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So what is this Endless Pursuit thing anyways?

Wed, Nov  19, 2003

[Note: Endless Pursuit is giving away a GPS and their service to one lucky person - and this actually seems like a useful product. I was hoping to give it a try and write a reveiw but simply haven't had the time. So why don't you sign up, and if you win, YOU can write the review for the web site! Sign up at http://www.nordicskiracer.com/cgi-bin/special/AddAddress.asp. - Mike Muha]

Endless Pursuit – The missing link in your training
Technologically changing the way endurance athletes train
By Inge Scheve
Cross-country ski racer with XC Oregon/ Alpina Racing/ Madshus USA

Endless Pursuit is an interactive training solution consisting of GPS (Global Positioning System) hardware and computer software that combined allows users to chart, map, compare and share course information. This new bundle presents an affordable, lightweight, wireless and portable system that offers invaluable benefits to endurance athletes and recreational users of all levels. The GPS can make choosing suitable routes easier, keep a journal of treks and workouts, organize training data and contribute to improve performance. This piece will introduce the following key points:

  • How this device will redefine the way you train by delivering accurate picture of overall performance
  • How the graphs and interactive features let you track and improve your performance in target areas
  • How the device and the concept let you target areas of improvement for a specific event

Overview: Endless Pursuit is much more than a GPS with a PC connection. That combination allows the GPS to become a unique training tool. Endless Pursuit is a training log, a planning-, evaluation- and comparison tool, and a community, as well as an inspiration. And, of course, when used as a navigation device the GPS can help users avoid getting lost.

A Bend (Ore.) based competitive cross-country skier, I train twice on most days and harbor an adversity to keeping training logs. In my world, a training log is an endless pile of handwritten entries on a blank photocopied chart-sheet. But training logs, I have been told, are one of the most valuable training tools in a sport where reaching your potential takes up to a decade of dedication and hard training. With that in mind, I approached the Endless Pursuit concept with enthusiasm and anticipation of less and simpler book-keeping.

Endless Pursuit goes everywhere I train: skiing, running, biking, kayaking, hiking, roller skiing…. The sky is the limit (no flying analysis available at this point…:)). Turn it on, go, turn it off, upload… and compare, analyze, evaluate, plan and share to your heart’s content! Endless Pursuit’s analysis pages can be customized to display the GPS data according to user preferences. For a complete list of exercise data available from Endless Pursuit, visit www.endlesspursuit.com, or click this link
http://www.endlesspursuit.com/Documents/General/metricslist.htm

Training: Although I expected Endless Pursuit to help me keep track of my training, I had no idea how radically the Endless Pursuit GPS data would redefine the way I plan, execute and evaluate my training. Tracking my workouts on Endless Pursuit is much more scientific/ precise than an old-fashioned written training log, and easier than attempting to keep a written training log. Still, numeric training log entries provide only a partial picture. Endless Pursuit allows users to capture qualitative entries such as overall feel, perceived effort, the quality of last night’s sleep, nervousness, and so on, as these details offer important and invaluable information that no technical device can completely replace! Additional information such as air temperature, snow and trail conditions (wet/ falling snow/ icy tracks/ air and snow humidity/ grooming standard, etc) are also important to include.

Racing and competing: The events and races page in Endless Pursuit is a powerful resource. Users can browse event participants’ active logs and get the entire low-down on profiles, altitudes, course features, and comments which allow prospective racers to target where to be conservative and where to redline, as well as technical/ hard areas and more. In Endless Pursuit, I can also compare workouts, allowing me to track improvement and setbacks as percentage changes – an immensely powerful tool in tracking progress throughout the season and beyond. While the comparison option is a powerful feature of the concept, it is particularly useful when training for a specific event where I have access to the course ahead of time, or I have pre-tracked the course and have GPS workout data. With this information, I can track performance gains and work on the areas on the course where I can improve.

Maps and routes: Endless Pursuit tracks each workout on a map – a valuable tool for visualizing the workout, as well as interesting to share. With Endless Pursuit, treks can be shared in a couple of ways: either uploaded to the entire Endless Pursuit community, or emailed to select individuals (who may or may not be Endless Pursuit users). The Endless Pursuit community feature also allows users to search for treks in any area. Search results list trek activity and distance, and are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 on overall trek, fun factor and difficulty.

Overall: What impresses me the most is how the data is displayed in various charts and diagrams that lets the user evaluate strengths and weaknesses in a “real-life” environment: Where can I increase speed? Where can I conserve energy? How do I handle the trail features and altitudes? These are key performance variables that are difficult to extract from traditional training log entries. Additionally, comparing workouts and treks helps keep performance in perspective and adds an advantage in preparing for specific events. Finally, using the Endless Pursuit GPS in training and outdoor activities allows me to share the activities and routes I love with other individuals who enjoy the outdoors – just with a few mouse-clicks!

[Full Disclosure: Endless Pursuit has paid for
banner ads on this site. - Mike Muha]