Multi-activity Workouts
    Discussion posted January 10, 2012 by IntermanautTwo-Way Pager (40+ points), last edited January 11, 2012 
    371 Views, 9 Comments
    Discussion Subject:
    Multi-activity Workouts

    Jeez, this thing is frustrating.  Supposing you have the following workout:

    5min warm-up
    4min fast/3min recovery x 3 intervals
    5min cool-down 

    In MotoActv you set that up by creating a workout that contains three activities.  Fine.  That's not intuitive but it gives the impression that it'll work.  Does it?  I've said before that multi-activity workouts should advance automatically, and it baffles me that someone at Motorola didn't consider this during design stages.

    When you reach the end of the 5min warm-up you get a voice notification, and when it ends you get another one.  How the frikkin' heck do you advance on to the next activity?  I didn't get a "next" button on the screen (I can't find the reference of where I read that), so I have no idea what's meant to happen here.  Presumably it's a case of hitting the START/STOP button then tapping next?  The thing is, that's dumber than a dumb thing for a couple of reasons

    1. it's stupid - have it roll on automatically, just like Garmin does, just like Adidas does, just like Nike+ does.
    2. there's no clear indication on the screen that part two has started.

    This is the one problem (multi-activity workouts) that lead me to believe that, just before my right-to-return period runs out, I'll be sending it back for a full refund.



    • Aaron_Fletcher

      Welcome to the post product release beta team. (: Sorry...


      Yes, I feel your pain. I ran in to this also. I am holding out though. I have high hopes for this product.

    • Okeo

      I'd like to see this addressed as well. I 'ran' into this last night -- had scheduled a workout with a warmup and an actual run after as 2 activities. Never figured out how to go beyond the warmup.

      Testing it in my house here this afternoon, it seems like a 'NEXT' button will pop-up sometimes, but I don't really remember seeing that yesterday. Also, it's winter here right now; I should NOT be required to take off my glove just so I can move on to the next step of my workout.

      We'll see if this gets better. I sure hope so.

    • Tambo

      At least y'all got notified! I've set up two interval workouts and never hear notifications when an interval ends. I have it set to say something but nothing happened....had to wear my garmin just to get the buzz to know when to run/walk.

    • robgallardo

      Check out this thread: https://forums.motorola.com/posts/4e4d0da9c3

      I ran into the same issue.  Apparently the multi-activity aspect causes problems, but if you can include the warm-up and cool down in your interval workout itself (you just run till you're warmed up then start the intervals).  Haven't tried yet, but it seemed to work for Julie when done this way.

    • Intermanaut

      OK, bad example.  How about this workout, which is not uncommon in marathon training:

      5min at 5min/km
      30min at 4m30/km
      20min at 4min/km
      1min at 3min/km
      5min at 5min/km 

      This is the sort of thing that Motorola has completely screwed up on.  Failing to record warm-up and cool-down on intervals (when they're setup as one activity) is one thing, but failing to consider that proper runner would want something like this is absurd, and that's why it's clear to me that the device was designed without any input from serious (not necessarily professional) atheletes.

      Even my five-year old Garmin 305 supports this sort of workout.

    • Intermanaut

      Right, I've just completed the following, very simple, workout.  It was intended to give me a non-critical workout so that I can figure out how multi-activity workouts operate.  I understand it now, and it's stupid.

      Activity 1:   1min, no pace or distance set
      Activity 2:   1min, no pace or distance set
      Activity 3:   1min, no pace or distance set 

      So, part-way through Activity 1 I got the "You're half way" alert.  Fine.  Then I got the "Nearly done - 8 seconds left" alert.  Why 8 seconds?  Who cares?  At least it's speaking to me.  Then I got the "Completed" alert, but the device keeps on recording.  I knew it would do that.

      At this point my screen had timed out, so the START/STOP button didn't react.  I switched the screen on using the power button, then pressed the START/STOP button.  The alert annouced "Workout paused", and the screen displayed the END and NEXT buttons.  I pressed NEXT to be told "Workout completed" and was then shown another screen, so I pressed the START/STOP button.  The alert said "Workout started", so off I went.

      This was repeated at the end of Activity 2, so I made it through multi-activity workout correctly.  However, the process is stilll stupid:

      • If the screen times-out you have to switch it on before you can end the current Activity and move on to the next;
      • When you press the START/STOP button at the end of each Activity it tells you that the workout is paused.  The language here is inconsistent.  As a user, a "workout" is the entire thing, made up of separate activities, so the alert should say "Activity paused" or "Activity ended".
      • When you press "Next" the alert tells you that the workout has ended.  Again, that's inconsistent, untrue, and confusing.  It's only that activity that's ended.
      • You then have to press the START/STOP button to commence the susbsequent Activity, but the alert tells you that the workout has started.  Again, that's inconsistent, untrue and confusing.

      So, mutli-activity workouts can be used to complex workouts, but the mechanism is truly awful.  Motorola absolutely must sort this out.  The problem of having to switch the screen back on before moving between Activities can be avoided by disabling the screen timeout, which probably isn't a problem for most people who are have set up warm-up and cool-down periods in their interval workouts, and those on longer, slower runs would probably not bother with warm-up/cool-down phases.

      I have an interval workout tomorrow, so I'm going to leave it as I described in my original post just to see what the coaching is like.  During intervals it's absolutely essential to have the coach yell when you're going too fast or too slow.

      At the moment my intention is to keep the device for the next 10 days, then it's going back for a refund unless Motorola can commit to resolving this sensibly.  From what I can tell, MotoActv doesn't, regardless of what the marketing & PR machine says, do any coaching.

    • Okeo

      Thanks for the info.


      I still think it's a relatively easy fix for Motorola -- provide an 'Auto-Activity' checkbox. This would fix 95% of my concerns. 


      Then, if they could simply improve the website where we create the workouts (i.e. leave the concept of 'activity' to duathlon people, and improve the 'intervals' aspect -- a warmup and a cooldown COULD be an interval, just provide more flexibility than a HIGH and LOW setting with number of repeats!), then that would be even better.


      They've been relatively pretty responsive so far with the updates, we'll see how it goes...

    • Intermanaut

      Okeo said:

      Thanks for the info.


      I still think it's a relatively easy fix for Motorola -- provide an 'Auto-Activity' checkbox. This would fix 95% of my concerns. 

       If they fix that I'll be as happy as a pig in...

    • Intermanaut

      I've just looked at the upload of this morning's test multi-activity workout and, as I expected, it's shown as three separate workouts.  Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.