It is that time of the year. The time of year when we are faced with our own health concerns and realize that we need to start a fitness routine. I personally faced this challenge and decided to start running for health and social reasons. To be honest, the first few running events I participated in were incredibly miserable; 5 kilometers felt like 10 miles, because I was completely unprepared and untrained. I vividly remember one 5K (benefiting a local child advocacy non-profit), where I finished 4 seconds before a woman literally 40 years older than me. (I know this because I looked up her age in the results. It was a humbling experience to say the least.) Fast forward to present day, I'm now a New York City Marathon finisher, and Team USA Gold and Silver medalist. What happened? I started following training plans created by my certified run coach, Tina Klein. Once I added consistency and strategy to my running by following a training plan, I was able to enjoy the social and community aspects of fitness.
What it does
When I started working with training plans, it made a night and day difference in my fitness and enjoyment of working out, but these training plans were usually complicated tables or spreadsheets with workouts 3 to 5 days a week for up to 16 weeks. I had to manually decipher a table into my personal calendar for each day for weeks.
This skill takes training plans for the most popular distances, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon (13.1 miles), and Full Marathon (26.2 miles) and breaks it down into daily workouts. All you have to do is say, “Alexa open My Training Plan,” and the skill will provide your workout for that day. No more deciphering complicated training plan charts, this skill simplifies the entire process.
How we built it
I started with the ISP samples, added my content, then layered on DynamoDB for memory. Next I added support for screens with APL (Echo Show and Echo Spot), and then added support for German.
Challenges we ran into
There were many challenges in this project. First, I had a slight conflict between the sample code for ISP and APL. I was able to resolve the conflict. Essentially, my project is a combination of ISP, DynamoDB, APL, and multi-language support.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This year, I (Caroline Dunn) competed at the World Master’s Competition in Toronto and won Gold and Silver medals representing Team USA in the 10K and 8K races.
I was featured on the front page of the Alexa Skill store November 30 - December 6, 2018 for my 1st ISP Alexa Skill, Cork Ornaments.
What we learned
I learned how to combine ISP with Dynamo DB for a personalized user experience in 2 languages and integrate APL.
What's next for My Training Plan
Future Enhancements: - Support for Spanish language - Add more training plans in German - Add suggested races based on the user’s location, and schedule. - Add training plans for specific races such as the New York Marathon. - Add proactive events. - Add suggested running attire recommendations based on user’s local weather.