The fitness tracker market has been going absolutely nuts over the past 10-15 years. The range of apps available is amazingly large, whether they support specific devices or just cater to certain regions or sports. Either way, you can’t expect to be able to use just your preferred single app to connect with everyone you know, who’s using whichever app they prefer. Instead you’re forced to make a choice: Should I track my rides with Strava, Endomondo, or something completely different??
In this article I’ll share my setup and how I sync every single training to other services in order to be training socially with people I know around the World, while maintaining my own preferred app for sports. The inspiration for this app came about when trying to get data from my Garmin device to the movement tracking app, Human. At that time I read this article on part of this topic. Also, as in all things location tracking in sports, DC Rainmaker had an article that inspired this one. Find his original work here.
First a little background: I like to train for triathlons. I’m not much of an elite triathlete at all. In fact I just try to get in a few trainings per week while also having a family and a company.
Typically I’ll be using a Garmin device for trainings and most recently that device has been a Garmin Fēnix 3.
The aim here is to share data recorded with the Fēnix 3 to as many other fitness related services. This is how it can be done. Fēnix 3 to:
Endomondo: There are a number of ways to upload to Endomondo. In short I do the following, and you can too:
Make sure that you have your Garmin device linked via Garmin Express, Garmin Connect Mobile, or Wi-Fi to your account on Garmin Connect.
Go to Endomondo.com/settings/connect and hit the connect button. You will now be redirected to the Garmin Connect website to confirm the connection.
In the future your Garmin Connect uploads will appear automatically on Endomondo.
Strava: It’s similarly easy to get activities from a Garmin device to Strava. Again, you’ll make use of the connection between Strava and Garmin Connect. The full guide is available on Strava.com. This too was pretty easy.
Runkeeper used to be a bit of a headache to sync with from a Garmin device. Many are still using CopyMySports, but with the introduction of integration of Garmin Connect on the Runkeeper Apps page that is now no longer necessary. Configure Apps’ access to Runkeeper here: https://runkeeper.com/settings/apps.
MyFitnessPal: MyFitnessPal is more of an overall fitness site, and you can have your data syncing here by enabling any of the apps on this page. I recommend just connecting with Garmin Connect.
Everymove: Is very much of a broad health app, which not only tracks and rewards your activities, but also your steps, and even Foursquare/Swarm checkins at places like your gym or local pool. You’ll find details of apps that it will READ FROM here. Again you can use Garmin Connect. Whatever you do, don’t connect with more than a single activity tracking app, as you’ll only get your data to duplicate.
Google Fit: Meet Google’s fitness tracker – Android only. This is where it starts to get a little tricky. As explained in the article on stationarywaves.com there’s not really a beautiful way of syncing Garmin Connect with Google Fit. However, now that you’ve already sync’ed Connect with Strava. You can connect your Strava Android app with Google Fit, like this. That feature is not available for iPhone users of Strava.
Jawbone UP: Going for a run without your Jawbone UP? Have Strava push the activity to UP by connecting with your UP profile on the Strava Profile Page. You’ll need the UP app for either Android or iOS to look at the data with your UP data, and steps data don’t get sync’ed. I guess the good folks at Jawbone aren’t satisfied with you just downloading a good, FREE app. 😉
MapMyFitness/MapMyRide/MapMyRun: These three services are all part of the same, so the integration is pretty easy – it’s made even easier by the integration with Garmin Connect as explained here.
Suunto Movescount: Alright, as you can imagine this direct Garmin devices competitor does not provide easy integration to Garmin Connect. You have a few options for transferring activities, though:
MX Activity Mover is a java application (which at least should work on Windows and MacOS), which offers MANUAL sync from Garmin Connect to Suunto Movescount. The PAID version will transfer multiple activities at once, manually, but the free version is significantly more cumbersome.
SyncMyTracks and SyncMyTracks Free offer an Android-specific alternative to MX Activity Mover. You can configure sync from any of the supported services to any other supported service. Alternatively you can manually export from any service to any other service. I AM experiencing a bit of a challenge with the sync from Connect to Movescount.
Rungap is an iPhone-specific app, which makes logins to several services possible.
Runtastic: With a nice range of apps for all sorts of fitness training, Runtastic seems quite appealing at first. In terms of getting data to other places, though: challenging! Except, of course, that’s what we have SyncMyTracks for.
Smashrun.com: New on the list, I’m looking forward to see what SmashRun might offer. Any way, first step is to make sure it syncs with my Garmin. What do you know: it does. Go to https://secure.smashrun.com/settings-sync, login if needed, then login to your Garmin Connect account – and voilà – you’re all set. So far the data and insight looks interesting, but you need the Pro account for automatic Garmin sync.
Sports Tracker (to some, previously known as the Nokia Sports Tracker): Similar to Movescount from Suunto, Sports Tracker can be a tough nut to crack. Here’s how:
SyncMyTracks and SyncMyTracks Free offer an Android-specific alternative to using the Sports Tracker app. You can configure sync from any of the supported services to any other supported service, including Sports Tracker. Alternatively you can manually export from any service to any other service. I AM experiencing a bit of a challenge with the sync from Connect to Sports Tracker.
Rungap is an iPhone-specific app, which makes logins to and sync between several services possible.
Polar Flow: As far as I can find there’s no real integration with services that allows your Garmin data to arrive on the Polar platform. Enter SyncMyTracks and Rungap again:
SyncMyTracks and SyncMyTracks Free can be configured to sync from any of the supported services to any other supported service, including Polar Flow. Alternatively you can manually export from any service to any other service. I AM experiencing a bit of a challenge with the sync from Connect to Polar Flow.
Rungap is an iPhone-specific app, which makes logins to and sync between several services possible. According to their website, Rungap also works with Polar.
Recently I’ve changed how I train ever so slightly. From being focused on intervals, distances, and training times I’ve started to focus on variation in terms of where and how I train. Just yesterday it really hit me how phenomenal the Strava Segments are at enabling this. With this my 5 reasons I train better with Strava Segments – and why you could too:
1. Trying out New Routes
Human beings are generally creatures of habit. By following segments, you get to know parts of your local area where you might never have gone otherwise. This works particularly well for densely populated areas and in countries where Strava has a strong user base. For instance it might not work so well in Endomondo-stronghold of Denmark. Strava, slightly more popular than Endomondo, judging by this Google Trend, is way behind the same competitor in Denmark, according to this trend.
2. Attempting Your Best at Very Different Distances
Segments come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I have tested myself on segments ranging from just a very short sprint to long distance endurance segments. By competing on different distances your body becomes more versatile, and you essentially race yourself fit against the often overwhelming amount of other users of the Strava service.
3. Keeps You Coming Back
If you’re even the slightest competitive, the natural reaction to a Strava notification that says “Uh oh! <Athlete Name> just stole your CR” is to want to go out and reclaim what is rightfully yours – to take back YOUR segment by setting a new Course Record.
4. Find the Locals’ Secret Routes
Yesterday while spending time in Luxembourg, I wanted to find a route in the area of Ettelbruck, where I was staying. Looked up the segments in the area using the Strava app and found a route just a 5-minute run from my location. The segment was BEAUTIFUL and I would have never found it on my own. Created by local triathlete Tom Peiffer the segment took me from Ettelbruck to Colmar on a narrow country road with nearly no traffic, along a river, through snow-covered fields, passing castles, with a view to the nearby picturesque villages which are so typical for Luxembourg. This would have been a great run just for the location.
Early September was still very much a holiday month and the second half has been dominated by getting used to new institutions for the kids. As a result the total training time for September is still far from that of July, but still much closer to what I’d like it to be. In fact at about 13 hours it’s up there with some of the training months I put in leading up to Challenge Aarhus 2011.
The image to the right is of Vejle Fjord Broen. Actually it fits my last post better, as that’s exactly where we crossed the Fjord back in August. Good memories from that race, though. I’ll be doing another post on that topic…
Here’s the full status from September with a few thoughts for October:
Swimming : Lot less swimming done. Seems I haven’t lost or won any speed. Following an early-October VO2 maxtest the focus is now on building base condition;
Running: Injured. Ended up giving my right calf a rest in September. Haven’t been running since Septemer 20th and physio and a exercises are both in the works. The plan for October so far is: No runs!
Bike: Pretty happy about my bike progress. Had a Retül bike fit – something I’ll elaborate on in another post. In October the bike trainings will move indoor on the home trainer – it’s getting too wet and cold outside. More on the home trainer setup at a later stage.
For those who care, here are the numbers:
Total duration: 26 hours, 6 minutes trained – up from 14 hours, 28 minutes in September;
8 workouts – up from 5 in August;
Total duration: 6 hours , 38 minutes – up from 2 hours, 27 minutes in September;
SWOLF score stabilized completely at 40 – no improvement;
Average pace: Stuck just above 1:50/100m;
Total distance: 18,97km – up from 7,15km in August.
4 workouts – up from 2 workouts in August;
Total duration: 6 hours, 41 minutes – down from 3 hours, 20 minutes in August;
Average speed: 29,54 km/h – down from 30,83 km/h in August;
Total distance: 197 km – up from 103 km in August.
10 workouts – down from 11 workouts in August;
Total duration: 5 hours, 19 minutes – down from 6 hours, 35 minutes in August;
Average pace: 5:54 min/km – down from 5:32 min/km in August;
Total distance: 54,18 km – down from 71,43 km in August.
After the completion of Challenge Aarhus 2011 I had made a conscious decision to slow down training during the second half of the year for personal reasons. Eventually the result was training duration anywhere from a mere 30 minutes to 6 hours per month – 6 hours being a really good month.
Recently that all changed and in July that training duration changed a lot. The result was that all three sports saw a bump in time as did of course total training time.
Here first some numbers:
Total duration: 24 hours, 12 minutes trained;
Total duration: 6 hours, 36 minutes;
SWOLF score dropped about 3 points from 45 to 42;
Average pace: From just over 2 min/100m to just under 2 min/100m;
Total distance: 17,15km
Total duration: 11 hours, 26 minutes;
Average speed: 29,01 km/h;
Average heart rate: down about 12 BPM from June;
Total distance: 332km;
Total duration: 6 hours, 9 minutes;
Average pace: 5:33 min/km;
Average hear rate: down about 10 BPM from June;
Total distance: 66,74km
What does all that mean? Not much in itself without knowing what the departure points were. In short I’m happy with July as a training month and the reasons are:
Trained more in July than the all previous months of 2012 combined;
Body is OK, so I can keep this activity level up for now. It’s tiring at times, but doing OK. Only slight issues are a slight calf strain at the end of hard running sessions and a shoulder issue, which I’m working out in the pool through improved technique;
Swimming needs to improve. Still have more than 3 minutes down to my best 1,5km time from 2011. Potentially the change in how I train impacts the time negatively (more intervals, more breaks, more slow work to recover+improve technique);
On the Bike things are going fairly well. One hour time, and all distances at 50K and under improved in July. Doing more intervals to improve speed. Using Garmin 910XT to do time trials on fixed routes.
Running is going well. While the average pace is not fine at all, the pace in the intervals is going well, approaching 4 min/km in 1km intervals. That’s nice! In addition I ran the best 5K of 2012 at 24:03 – a time that has already been improved in August.
What was new in July?: The volume went up. Used intervals in all three sports. Started using time trials in cycling and will start using for runs as well. Got working on swim technique. Trying out CytoSport Muscle Milk and CytoCarb2 for recovery.
What’s new in August:
Considering going to the track once in a while to do some track work, to improve speed and endurannce;
For several years now we have had the option of carrying high-accuracy devices on trainings. In recent years various types of GPS devices have become increasingly popular. Especially among endurance athletes like cyclists, runners, and triathletes. I too have trained with such devices for what must be almost 10 years now – but it is not until today that I’ve truly discovered the value of using the routes feature.
In short the routes feature of devices enables you to pick a route, copy it to your device and train on the route trying to beat the time of anyone that tried that route prior to you.
Garmin’s devices, like the Edge-series and the Forerunner-series can be used with Endomondo;
Smartphones, Garmin and other devices can be used with Endomondo, Nike+, Runkeeper and other services.
Some of you may have Polar heart rate monitors. Those are not included automatically on Endomondo at least. Given my own experience with Polar (which dates back about 10 years), I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they try to keep things proprietary.
So, how did I get on today??
Well, first I saved someone else’s workout as a course on Garmin Connect. Once that was done, I could easily copy it to my Edge 705 and my 910XT (yes, they both come along for the ride). It was pretty easy to follow the route using the Edge 705 and I’d recommend that, the Garmin Edge 800 or a smartphone to follow the route. Worked really well!!
Especially beautiful is that while you’re out racing the route, you can follow exactly how far ahead or behind (in my case) you are.
All done, the route was easily saved in Endomondo once I had uploaded the workout to my profile: http://www.endomondo.com/routes/72761401. Now others can go knock themselves out in order to beat my time.
If you’re in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Saturday 16/4 you’re free to participate in any part of the total distance and any amount of disciplines. If you join the swim you should expect to cover the (tiny) expense on your own.
Here are a couple of probable start times:
Swimmers: total distance is 1,9km.
Start time is around 09.00 at Sportfondsenbad Oost:
2011 has got to be the year of the half ironman distance triathlon for me, and the training is aimed at being able to swim 1,9km, bike 90km, and run half a marathon on the 3rd of July. Last year I did just a single sprint triathlon at 500m swim, 20km bike, and 5km run, without having any particular problems with the distance. Before that sprint triathlon I did a self-paced sprint triathlon of the same distance to better understand the distance without participating in an actual race.
In a half ironman a lot more unknowns enter the game. For instance:
can I do the distance? In time?
which effort can I sustain over such a period of time?
what kind of training do I need?
what’s my current fitness level for this distance?
what do I still need to train?
all the stuff I haven’t thought of…
To have answers to have all these questions when I toe the line on the 3rd of July, I’ll be repeating a self-paced triathlon this year – except this time it will be a self-paced half ironman distance triathlon.
Should be loads of fun – you can come and join if you want – for the entire event or just part of it. Venues are:
* swim: sportfondsenbad Amsterdam Oost
* bike start: Sportfondsenbad Oost
* run start: to be decided
The event will take place on the 16th of April in Amsterdam, Netherlands for anyone who cares to join. The event can be found and tracked on:
I’m doing a half marathon in May 2011 – Broløbet 2011 – and in this post you’ll see that event shared on the right. Pretty nifty feature for those hosting events who want to build their own live event map. Endomondo also have a demo available on their blog. I think I might actually be running with a live Endomondo tracker during that race…
Now all we need is that race organizers start to see the potential of having a live map with adds around it hosted on infrastructure they can use for free. Sounds like a no-brainer!! The new feature even includes an option for spectators or participants to comment on the event.
Jakob tracks his first fore-foot run session using Endomondo. Check here to see what the findings were!
Yesterday I spent some time with a colleague at the BlackBerry Innovation Forum at Hotel Okura in Amsterdam. It gave me the chance to catch up with some good people I haven’t spoken to for years. One of them was Stephan Derksen, an inspiring entrepreneur who’s involved in several projects, which are all really interesting. He has a blog too at http://salesgurunl.blogspot.com/.
Over the past months I’ve been discussing fore-foot running with a bunch of people who I think understand running pretty well, and I have been trying it a few times when I had to run bare-foot.
Yesterday, however, Stephan and I got talking about fore-foot running and after going through some of the basic physics of why it might make sense, I eventually decided to do a few (really) short intervals on the front of the foot this morning. The results are interesting! See the run here and comments below: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/v7a5sl1c_hs
Before going I had a look at a few videos, like this one:
Armed with my newly acquired knowledge I went out on today’s morning run. Upper body feeling really sore from the swim on Monday and yesterday’s event (standing up all day without moving much simply takes it’s toll on my back), so I ran at a really slow pace. After Sunday’s run I had a bit of soreness in my legs, and as previously said, I just want to train injury free!
Strong head winds motivated me to wait a bit with the intervals, but after about 22 minutes I picked up the pace and shifted to the front of the foot – uphill. Right now that I just really got back to training I don’t want to push myself too much, but without pushing my heart rate into the dark red and without going all out, it felt fairly easy to push my pace below 4:00 minutes per kilometer. As you may remember, that’s my target time for 5 kilometers. I did this a number of times even pushing it as far down as the 3:00-3:30 minutes per kilometer range.
So, in conclusion I will be seriously considering getting myself a front-foot running shoe when I change shoes later this winter, and start focusing on getting my calfs up to strength so they can take that consistent pressure fore-foot running provides.
Garmin Forerunner 110 is now available, but is the entry-level runners GPS-watch a good buy?
Some 4 weeks ago Garmin announced a new model in its lineup of heart rate, speed and distance measurement devices – the Garmin Forerunner 110. The 110 is a runners watch with no cycling support whatsoever. Sure, you can use it on the bike, but there are no options for adding cadence.
That pretty much seems to be the story for the Garmin Forerunner 110. It impresses with simplicity: the display holds less information than for instance the 405/405cx which has previously been written about here, there’s less of a setup hazzle and in simple terms you could this a back to basics design.
Comparing the 110 to the Garmin Forerunner 405 is fairly interesting. The 110 has a lot less features than the 405 and as far as I can judge only heart rate based calory usage is the only feature of the 110 holds that is missing on the 405.
Many have so far mentioned that they see the Garmin Forerunner 110 as an entry-level watch, but the price of around €229 for the version with heart rate is HIGH for entry-level! I have found the Garmin Forerunner 405 for just €259 with heart rate monitor. For just €30 price difference you’ll get a whole lot more with the 405, and so the conclusion must be that the Garmin Forerunner 110 will flop despite the nice marketing.
It’s a basic entry-level heart rate monitor with speed and distance and interesting features for the runners, but comes at far too high a price. Leave it and instead read a later review on entry level GPS, heart-rate monitors on this blog.