for background mode, and more!

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Learn more about accessories and waterproof cases

A new video is available that describes accessories that you might find useful with SpeedCoach Mobile. External GPS receivers allow you to get speed and distance information on an iPod touch, and several different options are available for monitoring your heart rate. The video also shows five different waterproof cases that are currently available.

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Understanding check and bounce

SpeedCoach Mobile uses the built-in accelerometer in the iPhone (and iPod touch) to accurately measure your stroke rate. But the accelerometer is capable of much more. With it, SpeedCoach Mobile can also calculate metrics that provide insight into the “quality” of your rowing. It does this through two separate metrics – “check” and “bounce”.

The first of these (check) is well understood by rowers and coaches, but can be described and measured in many different ways. After much experimentation, we found that a useful way to think about check is to consider the smoothness of the recovery.  During the recovery phase, the rowing shell naturally decelerates. However, irregularities in the natural deceleration can be indicators of flaws in the stroke. Rushing the slide or driving with the legs before the blade is in the water both cause the natural (and gradual) deceleration of the boat to be disrupted.

In SpeedCoach Mobile, the “check” factor is an indicator of the consistency of your deceleration during the recovery phase of the stroke. The lower the number, the smoother your recovery. Higher numbers may indicate one of the flaws mentioned above. Many factors will naturally influence the check factor – boat type, stroke rate, power, water conditions, wind, and so on. It’s best to look at the check factor within the course of a single interval or workout. Comparisons from day to day will be much less meaningful. Within a single interval, you may find it helpful to experiment with your stroke to see what changes can lower the check factor.

To reduce the effects of any single stroke, the check factor is calculated as a running average over your last five strokes. This makes it easier to focus on long-term habits and trends that affect your rowing, rather than focusing on a single bad (or good) stroke.

The bounce factor is easier to describe. Bounce is just a measurement of the energy associated with the vertical displacement of the boat in each stroke, the idea being that vertical motion generally represents wasted effort. High “bounce” numbers may mean that you are lunging at the catch (causing the stern to dip), pulling through too high with the handles during the drive (lifting the hull), or not maintaining good posture at the release (causing the bow to dip). Like the check measurement, bounce is averaged over your last five strokes and comparisons from day to day or boat to boat are discouraged.

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Performance Phones at the Kossev Symposium

The third annual Kossev Symposium is coming up on November 19-20 in Seattle. Representatives from Performance Phones will be in attendance to demonstrate our application, answer questions, and listen to your feedback. If you plan to attend, please stop by our booth and attend our vendor presentation to learn more about our product and get a sneak-preview of the Windows Phone version currently in development.

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