Difference between ascent, descent and elevation

Problem: In the altitude histogram, TrailRunner displays three values derived from altitude values. These are named elevation, ascent and descent. What's the different between these?
Description: Elevation is the absolute difference between the highest summit and the lowest valley. It may also be named altitude difference or altitude range.
Ascent is being displayed as ascent/descent value which is the gain in only positive / negative altitude differences.
Example: With an altitude series of 10, 13, 15, 13, 11, 16
the elevation is 10..16 = 6
the ascent is 10..15 + 11..16 = 10
and the descent is 15..11 = 4
Tip: As most GPS receivers tend to be very inaccurate with the recoding of altitude data, the ascent and decent values can become unnaturally high as only small gains can sum up to huge values. In TrailRunner > Preferences > Advanced you can set a high pass filter for the ascent/descent calculation. See Filter altitude noise.
Additional note: It may even happen that you record a round-trip and the ascent and descent values differ. This comes from the simple fact that altitude recordings made by a GPS are extremely inaccurate. To calculate the altitude, the GPS requires good reception of at least three satellites. If reception differs during two visits of a location, the derived ascent and descent values will also differ.

Share diary and document between different Macs

Problem: You have a Mac at home and one at work. You would like to synchronize your TrailRunner diary with these two computers.
Solution: TrailRunner supports Dropbox. You can put the TrailRunner documents into your Dropbox and the data gets synchronized between all linked computers.

As you might already know, TrailRunner stores all vital information within your home directories Application Support folder

To move your TrailRunner data to Dropbox, follow these steps:

- Download and install Dropbox.
- By default, Dropbox creates a new folder in your home directory called Dropbox.
- Open this folder and make sure that a folder named Documents exists within. If this is not the case, create one with the exact spelling.
- Now go to: [yourhome]/Library/Application Support/
- Within, find the folder named TrailRunner and move this into the aforementioned Documents folder.

Next time you start up TrailRunner, the application will check on if your home directory contains the following folder:
[yourhome]/Dropbox/Apps/TrailRunner/Application Support

If that's the case, TrailRunner will access this location instead of the default Library/Application Support location.

If the default folder does not suit you, these alternatives are also looked into:
[yourhome]/Documents/Dropbox/Apps/TrailRunner/Application Support [yourhome]/Dropbox/Apps/TrailRunner/Application Support [yourhome]/Dropbox/Documents/TrailRunner
[yourhome]/Shared/Library/Application Support/TrailRunner

As this folder now is located within your dropbox, it is automatically being backed up and synchronized between all computers being linked to your dropbox.

Supported Fitness Devices, GPS receivers and file formats

TrailRunner directly and indirectly supports several workout recording devices. As it’s very time consuming to directly support fitness devices, I decided to interface with dedicated helper applications that do a much better job than I could do on my own. Go to TrailRunner > Preferences > Synchronize > Helper Applications to set the desired interface as described below.

Apple Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, Nike+ SportBand, Nike+GPS for iPhone.
Direct import of workout data when you attach your iPod as a volume, set the mount as volume option in iTunes. For the Nike+ SportBand and Nike+GPS iPhone app, in preferences set synchronization to nikeplus.com, then in the main window click on Apple+Nike toolbar icon. Follow the screen instructions in TrailRunner to import your workouts from your nikeplus.com account.

iPhone GPS Recording Apps
Most iPhone GPS recording apps are capable of sending a recorded session to your mac via email. If the file format is anything like GPX, KML or TCX then you can directly import the recording via drag and drop of the file onto the TrailRunner application Icon.
Some Applications like Trails, RaceBunny or iTrail use the TrailRunner native communication interface via wifi.
Read more about iPhone Apps supported by TrailRunner.


Edge 605/705/500/800/510/810
ForeRunner 620/910XT
Import directly from the Fitness device by attaching it via USB to your Mac. Set Garmin USB Mass storage as your helper application and follow the screen instructions in TrailRunner.

ForeRunner FR50, FR60, 310XT, 405 and 405CX
Garmin ANT Agent for Mac OS X allows you to transfer fitness data from compatible Garmin ANT devices to and from your Mac. Once your device is synchronized with your Mac, TrailRunner can access the data and import the local TCX files. Set the Garmin ANT Agent as your helper application and follow the screen instructions in TrailRunner.

ForeRunner 201/301/305/405, FR60, Garmin Edge 205/305/605/705
Import by using Garmin Training Center as the synchronization helper.
To send courses to your fitness device use the helper application LoadMyTracks or GPSBable (see below).


Pasted Graphic
Import by using Suunto MovesLink2 as the synchronization helper.


RS200, RS200sd, CS200, CS200cad or F6 heart rate monitor
Import by using TrackRecord as the synchronization helper using the Mac's built-in microphone, iSight or an external microphone.
Any other Polar HRM file containing distance information can also be imported into TrailRunner. This includes files with the .hrm extension or .xml extension that may come from polarpersonaltrainer.com
If you own a Polar S625x with Irda the only known way is to use a PC emulation with Polar Personal Trainer and then export a HRM file. Please let me know if you find any better solution. (Forum: MAC with polar watches)

Upload you data to polarpersonaltrainer.com, export as an Polar HRM XML file and import that into TrailRunner
Please let me know if you find any better solution.


Global Trainer GPS
Use the Timex Device Agent which works exclusively with TrainingPeaks. Export a PWX file and import the file into TrailRunner.


Supported GPS Devices
LoadMyTracks can communicate with most classical GPS devices like all Garmin, Magellan or even TomTom devices.
MacTravelRecorder can export GPX files from GPS mouses like the iBlue.

Another great software to connect your GPS device is GPSBabel. It's an openSource initiative and supports almost any device or file format on the planet like formats from devices like Garmin GPS, Magellan GPS, TomTom GPS, many map programs and other GPS receivers. Save your recordings as a GPX file and import them into TrailRunner.

Supported File formats
TrailRunner can directly read and import files in the following formats:

GPX (either containing routes or tracks)
TCX (Garmin XML Database)
FIT (Garmin Fitness Database)
KML (GoogleEarth)
PWX (TrainingPeaks)
HRM (Polar HRM files)
XML (polarpersonaltrainer.com XML export)
fitlog (SportTracks FitnessLogbook)

If you have any different file format, use GPSBabel to convert it to any of the supported file formats above

How can I switch between different OSM Renders

Problem: When background maps in TrailRunner are set to openStreetMap, the displayed maps are outdated or use a renderer I do not prefer.
Solution: TrailRunner supports the following OSM Render Styles: Classic OpenStreetMap, OpenCycleMap and CloudMade Fine line. To switch between these, Goto to Bottom Toolbar > Background Map > Display Settings. In the left pane select any of the available OSM tile servers.
Tip: As tiles are heavily cached in TrailRunner, you may want to right click the map and reload background maps whenever you see outdated tiles being displayed from the cache. To reload all osm map tiles, delete the following folder: < yourhome >/Library/Caches/TrailRunner/MapViewTiles/openstreetmap.org

Garmin Training Center shows a different distance as TrailRunner does

Problem: Your ForeRunner device displays a distance for a workout. Garmin Training Center displays the same distance but TrailRunner displays a different distance.
Background: During the workout, your ForeRunner records geographical data points. At the same time your ForeRunner internally adds up the distances as a total distance so far. If you have intelligent recording enabled on your ForeRunner and the GPS signal quality isn't too good, the device will alter the recorded geographical course -- and therefore the derived distance -- after it knows better. Problem is that at the same time the overall distance should also be adjusted, which is not the case.
Status: To avoid confusion, TrailRunner usually displays the distance your device is displaying. But it could happen that the real distance, based on the mere data points, "slips through" in TrailRunner. This indeed is contradictory information but at the same time it is like impossible to me to "do it right".