You’ve been asking for it for a long, long, long time.
And while I do make reference to Mac options within most product reviews, I haven’t written up a full post on all the options out there for day to day tracking of your activities.
Now’s your chance. A geeks Christmas of sorts occurred yesterday with the arrival of a new MacBook Air (as well as a Windows Surface RT). Thus, I’m on the path now looking for all the best Mac apps out there to pull together for a post on your options.
And while I know of many of them, feel free to drop your suggestions below to ensure I don’t miss any. I’ll then take the most popular and put together a post of all the options and my thoughts on each one. The usual – the good, bad, and ugly. Or perhaps just the good and good. Either way, I’ve got ya covered.
Good. Go forth and drop your suggestions below!
Ascent! 🙂 Love it!
I used to use iSmartTrain but haven’t done for a good while now so not sure how updated it is.
I use Rubitrack, it is easy to work with, and easy to understand.
It would even be better if I could import my Swimsense workouts. And if it could talk to trainingpeaks, or other applications.
It does have Withings scale integration, which is great!
rubiTrack, but judging from the photo you already found that one. 🙂
I am using TrailRunnerX for two years now. I really love it.
Another user of Ascent here, though development appears to have stagnated and im not sure if it being actively worked on anymore.
Dabbling with golden cheetah, and cyclops own power s/w (pc and mac) Otherwise, it’s good old garmin connect.
Not really found an ‘ideal’ solution, so looking forward to this!
Using Garmin connect and also Garmin Training Center, which is much better than the PC version.
Turtle Sport is interesting, and free/open source. It does feel a bit incomplete/buggy in places, but seems to be improving steadily.
I use Vidaone on my PC. I know it’s not a native MAC app, but would love it to be available on MAC
Now moving to TrainingPeaks.
I also have an app for my Poolmate/Swimovate app but that’s a bit cluncky.
I use Golden Cheetah for power analysis, Ascent for general logging and mapping of run data and Physfarm Apollo for planning and an overall training view.
There is definitely no ‘one stop shop’ for sports analysis on the Mac- Physfarm apollo is probably the nearest but doesn’t have the detail needed for full power analysis.
I’m currently looking for a way to extract data from a Salter scale to csv – it does irritate me that some software is only available for PC when more people than ever are using Macs
Previously on SportTrack on Windows with some plugins, i switch to rubiTrack. Last update, version 3 is now pretty good with some interesting features, clear interface, but leak of performances management.
Rubitrack is also my option since I moved to Mac, and Garmin Connect / TrainingPeaks for backup. Previously I was running SportTracks on Windows
I use Garmin Connect and TrainingPeaks. I like GC for it’s simplicity and the map and chart graphics. TP provides the more in-depth analysis that GC Lacks. It would be nice to have a better solution for Mac. I’m hopeful that you can find one.
I use Golden Cheetah because it has a good feature set today and it is pretty clear that there is enough active development and interest in the toolset that it will remain relevant and up to date. I run a nightly build of the 3.x version, which is much better than the 2.1 release, so if you review this it is worth describing both releases since they are quite different.
Training peaks that came with my timex watch. I’m barely using any of the features the software has.
Perfect timing for this review. I’m on mission to find the best app to track training on my Mac. I recently downloaded the 30 day trial version of Race Day Apollo on my MacBook Air. There seems to be a lot here but would love to hear your take on it.
Well, it probably ain’t the most versatile one, but it works and does the trick: Suunto Moveslink and Movescount.
I Like it because of its simplicity.
I try to stay trendy and keep everything in the cloud. Luckily I’m a Garmin Forerunner 610 user and Garmin Connect answers all my graph and statistics needs.
I have tried rubiTrack, iSmartTrain and TrailRunnerX. The 3.0 release made rubiTrack the best IMO. For online services I was using TrainingPeaks for many years. I have become quite dissatisfied with TP as their support for Suunto is poor (I use and Ambit, T6c and Memory Belt) and upon transitioning to ultra running from biking I found that TP is really geared toward biking and Tri. I use Movescount, which I like and have recently tried Sportlyzer, which automatically syncs Suunto and Garmin devices and provides coaching-it is online and not Mac-specific but you might want to look at it, an interesting concept.
WKO+4 will be my favourite…
I think I’ll give rubitrack a try 🙂
ismarttrain! The best app for serious analysis of HR files, and has the most informative calendar setup. Lacks a bit when it comes to showing up routes and that GPS stuff…
I still use SportTracks in a Windows VM as I hadn’t found anything that compared. I’ve tried Rubitrack a couple times, but always had issues with the way it handled/reported device usage. I’m downloading v3 to try it now.
I use Rubitrack. The brand new version is really nice
Rubitrack ist fantastic!
SportTracks in a VM…for ever! I supplement by allowing my USB Ant+ stick upload everything to Garmon Connect (kind of like a backup).
another vote for Ascent – it’s not that colorful like rubitrack is and the graphs are much better.
Hoping for further development in future on Acent.
Useful psot. I love Ascent but it hasn’t moved on in a long while now so I will certainly take a look at some of the options mentioned here.
Rubitrack….but mostly I trend back to Garmin Connect because it’s the easiest to read from my iPad. Congrats on going the way of a Mac.
Apollo. Really nice for triathletes with some cool features not available in anything else. There are others that are better for for pure logging of workouts.
Many of my choices are online, which makes them widely compatible. I’m also using a power meter for cycling and a Garmin Forerunner for running, so that may influence what I do.
TrainingPeaks is my go-to application because it tracks swims, runs and rides, including calories burnt and TSS, and the Performance Management chart includes all three disciplines. The analysis you can do is top notch. My favourite is putting two ride plots on the screen, one on zoom and one not and then highlighting the intervals on the side. The editor is decent too. You just need to know to “cut” to get rid of what you don’t want.
Disclaimer: SRAM/Quarq work closely with TrainingPeaks on some promotions and I’ve been fortunate to get some one-on-one training.
Golden Cheetah for desktop analysis. I use 2.1 and 3.0. I dig the Critical Power (Mean Maximal Power) chart and Metrics. I look at the 5, 10, 20 and 60 minute histories after every ride. The latest build of 3.0 has NP, IF and TSS, and shows the summary data for your intervals/laps on the same screen as the ride plot, which is really nice. Golden Cheetah is good to have at events and on planes.
MyFitnessPal for calorie counting. The iPhone and iPad versions are super. I lose weight twice as fast as their calculations for weight loss so that’s something to watch out for.
Strava for monitoring on-the-road (and on-the-mountain) performance. It’s nice to see improvement not just in power numbers when you’re not racing. I do field tests on local segments and look at overall time, average power vs. time and power-to-weight. Road bikes, TT bikes, position on the bike and aerodynamic and lightweight components are tested this way.
Garmin connect is useful for getting files from athletes when they don’t use TrainingPeaks and to export files in a widely usable format.
Probably admitting that I’m easy to please more than a real vote, but I use Garmin Training Center and Connect.
Hi Ray, i would be really interested in your opinion about the Surface RT. I know your blog is mainly a sports-tech-blog (and there are a lot of reviews about the Surface on the Web as well), but your reviews and pros/cons about tech do consider the most significant points with a clear outline of positives and negatives. I would appreciate a short (or long, if you have the time) review on that.
I am using RaceDay 2.5, very powerfull, le couteau suisse!
I used it for programming my interval, really nice.
For running just Garmin Connect to keep myself honest about how much, when and how fast.
Great blog BTW!!!
Been using it for years and while the UI is a little dated I like the compare tool. It’s not the sexiest program and doesn’t offer any route planning or anything but is a nice log.
I’ve used sporttracks, golden cheetah, trainingspeaks and rubitrack. None of them make me one hundred per cent happy. I prefer Rubitrack and Sporttracks.
Rubitrack 3 for clean interface and good usability
Sporttracks for feature richness (with lots of plugins)
GoldenCheetah and TrainingPeaks drop out because of their poor interface and usability.
Trainingspeaks has the advantage of being an online platform, but has a very poor interface ans usability.
GC also has poor usability.
I would go for a web based option. Garmin Connect is easy and (slowly) getting better over time.
The reporting and analytics are awful but the access from any browser is great.
If they got rid of flash, bing maps, and put more resources into the site it would be great.
I own Ascent and have a Strava account and don’t use either often since I travel, double entry is annoying, and partially bc I have 622 activities and 5 years of health data in the site.
My hope is that you would use your relationship with Garmin to coach them into making meaningful improvements to GC so their customers don’t need to waste money and time on 3rd party sites.
Good for everyone I think.
I like Strava for its social features. Comparing your performance and those of your friends is definitely motivating you during training
This will be an interesting review. Sounds like Rubi is a bit of a favourite. The next question in this trail should be to look at the options for tablets. Currently there are a couple of different options out there for both Androis & Apple but in this area it may well be that online options will dominate. Fine when you are connected.
Another tangent for this topic is data management, keeping all the options in synch. It would be really nice to load data once and have it replicated through TP, SportTracks, GC etc.
I use TrailRunnerX for both my bike ride and my jogging activities. Great app and easy to use.
I’m uploading multiple times, to Garmin Connect and Strava online but also locally to Garmin Training Centre and Garmin Basecamp (not the latest version – Adventure – as it’s not in the App Store last time I checked).
These two local apps are great when you want to drill down to just a few track points to work out grades, etc.
I’m tempted by Rubitrack but it’s expensive in the Australia Mac App store 🙁
Another Ascent user here. Wish there’d be some new development for it though. I believe I read something about a Mac-compatible version of Sporttracks in the future, so waiting for that.
Im interested as to why people think that trainingpeaks isnt the complete software? and where the deficiencies are with it?
Point them out, then i can make my analysis so much more awesome!!!
I used Polar ProTrainer 5 in Windows when I was using a Polar S625X. Then I switched to SportTracks because ease of aggregating data from multiple sources (polar + gps) and I could benefit of plenty of plugins.
Then I switched to mac and I got lost as Polar (I-don’t-know-why) don’t support OS X. I’ve tried SportTracks 2 running natively on Mac using Mono Project (link to mono-project.com) but there were problems with windows visualization as you navigated the app and was useless (I don’t know if ST3.1 actually works with Mono). So I changed to a Windows virtual machine running my good old pals Polar ProTrainer and SportTracks. I tried Ascent (correct) and TrailRunnerX (nice interface but simple).
Now I’ve switched to Garmin with a 910XT and I’m using Garmin Connect (although is too simple for analysis and that a triathlon ends up as 5 workouts!?). What I like from GC is that it’s easy and I can access it from Mac, Windows, Linux even Android! I have a little app to update fit data from my Tanita not-ant body composition scale.
In fact, in my new macbook I’m thinking of going to Windows VM with SportTracks again as I could integrate historical data and keep track of gear use (apart of plenty of plugins)
First things first. You need to shrink up your iOS menu bar and move it off to the left or right. It’s killing me how big and ugly that thing looks. Secondly, you’re in tech right? Do you ever aspire to work on some sort of training software?
Raceday, it is the only one worth using.
Im really looking forward to what you come up with. I really wish WKO had a mac version!
I tried Rubitrack 3 but I don’t think it is as good as the combination of Garmin Connect and Strava that I am already using. I will keep uploading data to it though and see how I get on.
I’ve been using Rubitrack. V3 was a very nice update.
I an using Garmin connect for archiving and analyzing. I also like the trail runner for planning and analyzing. I can’t miss the Dobrou extension of sport track, so I use a virtual machine (Virtual Box) with windows XP.
When switching to a Mac, I choose the lazy route – VMWare Fusion in order to have a virtual Windows PC on my Mac. I’m down to running TrainingPeaks in that VM, but would love to be use a “native” Mac app.
I’ve used Ascent since 2006 and always loved it, but it’s gotten dated and I have no confidence that there will be any ongoing development. It doesn’t support any newer devices, or at least you have to manually import the files. I have to do with this my FR210. I do like the listing by weeks for the activities.
I am now using rubiTrack 3 since I got it the day it was half price. It’s really nice. A lot of things are on the cutesy side, but it works well. I use its List view but wish it could divide by weeks to see the weekly mileage right in there, as opposed to some graph I’ve never warmed up to. People are pissed that Google Maps support was removed, but the current maps in there work fine for me. I still really like the maps that Ascent uses, which I believe are from Microsoft.
Overall, I am not in love with any apps I use. I hope rubiTrack adds the couple of things I want, like the weekly split for activities. I’ve heard great things about Sporttracks, so I hope that makes it to the Mac eventually.
Great question, and thanks to everyone who answered. I’ve been trying out various online sites, but the thought of placing data about my daily routines and routes on a 3rd party site doesn’t sit well with me.
I’m comparing TrailRunner, Ascent and rubiTrack now. I wanted to love TrailRunner, but so far rubiTrack is my favorite, and seems to have all the features that I’m looking for.
Social: Daily Mile
Tri training tracking and equipment tracking: Beginner Triathlete
Garmin: Garmin Connect
Cycling Motivation: Strava
Cycling Power Training: Golden Cheetah
I obviously use too many different tools
Endomondo as my main tracking tool
Garmin Connect because I use Garmin stuff.
Strava to compare with other people
CyclingAnalytics.com (which is in beta) because the analysis is useful
Trainer Road for Indoor Rides (uploading to Strava)
Strava for Outdoors
Currently using TrainingPeaks for analysis and SportTracks 3.1 in a VM for equipment usage tracking.
At the moment I try RubiTrack 3, but I’m still struggling to find the best way to import my SportTracks data (especially equipment items).
SportTracks Cloud! In beta right now. Beautiful in Safari, web, desktop, iPad, iPhone and optimized for mobile & touchscreen. Announced today on forum it will be going GA by holidays but you can sign up on the website to get notified. http://www.sporttracks.mobi
Good call! I just signed up for my 90-day trial and am sold already. Clean interface and no upselling or advertising. Thanks for the tip, Eric.
Runningahead.com is a simple and free website to use to track your day to day activities. Nice simple reports / charts.
– better routing capability than connect or mapmy
– more versatile power/data metrics analysis than connect
– similar ‘segments’ social competition concept to strava, connect, etc.
– easier to share info, download routes, etc.
Most functionality is free!
Since I use a Edge 500, the Garmin Connect website is pretty much what I use. However I really wish that iCal had a way to sync into the Garmin Connect site. I would like iCal to show all my workouts. They don’t need to be full stats but at least run/gym/cycle. I would like to be able to punch in a gym workout on my iCal and it sync to my Garmin Connect. Wishful thinking..
I used to use Ascent but changed about a year ago to SportTracks (running on Parallel). Just offers more possibilities to analyze workouts.
MovesCount & Strava
I’m just getting into both. I like Strava’s layout, data, and social aspects. I like the segment idea for “racing” others. They still have strong privacy controls, which I really like.
Endomondo for accumulating all of my activities (running, cycling, cross-training, hiit, weight training).
But I’m thinking to migrate to Strava – the only way I need to figure how to export few years of activities from Endomondo.
Garmin Connect for running/cycling – because I use Garmin FR310XT.
Nike+ – syncing my runs there because I love fancy graphics and achievements. Oh, and I’m also a heavy FuelBand user – this is why I also use Nike+.
Well folks, anything new? What about the forever promised WKO+ for Mac… hahahaha… Still using Garmin Connect, Golden Cheetah, Strava (sucks the big one now as only has ONE HR programmable zone for both bike and run = wrong numbers for everything bike). Still using Polar ProTrainer 5, my favorite and really the only good one for HR training. Refuse to pay $240/year for TP but it would be good if they would put out a WKO+ for Mac – that I would pay for.
Should I try RaceDay, Apollo, Rubitracks, Ascent, SporTracks, TrailRunner, CyclingAnalytics.com, or Ridewith GPS? Really cannot upload any more unless I get a good idea of what REALLY is GOOD!!! THANKS RAY!!!
I don’t know what the choose, as a rookie I can’t tell yet which data I will/won’t be using, therefore I was wondering what the most ‘logical’ choice would be. Mainly I’m a runner whom sometimes likes to ride a bike. Yes, mid-year 2014 I’m going to complete a triathlon. My main options are: Sporttrack (mobi) or Rubitracks. Who can give me a suiting answer?
Nearly a year since you posed this question. Wondering how the assessment is going Ray?
As a Mc user I am now using Training Peaks mainly for analysis (and sharing with my coach), rubiTrack to store all my files (not really strong in analysis).
check out smashrun
link to smashrun.com
garmin to nikeplus converter
link to awsmithson.com
Any news/updates/super review in progress?
I’m about to get a new iMac and I’d love to hide the cost of a new training program in the with that…
Rubitrack. Developer listens to suggestions and almost always addresses all of them in upgrades. Also, RT is coming to iOS soon, and not a stripped down version. Seems you will be able to keep RT log up to date on iOS as well as desktop all at the same time.
After using Sporttracks at my Windows Notebook for two years, I found a few things I don’t like at Sportracks and I like to move all my sportstuff to my Mac, too.
I ended up at Raceday Apollo for serious planning and analyzing and with Rubitrack for logging my tracks.
Raceday is in my opinion a very professional software which focuses at multisport needs. You can coach complete teams with it.
The only things I don’t like, is the in my opinion a bit too harsh licensing model and the fact, that a few very fancy features are only available to the unlimited trainer version together with a period fee based syncing option. (and this is not made clear in a comparison of the different versions)
The pricing itself is ok fair what you get for and its (instead except of the syncing option) a one time fee.
Any relevant feedback/experience with Apollo (PhysFarm Training systems)? Seems like very potent software with a great team behind it. I am intrigued but would love to hear from end-users what they think. Cheers, Yoeri
Hey Ray, have you ever thought about using Windows via Bootcamp an still use apps like Sport Tracks?
I run on a PC normally (with Windows), so using a Mac is mostly from a curiosity standpoint (I also have the Mac that I use sparingly for posts like this).
Agreed, any thoughts on Raceday Apollo vs. training peaks? What about golden cheetah? I’m new to picking out software…. i’m used to using a notebook haha.
I haven’t played with Raceday Apollo much, but I hear good things. For me, it’s just that everything I have is in TP, and my coach uses TP, so thus, I revolve around TP.
Golden Cheetah is very solid, but primarily aimed at cyclists. Within it, they do some really cool things though.
Anybody having issues with Garmin Connect? I got a Forerunner 110 for Xmas, registered it and used it for about 4 runs without problem. Now it wont sign me in, I have had garmin change the password with no luck and now I cant get in touch with them. When it does decide to let me in it signs me out as soon as I click on anything on the dashboard. SO frustrating!
Any ideas are greatly appreciated as Garmin seem to have given up helping!
I tried smashrun, really cool.
I started with TrailRunner, which I liked, in conjunction with Garmin Training Center. Unfortunately GTC removed features with some of their updates, so I ditched them. Now and for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve been using Rubitracks. Very happy with that last one, specially since they support Suunto. I ordered an Ambit 2 Sapphire after reading your review. Sorry I didn’t use your links for purchase, but the price I found was just too low to pass up. I promise to make all my future Amazon purchases through your link 🙂
Has anyone tried turtle sports? Seems promising?
I struggled a bit trying to find an analysis tool that I could use to do a deep dive on my GPS running data. I currently use Garmin Connect and Strava (mostly for the social sharing aspects), played briefly with Rubitracks and TrainingPeaks — but I wasn’t completely happy with them. Being a data geek, there was only one thing to do: I wrote my own data tool. 🙂
Some of the other guys in my running group were unhappy with their data analysis, so I put my tools on a website for their use: http://www.graphmyrun.com
It’s free. It’s secure. (You don’t upload your data; you analyze it within your browser.). Give it a try and tell me how to improve it.
It will calculate your pace zones for you (or you can enter your own zones if you already know them) and will tell you what percentage of your run was spent in each zone (both pace and HR if you have heart rate data.) It can analyze your running data to let you figure out if you were running constant pace or constant effort when you run hills. If you ever run a little too fast and have to take walk breaks, it can help you figure out your threshold heart rate. You can zoom in on graphs to recalculate your ave pace or ave heart rate over a specific portion of your run. You can see your splits by mile, 1/2 mile, or 1/4 increments. You can select different amounts of data smoothing.
These are things I wanted but didn’t find on Garmin Connect and Strava.
GraphMyRun was created for runners. It’s not very good for analyzing brick workouts. That’s in the future.
I didn’t find a tool 100% satisfying…
The Wahoo Fitness App seems good for tracking but lack a log web interface for consulting with another screen ( tablets or computer ).
I’ve try Nike plus, Runkeeper, Endomondo, Runtastic but i don’t like.
Theses days, i’m using Adidas MiCoach and exporting files to Garmin Connect and Strava ( without premium account ) but theses lack of analysis functions….
i don ‘t know yet the Polar And Suunto’s platforms. Worth try these?
Garmin Connect and Strava are not designed for analysis.
If you want those features, you should look at SportTracks.mobi or maybe Training Peaks if you also have a coach. Both of these will give excellent and indepth analysis. SportTracks works in any browser and adapts to iPhone, iPad or Mac. TP was based on Flash so I can’t be sure if it’s Mac friendly.
You may have problems with Polar Flow and Suunto Movescount if you don’t actually have a Polar or Suunto devices, which is what they are designed for. Both have data API access but it’s not in wide use by 3rd party apps, like Garmin Connect, Endo, RK, etc are.
Thanks for suggestions,
I’ll take a look on SportTrack and TrainingPeaks
No flash on iOS….Bur seems there’s APP
It’s two years now since this article was posted. After using Polar for heart rate training for so many years and loving their Polar ProTrainer 5.0 software and watching them do a nose-dive into Nokia-no-man’s-land, I have given up on Polar and now have been using the web interface and connectivity of my Garmin devices and Garmin Connect (4 of 10 especially since the new modern interface) and Strava (8 of 10 for usability, information and analysis, and social connectivity plus segments) and Training Peaks (now amazingly 9 or even 10 of 10!) for their excellent connectivity (links to Garmin Connect which is driven from the new Garmin Express (6 of 10) with an AUTOMATIC upload to Strava and Training Peaks, as well as their super-excellent and getting better iOS app. For that matter, the Strava iOS app is excellent as well and between the two you can see (but not manipulate) a lot of your ride and run data. Of course, swim data and analysis is lagging still but it will because it depends on GPS and water not land or cement that you are connecting to for a reference. Maybe I am getting tired of looking for the Holy Grail? Anyone out there have anything new? Oh, yes, Golden Cheetah for cyclists, free and online is a 11 of 10 for analysis of your ride power data and for constantly innovating and NOW INCLUDES RUNNING (but this is in the early stages). Golden Cheetah is not for beginners though. For newbies, I suggest staying with Garmin Connect or any of the consumer/health/fitness software and learn that first.
Oh yeah, Ray, how about that Microsoft Surface RT you got for Christmas two years ago? How’s that working out?
I mostly just use it to occasionally watch NFL games, as well as a digital picture frame.
You say that GC now handles running as well. Is it a nigh build or so, cause I could not find the feature in the latest download. Could you clarify please?
There’s a new download of Version 3.2 Release Candidate 3 out right now, but the full release will be coming when the beta is sorted fully. you can download RC3 beta if you want. An Anonymous Coward, I am not sure that the ‘best science” can be credited to WKO4 but it apparently is quite a slick project finally out in trial version, free for 2 weeks trial, and best of all, is Mac compatible. Then you have to pay $200. GC is an open-source project, free, and has a lot of science as well, some of it is more cutting-edge than WKO4 as I understand.
WKO4 probably has the best science behind it, coupled with the absolute worst user interface. So that still leaves people just on rubiTrack and/or Golden Cheetah.
Anonymous Coward, wonder if you can shed some light on the “absolute worst user interface”? What is particularly bad or difficult versus GC? I understand some things are quite good as well. It is only out for a few weeks though after years of development. At this point, I am happy with my experience with GC to date although there is a lot to learn about, one of the reasons I am not moving quickly to 3.2 until it is sorted by the many code writer-cyclists/triathletes/scientists who are contributing to its 24/7/365 real-time development. Fantastic stuff is “the cheetah”!
Sorry to drag this one up from the distant past but did the article ever happen? Reason for asking is that I’ve been an avid Rubitracks user for a few years and while I get on with it great I’m concerned its not going to be about forever (forums shut down, minimal bug fixes for a while, current issues with Garmin Connect)
Any insider info would be great or as you mention an article covering the alternatives- also how easy it is to move between them, at 4k activities most with equipment etc it would be good to know the options for moving on.