Infographic Of The Day: Ben Fry's TriTRACK Simplifies Triathlon Training

Fathom's app is a lot simpler than actually completing the triathlon, anyway.

There are tons of ways to plan, log, and assess your extreme athletic training, but leave it to Fathom to design one of the cleanest, clearest ones we've ever seen. The all-star data-visualization firm, headed by Ben Fry, teamed up with GE to create triTRACK in advance of London's Dextro Energy Triathlon. Think of it like an interactive Feltron annual report, but way more masochistic.


Any triathlete tracking tool offers easy ways to log your daily regimen of running, biking, and swimming stats, and triTRACK is no different. But where Fathom really brings its A-game is in the visualizations of your logged data. In each date-box on the triTRACK calendar, you'll see a crisp colored bar (or superimposed set), intuitively color-coded to represent which of the three athletic events you trained for that day -- blue for swimming (water), green for running (ground), and red for biking (er, blood?). The thickness of the line represents the distance you achieved, and the slope of the line represents whether your performance improved, stayed the same, or deteriorated. Listing all those multidimensional datapoints explicitly would take up a lot of space, but thanks to Fathom's impeccable visual skills, they can pack it all into one square on your calendar that you can grok at a glance.



But if you do want to geek out a little more on the big picture, triTRACK also generates a crisp visualization for "Change in Pace Over Time." Using the same color coding and spatial-mapping techniques, this graph looks a bit like an EKG designed by Edward Tufte -- zigzagging sparklines course across the screen, thinning out and fattening up based on the dynamic relative changes of your distance, pace, and performance over the entirety of your training. By the time you complete the race, you can look back at triTRACK and literally get a snapshot of what a successful training regimen "looks" like. You know, so you can do it all again next year, given what a pain-addicted freak paragon of human achievement you are.

[Top image by Lululemon Athletica]

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