When I start training for a race, I hop online and track down the training plan that I want to use. I don’t always use the same one and I don’t always use a plan from the same training coach. Once I’ve selected a plan, I go to my Google calendar and individually enter the runs one-by-one for anywhere from 6-18 weeks depending on the race length. When the training plan begins, I use Nike Run Club to actually track the runs while in progress. Basically, to go on one run, I have to use my browser and two mobile apps.
It got me thinking that there must be a way to combine all three of these efforts into one and simplify the training process. As a design and experience exercise, I decided to map it out.
I started by going through the the app store and getting a look at what other running apps are doing to ensure that this was not already in existence and get a well-rounded look at what runners need in an application.
I identified a few key pieces that needed to be included in the app;
- A browsable list of plan options
- A simple, configurable way to add the plan to the calendar
- Run tracking with GPS
- Run logs
I built a setup process that allows the user to select the plan and choose the days of the week they would like the runs to populate into. I thought this was important, because if the plan auto-populated, it would fill the calendar on the default days and people’s lives do not always accommodate the default schedule.
Once setup is complete, users can view a snapshot of their schedule, track runs, or enter logs from a simple dashboard. For more detailed information they can view past or future runs in the schedule to evaluate their pace or see what’s coming next.
This project was a fun way to flex my design and architecture skills while also solving a problem I regularly face. I enjoyed building out the idea and sharing it with some of my colleagues. Unfortunately for me as a designer, Hal Higdon released a mobile app last November that uses this exact workflow. Fortunately for me as a runner, I get to use it!