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How to Auto-Sync Strava With Garmin Connect

Posted on August 06 2014

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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