Laupäev, 14. detsember 2013

TriBox iPhone App

TriBox
So the last couple of weeks I have been thinking and making plans for my next season. Obviously preparing for the World Championships will be my main goal for the next year and everything I will do is totally focused on reaching my peak for September 2014. It will be hard but also exciting journey to Mont Tremblant, which I am really looking forward to.

Big plans mean big a budget, which is why I am searching for help and sponsorships for the next season (and the following). I am quite aware of the fact, that at the moment I am just one out of so many athletes, who also are looking for a sponsorship and that in order to become sponsored I have to pull off something really special. One day I stumbled on an article about just the same problem that I have at the moment.


Yes, I'd love to be sponsored! But what is the special something about me? Well... I could tell you my story of how I started as a rower in Germany and how I moved back to Estonia and how one day a guy named Ain-Alar Juhanson started to me train me. I have a lot of exciting stories about both triathlon and rowing and I have no problem telling you every story I know but at the same time I know that these stories will not help you sell your gear, which is your main goal as a sponsor. I also know, that as long as I finish "only" somewhere between the TOP 20 and TOP 50 of a 70.3 Ironman race I am not a great advertisement since most of the publicity is focused on the TOP 5 of the race. But there still is something that makes me special - something that makes me different from others...

Yes, there is! And it is not that I have a blog or that I have a homepage or that I might someday have 5.000 friends on Facebook. What makes me special is that I build apps. To be more precise, I build iOS apps for iPhones and iPads. I have been doing this a couple of years and as a computer science student it has served me quite well (winning some student awards for mobile applications and a "24h-Code-Marathon"). So I thought why not turn the one thing that I am really good at (besides swimming, biking and running) into something useful for my training? Well to be honest I already do it at some point, because I have programmed my own training diary, which allows me to log my training sessions in less than a minute - no matter where and when. It's called Sportlyzer. You can have a look at it, if you like to - it is completely free for athletes and you can also invite your coach to write you a training plan and basically do everything else (competitions, tests, long-term performance evaluation etc.). It's kind like TrainingPeaks only without the super-complicated stuff that most people don't really need and never use but pay a fortune for (This is just my opinion and if you use TrainingPeaks or any other similar software and you like it - that's great!). In my job I get in touch with a lot of professional athletes and coaches and I just love showing them demos and see their eyes pop out when they have their "Oh my god is it really that simple?"-moment. :)  
I'm sorry I just got a little bit off topic. What I wanted to say is that I am passionate about making apps and that's why I made one app to help me in my everyday life as a triathlete and I'd love to share it with all of you guys. This app is called TriBox and it has all the basic functionalities you might need when you are swimming, cycling or running. I know there are a lot of similar apps that all do the same stuff, but I believe this is the first one made by an athlete for other athletes. While programming this app I focused on making it the fastest and most convenient to use. No flickering ads, no stupid limitations, just a clean and nice way of getting your stuff done. Each of the functionalities has its own story how it found its way into my app and why it is made just the way it is.

  • Pace Calculator

This neat function allows me to quickly calculate the running pace for my next running session and a lot more (e.g. if I have to run 10x400m at 10k race pace on a 200m indoor track I can quickly calculate, that in order to keep a 3:20min/km pace I need to run each loop in 40seconds. Now lets change the drill to 6x800m on a 400m track and I want to run a 3:40min/pace - that's 1:27min per loop). I haven't re-invented a wheel here, but that's something I need to calculate on a daily basis, which makes it a must-have functionality for me. 


  • Time Projector

Every time triathletes talk to each other and at some point they end up comparing their race results and personal best times on the bike and so on. But for me it is no help if you tell me that your 70.3 IM bike split was 2h 25min - what I want to know is your bike speed, running and swimming pace. The time projector basically helps me to convert your time into speed and vice versa. This a something every second triathlon app offers, but I haven't seen that many apps, that allow you to specify your own race distances. I started triathlon by racing 111 triathlon events (1km swim, 100km bike, 10km run) and I desperately needed a tool that allowed me to convert between time and pace for these events!  

  • Race Memories

When you race your first triathlon race you most probably will race a second and a third one as well. Triathlon is extremely addictive and I believe that every event is special and every medal and race deserve to be remembered. TriBox helps you to remember your past races and keep your favourite race moments alive. Just save your results and link them with a picture of the medal or you crossing the finish line and you will remember these races in the future. You want to know how? Did you recognise the animating pictures on the main view of TriBox - your race memories will be animating there as well! The only thing you have to do is sit back and enjoy your beautiful memories.

  • Checklist

Don't worry, I am not out of ideas! Checklist is a simple and quick tool to make sure you have everything you need packed and stored in the transition area. Forgetting small things is not only a rookie mistake and it can happen to all of us. I have chosen a wide collection of things you might need for a triathlon and made sure you won't forget to pack your bags right for your next race.

Conclusion


This is the first version of the app and while you are reading this blogpost I am most probably already working on the next version and the next functionalities to come. Training and racing gives me the opportunity to collect a lot of new ideas and I love to test out new things to see if they are possible with the iPhone. This also means that the next time you have a "there should be an app for it"-moment, feel free to contact me and tell me about it. I also appreciate your feedback and look forward to some constructive criticism as well. If you like my app and the story behind it I would be really grateful, if you tell your friends about it and help me reach more people with my app.

Thank you for reading and downloading TriBox!