Rowing App Developer Diary: Real-Time Force Curves For A Team of Rowers

Rowing App Developer Diary: Real-Time Force Curves For A Team of Rowers


Rowing App

I’ve been working hard on a new app (Currently Titled Coach Bergenroth – but likely to change names) to help with the training management of my client base. The app is the codebase of Remote Rowing Coach but also contains the ability to manage training plans in my system that I built from the ground up, among other features described in this article. 

New Features:

The app allows viewing and uploading data into the training management system. One of the aspects of my current system is that clients need to upload their data to the Concept2 Logbook and then import it into the system. It’s not very time-consuming, but it is a two-step process that could be more efficient. My new app allows uploading data from within the app into my system with a couple of clicks. Additionally, the app can now automatically upload data to the Concept2 Logbook. 

rowing app
rowing app

In addition to the typical stroke data that the Concept2 Logbook typically shows, similar to Remote Rowing Coach, additional data is uploaded, including metrics such as peak force, average drive force, stroke length, all force curve data, handle speed, work per stroke, and the % of stroke drive complete when peak force is reached. 

As a result of the increased granular nature of the data exported and received by the server, it is possible to compare the force curves of different athletes on the same team, doing the same training session at different selected stroke rates. I hope this functionality helps coaches see trends in how each athlete in their team applies force and could provide helpful data to discover combinations that might move more effectively on the water. The jury is still out on this, but I am not aware of another platform that has tried this, So I thought the challenge of creating a system that can accomplish this was worth a go.

rowing app force curve analysis

Rowing App Peak Power Testing

The next feature I added is the ability to upload peak power testing to the training management server at the press of a button. There are very few apps available that allow for the data collection of peak power testing as specifically as my app (Remote Rowing Coach does this but provides a CSV export, which does speed things up over transcribing video footage). 

Once seven-stroke and/or ten-stroke power testing is complete, my new app allows transmitting the data over to the server. 

peak power testing rowing
peak power testing rowing

Once the data transfer is complete, a web interface allows for the analysis of data across time with helpful stats such as:

  1. Peak watts during a test.
  2. Total watts for the entire test.
  3. Stroke number where peak force is attained.
  4. Average drive length.
  5. Handle speed for stroke where peak watts are attained.
rowing peak power testing analysis

Real-Time Remote Team Data Dashboard

I have built Remote Coaching Coach to allow for real-time transmission of Concept2 PM5 data to a remote location. However, I’ve always wondered what it might look like if a coach could see force curve data in real-time for a team of athletes training simultaneously. 

I am pleased to report that I have figured out how to accomplish this. We had a successful test this past June at the Tulsa Youth Rowing Association, where we used the app and web interface to view all six athletes’ data and force curves simultaneously. See below for a video of the test:

real time rowing app force curves
force curve team rowing app testing

Concluding Thoughts

It has been fun putting these features together. I have recently uploaded the Bluetooth core code so that the app doesn’t disconnect after a training session is complete. However, I have a few more things to fix before this new implementation functions correctly. This is all a healthy part of innovation and development. I also want to thank my clients for their feedback on my new app. I look forward to releasing the technology whenever I feel it is ready for public use.

Until then, let me know if you want to participate in the beta, and I will see what I can do to support you!

Until next time! 


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