BEAST Operation

Q: What is BEAST?
A: A way to collaboratively schedule runs and workouts with others in your area.
Q: How does BEAST work?
A: The first step is to create a workout. At that point, an email is sent to all BEAST users, notifying them of the new workout. Users are then able to sign up for the workout, which adds them to the list of runners planning on doing the workout. Each workout also has a dedicated mailing list. All runners who have signed up for the workout are automatically added to the list. Furthermore, all emails sent to the list are displayed when the workout is viewed on BEAST. The mailing list is a convienent way to coordinate workout details without mistakenly omitting runners.
Q: Do I need an account to use BEAST?
A: Not explicitly. All workouts are publicly viewable, but to sign up for and create workouts, you need an account.
Q: How do I create a workout?
A: Click the "Create Workout" link at the top of the page, then fill out the ensuing form. Instructions will be displayed on the workout creation form.
Q: How do I modify a workout?
A: When viewing the details of a workout, click the "Modify this Workout" link, then make changes to the ensuing form. At this time, only the person who created the workout is able to modify it.
Q: How do I add to the list of default locations?
A: Just email Ben (ben dot schmeckpeper at gmail dot com) and ask.
Q: What does BEAST stand for?
A: BEAST Electronic Agenda for Synergistic Training.
Q: That's 60% terrible.
A: Blame Brian Harvey.

BEAST Cities

Q: Why is a workout associated with a city?
A: Initially, BEAST was only used by runners in the Boston/Cambridge area, and all workouts were understood to be occurring in or around Boston. However, as people have moved away from Boston, there has been demand for BEAST to support workouts in cities other than Boston/Cambridge.
Q: How does BEAST decide which city to show me when I visit?
A: When you created your account, you chose your "primary city" (or you were assigned Boston by default if you account existed before BEAST supported cities) and BEAST will show workouts from that city on the calendar. To change your primary city, use the "My Account" section of the site. To change the city displayed on the calendar, use the navigation links on the calendar page.
Q: I don't care about workouts in San Francisco. Will I be emailed about them?
A: You will receive emails about all workouts created in your primary city (unless you've opted out of email notifications.) If you're interested in workouts in cities other than your primary city, you can choose "alternate cities" in the My Account area. You will receive notifications about workouts created in your alternate cities, as well.
Q: Can I join a workout that's not in my primary city and not in one of my alternate cities?
A: Of course. There are no restrictions on which workouts you're able to join. The designation of primary and alternate cities is used to determine which workouts to notify you about, to determine which city to display on the calendar and is also the default city for any workouts you create.
Q: I don't see my city on the site. Can it be added?
A: If you'd like BEAST to support workouts in your city, email your request to ben dot schmeckpeper at gmail dot com.

BEAST Commands

Q: What are BEAST Commands?
A: BEAST commands are a way to interact with workouts in the BEAST system via email. Currently, BEAST commands only support a subset of the operations available via the website.
Q: How do I use BEAST commands?
A: Each workout in BEAST has a dedicated email address and BEAST commands for a workout must be sent to that workout's address. Each BEAST command must be on it's own line and follow a specific format. The format of a BEAST command is: "[BEAST] command"
Q: What BEAST commands are available?
A: For now, BEAST commands can only be used to sign up for, or drop out of, a workout. The commands are:
  • Join - To sign up for a workout.
  • Maybe - To express tentative interest in a workout.
  • Drop - To drop out of a workout.
Q: Can you give me an example?
A: To sign up for a workout, send an email simliar to this:
Subject: I want to run
[BEAST] Join
Q: Are there any restrictions?
A: The email must be sent from the address with which you sign in to BEAST. Each command must be on a separate line, the line must begin with [BEAST] and there must be a space between [BEAST] and the command.