sporttracks vs garmin training center

sibike
sibike Posts: 257
edited April 2009 in Workshop
just got hold of a garmin 305 edge and its a great piece of kit .transfered my data onto the garmin training software and then onto sporttracks but the information was different .The garmin software was saying the same as the main unit but sporttracks was saying different .
anyone else find this or have i done something wrong ? ( cant see what i can do wrong )

Comments

  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    sibike wrote:
    just got hold of a garmin 305 edge and its a great piece of kit .transfered my data onto the garmin training software and then onto sporttracks but the information was different .The garmin software was saying the same as the main unit but sporttracks was saying different .
    anyone else find this or have i done something wrong ? ( cant see what i can do wrong )

    ST is probably set to filter "stopped time" differently to the device / garmin training center.

    In Select View -> Categories -> Activity Categories -> Cycling (or whatever category you put the thing in) see what it says for Stopped (km/h)

    What that does is say consider any speeds less than that, as stopped time and remove them from the calculations.

    There's also smoothing of the data and interpolation of the points which can lead to minor differences. realistically you need to pick one of the programs (I suggest ST) and stick with it, it will be consistent between results.

    I assume you're only talking a minor difference here?
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Sporttracks is overrated software, it does give the wrong readings and not minor differences.It`s also a messy interface.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • sibike
    sibike Posts: 257
    the differences on a 33.09 mile ride are below :

    miles :GTC = 33.09
    ST =33.04 ......1/2 mile difference

    Time : both the same .

    top speed : GTC = 32.2mph
    ST = 27.3 .......5mph difference

    Ascent/descent = about 26ft difference .


    Looking at these figures there is no major diffences apart from top speed but i would of thought the figures should be the same as they were d/loaded off the same unit .
    I reckon i will stick with the garmin software for now as its the same readings unless anyone has any preferences or recommendations to offer .
    Also will the sporttracks info be consistent on each data transfer .
    thanks.
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    sibike wrote:
    Looking at these figures there is no major diffences apart from top speed but i would of thought the figures should be the same as they were d/loaded off the same unit .

    "Top Speed" generated from something which is polling and recording locations every second with an accuracy of maybe only 5-25m is a pretty inaccurate any way I'm afraid - if you have a regular cycle computer and the garmin going together you'll see consistently higher maximum speeds on the cycle computer than the garmin, because the garmin smooths things out (and also has the slope inaccuracies)

    At 30km/hour you travel 8m or so in a second, if the inaccuracy at the first point leads to it being 5m out, and at the second point 5m out the other way, the calculated speed for that distance will be 18m or 65km/hour. Now that doesn't actually happen in reality as the inaccuracies do not jump around like that typically unless you're in a very bad reception area, but even a smaller error can screw up the speed calculatoins, hence the need to smooth.

    The garmin head unit itself does smoothing, but records the raw data. So ST uses a different smoothing algorithm leading to different results. You can tweak ST's by going to Settings -> Display -> Analysis and moving the Data Smoothing slider.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • GavH
    GavH Posts: 933
    jibberjim wrote:
    sibike wrote:
    Looking at these figures there is no major diffences apart from top speed but i would of thought the figures should be the same as they were d/loaded off the same unit .

    "Top Speed" generated from something which is polling and recording locations every second with an accuracy of maybe only 5-25m is a pretty inaccurate any way I'm afraid - if you have a regular cycle computer and the garmin going together you'll see consistently higher maximum speeds on the cycle computer than the garmin, because the garmin smooths things out (and also has the slope inaccuracies)

    At 30km/hour you travel 8m or so in a second, if the inaccuracy at the first point leads to it being 5m out, and at the second point 5m out the other way, the calculated speed for that distance will be 18m or 65km/hour. Now that doesn't actually happen in reality as the inaccuracies do not jump around like that typically unless you're in a very bad reception area, but even a smaller error can screw up the speed calculatoins, hence the need to smooth.

    The garmin head unit itself does smoothing, but records the raw data. So ST uses a different smoothing algorithm leading to different results. You can tweak ST's by going to Settings -> Display -> Analysis and moving the Data Smoothing slider.

    Are you basing this on the assumption that the Garmin is taking its Speed data from the GPS alone? If a GSC 10 Cadence & Speed Sensor is fitted then it takes the data from it instead, meaning the Garmin is as accurate at Speed/Distance calculations as any other computer which measures a spoke magnet roating.

    I've recently switched from a Polar CS600 to the Garmin 705, both using appropriate Cadence and Speed/Distance sensors. They are both as accurate as each other in terms of measuring the distance travelled over the same route.

    That said, I have noticed the errors on Sport tracks which seem to indicate less ascent, lower max grades, slower speeds and less distance travelled than what I know I've done and what the 705 thinks I've done. There is a button in the top right of the lower left part of the screen which allows you to select between 'Calculated' data and 'Manually entered' Clicking teh manually entered button readjusts the figures autiomatically to somethign nearer reality. Sorry I can't be mroe specific but I'm at work at the minute and so can't get onto ST to give a more detailed description.
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    GavH wrote:
    Are you basing this on the assumption that the Garmin is taking its Speed data from the GPS alone? If a GSC 10 Cadence & Speed Sensor is fitted then it takes the data from it instead, meaning the Garmin is as accurate at Speed/Distance calculations as any other computer which measures a spoke magnet roating.

    Except when it exports to Garmin Training Center, it doesn't export the speed/distance track, it just exports the GPS track, and the added information about max speed. So yes, in that case the max speed is correct with the more accurate measure, however you won't find any points on the graph where you hit that speed due to the smoothing. It's just the max number which is now correct.
    Clicking teh manually entered button readjusts the figures autiomatically to somethign nearer reality.

    No, just something smooted differently... You can get the same effect my removing all smoothing in the option I said above.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    The 305 edge doesn`t use the speed sensor to measure speed unless you lose a gps signal,unlike the 705.I sometimes turn off the gps to just use the speed sensor and it`s always very close to what the gps says on the same steep hill.I have also downloaded rides to about 5 different software and they all say a slightly different max and average speed but sporttracks seems to be furthest out.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • rockmount
    rockmount Posts: 761
    antfly wrote:
    Sporttracks is overrated software, it does give the wrong readings and not minor differences.It`s also a messy interface.
    Totally agree .. TC is bad, but Sporttracks is complete b*ll*x !!
    .. who said that, internet forum people ?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I only have GPS speed sensor on my 605 and I've found no problems using that, I went out once with my normal speedo still on the bike and the difference was only minimal, infact the speeds where almost the same, just the garmin I presume had a slightly delay.

    I'm thinking of selling the 605 soon though to upgrade to the 705.
  • Cunobelin
    Cunobelin Posts: 11,792
    You also need to download daily with SportTracks. If not then it really messes up the data..

    For example, prior to a tour I decided to see if it would record my commutes for a week....

    The comparison was

    Garmin 124 miles
    SportTrack 1,765 miles and the track image is interesting as well!

    Road26-10-2008.jpg


    Edited - it does wonders for your stats though with some impresive speeds, distances and averages!

    328 mph and a mile every 0.11 mins.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Cunobelin wrote:
    You also need to download daily with SportTracks. If not then it really messes up the data..

    ST has an 18 hour limit for a single event... you don't need to "download" daily, just split the activities up - ie hold down lap for 3 seconds when the activity is stopped.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • pjm-84
    pjm-84 Posts: 819
    Yep my 85km ride in Belgium threw up some interesting readings with Sporttrack. I have to say they both crap. TC gets confused once the data file becomes too big and starts to lose rides. Sporttrack seems to think you covered the ground with a top speed of 8000kph.
    Paul
  • hammerite
    hammerite Posts: 3,408
    I think the difference is to do with time/distance. I believe that he Garmin TC looks at the data and plots by distance (i.e. every so many metres it will take a reading and use this).

    Where as Sporttracks uses time to plot the data, i.e. every so many seconds it takes a reading.

    I've used Sporttracks for about 4 years with a Forerunner 201, and more recently a Forerunner 305 and find it pretty good.

    I also log my runs/rides on an excellent website http://www.runsaturday.com
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    My only problem with TC is that it takes about 5 mins to open as there are so many rides in it from the last 3 years and once half my rides merged into one big one,which was a bit upsetting.Sporttracks is just crap but Garmin connect looks quite promising.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    sibike wrote:
    the differences on a 33.09 mile ride are below :

    miles :GTC = 33.09
    ST =33.04 ......1/2 mile difference

    Time : both the same .

    top speed : GTC = 32.2mph
    ST = 27.3 .......5mph difference

    Ascent/descent = about 26ft difference .


    Looking at these figures there is no major diffences apart from top speed but i would of thought the figures should be the same as they were d/loaded off the same unit .
    I reckon i will stick with the garmin software for now as its the same readings unless anyone has any preferences or recommendations to offer .
    Also will the sporttracks info be consistent on each data transfer .
    thanks.

    For your mileage - thats not 1/2 mile difference. Its one twentieth - and about 0.2% difference - so bugger all.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Have a look at http://www.trainingpeaks.com

    It's what I was using with great success before the incident.
  • You'll find lots of discrepancies with what the Garmin unit/software reports and reality. For some reason Garmin cannot seem to work out how averages should work (ignores zeros), climbing figures are a bit variable and calories burnt are a total joke.

    SportsTracks is a great piece of software. Some of the customisable plugins really add to the base product and include many of the measurements for power etc that mere mortals may need. The software does take some time to get used to, but is well worth it. I've never had a single problem with it with the Edge 305 or 705 or my power meter.

    I run a Mac and still run Windows purely for Sportstracks and Tracklogs! Garmin software is however, generally very poor. I don't bother with it at all anymore.
  • newtri
    newtri Posts: 3
    Sporttracks is just crap but Garmin connect looks quite promising.
    With respect throwing about your opinion without any specific details is not very helpful to the original poster. I would rather give the OP information which helps them understand why various software packages show different details.

    Read the posts from jibberjim and magliaceleste which are spot on.

    The problem lies in figuring out the max speed using inaccurate GPS readings. Because of drifting GPS points during the recording, inaccurate spikes in speed from these units are very common. Software looking at this data needs to apply some smoothing. The garmin unit firmware applies some smoothing to your data, the training center software also may apply some smoothing (unknown). Similarly SportTracks applies some smoothing. Because these spikes are smoothed out to "fix" GPS inaccuracies, you may see different values (the tops of the speed spikes being the max speed)

    Another problem deals with someone's perception of what is max speed. Does this mean a single second maximum? A bit useless. Or a maximum over 2 seconds? Or would you want to consider 10 seconds of sustained speed counting to the max? It depends what your training goals are to some extent.

    Figuring out ascent has it's own inherent problems - GPS elevation readings are notoriously inaccurate. And again, what would you consider ascending? 10m of a slight incline? Or only when you have climbed a certain distance at a certain grade? So you'll see differences in ascend too.

    Now a lot of people really care about these details - they want to get into this and be able to exactly tweak their settings (consider, the amount they just spent on the watch). And the nice thing about SportTracks is all of these settings can be controlled by the user - smoothing for each track, % grade considered ascend & decend, etc. It puts all the power in the hands of the user instead of some magic black-box calculation Garmin is doing. Some people can't handle that power and are overwhelmed :wink:

    So back to the original question: If you are looking for a very simple summary of your data - I would suggest a webapp such as motionbased, garmin connect, runsaturday, mapmyrun, buckeyeoutdoors or any of the 100s of FREE webapps. If you want more control and a lot more powerful capabilities, I'd stick with SportTracks. Garmin Training Center is pretty much useless. Garmin just builds that to check the box of having a PC app - their real strategy is to drive your data to the web, where they have a captive audience for adverts, etc.
    realistically you need to pick one of the programs (I suggest ST) and stick with it, it will be consistent between results

    The best advice yet. Some people use several programs because of certain missing features in one or the other (uploading interval training, routes, or somesuch), but if you are using several apps and comparing statistics, for the reasons above, this is going to be an exercise in frustration.

    I hope this rather technical explanation helps you pick the software app that is most useful.

    Happy training!
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Well it`s all about opinions,you don`t like TC but I find it tells me all I want to know combined with citynavigator mapsource and it`s simple to use.I don`t want to adjust settings and smoothing myself,I`ve got better things to do and I`d rather someone else did it, so maybe I was "overwhelmed" by the power of sporttracks.I am one of those people who just want something simple,I don`t have the patience or the inclination to mess about with flabby software when I could be out cycling.Clearly a lot of people disagree.
    ps. my edge has a barometer so elevation is more accurate.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • newtri
    newtri Posts: 3
    I don`t want to adjust settings and smoothing myself,I`ve got better things to do
    I am the same way, but I also like to play around with gadgets and software. After the first couple weeks of using SportTracks - I got it tuned in to my prefs and haven't touched them since.

    Mind you don't put too much faith in the internal calculations of the watch. I once looked down at my Forerunner 301 and saw the distance go backwards by 0.5km. :shock: I kid you not! I have also ran a PR on an "alleged" 10km race which came out 9.2km at the finish on my watch. I trusted the watch - everyone at the finish was complaining about the short distance.

    So these are nice gadgets but not perfect.

    I urge you to checkout runsaturday.com - a fairly new site which is improving by leaps and bounds weekly.
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Just a thought but maybe they are more accurate on the bike rather than when you are running with your arm constantly moving.
    Runsaturday looks interesting but doesn`t seem to work with an edge.
    Smarter than the average bear.