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How to Auto-Sync Strava With Garmin Connect

StravaI’m kind of on-again, off-again with use of social training websites. I’m a long-time user of dailymile.com, but have periods when I lapse simply due to the fact that I need to manually enter my workouts if I’m recording them with my Garmin 620 (I can’t get the 620 to sync with dailymile). Manual entry means that sometimes I just don’t get around to it, and if I miss a few days that’s sometimes enough for me to lose steam on keeping the log up.

A few weeks ago some friends in the Running Shoe Geeks group on Facebook started a Shoe Geeks club/group on Strava. I’ve played with Strava a bit, but haven’t really dug into it in a major way, so I decided to give it another try (you can connect with me on Strava here). On the plus side it was successfully syncing directly from my Garmin 620, but it still required a trip to the Strava website to do so.

Yesterday I was filtering through my Feedly RSS feeds and came across a post from DC Rainmaker on a new auto-sync feature between Strava and Garmin Connect. In short, it allows Strava to pull workouts directly from Garmin Connect without the need to upload direct from your device to the Strava site. It basically works on the fly – your workouts upload to GC in the normal manner (e.g., wi-fi, Bluetooth to phone, USB upload via computer), then they automatically feed over to Strava (supposedly within 3-5 minutes).

I decided this morning to try and set this up using DC Rainmaker’s directions. It’s actually a very easy process. You simply go to your Strava account and click the UPLOAD button on the top right of the screen. This brings you to this page (note – I did not have my Gamin connected to the computer while doing this):

Strava Garmin 1

Near the bottom of this page you can see where it says “Enable seamless syncing by linking your Strava and Garmin Connect Accounts. Get Started.”

Click “Get Started” and you see this:

Strava Garmin 2

Under the Garmin logo click “Get Started” and you get a pop-up box:

Strava Garmin 3

Click the orange “Connect with Garmin” button, and you get a pop-up window asking for your Garmin Connect sign-in info:

Strava Garmin 4

Enter your data and you’re done!

Strava Garmin 5

You can see here that it quotes 3-5 minutes as the typical time for a workout uploaded to GC to sync with Strava. To test this I went outside and recorded a short walk up and down my street. Upon entering my house the workout uploaded to Garmin Connect via wi-fi immediately (this used to not work for me with the 620, but seems to have been fixed recently with one of their firmware updates). I then logged into Strava less than 5 minutes later and the “workout” was indeed there. Very cool! Ray on DC Rainmaker says that upon uploading your first new workout it should pull workouts from the last 30 days as well, but my run from yesterday (which I loaded to GC before enabling Strava sync) did not show up. Maybe this part takes more time? Anyone have success with this part?

There you have it, pretty easy and saves me one more step from my daily on-line life. The more I can streamline the better!

This auto-sync feature is also available for Training Peaks, RunCoach, and should be available soon at MapMyFitness and Endomondo. DC Rainmaker provides more detail for those services (I’ve never used any of them myself, though I need to try Training Peaks since my coach uses it for his athletes – for details on Training Peaks sync see DC Rainmaker’s post on the topic).

I’d love to see auto-sync added to dailymile as that site has my data from the past 5 or so years. They’ve apparently been working on a site update (and app) for awhile so here’s hoping that it’s among included features when that rolls out.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Also available with Movecounts, Suunto’s proprietary site. Very helpful.

  2. Finally.

    FYI, I didn’t see the “Enable seamless syncing by linking your Strava and Garmin Connect Accounts” message, but just clicking on “Get Started” initiated the process.

  3. Not sure what this says about me, but this is one of my favorite posts. On a related note, I’m delighted to discover that Garmin Connect now syncs with MyFitnessPal using a nearly identical process as Strava above. I use MFP to track my caloric intake and ensure I don’t under/over consume, but had to manually enter my runs and other workouts into MFP in order to get an accurate summary for the day. What’s nice is that MFP also syncs with GC, so I can see my calorie summaries in either MFP or GC

  4. So far this hasn’t worked in the three days I’ve been using it… But I have a theory… When I quit Garmin Express, it gives me an option to “run in the background”… I’ve always said YES to this… And so my runs link to Garmin Connect without opening Express. I suspect this background program may not link. So I’m going to re-install the whole thing and try exclusively opening garmin express (or leaving it open) and see if it works this time.

    Anyone else have this problem?

    • Which Garmin device do you have? How your device connects will affect how you use Garmin Express. When I upgraded computers several months ago, I downloaded Garmin Express instead of the Ant Agent that I’d used with my wireless USB stick for my 610. Garmin Express didn’t work on Win 7, so I also tried it on Win XP, 8, and 8.1 with no luck either. I called Garmin tech support, and the awesome tech support rep confessed that Garmin Express was still buggy, and pointed me to where I could download the latest version of Ant Agent. That did the trick for me, and I’ve had zero problems or connectivity issues. So if you can find and/or use Ant Agent, that may solve your problem as well.

      • I have a brand new fenix 2 – which I love – and I’m on a MAC so I use Garmin Express to automatically link to Garmin Connect.

        Here’s what I’ve noticed, it seems to take 24 hours for Strava to link up. And the truth is, since I’m already at my computer, and I’m impatient, I don’t like to wait.

        Will test more and add as I go…

        • My new workouts have been linking up quickly, but it took Strava about 24 hours to sync my previous 30 days. I use a combo of Garmin Express on PC and direct wifi upload (when its working).

  5. Don’t get this really. I uploaded from my FR620 to Garmin Connect. I tested both Strava and DailyMile. Then I removed my 620 from the sync cable. When I click sync in DailyMile it says it is connected to my GarminConnect account but gives a message: “We couldn’t find any connected devices to sync with.” So I thought it was supposed to fetch from GarminConnect and not from my watch?

    Also it does not fetch any older workouts. Not to Strava either. What am I doing wrong then?

  6. I often run during my lunch breaks at work, but occasionally forget to bring my watch (FR 220). I always have my phone on me though, so in these events I’ll typically track the run using the Strava app on my phone. I’d love to be able to get these runs from Strava into my Garmin Connect dashboard since that’s where I manage my data. It’s great that Strava is making these connections, but I sure wish Garmin would step up and be more willing to integrate in the other direction.

  7. Greg Jesensky says:

    I will have to give this a try. I am not sure what Strava offers that I don’t already get with Garmin Connect? I know that it seems to have a lot of buzz lately.

    With my 620, the Garmin site tracks a ton of metrics and the new site update is pretty slick.

  8. I have never been able to sync my garmin (FR220) with dailymile; it’s so frustrating. But I’m having no issues whatsoever with Strava. I like DM so much more than Strava, but don’t understand why they won’t produce an app or get in line with Garmin.

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