2016 Update on MaccaX App
The MaccaX App was launched in October 2013, four months after the launch of MX Plus. It was developed based on the PEAR Sports fitness training app, which offers real-time audio coaching and training plans from professionals and a way to log and track your progress.
The MaccaX App acts as your personal triathlon coach, delivering real-time coaching, support and data feedback while you listen to your favorite music. Everything from the PLUS product is included on the App. It’s a more portable way for those who had purchased MX Plus to access the sessions over their iPhone or Android smartphones. It also includes the Tri 10 pack: 10 sessions coached in real-time by Macca, Terenzo Bozzone, Belinda Granger, and Dr. Phil Maffetone.
(The Tri 10 pack is available separately on the PEAR app for $49.)
Now that MaccaX monthly membership includes access to the MX Plus sessions, every MXVIP can access MX Plus over the MaccaX App!
Using the MaccaX Sessions on the PEAR Fitness Coach App
Step 1: Download and install the app.
Search for “Pear Fitness Coach” in the iTunes App Store (for iPhone) or in the Play Store (for Android). Tap download and install — it’s free!
Step 2: Create an account.
Upon launching, the App will ask you to sign up or sign in.
IMPORTANT: Create a new account using the same email address and password you use to sign in to the MaccaX website.
The PEAR Fitness Coach will give you a free one-month trial. Once the trial period ends, you are under no obligation to subscribe to their membership.
Step 3: Wait for the workouts to download to your phone.
If the download does not start, close the App and relaunch it, or restart your phone. TIP: For a more convenient download that won’t tap into mobile data usage, connect to a wireless network. The Tri 10 sessions contain voice files, so they are heavier downloads.
Step 4: Calibrate your heart rate zones.
Turn on your smartphone’s Bluetooth function. Strap on your Bluetooth heart rate monitor. The App will search for and pair with it. Then, under “Workouts” tap on the Calibration Workout, which will lead you through a short run using perceived effort zones. Upon completion of the Calibration Workout, the App will display your lactate threshold heart rate and calculate your customized HR zones.
Step 5: Work out.
Select your workout and follow instructions and cues from the coaches, who will keep you in the right HR zones and working at the appropriate intensities for the duration of the workout. Your progress will be displayed onscreen. At the end of the workout, the duration of the exercise, average pace, average HR, the number of calories burned, and your workout score (how closely your HR followed the recommended HR during the workout) are displayed.
At this point you may change the distance covered by tapping on the “Distance” field and entering a new value manually. The App measures distance covered via your phone’s GPS, so indoor workouts done on trainer or treadmill will not reflect this accurately.
You can delete the record of the workout, share it to your social networks (click Share), or save it (by clicking Done).
Frequently Asked Questions
The App is compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 heart rate straps (those that transmit with a Bluetooth 4.0 signal). During the App’s first month, PEAR Sports offered a discount on their Bluetooth strap. However, you may also use any other Bluetooth strap. Our members have bought Polar, Wahoo, and Viiiiva.
If you would like to save your workout data on both the App and a watch like a Garmin, the Viiiiva and Wahoo transmit both Bluetooth and ANT+ signals and can be paired with both your phone and your watch simultaneously.
The MaccaX sessions and Tri 10 pack will download automatically when you sign up/sign in to the App using the same email address and password you use to log into the MaccaX website. For iPhone users the email address you sign in with must also be the same one as your Apple ID.
The old MaccaX App is compatible with iPhone 4S and up, and Android devices running OS 4.3 and up with Bluetooth 4.0.
Yes, with some limitations. Older iPods and iPads will not be able to pair with a Bluetooth HR monitor. Download it via the App Store (it is under iPhone apps).
On iPhone, you will be able to access your music library and playlists during a workout. You can adjust the volume of music and the volume of the coach’s voice by going to Settings > Workout Audio.
On Android, you must access your music player and start your music before launching the MaccaX app.
The cycling and running sessions are designed for indoors where your heart rate and pace zones are more easily controlled, but they can also be used outdoors. Please exercise caution while using the App on your bike; ensure you can still hear road traffic around you. The downhill MAF session is primarily designed for outdoor running.
There are some differences in the way some sessions are structured and what HR zones should be hit. In the App, the targeted HR zones are more conservative than in the PDF’s and videos, especially with The Wolf coached session.
This is currently not available, but you may still use the App to record a Free Format Workout using the logic behind each session. Some members do this if they want longer MAF sessions.
There is a Maximum Minute Power test included with the MX Plus sessions on the site that you can use to find your power numbers and corresponding HR zones. Do that test as well as the calibration workout on the MaccaX app.
During the workout, use your power zones to gauge your effort at each stage. Your power outputs should end up putting your HR in the appropriate zone. You will find that your power number zones will closely match up with your heart rate zones.
When we built the App we had to err on the side of less to hit the target zones as we could only correlate heart rate as a function. You will see as your fitness climbs your ability to hit these numbers actually is magnified and as a function of your threshold you simply sit in the zone with more ease. The zones are large in both watt numbers and heart rates, so you can sit at either end of these zones. This is where you tend to see your improvement come as you gain fitness. Your ability to sit in the higher segments of each zone (in terms of Watts) is improved yet your heart rate zones are not changing. This becomes very evident when you get really fit.
The App reads a little conservatively, which in triathlon is a good thing! We have the zones running quite wide so this is why this is the case.
This is quite normal. Your LT is usually higher running than it is on the bike because you are supporting your weight when you run. The biggest difference between run and bike HR zones is that run involves weight-bearing work which throws up body temperature and muscular demands. This has a huge effect on heart rates.
MAF training is best done for long blocks of time strictly at MAF HR. App users who have trained at MAF advise not using the more intense run sessions during the base phase of your training.
The recommendation is to do MAF for at least 10 weeks, then layer on the speedwork.
The App measures distance covered via your phone’s GPS, so indoor workouts done on trainer or treadmill will not reflect this accurately. At the end of the workout, the duration of the exercise, average pace, average HR, the number of calories burned, and your workout score (how closely your HR followed the recommended HR during the workout) are displayed. At this point you may change the distance covered by tapping on the “Distance” field and entering a new value manually (feature for iPhone only).
You will not be able to change the distance value once you have saved the workout session.
You should re-calibrate your HR zones by using the Calibration Workout. As your fitness improves, you will be able to exert more effort at a lower HR, so ideally you should re-test every two months.
There are a number of things that could affect why your heart rate does not respond to harder efforts on the bike. This could be a case of not having the muscular strength to continue pedaling at high intensities long enough to cause your HR to rise. Over time and with fitness, this will improve. You may work off perceived exertion and cadence meanwhile.
Remain in the same gear instead and focus on keeping the cadence.