It has been hard to concentrate in the second half of this week. We’re devastated by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. And I think it’s important that we acknowledge that. The world of work - and the world of running - doesn’t exist in a vacuum away from the reality of life, and life feels much more frightening today compared to a week ago. Our thoughts and support are with everyone in Ukraine right now and all those opposing the Russian government.
Squashed bugs of week five
There’s a full list of bug fixes over on the releases page. But some highlights.
Removing obsolete recommended runs
A bug got introduced that meant the most recent recommended run could persist in future runs even if it were older than the most recent run you’d been on. We’ve fixed that. There’s a second bug that means the next recommended run might still appear at the same time of day as the actual one (e.g. this morning) but that should also hopefully be fixed very soon.
Everyday goals everyday
Weekly Everyday goals - when we launched - would need to be recreated every new week. This was pretty annoying (to put it mildly). They’ll now persist week to week.
Disconnecting from Garmin
Once Garmin was connecting we were failing to link back to the correct page in case you ever wanted to disconnect from Garmin, or confirm that the Garmin connection was working from the Byrd side. We’ve now fixed that.
Shiny new things
Explaining the ‘why’ of a recommended run
You can now see additional details about the run Byrd is recommending. We’ve had lots of great questions coming in to us about why Byrd’s recommending a zig-zag run, a flow run or any of the other 11 possible runtypes Byrd can chose from.
Now, if you confirm you’re going for the run today, the guide will ask if you want to see more details about the run and why Byrd’s recommending it.
It’s the first of - many - features to enhance the experience before you head out the door on an adventure so we’d love to hear how it’s working for you.
We’ve added a couple of enhancements around sharing information with people using Byrd.
We’ll now send a confirmation email when you register and a confirmation email when you subscribe. They’re coming from me (Edd), so if you ever have any problems with the app it’s easy to find my email and get some help.
We’ll also now send a notification when you’ve unlocked an experience card. We didn’t have this in before because we didn’t want to overwhelm people with notifications but we’ve had a lot of requests to add it in.
Thinking about durations
Beyond bug fixes and released new features we have also been hitting our heads against the amount of time Byrd recommends getting outside each day.
One of Byrd’s key features is how we recommend future runs. This is hard. One of the hardest things to do when creating those recommendations is to decide how long each run should be. The amount of time we go out running is surprisingly volatile. There are some people who’ll run five minutes one day and then two hours the next, others will run 30 minutes every time they step out of the door. To make the decision harder Byrd also has opinions on how the amount of time someone would need to run based on any future goals they may have or the space they find themselves in.
We know from feedback - and from how close people are sticking to the recommendations - that the durations currently don’t do a good enough job of matching what people expect to be recommended.
We had hoped to get to a solution more quickly than we have done. With paces we had a not dissimilar problem where they didn’t fit the mental model of our test users. However, pace zones are far less volatile one day to the next. From what we’ve observed - assuming someone’s running on the same surface and same gradient - a runner’s pace is relatively static. If you ran 05:00 mins /km today it is highly probable that you’ll be within ±15 seconds of that tomorrow.
We’re working hard on this. It’s important. In fact, it might be the most important thing that we need to get right. But, where last week we thought it might be imminently improved, this week we’ve a more realistic view. Our current target date to get it out to everyone using the app is the end of March.
If you’re interested in helping us test it as we roll out enhancements then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get you setup.
That’s it for this week. Happy weekend running and catch you next time.