Garmin announces automatic sync with Strava, MapMyFitness and Endomondo

Today, Strava along with MapMyFitness and Endomondo have announced automatic sync with Garmin Connect.  This means that your activities will now (or soon in some cases) automatically show up on those three platforms, should you choose to enable it.

Some of these partnerships, but in particular Strava, have been worked on behind the scenes since almost the beginning of the year – so it’s great to see this finally pop out of the woodwork.

These three companies join Training Peaks and RunCoach in the automatic sync boat, which started in June.  Additionally, you’ve got MyFitnessPal as well for calories synchronization, which starting last week included all Garmin devices (not just the Vivofit and FR15 anymore).  Note however that these much anticipated announcements did however come at the expense of smaller developers and hobbyists, as I discussed in this past post.

With that I’ll run through those that are available today (Strava), and then some notes on both MapMyFitness and Endomondo.  So with that, let’s dive into it!

Strava Sync: How it works

First up we’ll run through how the Garmin Connect to Strava sync works, including getting it setup and my experiences with it.

To start, you’ll go ahead and login to Strava and then click on the big orange ‘Upload’ button which will take you to a page that allows you to choose how and what to upload.  From there you’ll click on the left hand side and select ‘Device’, before then clicking ‘Get started’ below the Garmin logo:

Pressing that will get you to where the magic happens, which opens up an all new dialog box that allows you to connect your account with Garmin:

Next you’ll get a pop-up window that’ll show the below page.

(Tip: If you don’t get said window, ensure your browser’s pop-up windows are allowed for * & *

This page is coming from Garmin Connect and is asking for your permission to grant access to Strava.  This means that later on you can always ‘revoke’ access from the Garmin Connect control panel if required.

Once you click sign-in you’ll wait a few seconds and it’ll show you a confirmation page on Strava.  It explains that activities can take a few minutes to sync from Garmin Connect.  How you get your activity to Garmin Connect is totally up to you.  For newer devices it’d likely be via your phone (Bluetooth), or via WiFi.  But, many Garmin devices also work just fine with USB and Garmin Express on the computer directly.

While Garmin Express had a rocky beginning, I don’t have any issues with it these days – pretty much just works for the wide assortment of devices I use.  Either way, it doesn’t much matter how you get the activity to Garmin Connect – you just need to get it there.

So you’ll go ahead and sync your device however you normally do it, from wherever you normally do it.  For example, with the Garmin Fenix2 it can be sync’d via Bluetooth Smart to your phone.  So in my case I did it on a rock on the side of the mountain to my phone, with no PC anywhere near me.  But that same sort of Bluetooth wireless connectivity works with other units like the cycling focused Edge 510/810/1000 and the running-focused Garmin FR220/FR620.

Next it’ll automatically send the activity over to Strava, shortly after upload.  In my case, you can see all this directly from the phone.  On the left, Garmin Connect, and then on the right, Strava.


Note of course that if you have a unit that plugs in via USB, the automatic sync still works the same way – just with wires instead.

Once uploaded from your device, the activity will be named the usual activity names that Strava generates. It won’t change the name of the activity to match Garmin Connect’s activity name (i.e. ‘Sunday Long Ride’).

In my testing, the sync was happening as fast as about 20 seconds.  Though, one has to keep in mind that I’ve been using the system that otherwise has light load on it.  Once Strava’s kazillion users join, then it may change (but hopefully not).  As noted above in an earlier image, Strava estimates between 3-5 minutes for the sync process to complete.

As usual, once on Strava you can go ahead and edit the name of the activity, as well as the specific bike or shoes used (or activity type).  Note that it’ll automatically assign your default bike or shoes, so you may want to double-check those settings if you haven’t done so recently.

(Updated) Note that it will sync the previous 30 days of activities from Garmin Connect after you’ve sync’d your first new activity.  So once you do that it’ll backfill the last 30 days of activities.  Activities older than that are not brought over.  You can sync older activities using this option, though do ensure that you don’t have both software tools enabled, as you’ll likely end up with duplicates.

Finally, on privacy – it’ll assume your default Strava settings, not your default Garmin Connect settings.  This means that if you have your activities set to ‘Private’ by default on Garmin Connect, it’ll ignore that and publish anything and everything you upload to Strava.  Kinda a bummer, I wish I could easily set it otherwise.

MapMyFitness: Coming soon!

Next there’s MapMyFitness, which is the massive MapMyEverything platform that includes the more well known sites MapMyRun and MapMyRide.  The platform is also used by many 3rd party companies behind the scenes, such as TomTom.

With the new sync, you’ll be able to also send your Garmin Connect activities direct to MapMyFitness as well, just like Strava above.  In talking with them, they believe the functionality should be available ‘soon’ (it sounds like a few weeks at most from my discussions with them).

I’ll make a note in a ‘Week in Review’ post once that happens, though the process should mirror the Strava process above in terms of initial setup, then authentication with Garmin Connect, and finally automatic sync functionality.

Endomondo: Coming Soon!

Last but not least, there’s Endomondo.  In short, there’s not much to say here other than Endomondo will get automatic sync running with Garmin Connect at some point in the future.  But they don’t have a date because according to them the development team has barely started looking at it.  So…there ya have it.

With that – thanks for reading!

DC Rainmaker :

View Comments (285)

  • Hi Smileman,
    It appears that RunGap has the same limitation as Tapiriik with regards to calories on Garmin Connect. The technical reason for this is that Strava doesn't record calories for each lap as required by the TCX format used when sending workouts to Garmin Connect. It works fine on an iPad.

  • Okay it worked perfectly for me. I did not double distances, times, elevations or anything but data is there but i have big problem with the fact that my privacy zones are not respected by Strava in the data that Garmin syncs over.
    any word on fixing that or perhaps I will just sync them twice.

  • I don't suppose you know if there is a way to disable the non-gps enabled activities from loading into Strava? Since I use my Garmin for the HRM feature as well I don't want it to auto-load non-running/cycle work outs into Strava, but it seems to load everything by default.

    • Has there been any update on this?

      I'm confused if the vivosmart with chest strap heart rate monitor can in any way be used in conjunction with Strava. All I want to be able to do is add heart rate/calorie information to my rides with the vivosmart/chest strap.

      Is this a thing yet? Is it still all or nothing? I heard some people say that the activities just registered as walks in Strava?

      Very interested in getting a vivosmart but not sure if I want it if it doesn't work with Strava!

  • I know it's an older post but seems most relevant to my question.

    Just got Garmin 235 and set up sync to strava. I like to rename the run and add details. But the personalization doesn't sync to strava. Any way to write it once and have it show up in both places???

    Additionally any advice on how to use Garmin 235 for spin class besides manually entering data? I read on one of the threads to set up as cycle and turn gps off. Or use activity "other". But neither gives me any good data.

    Thank you

    • Nothing has changed there unfortunately. It's a common request. Basically Garmin just sends the original activity .FIT file over to the 3rd party platform. Whereas stuff like name/etc are all done at a website level, and that piece isn't sync'd.

  • I did a couple of runs today and recorded them on Strava from my phone app as my Garmin had a flat battery. I now want to sync this run to Garmin and can't see how to do this. Gamin auto syncs to Strava but it doesn't seem to happen the other way round. Can you give any advise? Many thanks

  • An update for anybody trying Garmin -> Strava linking, and wondering why historical data isn't syncing...
    I did it yesterday, and it took about 18 hours to work. It initially looked like it had linked my accounts, and I did a test run which synced. But the last 30 days didn't appear.
    But this morning I woke up to a load of notifications on my phone, and now I have 30 days of data. So if you see nothing, don't panic.
    Until tomorrow - tomorrow you can panic.

  • Hi There - great useful site.

    Background - I'm joining the 21st century by buying a Garmin Fenix 3. I have used a Polar RCX5 for 3 years so have HR / GPS data and comments on PolarPersonalTrainer. I also have used Endomondo for the last 5 years for the purposes of safety (I do a lot of solo night running and riding so my location can be found on Endomondo if I fail to come home - never happened so far) and so have about 800 sessions there but just with GPS - no HR.

    Anyway its all a bit of hardwork to get my HR stuff across so I might just leave it. Like my ProTrainer PC based files before that and my handwritten training notes before that. Its interesting but I'm not that OCD :-)

    The Garmin comes with iConnect but I wanted to use a neutral third party app to try and avoid lock in of my data. Like I now face with Polar. I was thinking of going to Strava as it seems a bit more open and popular. But I'm not really into the social network side so am having second thoughts as it looks like the useful stuff like HR zones etc only comes with the premium.

    Any comment you would have on the Garmin software and what the extra features you get from Strava are - particularly free strava.


  • Hey DC, if i used my cell phone for a run and recorded via Strava, can I have it send that activity to the Garmin Connect app on my phone as well?

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