This selection of the best smartphone triathlon apps for Android and Apple phones can really give a technological boost to your training.
iThlete is focused around heart-rate variability, a measurement of how stressed the body is, which helps you to know the best time to train and avoid overtraining. However for this incredibly useful functionality, an additional dongle is required from myithlete.com (£49.99 with chest strap or £31.99 without)
Manage your diet and nutrition on the go with DailyBurn’s database of over 350,000 foods to
keep your munching in check. You can even scan the barcode of the food packet with your camera to gain instant information on its nutritional values, a must for trying to reach your race weight.
Clearly aimed at newbies to the sport, this app will generate a customised 12-week training plan to suit your ability – beginner or intermediate – for each discipline. It may look a little basic and dated, but the app is full of useful tips and definitely worth a look for those starting out.
Garmin Fit turns your smartphone into a mine of training stats with speed, distance, route and calories burned displayed for your cycling and running adventures. You can also pick a soundtrack to train to, upload to Garmin Connect and, if your phone is ANT+ enabled, see data from Garmin fitness sensors.
Android Market – £0.62
A great tool to avoid monotony in the pool, keep swim training relevant and ultimately make you faster, Swim Planner creates a workout based on your ability and desired total distance for the session. The only potential irritation could be having to copy the programme out and take it with you to the pool side.
Like their training device of the same name, the unique feature of Adidas’ MiCoach training app is real-time audible coaching to help motivate you through your sessions. GPS takes care of your distance, pace and calories data and all your stats can be uploaded to miCoach.com. There’s even a shoe usage wear alert.
Android Market – Free
This is a great app to use over winter when the dark and cold confine you to hours of indoor sessions. VirtuaGym is the perfect tool for creating or following exercise programmes and features clear 3D demonstrations for each workout to help ensure your technique is the best it can be.
iTunes Store – £1.49
Similar to the adidas app, Nike+ records your outdoor runs or bike rides using GPS and adds in motivational features such as mid-run cheers when your friends like or comment on your run status. There is also inbuilt connectivity with Facebook and Twitter as well as the ability to upload routes after your sessions to Nikeplus.com
Both these apps are essentially the same, using the phone’s accelerometer to track your movements in the night and divine the deepness of your sleep. You set the alarm for the latest time you want to wake, but if your sleep becomes lighter prior to this, it will go off early. Perfect to wake naturally for early sessions.
iMapMyFitness is another excellent GPS-based training app that will synchronise automatically with your online training log at MapMyFitness.com – an online community full of running and cycling routes. The app features ANT+ support for power and heart rate and Twitter integration and the ability to record indoor sessions for a full training diary.
Getting an accurate weather forecast is important for planning your training and this app features a wealth of useful data. Feeding from thousands of weather stations, you’ll get an expansive weather report for wherever you are, from simple seven-day forecasts to hourly updates, weather cams and interactive maps.
gvSIG Mini Maps
Android Market – Free
This mapping software takes advantage of the recent ‘open sourcing’ of Ordnance Survey map data, which is great news for UK triathletes as it means preparing routes becomes a whole lot easier. Maps can be downloaded for off-line browsing and Yahoo, Bing and Google maps are also supported. A must for planning rides and runs.
This pair of apps for your iPhone or Android device are simple interval counters with an alert you can set to go off after a specified length of time. Easy to use and perfect for gym or track sessions, they’re a great way to keep you disciplined and focused on the interval training at hand.
Triathlete’s Training Diary
Android Market – Free
If simplicity is what you’re after, then this is the app for you. It lets you record basic training data very easily (though it’s limited to swim, bike, run and core) and totals your hours for the week. Data can also be exported as a CSV file for further fiddling on the computer. It’s a great way of keeping tabs on your training and more importantly, unscheduled rest days!
Triradar.com is the online home of Triathlon Plus. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.