eTrain Home Page

eTrain is a free Excel-based triathlon training package. It consists of both a planning module (based on SERIOUS Training for Multisport Athletes and a logging module that lets you record your workouts and graph the results. I developed it because I wanted to plan my own training and found all the available tools inadequate.

eTrain 1.0b2 is out!

If you're running 1.0a1, you may want to upgrade.
Version 1.0b2 fixes a problem with the templates. The 'Run Overdistance' workouts for the first few cycles didn't add up to 100%. Note that if you've written your own template, this problem will not affect you so there's no need to upgrade. Thanks to Kurtis Kupiec for pointing out this bug.
Version 1.0b1 allows you to use Metric units and also incorporates some bug fixes.

eTrain mailing list!

If you're using eTrain, you may want to subscribe to the new eTrain mailing list. The list is intended to provide a forum for discussion of new features, bugs, etc. Also, new versions will be announced there. So, if you're running eTrain, please sign up.
The list is run using majordomo, so to subscribe send mail to 'etrain-request@rtfm.com', with no subject line and the single word 'subscribe' (without the quotes) in the body, like this:
To: etrain-request@rfm.com
From: foo@bar.com
Subject:

subscribe

Features

Automatic scheduling of your training year Detailed workout logging and graphing

Why eTrain and not something else?

The most closely comparable free package to eTrain is Trilog. Along with its associated SERIOUS training spreadsheet, Trilog does a lot of the same jobs as eTrain. Basically the choice here is between simple and complicated. Here's a rough comparison chart.

Trilog eTrain
Compatability Excel 95,97,Lotus 1-2-3 Excel 97 only
Platforms Windows, Mac Windows, Mac (?)
Stability Stable New, untested
Scheduling Week granularity, separate Day granularity, integrated
Graphing Time or distance (each version does one) Time and distance in one package
Availability Free Free

The bottom line is that Trilog does a creditable job. If you're not interested in day by day workout scheduling, it's probably a toss-up which package to use. If you want day by day scheduling, you should use eTrain. The two primary failings of Trilog that caused me to write eTrain were the lack of a full scheduling feature and the fact that each version could only chart distance or time but not both. I like to keep both graphs.

There are plenty of commercial packages out there. I've personally used PCCoach. My basic problem with PCCoach is that the only triathlon training plan available was based on Phil Maffetone's training ideas, which I didn't find worked that well for me. Nevertheless, those of you who have used PCCoach will notice that my user interface steals a bunch of ideas from PCCoach. Other packages which I haven't tried include UltraCoach and The Athlete's Diary (which is just a log). I've glanced at all these programs and none of them did quite what I wanted.

eTrain probably doesn't do everything you might want (it doesn't even do everything I want) but I believe it does a useful job at a good price (Free). If it's not right for you, by all means use one of these other packages. I don't make any money when you download eTrain, though of course I do feel useful when people use it and like it. Consequently, I'd rather you were happy using something else than miserable using eTrain.

What do I need to run it?

Excel 97, SR 1 or greater. I've never tested it with SR 2, but I expect it will work. I guarantee you that Excel will crash constantly without SR 1. You should be using at least SR 1 anyway. If you don't have Microsoft Access, you'll also need to install the ActiveX calendar control. Instructions for this can be found on the known problems page.

What's the current version?

The current version of eTrain is 1.0b2. This is a pre- release of the software, so no doubt there are a lot of bugs to be worked out. I've been using a development version for some time now, but a fair amount of stuff has changed as I prepared it for use by other people. Worse yet, Excel is kind of flakey and I've crashed it more than once. Click here for a list of known problems. Bottom line, bear with me here. If there's a bug, let me know. I'll try to fix it. Better yet, tell me where the bug is. Best, tell me how to fix it.

eTrain is a sucky name!

Yep, but it's the best I could do. Suggest something better and I'll give you a free copy.

How do I get a copy?

Download it from
here This is a zipfile. For an unzipped version, click here (the unzipped version doesn't seem to work right with IE, but does with Netscape).

Who do I complain to?

Comments, questions, bugs, fixes, etc. should all be addressed to the author, Eric Rescorla ekr@rtfm.com.

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