Title:
COMPETITIVE RUNNING MANAGEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A management system for managing a group of athletes from a remote location using, for example, the internet. A website is accessible to a manager such as a coach and the athletes. Data may be entered as to performance times of the athletes. An algorithm of the system uses performance times to generate suggested workouts, such as a five paced workout with two paces slower than a performed time and two paces faster than the performed time. Several events may be practiced at five paces. Entered times are automatically converted to graph form to accentuate areas of weakness and potential improvement. The system generates calendar scheduling of workouts and can display both practice and competitive results.



Inventors:
Rickerman, Ken (Burbank, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/186354
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/05/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GEBREMICHAEL, BRUK A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cotman IP Law Group, PLC (35 Hugus Alley, Suite 210, Pasadena, CA, 91103, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method for improving a runner's best performance time in at least one specific running event, the method comprising the steps of: establishing an initial time actually accomplished by the runner at a specific initial distance; generating a range of potential workouts encompassing a plurality of running distances and paces based on said initial time at said specific initial distance; performing at least some of the generated potential workouts; entering completion times into a data registry for each of the performed workouts; generating at least one graphic representation of the completion times for the performed workouts; and analyzing the graphic representations to determine potential areas of improvement for the runner.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the range of potential workouts includes at least a first workout having a targeted completion pace slower than that of the initial time, and at least a second workout having a targeted completion pace faster than that of the initial time.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the range of workouts includes at least two workouts having targeted completion paces slower than the initial time, and at least two workouts having targeted completion paces faster than the initial time.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the range of potential workouts includes at least a first workout having a targeted completion pace four percent slower than that of the initial time, at least a second workout having a targeted completion pace two percent slower than that of the initial time, at least a third workout having a targeted completion pace two percent faster than that of the initial time, and at least a fourth workout having a targeted completion pace four percent faster than that of the initial time.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the data registry is implemented as a remotely distributable management system including a website having a capability of receiving entered data, a capability of displaying entered data, and has data processing capabilities enabling implementation of the step of generating at least one table, wherein the table is populated with a potential set of times for a plurality of distances relative to said initial time at said specific initial distance.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein said potential set of times populated in said table includes a plurality of expected times for each of the plurality of distances relative to said initial time at said specific initial distance.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the table includes a plurality of second times which are slower than the plurality of expected times for each plurality of distances by a predetermined time interval, and a plurality of third times which are faster than the plurality of expected times for each plurality of distances by a predetermined time interval.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the table includes, a plurality of fourth times which are slower than the plurality of second times for each plurality of distances by a predetermined time interval; and a plurality of fifth times which are faster than the plurality of expected times for each plurality of distances by a predetermined time interval.

9. The method of claim 5, wherein the data processing capabilities of the data registry further comprises generating said range of potential workouts encompassing a plurality of running distances and paces based on said initial time at said specific initial distance.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the potential workouts include workouts specific for each time and distance combination populated in said table.

11. A remotely distributable management system for managing a plurality of participating athletes and distributing data pertaining to an athletic endeavor related to the athletes to a service area, and which is controllable by a manager, comprising: an administrative utility having at least one database disposed to receive entered identity data pertaining to the participating athletes and entered performance data pertaining to athletic events conducted by the participating athletes, and to display the entered identity data and the entered performance data for display throughout the service area; a scheduling utility disposed to generate suggested workouts wherein each one of the workouts includes at least one workout event, for any selected one of the participating athletes; and an analytic utility comprising an algorithm which is disposed to generate at least one workout event based on the entered performance data for each selected one of the participating athletes, and to display characteristics of each suggested workout throughout the service area.

12. The management system of claim 11, wherein the scheduling utility includes, for each participating athlete, scheduling capability for scheduling workouts wherein a suggested workout is mapped to a specific future date.

13. The management system of claim 12, wherein the administrative utility includes, for each participating athlete, a dropdown menu which displays future calendar information, which can receive data identifying at least one particular type of athletic event mapped to a specific calendar date, and which can display throughout the service area data mapped to a specific calendar date upon command.

14. The management system of claim 11, wherein the administrative utility has the capability of assigning group identities to selected ones of the participating athletes; and the capability of populating at least one of the dropdown menus with the identities of all of the participating athletes within a selected group by a single command action.

15. The management system of claim 11, wherein the analytics utility is functional to display entered data pertaining to athletic results in the form of a graph.

16. The management system of claim 11, wherein suggested workouts include duration of a workout event and a pace of a workout event.

17. The management system of claim 11, further comprising a message utility which is accessible to participating athletes and functional to receive and display text messages.

18. The management system of claim 11, further comprising an email utility which is restricted as to access to the manager, wherein the email utility has a hot link for connecting the manager to email.

18. The management system of claim 17, wherein the range of potential workouts includes at least a first workout having a targeted completion pace slower than that of the initial time, at least a second workout having a targeted completion pace faster than that of the first workout but slower than that of the initial time, at least a third workout having a targeted completion pace faster than that of the initial time, and at least a fourth workout having a targeted completion pace faster than that of the third workout



19. The management system of claim 11, further comprising a multi-media archiving utility which is functional to record selected digitized audio and video data, and to display the selected digitized audio and video data throughout the service area upon command.

20. The management system of claim 11, wherein the scheduling utility is functional to develop a method for improving a runner's best performance time in at least one specific running event, the method comprising the steps of: establishing an initial time actually accomplished by the runner at a specific initial distance; generating a range of potential workouts encompassing a plurality of running distances and paces based on said initial time at said specific initial distance; performing at least some of the generated potential workouts; entering completion times into a data registry for each of the performed workouts; generating at least one graphic representation of the completion times for the performed workouts; and analyzing the graphic representations to determine potential areas of improvement for the runner.

21. A remotely distributable management system for managing a plurality of participating athletes and distributing data pertaining to an athletic endeavor related to the athletes to a service area, and which is controllable by a manager, comprising: an administrative utility having at least one database disposed to receive entered identity data pertaining to the participating athletes and entered performance data pertaining to athletic events conducted by the participating athletes, and to display the entered identity data and the entered performance data for display throughout the service area, for each participating athlete, a menu which displays future calendar information, which can receive data pertaining to a suggested workouts mapped to a specific calendar date, and which can display throughout the service area data pertaining to plural suggested workouts mapped to plural specific calendar dates on a single screen upon command; and a scheduling utility disposed to generate suggested workouts wherein each one of the workouts includes at least one workout event, for any selected one of the participating athletes, wherein the analytic utility comprises an algorithm which is disposed to generate plural workout events based on the entered performance data for each selected one of the participating athletes, and to display characteristics of each suggested workout throughout the service area, and wherein the scheduling utility is functional to develop a method for improving a runner's best performance time in at least one specific running event, the method comprising the steps of establishing an initial pace defined by an initial time actually accomplished by the runner at a specific initial distance, generating a range of potential workouts encompassing a plurality of running distances and paces based on said initial time at said specific initial distance; performing at least some of the generated potential workouts; and, entering completion times into the database for each of the performed workouts, wherein the menu which displays future calendar information also displays a calendar schedule of the generated potential workouts, wherein each generated potential workout is mapped to a specific calendar day.

22. The management system of claim 21, wherein the pace of the first workout is two percent slower than that of the second workout, the pace of the second workout is two percent slower than that of the initial pace, the pace of the third workout is two percent faster than that of the initial pace, and the pace of the fourth workout is two percent faster than that of the third workout.

23. The management system of claim 21, further comprising an analytics utility wherein the analytics utility is functional to display performed results of said workouts.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to athletic management, and more particularly, to a method of athletic training and a centralized management system therefore which enables a coach or other manager to supervise many different athletes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Timed athletic activities are quite popular, with many people pursuing this endeavor. Some engage in organized, competitive activities, while others have a more informal approach. Both competitive and informal athletes engage the services of a coach with an eye to improving personal performances. Coaches can be responsible for managing very many athletes, who may live, work, and engage in athletics in locations quite remote from the coach. Further the management method allows for instant data collection and analysis onsite at the training facility using traditional electronic devices, including hand-held electronic devices.

This presents logistics problems to coaching. A diligent coach must carefully oversee all of those in his or her charge, which may be difficult to do at a distance. Oversight duties may include not only tracking performances of individuals, but also generating appropriate practices for individuals and also placing these practices within a suitable timeframe. Tracking performances may demand that the coach not only take note of performance times, but abstract patterns relating to an athlete's strengths and weaknesses from the performance times. As the number of athletes working under a coach increases, the demands for the many aspects of coaching approach the point of being untenable in the absence of an organized system for managing athletes and coaching duties.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention answers the above noted need by providing an organized system for recording the many people and activities of a large scale coaching clientele. The system uses data processing for generating suitable tables enabling data from individuals to be input, for organizing and analyzing data, and for displaying both data and certain information which is derived from raw data. Inputs and outputs from the system are instantly available over a wide geographic area due to use of telecommunications and the internet for example.

The system enables individuals to be logged in under their names for example. Performance times for both practices and for serious competitions may be entered. The system has the ability to analyze these inputs and, according to one aspect of the invention and using an algorithm, to generate suggested workouts to enable individuals to improve their performances. Both the inputs and the suggested workouts may be output graphically from the system in a visual form which permits immediate intuitive recognition of strengths and weaknesses of an individual athlete.

An advantageous scheme, on which suggested workouts may be based, in the field of running, is that of multiple speed workouts. Illustratively, given a specific performance time in one event for one athlete, the algorithm may responsively suggest four workouts in which two of the workouts are run at paces slower than the specific performance time, and two of the workouts are run at paces faster than that of the specific performance time. The specific activities or events of the workouts may be unlike each other, such as runs of different distances. The novel system incorporates this five speed approach into the area of suggesting workouts for runners.

The system provides contemporary features of data processing, such as for example drop down menus which enable data to be readily entered. Reproducible formatting tools such as tables and graphs are automatically invoked and placed at the ready for the coach and his pupils. When suitable data processing terminals are connected in a network, such as one using the internet, the system is provided with the ability to collect data and output results very quickly over a widespread geographic area. A coach using the system may quickly complete the various administrative functions from afar, while competently managing a large number of athletes, even to the point of providing each one with individualized instruction.

Among the features which expedite the coach's duties are automatically generated filling of templates, tables, and like tabular and display graphics, and automated analysis of results and calculation of suggested workouts using the five speed approach summarized above. An example of a very useful graphic feature according to one aspect of the invention is automatic generation of schedules, shown in calendar format.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a remotely accessible, centralized system which enables a coach to competently manage a large number of athletes.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a management system which has data processing capabilities to automate some of the coaching duties and tasks.

Another object of the invention is to base coaching in part on a multiple speed practicing regimen, and to generate and disseminate the multiple speed practicing regimen automatically, by using the data processing capabilities of the management system.

Still another object of the invention is to expedite scheduling of athletic performances.

A further object of the invention is to provide visual representations of performance which deliver intuitively and at a glance characteristics of individual capabilities, as that relates to strengths and weaknesses in timed athletic activities.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of steps of a method intended for improving a runner's best

FIG. 2 is an exemplary table which may be generated by the novel system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

According to one aspect, and broadly stated, the present invention may comprise a remotely distributable management system for managing a plurality of participating athletes. The system, which is controllable by a manager who may be for example, an athletic coach, may enable distribution of data pertaining to an athletic endeavor related to the athletes to a service area encompassing a wide geographic area. The system of the present invention will be described primarily with reference to running, although it will be obvious that the system is equally applicable to swimming, biking, competitive walking, and any other athletic activities which value speed and stamina, and which are timed. It should also be appreciated that the disclosed methods may be applicable in various forms to provide for personal improvement for individuals and coaches in non-timed events such as weightlifting, golf, basketball, baseball, and any other event that a competitor would like to improve their abilities in.

The system may include an administrative utility which enables the coach or other manager to determine which athletes have performed desired workouts, if not then why not, what times were recorded from the workouts, and similar tasks.

The administrative utility may have at least one database disposed to receive entered identity data pertaining to the participating athletes and to receive entered performance data pertaining to athletic events conducted by the participating athletes, and to display this identity data and the performance data for display throughout the service area.

As employed herein, the term system refers to a data processing system having all necessary apparatus, programming such as software, firmware, and the like, and connections to operating power, such as electrical power, and communications networks to accomplish the described function or functions. Communications networks may include solid connections such as hardwired, electronic, and optical cable, and may include wireless links. The term utility will be understood to signify a subsystem or portion of the overall system which is operable to accomplish the ends of the more limited aspect of the system. A utility, such as the administrative utility, scheduling utility, and an analytic utility, to be described hereinafter, will be understood to be a subset or subsidiary or partial aspect of the overall system of which it is a component.

The administrative utility may also address peripheral issues of athletic management, such as scheduling ordering of uniforms and other supplies pertaining to the subject athletic activity, or of issuing prompts which oblige the coach or manager to decide whether ordering is necessary.

A scheduling utility is provided to generate suggested workouts for participating athletes, wherein each workout includes at least one workout event, personalized for any selected one of the participating athletes. A workout event may be a running event, for example, of a particular distance or time duration. Suggested workouts may include time duration of a workout event and a pace of a workout event. More specifically, such workouts may include Tempo, Repeats, Multi-Pace, Intervals, and Coach's Favorites (described more fully below).

The scheduling utility comprises an algorithm which is disposed to generate at least one workout event based on the entered performance data for each selected one of the participating athletes, and to display characteristics of each suggested workout throughout the service area when imagery of the system is called up by the manager or by any of the athletic participants. Generation of workouts is further explained with reference to a model workout regimen.

The system may also comprise an analytic utility, which provides graphic outputs responsive to performance times which have been entered into the system. More particularly, the analytic utility renders times in the form of graphs, such as bar graphs. Graphs offer an immediate intuitive recognition of differences of magnitudes of displayed values, which tends to emphasize anomalies existing in a series of displayed values. Hence a judgment can be made immediately by an experienced coach as to identifying strengths and weaknesses in a runner's abilities. The coach can then develop a new training regimen, based on perceived strengths or weaknesses. These may be entered in an appropriate way in the system and may be instantly displayed for example on a screen at the runner's personal computer.

The analytic utility may also render in display format diverse aspects of the many athletes, such as a season overview of one or more athletes, and running logs for individuals, teams, and the entire group of participating athletes.

With respect to running logs, in addition to the traditional running logs, the utility also includes the generation of a dual log system whereby (1) the coaches utilize the scheduling utility to generate and schedule workouts and (2) the individuals conduct the workout and then log their feedback on the workout in terms how well they believed they accomplished the workout or whether they completed the workout at all. In the event the workout was completed and logged by the individual, the analytic utility automatically interprets the data and graphs the interpretation for visual feedback. In the event the workout was not completed, the coach can interpret the data on his or her own and manually graph the results.

According to one aspect of the invention, a workout may be generated according to a five speed running regimen. A five speed running regimen is a series of workouts featuring running as the selected athletic activity, and may be realized according to the following method, which is summarized in FIG. 1.

The method 100 is intended to improve a runner's best performance time in at least one specific running event, and may comprise a step 102 of establishing an initial pace defined by an initial time actually accomplished by the runner in a specific running event. The initial pace may be represented as a completion time for a running event of a particular distance, for example.

The method 100 comprises a step 104 of generating a range or plurality of potential workouts which may encompass a plurality of running distances, and generating for each running distance a plurality of intended paces or times, based on the specific running event. Illustratively, an athlete intending to run a personal best 1,500 meter race may be best served by being able to achieve comparable times at different distances, such as at 400 meters, 800 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meter races, and the like. While not wishing to be bound by any particular theory, it is likely that a runner who performs well in several different events or distances, will be a more complete or “fit” runner and as such, be poised to also do well in any one event.

The plurality of workouts are based upon at five different speeds, or targeted completion times, for each distance. For example, a 400 meter event may be practiced at five speeds, including a speed corresponding to the runner's personal best time, at a speed two percent slower than the personal best time, at a speed four percent slower than the personal best time, at a speed two percent faster than the personal best time, and at a speed four percent faster than the personal best time.

While it is presently preferred to utilize a five speed system, that is, a series of workouts conducted at the five speeds for each type of run, it will be recognized that the actual number of speeds may be varied, and may include for example at least a first workout having a targeted completion pace slower than that of the initial pace, and at least a second workout having a targeted completion pace faster than that of the initial pace.

It will be apparent that if a particular time for a given distance is entered into a database of the novel system, then an algorithm can readily convert the entered time to times which are ninety-six percent of the entered time, ninety-eight percent of the entered time, one hundred two percent of the entered time, and one hundred four percent of the entered time. Upon entering the particular time and a command to generate workouts, the appropriate data can be generated and displayed so that no calculations need be performed by a participating athlete or by a manager or coach. This process can be expeditiously repeated even for a large number of participants.

Returning to description of the method 100, a step 106 may be practiced wherein at least some of the generated potential workouts are performed. It is possible that not all of the events will be practiced. For example, a limited number such as five types of events may be practiced, whereas the analytic utility may have suggested more than five possible types of events.

The method 100 may comprise a step 108 of entering completion times into a data registry for each of the performed workouts. The data registry may be implemented as a website, and includes capability of receiving entered data, displaying entered data, and has data processing capabilities enabling implementation of the step of generating a range of potential workouts and generating for each running distance a plurality of intended paces. A website will be understood to include a server and all connections and communications channels necessary to receive, store, manipulate, and display entered data. A website connected to the internet may of course reach around the globe, with the service area of the system being commensurately great. It is possible, however, to use a more restricted communications channel than those supporting the internet, so that the service area may be more limited. This may be achieved for example using a closed circuit television system, or other proprietary system which may be restricted to a particular clientele for purposes of exclusivity, if desired.

The method 100 may comprise a step 110 of generating feedback indicating the determined potential areas of improvement. More specifically, the step 110 may comprise a further step 112 of generating at least one image or graphic representation of the completion times for the performed workouts. Illustratively, the programming of the system may be arranged to display graphs of the results entered for the performed workouts, as is enabled by the analytic utility.

The method 100 may comprise a step 114 of analyzing the images or graphic representations to determine potential areas of improvement for the runner. As described just prior, a coach may immediately grasp the significance of graphs, tables and logs from a brief exposure thereto, and this observation and subsequent decision making will fulfill the step 114 of analyzing the graphic representations. It would also be possible to automate the analysis, for example by providing the analytic utility with a further algorithm to bring statistical mathematical analysis to bear on values corresponding to the displayed results. Following the step 114 of analyzing the images or graphs, a circular mechanism takes place in that observations of strengths and weakness of a particular runner are then used to generate potential workouts, as in step 104, to help the runner improve in areas of weakness. These workouts are then performed as in step 106, entered as in step 108, and so on in this circular fashion in order to create the balanced and complete runner the system is configured to develop.

Returning to discussion of the overall management system, a powerful tool will be discussed with reference to FIG. 2. When a personal best time is entered into the system with an eye to generating proposed workouts, a table 200 is generated automatically and appears on the screen of the person obtaining the proposed workouts. It should be noted here that the person entering the personal best time may be a coach, and individual runner, or it may be a runner under the tutelage of a coach. The table 200 illustrates a matrix of running events which differ in distances, and projected completion times. Assuming first that the running event for which the personal best time is entered is a 1,500 meter event, the entered time will populate the column 3 (reference numeral 202), and is reflected in the example of FIG. 2 as a value “D”, shown in a cell 204. In reality, this value D would be a time rendered numerically in minutes and seconds, and perhaps decimals of a second. The algorithm controlling the table 200 would, responsively to the entry of the value D, immediately populate the row 206, which extends horizontally across the table 200, starting from the leftmost cell 208, which is identified as corresponding to the 1,500 meter event, with time values related to the value D. A brief review of the five speed running philosophy will recall that any given running event, such as the 1,500 meter event identified in the leftmost cell 208, can be run at a plurality of times, as reflected in the completion times which populate the cells 204, 210, 212, 214, and 216. Entry of the value D, which occupies the cell 204, which again is the time entered by the runner or coach, starts the population process by which the various workouts are generated. For the row 206, which corresponds to the running event of the entered personal best time, only the cells 210, 212, 214, and 216 are generated by the controlling algorithm. For all other rows 218, 220, 222, 224, 226, 228, 230, and 232, all five of the cells showing alphabetical characters representing times are populated with these times responsively to entry of the value D in the row 206.

It will be seen that the column 202 has alphabetical characters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I, each letter occupying one cell of the column 202. These letters represent completion times for the corresponding running events listed in the column 236 at the respective rows 206 and 218 . . . 232, which completion times have been derived from the value of the personal best time entered to initiate population of the table 200. The controlling algorithm is designed to correlate an ability in any one running event, where the ability is rendered as a numerical time of completion, with corresponding presumed abilities in the remaining running events. The presumed abilities will be understood also to be rendered as numerical times.

After population of the cells of row 3 (reference numeral 202), the remaining columns 1 (reference numeral 238), 2 (reference numeral 234), 4 (reference numeral 240), and 5 (reference numeral 242) are automatically populated. The values shown as times of the rows 1, 2, 4, and 5 are based on intervals of deviation from the values which populate the cells of the column 202. The column 2 (reference numeral 234) displays values which are 102 percent of the value of the corresponding cell in the column 3 (reference numeral 202). Because the values represent completion times, it follows that a completion time greater than that of the corresponding cell in column 3 (reference numeral 202) would represent a time that is two percent slower (or alternatively stated, one hundred two percent greater in time) than the time achieved in column 3 (reference numeral 202).

The values of the column 1 (reference numeral 238) display values which are four percent slower than the corresponding value of the column 3 (reference numeral 202).

The values of the column 4 (reference numeral 240) and of the column 5 (reference numeral 242) are respectively two percent less (or alternatively stated, two percent faster) and four percent less (four percent faster) than the values of the column 3 (reference numeral 202).

In summary, entry of one time for one selected running event generates four additional times for the same running event, and five total times for all of the additional running events for which the workout generating tool is configured to calculate. The various times for any one running event are displaced in magnitude from one another in intervals which in the example of the table 200 are based on two percent of the values populating the column 3 (reference numeral 202).

A runner wishing to improve his or her abilities in any one event enters a completed time at that distance. The table 200 as shown FIG. 2 is then populated as described above. In addition, for each generated time a potential workout is determined for each cell populated in said table 200. For example a runner looking to improve his or her 1,500 meter time would enter their personal best time in cell 204 as represented by a value “D”. The table populates and the runner will see that based on that initial time and distance entered he or she should be able to run a 200 meter race at value “A”, a 400 meter race at value “B”, an 800 at “C’, 3,000 at “E”, etc. If the runner is unable to complete each distance at the generated times, it indicates that the runner is deficient in that area. To that end, if the runner is able to improve such that they are able to complete the distances at the projected times, it follows that their personal best time at the 1,500 meter distance will improve.

In our example, a runner enters a value “D” in the 1,500 meter cell (204), upon population of the table 200 he or she determines that they are unable to run an 800 meter race at the projected time “C” populated in cell 244. In order for the runner to achieve that time, he or she can select that cell and a potential workout specific for that distance and time is generated and provided for the runner. In this example, the potential workout may include: four 200 meter repeats at 25 second, three 400 meter repeats at 64 seconds, followed by two 800 meter repeats at 3 minute pace. Additional forms of workouts can be applied such as Tempo, Repeats, Multi-Pace, Intervals, and Coach's Favorites. Further such workouts are scheduled on a one “click” basis when configured as described herein such that the scheduling task is substantially automated.

The runner may then enter times actually achieved in practice from the workout. The analytic utility may then display the results in graphic form so that a skilled observer, such as the coach, can determine areas of strength and weakness for this runner. These observations of strengths and weakness can then be used to facilitate potential workouts that can be applied in order to create the balanced and complete runner the system is configured to develop.

The administrative utility includes, for each participating athlete, scheduling capability for scheduling workouts wherein a suggested workout is mapped to a specific future date. This is achieved by providing the administrative utility with for example a dropdown menu which displays a calendar template, or a similar graphic representation of a calendar or table which displays future calendar information. The template or graphic representation can receive data identifying at least one particular type of athletic event mapped to a specific calendar date, and can upon command display throughout the service area this data which has been mapped to a specific calendar date.

According to a further aspect of the invention, the administrative utility has the capability of assigning group identities to selected ones of the participating athletes. For example, a large number of participants may be divided into teams, wherein it may be desirable to display results for teams taken as a whole. The administrative utility may have the capability of populating at least one of the aforementioned graphic representations, such as dropdown menus, with the identities of all of the participating athletes within a selected group by a single command action. A command action may be a keystroke on a keyboard, or activation of a switch in another type of device.

It will be appreciated that the foregoing capabilities may enable one coach in charge of large numbers of athletes who may be geographically separated from other athletes and from the coach to track progress and suggest personalized workouts for all of these athletes, all from one location. Where athletes are grouped as teams, status of all members of any one team may be displayed, with data grouped according to team membership.

A suggested workout may be defined in terms of distance or time duration, as well as encompassing pace characteristics. Further, the coach may have a “favorite” workout or a variety of favorites that can be inputted and utilized by the coach rather than the suggested workout. Such favorite workouts may be saved in the system and recalled and utilized by the coach as desired.

The system may include certain ancillary functions. For example, the novel management system may comprise a message utility which is accessible to participating athletes and functional to receive and display text messages. This would be a convenience which for example enables team members to communicating amongst themselves without leaving the website.

In another example, the management system may comprise an email utility which is restricted as to access to the manager, wherein the email utility has a hot link for connecting the manager to email. This enables the system manager or coach to access his or her general email without exiting the website.

In a further example, the management system may comprise a multi-media archiving utility which is functional to record selected digitized audio and video data, and to display the selected digitized audio and video data throughout the service area upon command. This feature may enable participating athletes to record for example, broadcast or internet accessible audio and video renditions of significant athletic events, and to store these for subsequent replay from the website. This may serve educational and motivational purposes, for example.

In summary, the management system may comprise an administrative utility having for each participating athlete, a scheduling utility which may include a menu which displays future calendar information, which can receive data pertaining to a suggested workouts mapped to a specific calendar date, and which can display throughout the service area data pertaining to plural suggested workouts mapped to plural specific calendar dates on a single screen upon command; and an analytic utility disposed to generate suggested workouts wherein each one of the workouts includes at least one workout event, for any selected one of the participating athletes, wherein the analytic utility can display characteristics of each suggested workout throughout the service area, and wherein the analytic utility is functional to develop a method for improving a runner's best performance time in at least one specific running event.

It will be appreciated that an individual athlete may derive benefits of the functions of the novel management system by for example using the website, and of utilizing the multiple speed training method even in the absence of active participation by a coach, or even in the total absence of a coach.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible.