How to Sync Your Garmin Connect Data with Anything

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.

20160205_130226First 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:

  • Garmin Connect: Sync via wifi, via a cable connected to your computer and using Garmin Express, or via bluetooth to your phone using the app for either Android, iOS, or, Windows Phone. That was the really easy part.
  • 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.
  • Nike+ Run Club: As many of you indicated the Nike+ Running app was updated and a few new features were introduced. That goes for integration as well. For iOS, Android, and the Garmin Express for Windows app, follow the instructions located here: http://support-en-us.nikeplus.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/57508
  • 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.
  • Ride with GPS: Go to https://ridewithgps.com/log and allow access to  your Garmin data.
  • 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.

Still working on how to Sync these:

  • Komoot:
  • Human: [08-Sep-2016] No Sync Option

Training Log October 2012

As I write this on the evening of October it’s Halloween. Good month, October! All racing is now done and dusted for 2012. There are no more races to even consider going to – not that I did any other than the swim across the fjord in Vejle.
It’s a good thing – focus can now go thoroughly to 2013.

There were no holidays in October either, which had an immediate effect on training time. In fact the time trained makes October 2012 the month that I’ve been able to train the most only second to March 2011.

So with no further ado, here are the highs and lows from October:

  • Swimming: Cranked up the volume on the swimming again. Didn’t improve at all in terms of speed. The distance per session, however, has gone up drastically, so the average speed is the same, but it’s maintained for much longer. Plus!
  • Cycling: Had a few days of unexpected summer and moved outside. Besides that though I’ve moved inside on the home trainer. That setup is working well and not quite the motivational issue I expected it to be. Every session is roughly 2 hours in heart rate zone 1. Feels very good so far!
  • Running: Injury is still there, but have done some good work with the physio. Right now, the sessions can be up to 30 minutes at about 6min/km pace. I’m not going out and crushing it, but at least I’m going out running!! Happy about that and hope I can build on that !

For those who care, here are the numbers from September:

  • Total duration: 26hours, 6 minutes trained – up from 14 hours, 28 minutes in September;
  • Swim:
    • 8 workouts – up from 5 in September;
    • 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 September.
  • Bike:
    • 11 workouts – up from 4 workouts in September – combination of 8 home trainer sessions and 3 rides outside;
    • Total duration: 17 hours, 46 minutes – up from 6 hours, 41 minutes in September;
    • Average speed: 29,60 km/h – up from 29,54 km/h in September – no speed measured in home trainer sessions;
    • Total distance: 135km – down from 197km in September.
  • Run:
    • 4 sessions – down from 10 sessions in September;
    • Total duration: 1 hours, 41 minutes – down from 5 hours, 19 minutes in September;
    • Average pace: 5:32 min/km – improved from 5:54 min/km in September;
    • Total distance: 18,28 km – down from 54,18 km in September.

More numbers next month…

Time for a New Social Network: Garmin Connect Upgrades

Over the past few years we’ve been presented with more and more options for tracking our training and racing performance. It’s also become increasingly easy to that and share your progress and/or connect with friends and foes.

Training log/social networks like Endomondo and Strava have thrived by making tracking readily available on smartphones, and at the same time make it pretty simple for owners of other devices – for instance from Garmin – to import their sessions to these services.

That might be about to change.

4 days ago Garmin quietly announced social features on their Garmin Connect training log service.

Garmin – probably the World’s leading manufacturer of devices for endurance sports and outdoor activities – has kept quiet for a long time while smaller and more agile services established impressive followings in record time. A fair chunk of those followings are Garmin users, so it was almost just a question of time before Garmin would launch similar features.

At the moment things are very basic at Garmin Connect, but the launch communication above shows promise of more – without being too ambitious or promising too much. Rather too little, I hope.

Anyway, if you own a Garmin get on it and try it out – I’m here!

Training Log September 2012

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;
  • Swim:
    • 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.
  • Bike:
    • 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.
  • Run:
    • 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.

More numbers next month…

Training Log July 2012

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;
  • Swim:
    • 11 workouts;
    • 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
  • Bike:
    • 9 workouts;
    • Total duration: 11 hours, 26 minutes;
    • Average speed: 29,01 km/h;
    • Average heart rate: down about 12 BPM from June;
    • Total distance: 332km;
  • Run:
    • 13 workouts;
    • 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;
  • Will start using time trials on runs;
  • Will continue using Strava when cycling along with Garmin Connect and Endomondo;
  • Reviewing swimming style to reduce drag. Currently looking into high-elbow-pull;
  • Considering talking to a sports dietitian for improved health and performance in all areas of life;
  • Look into the value of improved sleep;
  • Get a sports medical test done/planned (booked for September – exciting).
OK, I think that’s it. Lot’s of stuff to do, then. Gotta get moving !

 

Getting Competitive with your GPS Training Device

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.

Routes features can be found here:

Devices that can be used include:

  • 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.

It’s time to get competitive – Have fun !

Crossfit Endurance Workout Of the Day July 12th

This morning spotted a Crossfit Endurance (CFE) tweet, which suited my plan for today in the most excellent way. Over the past 13 days I’ve trained 12 days and start to feel real fitness returning. Time to work a bit on speed without going too fast – without injury. CFE linked to their own blog post that suggests a few options for W.O.D. – Workout Of the Day. For me Thursday is currently a running day and the runs are right now somewhere around 6-8km and 35-45 minutes.

CFE’s suggestion was a training with long intervals, going all out for 5, 6, and 7 minutes with 2m30s and 3minutes breaks between intervals. With 10 minutes warm-up and 10 minutes cool-down that pretty much would add up to 43m30s – just what I need.

Did the training and enjoyed the long, hard intervals very  much. Had trouble keeping a high pace, especially in the 7-minute leg of the interval.

Normally I find it a pain to keep track of where I am in an interval like this one, but with the Garmin 910XT (as well as with many other modern heart rate monitors) you can create workouts targeted to what you’re going out to do.

I can recommend the workout from today. It certainly wore me out and that was the idea. You can find my workout here: http://connect.garmin.com/splits/198374874

Challenge: Garmin 910XT vs Garmin 310XT

This is a quick write-up and by no means a product review.

For a truly comprehensible review of the Garmin 910XT go here: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/10/garmin-forerunner-910xt-in-depth-review.html
For an excellent 310XT review from the same source, visit: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2009/09/garmin-forerunner-310xt-in-depth-review.html

In this post I’ll briefly try to cover my experience from a run done with both devices. As you can see on the image to the right this covers an approximately 5K run with both watches on the same arm.

Here we go:

  • Looks like they pretty much measure the same kind of distance. 90 meters out of 5040 isn’t much at all…
  • You’ll notice that the 310XT has been active for longer. It takes the 310XT longer to register non-movement, so it doesn’t pause as quickly. In fact “elapsed time” on Garmin Connect tells me that I was out there for a total of 27:31.
  • Pace is an odd one. It was rarely the same on both devices at the same time. I guess the Smart Recording on the 910XT is just a bit smarter – records a bit more frequently than the 310XT…
  • More on pace: the 910XT seems to be more spot on in general. The 310XT would have moments of 3minutes and change per kilometer, which is way faster than I can run right now – especially with a backpack.

I guess that’s pretty much it. The run isn’t really the reason to change from 310XT to 910XT anyway – the 310XT is still an excellent piece of hardware. No… the main differences come in swimming and cycling.

Of course later this year Garmin will come out with the Vector pedals that measure power and integrate with the 910XT – not with the 310XT. In addition – and I’ve been enjoying this so far – the 910XT can measure your swim like I did this morning.

I still need to perfect that. Generally I get distance which is about 100 meters too long on 1250 meters. That sounds like about 8% error to me. That’s a bit high and I’ve heard about worse for the 910XT. Potentially this can be fixed in firmware later on…?

In case you’re in doubt, the 910XT is the clear winner so far. For the multi athlete it’s simply version 2.0 of what was already a very good experience.

 

Challenge Aarhus 2011: Pre Race Report

After signing up back in December of 2010 triathletes have spent most of the spring of 2011 training for the half iron distance Challenge Aarhus – many of them for the first time. The race was to take place in the city of Aarhus with a swim in the bay, a bike ride to the scenic South of Aarhus, and finally a half marathon through the city of Aarhus, which also happens to be my Danish home city – hence why I had to be part of the inaugural event!

Click the image to see details of the pack list

After signing up back in December of 2010 triathletes have spent most of the spring of 2011 training for the half iron distance Challenge Aarhus – many of them for the first time. The race was to take place in the city of Aarhus with a swim in the bay, a bike ride to the scenic South of Aarhus, and finally a half marathon through the city of Aarhus, which also happens to be my Danish home city – hence why I had to be part of the inaugural event!

Training has had its ups and down, all of them quite well documented on this blog already. This post is about the pre-race prep where all training is done and all that lies between the triathlete and the finish line is preparing everything that is brought through hours of suffering on race day.

Going to a race is always special to me. I don’t go to many races, so packing for a race doesn’t happen too frequently. The past few days before my leaving for Denmark I got increasingly more excited and nervous about the project. I would wake up at 4-5 in the morning, thinking about Challenge Aarhus and how the race would go. I would lie there thinking race strategy, nutrition plan, etc. Eventually on the day of departure everything was packed with the great help of the triathlon race checklist service and off I went.

As soon as I arrived in Denmark I laid out my stuff on the floor of my Mother’s home North of Aarhus – just to make sure it was all there. Everything was there and checked out perfectly! Now it was all just a matter of waiting and working a couple of days in Denmark before the pre-race prep would take over. Friday I went to the expo to to buy a pair of compression socks. The real fun was about to start on Saturday at race check-in.

On Saturday first order of the day was to attend the race briefing. There had been doubts about the swim due to the bay having been polluted by sewage trouble (something the city of Aarhus apparently allows to happen every few years), and that continued at the race briefing with the sewage trouble being the main source of concern. It was considered an option to skip the swim altogether and do a duathlon instead. However, the swim eventually happened on a shorter course than planned. The reason for shortening the course was cold water. At temperatures below 14 degrees C race management deemed it unsafe to swim further than 1km – a wise decision.

My speed bump came at the bike check-in. Coming into the bike zone I thought the officials were joking when they didn’t approve my helmet for the race. It appeared that it had a crack right at the front. Thanks to the triathlon expo just 100 meters away I managed to get a new helmet and check in 10 mins before the bike zone closed.

Finally spent some time at the pasta party eating a bit with an old colleague from Amsterdam, Henrik Tholstrup, and meeting up with Facebook race buddy Søren Jakobsen – both would eventually finish the next day in very respectable times!

Went back to the base to go to sleep early. I was as ready as I could be. (TO BE CONTINUED)

Road to Challenge Aarhus: Self-supported Half Ironman

The Start Location at the Pool
Where the Madness Begins

This week is going to be mostly about getting ready for the self-supported half ironman distance triathlon I’ll be doing on Saturday 16/4 as prep to do Challenge Aarhus. You can join the event on Endomondo. Yes, it really is a triathlon even if Endomondo lists it as “other”.
Also join the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124035681003753.

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:

Bikers: total distance is 90km.
Start time is around 10.00 at Sportfondsenbad Oost: same as above.

Runners: total distance is 21,1km.
Start time is around 13:30-14:00 at Sportfondsenbad Oost: same as above.

So, the things that need to be prepped are:

  • Pack my swim-gear
  • Check the bike to be race-ready and pack all that is required for a 90km ride;
  • Pack my running stuff (Thursday or Friday)
  • Go through the checklist at http://triathlon.racechecklist.com to make sure I have it all.