Manual Triathloncoach

Category: Documentation All Languages
Olaf Sabatschus
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 22:03
Hits: 27363


Note: Shortly a new and quite different version based on jQuery Fullcalendar at its heart will be released for Joomla! 3.4x. That one will be based around single workouts and calendar views with different time frames so it is going to be completely flexible for your workflow (and it won't have a bug in it's feedback per workout function when using single quotes as it is completely JSON based for all Ajax requests).

Thanks for choosing the triathloncoach component or at least looking up this brief manual to see if it could be of any use for you!

What is the component for in the first place?

It will help you ease your daily tasks if you are a triathlon coach or want to run a coaching website with fellow coaches!

You won't have to note down loads of appointments, race dates and other info and you'll be notified automatically if an athlete changes something. The athlete can be sure, you always see what's up to tailor his trainingplan established conveniently from the backend of your Joomla! website with a templating, copy, drag & drop system.

This manual is currently a draft and not yet fully established - you will see daily contributions and changes, so please be patient until I have found the time to add all information I can think of would be needed. 

I have been a professional triathlete and coach for about 20 years now and have ended up with the workflow and helps I created in this component due to the experiences I made, so I hope it will be useful for others as well!

If you feel like something is missing (after I am done here with describing each feature please..) feel free to send me a note via the contact form on this website - togehter we'll be able to make the best out of this manual and the software!

Also of course like everything around Joomla! the component is published as Open Source under GNU General Public License (see the included textfiles), so you are free to add to or alter the software to your liking.  

The component has been tested on php 5.3 with mysql 5.5. You should make sure, you are using an adequate, up-to-date system!

The Initial Setup

Please install the .zip containing the component and the .zip files with the plugins (no need to unzip first) and enable the latter via the Joomla Installer:

The component ships with english and german .ini files for front end backend by default. You can easily make a copy and store your own translation files under the administrator and site's language folders to obtain the languages you like. Make sure, you have those languages installed and enabled for Joomla as well to make your translations appear.

The plugins serve for some automatic processes like sending emails, deleting files when a related database entry (uploads) is deleted and the likes. There is none vital for the component to work but they enhance the workflow quite a bit so I recommend to use them all. For the next version I am thinking about a statistics plugin comparing planned versus diary entries. 

Currently there are 4 plugins availalbe: 

  1. triathloncoachemail => serves to send a trainingplan when saved in the backend (changed or new)
  2. triathloncoachdeleteupload => will delete the actual file when a database entry is being deleted in the backend in the uploads section which is more convenient than doing this manually. If you want to preserve the files anyway, there is an explanation later in this manual.
  3. triathloncoachappemail => serves to send an email to his coach when a user changes or adds an appointment in the frontend
  4. triathloncoachmiscemail => serves to send an email to his coach when a user changes his miscellaneous info in the frontend
  5. triathloncoachstatistics => compares planned versus actually done training from plan and dary as a content plugin

 To have the component work as expected, you will need to initially set the correct options under the options toolbar button (top right):

The Workout Template Visibility setting decides about if all coaches can use and see all other coaches' workout templates or only their own created.


The Trainingplans View (Backend)

Let's start right away with the trainingplans, from the backend, to get you up and working with the most important informations quickly:

The Trainingplans view offers each coach the complete list of all trainingplans he has created. 

One can order or filter the plans to find a certain trainingplan quickly. 

In the toolbar you can find amongst other icons one to copy a trainingplan. This serves to quickly make a copy in case you want to for example use one as a template and then change a few things for another athlete. 

To work on an existing plan, click the according checkbox on the left of each plan in the list and then the edit button in the Toolbar. 

To create a new one, use the new button - as the component offers you help with a basic ticket system checking if you have created all plans needed for your customers for the following week, normally you would create new plans through the ticket system though which we'll talk about soon.

The Trainingplan View (Backend)

After clicking the edit button you will see this as the top part of the training plan view:

The appointments are simply all appointments a customer (or his coach for him) has entered, so you won't forget an important race or anything your client wants you to know to tailor the workouts around. This info is updated via ajax when a different user is chosen in the Athlete field. 

In the miscellaneous area you see the customers' "normal" timebudget which should reflect a regular week and the time available for training, team workouts your customer likes to attend etc.
All miscellaneous data can be set for each customer under the miscellanous sub-menu of the component The athletes can change all parts of this data except fot the trainingzones which have to be set by the coach. 

Remember to initially store one set of miscellaneous data for each athlete from the backend, as they can't be created from the athletes in the frontend.

The Base Data of a trainingplan consists of some important fields like the athlete for whom the plan is created and the from - to dates. The component stores weekly plans only at the moment, and a plan has to start with Monday and end with Sunday 7 days later for the ticket system (later a word on this) to work correctly.
A coach is free to place any dates he likes but it only makes sense to save 1 plan for each week and athlete with the correct dates in the end.

The weekly comment finally is a free field to send and store any explanations with each plan.

Further down you find the workout area with the week totals that are automatically updated when any changes in the single workout mileage or time fields occur.
With the workout buttons you can drag and drop entire workouts within the same discipline into other days or delete the contents of one workout cell.
Each cell represents one discpline for one day - so in case you have 2 workouts on the same day with the same discipline you will have to enter them into the same cell and place the sum of the two into the mileage and time fields.

You can change from metric to english measurements in the component's options (button can be found on the top right as known from other Joomla components). 

The Plan buttons help to insert single workout templates (previously established in the workout template submenu described later) or complete trainingplan weeks.

These functions open a modal window and are self-explanatory, just choose a workout and drag & drop it into the day you want it to add on the top of the modal window (it will automatically be in the correct discipline's column and day) or click on the button on the left when you want to add a whole week.

Once you are done with a plan and want it saved and send via email to your customer (the email is only send when the plan is "published" under Base Data and you have installed and enabled the plugin "triathloncoachemail" shipping with the component) click on the save or save & close button on the top right of the screen.

With the latest version of the component and plan email plugin you can choose to send a printer-friendly PDF attachment also whenever a plan is saved from the edit view.

The Tickets (Backend)

The tickets are a simple help to never forget to create a plan for a customer. You can simply click on a link - it will vanish when a plan for the upcoming week is done. 

The underlying code relies on your database server's settings for the datetime, so in case you have an offset a ticket could be a few hours early or late instead of appearing exactly with a new week and 7 days before the next plan has to be finished at the latest.

After clicking on a ticket the trainingplan view opens with the dates and customer correctly prefilled.


 The Appointment View (Backend)

I skip the appointmets view (note the plural) here, because there is nothing fancy or non self-explanatory about it. To add a new appointment you simply click the new button in the appointments view etc.

It is important to normally let the athletes add apointents from the frontend as they should be responsible for notifying the coach about any races, changes and influences, but in case you need to add something for a lazy customer who has send you another email with a list of appointments instead of entering them himself you can do this here, simply choose the athlete for whom the appointment will be saved (each coach gets a list of his athletes only - derived from the entries in coach-athlete relations sub menu), start and end date and write the content of the appointment, and then finally save the appointment.

The Miscellaneous View (Backend)

After choosing a miscellaneous dataset (one per user is possible to save in the database table) and edit or clicking on new you see the following screen allowing to enter trainingzones, Timebudget and bascially any other info needed to be remembered. This set of data will be shown when creating or editing trainingplans of the respective athlete so place anything you need in here. The trainingzones will be - if so chosen under the options of the triathloncoachemail plugin - included into each email that will be send to your athlete with a new or edited (and published) plan.

One feature asked for by a friend was the calculation of some basic statistical data, they will be used solely in the upload feature - after uploading garmin tcx files it is possible to create a basic chart from them and get an "overview" over the workout in the shape of a linegraph and the values calculated. Thus, the functional threshold in watts (cycling) can be provided here, too for each athlete.

The Coach-User Relations (Backend)

In this screen you note who's coach and who's an athlete. This is serving at multiple places to recognize which email adress something should be send to (for example a changed or new appointment from the frontend - remember to install and publish the triathloncoachappemail plugin!) and who should see which tickets etc.

Set up a coach-user relation for each athlete - an athlete can only have one coach, but coaches of course can have multiple athletes they write plans for.

The Workout Templates (Backend)

From the workout templates view (skipped here in the manual - as usual there is nothing noticeable about it) you can create and edit templates to be used for convenient inserting into trainingplans while creating them later.

Just remember to save the correct discipline with your template text.

The Disciplines (Backend)

This view is basically just there with a flexible future in mind. In case the component gets more views / other table structure it will be serving other sports as well as it serves for triathlon coaching. For the moment it is best to leave this untouched to enable a flowless experience for triathlon coaches and their athletes.

The Coach Logos (Backend)

If you have the triathloncoachemail plugin's options set so, it will look for a coach's logo to include into the header of each traiiningplan email send out to their athletes.











The Uploads (Backend)

Below you can see a linegraph that's been drawn after click on a link in the downloads list. 

Depending on if the uploaded (tcx at the moment only) file was filled with swimming, biking or running it will show a slightly different graph and do some calculations. 

The swim / other view is not yet "perfect" in the current version of the component, yet swimming is not a very exactly measured activity by gps devices if done in pools anyway. Normally a user would do the upload from the frontend to inform his coach about a workout, but one can do it from the backend as well.

One of the next versions will include libchart, a free library that weighs in with not too much code, to produce pretty graphs with standards that should be existent on any Joomla server surrounding nowadays.

The Trainingplans (Frontend)

For each frontend view you will need to add a menu Item, so your athletes can access the respective views.

In general it is advisable to allow only show logged-in users access to the component's views, as else there is no way to  know for it which plans, appointments etc. to show. 

So, set the access rights of the related menu items to a logged-in usergroup, - nomally you would use the one that is chosen in the component's options.

The list views will be in most cases what you would like to offer your users - they have links to create and manage the respective items anyway, so you do not have to show a single trainingplan via menu item for example. 

There are many components in the Joomla Extensions directory, that would help you do paid memberships and manage the group a paid or non-paid user will be assigned to automatically. This is a great and easy way to monetize your coaching service on your Joomla! website.

The traiiningplans View shows each athelte's plans. A click on detail view opens the weekly or trainingplan view.

From there, one can print the plan but more importantly one can save corresponding entries into a trainingdiary. The diary is only available from this view in the actual component's version. Clicking on Save changes while You are watching: TARGET PLAN is shown means that all planned workouts will be copied into the trainingdiary week. If the athlete wants to change something versus the planned week he has to first click on Load corresponding diary to see what's in his diary - saving thereafter will not overwrite the diary entries.

 The athletes can use a somewhat similar drag & drop interface that the coach has in the backend - they can click on the wastebin icon underneath each workout to delete this (from the diary only - even if this is been done in the TARGET PLAN view changes of course only save to the diary) or use the AA icon to drag & drop workouts.


 The Appointments (Frontend)

The athletes can use a quite similar interface to manage appointments like we have seen for the backend, after click on Detail view or add new item they will see an appropriate form to edit or add an appointment.

The Miscellaneous View (Frontend)

It is important to keep the timebudget and other information up-to-date that is of interest for the coach to create working schedules. Thus, the athletes can (with the exception of the training zones) update their dataset in the frontend.

The Uploads (Frontend)