I spent some time today thinking about what I like and don’t like in cycling software. Because, you know, that’s what I do when I’m in-between projects at work…
Garmin Training Center and Garmin Connect
The Garmin Training Center software has exactly one advantage over Garmin Connect. Actually, near as I can tell the best thing about it is the ability to click into each lap/interval (or the whole thing), and zoom in on the graph. Why is that important? Because the jaggedy up-and-down graphs in Garmin Connect are fairly useless. That’s it. Otherwise, it’s six of one, half a dozen of another.
There’s a lot more features in Garmin — the ability to plan workouts, uploading workouts to your device, tracking your body weight, etc — but I haven’t used them because there’s a few important elements of Garmin that I don’t like.
- Data put into separate charts. HR goes here, speed goes there, power goes over there. You can click into its “player,” but then you can only put two data fields into one chart.
- I want to be able to export the data into Excel. You can do it with the Garmin Training Center, but for some reason, that export doesn’t include power data. WTF?
I bought an upgrade to Strava, too. I can’t decide if I’m going to keep it or not. I love love love segments and being able to see other people’s times and their performance metrics (like power or HR, if they have it). I’m also a big fan of the fact that Strava lets you click into each of your laps/intervals, where it graphs the sub-data for you.
Strava also lets you pick and choose which data to plot on the graph. Power, speed, elevation, cadence, HR. Very cool.
Weaknesses of Both
What I don’t like about both Garmin and Strava is that the charts are straight. As in, if my HR only fluctuates 10 BPM, don’t put it on a 200 point scale. That makes it very difficult to see any change in the chart. (And that’s why zooming in on data points in Garmin Training Center is cool. Otherwise, that software just feels kinda useless to me.)