There’s no end of different cycling data capture, software and apps available these days. In fact, in many ways, the options are so wide and so varied, it’s hard to know where to start. But if you find yourself wishing there was just one simple resource you could rely on to fully explain, examine and guide your training, FormBeat could be your answer.
FormBeat is a unique set of training data tools that not only analyses your current performance to explain how effectively you are training right now; it also uses your progress over time to show how you can maximise the results of your training going forward.
Using either the FormBeat website or the convenient FormBeat mobile app, you can see the true picture of where your performance is today, and what you have to do to get it where you want in the future.
Of course, a lot of products claim they are the perfect answer to people’s training conundrums, but FormBeat isn’t like other training software. This isn’t about going harder and faster to get results. Pro riders will tell you that effective recovery is the key to improved performance. FormBeat knows this and will even tell you when it’s time for a rest.
And while other data analysis systems might require you to use (and buy!) their own data capture technology such as heart rate monitors or GPS systems, FormBeat is compatible with products from Strava, Garmin, Zwift, Suunto, Polar and more, so there’s no expensive outlay. In fact, you’ve probably already got the tech you need to get started, and you can integrate the added potential of FormBeat into your training straightaway.
Most importantly, though, FormBeat has two key factors that make it special. The first is, it has been specifically created for cyclists, so everything it provides is focused purely on making you ride better. The second is, its entire system has been designed with ease-of-use in mind. You don’t need to have a degree in sports science – no matter how new you are to science-informed training, you will be able to make the most of its intuitive tools.
But enough of the overview... what are these ‘tools’ and how can they help you revolutionise your cycling?
Let’s start with the basics – analysing your activity and power data.
FormBeat’s state-of-the-art activity analysis allows you to instantly dive deep into the details of your ride. Alongside a map of your route you can see where power and heart rates peaked, with additional easy-to-understand analysis of interval workouts.
From that, you can go a stage further and really get to grips with power data analysis. FormBeat allows you to track all power metrics over time and see how your power curve, peak power levels, functional threshold power and power-to-weight ratio improve over time. You can even compare them to the kind of results produced by other riders, ranging from novice right up to world-class pros.
So we’ve seen what FormBeat can do for you on an individual ride, but what can it do over the weeks and months?
With FormBeat’s Weekly Training Load you can really get to grips with how hard you have trained each week. From this, FormBeat calculates your ‘Training Stress Score’ – a way of measuring how much stress you have put on your body – which it uses to plan your optimal training load going forward, helping you to make steady progress and improve your performance.
Before you know it, weekly training considerations become monthly and yearly results. FormBeat’s Training Calendar brings together the most important metrics of your training and makes it easy to compare each week's impact on your form and fitness.
And then – what about the long-term?
Key to FormBeat’s ability to provide you with continued cycling improvement is its Form & Fitness function. This simple chart tracks your level of fitness and fatigue, and predicts your form to help schedule and plan your workouts. If you’re preparing for a big event, Form & Fitness is the system that will help you arrive on the line in peak condition.
Finally, to understand how you’ve developed over weeks, months or even years – and to get just a little satisfaction from seeing the results of all your efforts – FormBeat’s Performance Tracking function reveals how your power, heart rate, average speed and other key metrics have improved over time. If you want to see the true impact of following a training system informed by effective scientific data analysis, it’s all here, shown clearly and simply.
No, FormBeat’s simple-to-use interface is accessible even for complete data analysis newbies. In fact, if you find some of the words and terminology difficult to understand, FormBeat even has an excellent guide and glossary on its website.
No, FormBeat sends you a weekly summary that will help you to keep up with your training. It means that you can start every week with a handy training overview, including your Training Status, Training Stress Score and Fitness Gain.
It’s all too easy to go too hard, but that not only reduces the effect of your training, it can also lead to injuries. FormBeat calculates your optimal training load and will even let you know when it's time for a rest.
While FormBeat has been designed for cyclists, it can process other kinds of activities as well. FormBeat also supports running and swimming workouts with Training Stress Scores from these activities reflected in Weekly Training Load, Form & Fitness charts and also Training Calendar.
There’s absolutely no specific kit you need at all. FormBeat’s analytics and optimal training load prediction work without any sensors but, for best results, FormBeat recommends using activities with data from heart rate and/or power meter sensors. If you’ve already been cycle training, you might already have some of what you need.
Absolutely not, FormBeat can work in tandem with Strava and a whole host of other apps and data capture technology. FormBeat’s mission is to build the most intuitive cycling analytics platform to help improve your training and performance, but you’ll find your existing training tools are still of great use. FormBeat simply takes that information and helps you to know what to do with it.
Considering the potential of FormBeat and the level of data and performance analysis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this premium product might demand a premium price; in fact, FormBeat costs just $25(US) a year, or $3(US) a month.
You can even start for free, with a 30-day free trial and no credit card required.
And for every new subscription taken out, FormBeat even plants a tree courtesy of the Ecologi climate positive workforce. So, by signing up to FormBeat, you're making one small step towards improving the world, and a big leap towards improving your cycling.
For more information, visit www.formbeat.com