Polar rolls out Strava Automatic Sync


Earlier this morning Polar rolled out their long awaited (and previously promised) ability to automatically sync Polar Flow activities to Strava.  This means that upon completion of an activity, the activity data will automatically sync to Strava’s site.  No more manual uploading required, or 3rd party workarounds.

I gave the system a quick whirl this morning prior to my flight – and getting things all setup was pretty easy.  Here’s how it works.

Getting Setup:

The whole process is quick, and should take less than 60 seconds, but if you’ve already had your morning caffeinated beverage (or are just one of those annoyingly chipper people in the morning), then you’re probably looking at 20-30 seconds end to end.

1) First up, you’ll need to associate your Polar account to Strava.  To do that, login to Polar Flow as normal, and then click on your name and ‘Settings’.


2) Next, you’ll see the option for Strava down below, just click ‘Connect’:


3) Then you’ll agree that if ‘Something Bad’ happens, you’re not going to hold Polar responsible for Strava’s mistakes, your mistakes, your ex-lover’s mistakes, or your pet snail’s mistakes. If someone lights the dining room table on fire – it’s also not their problem.


4) Following your agreement you’ll be whisked over to Strava’s page, where you’ll approve the relationship with Polar:


5) With that – you’re done! You’ll get a quick message from Polar Flow saying all is well:


See, like I said – super easy.

General Usage:


When it comes to using the newfound integration, once setup there isn’t honestly a lot you’ll do differently than before when using either Polar or Strava’s platforms.  You’ll sync your unit however you normally do – via either Bluetooth Smart (i.e. V800) or USB (i.e. V650).  Nothing there changes.

Once you do sync though, you’ll find that your activities are located on BOTH Polar Flow, and a few seconds later on Strava (really, it’s under 30 seconds until they show up on Strava).


The activities appear as normal on Strava, and Segments rankings will appear on Strava as usual as well.

Interestingly, unlike Garmin’s auto-sync to Strava, Polar correctly ‘respects’ the privacy settings that you’ve configured on your Polar account.  So if you’ve set all activities to be private by default, then on the Strava side it’ll show up private until you change it otherwise (Suunto works identical to that of Polar).


A few other tidbits of note:

Multisport activities: These will appear as separate activities, one for each sport.  Transition times are not transferred however.  So a triathlon session would appear as one activity each: Swim, Bike Run.  No activities for transitions.

Indoor activities: These sync as well, I tried an indoor cycling session and it pulled over correctly.  I have not tried an indoor swim session however (which Strava doesn’t really know how to display anyway).

Previous history: The Polar to Strava solution does not sync previous history.  It’s from the moment you connect your account going forward for any new sync’d activities.  In the event you had an activity from last night that you hadn’t sync’d yet, then that will transfer to Strava upon sync.  But if you sync’d after your workout last night, then it won’t show up on Strava.  Only your new activities going forward would.  If you want to transfer older stuff, you’ll have to use the manual export method and then manually upload the files to Strava.

Other items: Polar has also put together a complete listing of other quirks, all of which are normal when companies send data to Strava (i.e. exact distances might differ). You’ll find this list here.

Finally, remember that this is a one-way sync of completed activities from Polar to Strava.  This is NOT displaying Strava Segments on any Polar devices (on your watch/head unit).  That’s not something currently offered on Polar devices, nor has Polar ever hinted at offering it.  Garmin presently has exclusivity on ‘Live Segments’ on the Garmin platform for another 15 days, until January 1st, 2016.  But given Polar has never hinted at offering this capability, I wouldn’t expect anything to change there anytime soon.  Though, I would point out that the flood-gates basically open in January to other companies adding such support.  The only one to my knowledge that’s committed to providing such functionality (aside from Garmin’s existing units) on a head unit is Wahoo, with their upcoming Wahoo ELEMNT.


In the event you want to disconnect your account, you can do so at any time by simply going into either (or both) the Strava or Polar apps pages.  Simply go back the page for your Flow settings, and you’ll see the ‘Disconnect’ option.


Or, you can revoke access from the Strava side as well (Settings > Apps):


Either way – once you kill one side of the equation, the relationship is terminated.  Your previously sync’d activities will remain on Strava though, but new ones won’t show up.  You can always re-kindle the flames of love down the road again if you want though – simply start at the steps back two sections above.


It’s good to see this in place, though the speed in which this effort took to get in place was simply too long.  I’m hoping now that Polar has this integration completed, that future 3rd party integrations will be easy and trivial.  For example, I’d view adding in Training Peaks and Sport Tracks integration as critical to them being competitive in this well-connected world.  I’d also say that making it easy for any other 3rd party apps to provide sync capabilities is just as important.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. fab

    Perhaps already mentionned somewhere (sorry if it’s the case), http://www.flow2strava.com can help to sycnhronize old activites (in a sem-automatic way).

    Definitely great to see the option finally available. And TP will be a great option too.

    Thank you for the information

  2. Han

    Thanks Ray!! Any idea when auto-syncing with Endomondo might be be possible?


    • Jan Petter Jetmundsen

      Now that its on Strava, a sync-solution like tapiriik can auto-sync it further to the other platforms such as endomondo, runkeeper, training peaks etc.

    • Sean Sutton

      I have been using Tapiriik with runs for some time. I really like the hands-free syncing.

      Granted I am not diving into stats every day. For a day-runner it works great.

  3. Dan Robach

    And still no wrist based or any kind of running metrics for the V800 :(

  4. Aaron

    Worth mentioning… if you can get it to Strava you can get it to most other places (including SportTracks, and Dropbox for data backup) via tapiriik. It’s a bit of a multistep process but it’s all automated so not too difficult. Works with the free Strava account too.

    link to tapiriik.com

    I’m not the developer, just a user.

  5. Kenni

    And you can use Rungap for iOS. That’s my favorite.
    About this update, strength training, swimming etc. is transferred as running ?

  6. Mark

    Not being a user of any Polar gear, I don’t have a substantive comment on this. But I really like DCR’s lead-in photo for this post. What great composition.

  7. runnershigh

    maybe off topic; is there any software-tool for pc-platform (MS Windows) to import trainings to polar flow which are not recorded by polar device? For example to import a training on FR220 to the flow webservice.

    • Grzeg1

      I think there isn’t. While it’s relatively easy to export data, import would need to be done via hacking FlowSync’s binary communication with Web Flow. When Polar promised a way to add a training not registered by device, seems everybody thought it would mean GPX import. Thus it was no sense working on it. Sadly it turned out it means just adding note in training diary (trainings added this way don’t generate training load and don’t go to statistics).
      I guess Flow will die sooner or later, just like polarpersonaltrainer. Seems it’s much better to keep your workouts in a platform open to multiple vendors – like Strava – preferably that lets you use an open API to manipulate your data.

    • Aaron

      Polar doesn’t sell Garmin Forerunners. They might even be competitors. ;)

    • Grzeg1

      I don’t know what Polar is thinking. What I know is that as of today it’s trivial for Polar users to switch to Garmin with all their data, and much harder for Garmin users to switch to Polar ;)

    • runnershigh

      I would think that data ownership is still given even if a cloud based platform, local, for free or not. Surely vendors can decide how long a solution will still be supported. The access to your own data itselfs should be possible anytime even if the vendor is going a new way.
      You will agree that this oppurtunity is also given for “not device driven” vendors like strava.
      I believe all core data (GPS, HR etc.) should be prospective normalized. In hopes that you can import/export data like you wish. But I also like specific features based on vendors platform. That makes using devices of different manufacturer difficult to deside.

    • Thomas

      Polarpersonaltrainer generates load when you enter an average HR. Don’t know about Flow.

  8. Gilbert

    Indoor swimming works like a charm, i had a pool session this morning and it synced perfectly to strava

    • Grzeg1

      When I synced Pool Swimming session, I got running session in Strava as a result. The data was there though. Did yours sync as swimming?

    • Gilbert

      I think i had to change it to swimming, not sure. I just started using strava so that is still a big mystery to me.

    • Thomas

      I think you have to have a default sport in Strava, wonder when it will choose “other” then:

      “Automatic upload to Strava supports cycling and running sports. If the sport of your training session in Polar Flow is not cycling or running, it will be shown in Strava as “other” or as your default sport defined in the Strava service.”
      link to polar.com

    • Aaron

      Do pool stroke metrics come across for indoor swims? SWOLF, stroke rate, efficiency, stroke distance, cadence?

    • Oscar P

      For what I know, Strava does not support/display those fields. So far, Strava has very poor swim support. There is a thread on their forums that is around 3 years old but not much has changed since then. The swimming market must be super small for Strava which will explain how little interest there has been to improve in this area.

      btw isn’t cadence the same as stroke rate?

  9. Mike S.

    Good news about this! I’ve been going about the manual route.

    Polar Flow seems to be down at the moment. Hopefully they didn’t break something in the process!

  10. Jason

    This is definitely off-topic so sorry about that beforehand, but I don’t know where to comment about it. Androidcentral.com has a hands-on of the new Moto 360 Sport. Have you had your hands on one yet Ray?

    link to androidcentral.com

    • I haven’t gotten one yet. Ironically, it launched today in France, but I left for the airport at 6AM, so unable to get one that area.

      It doesn’t launch in the US (where I am now) till next week. So I suspect the soonest I’d have hands-on would be Jan 1st, when I get back to France.

  11. Josh

    But still no ability to view running cadence on watch without a pod, and no notifications during running. Wish that’d change!!

    • Gunnar

      I never understood Polar’s reason for eliminating notifications during an activity. It’s one of the reasons I got rid of my V800.

      That and also the glacial speed that they release promised improvements to their devices (Like this Strava sync rollout) is why I’m back to Garmin.

  12. Steven Shaw

    Perfect. Now all they need to do is sort out syncing with the v650. This hasn’t worked for Mac since the El Capitan release (at least for me).

    • Craig Ruaux

      Indeed, that would be great. I find myself hoping that in the early new year we will get V650 sync back on El Capitan AND recovery/training load metrics from the V650.

    • Steven Shaw

      Seems we are in look. El Capitan syncing is now working. See polar updates for details. it involves updating your v650 using a pc (maybe not ideal) and then updating the software on your mac.

      Mine is now syncing fine with my mbp and el capitan.

      Now just need recovery status.

    • Steven Shaw

      Obviously meant ‘luck’ not ‘look’.

    • Craig Ruaux

      They indicate that you can update the V650 using a Mac as long as it is not running El Capitan.

      Then a new version of FlowSync needs to be installed on machines running El Capitan…

      I’ll grant you that is not ideal, assuming most people don’t have multiple Macs just sitting around. But I do, so I’ll try the update of the V650 through an non-El Capitan machine and then update Flowsync on the other machine and report back later.

  13. MattB

    I think my pet snail has been uploading his runs to my strava account… ?

  14. Mark Donnelly

    I just want to be able to sync my V650 on my Mac…….Can’t believe that Polar are taking so long to solve this problem!!!!!!

  15. Steve

    I don’t know if it’s just me it the pre rolls are killing me. I don’t mind supporting your site it it takes 4 or 5 tries to even get here.

  16. this seems like the same thing Garmin already does right?

  17. Luzandro

    not overly surprising, but activities transferred from polarpersonaltrainer to polar flow still don’t get synced :/

  18. the5krunner

    Does anyone know exactly what exercise types are transferred and which are not? for example my brief tests last night showed that pool swim was transferred but a gym session was not.

    I assume that STRAVA determines what to accept rather than FLOW determining what to send???

    whilst this doesn’t matter too much to me BUT if someone wants to use tapiriik/syncmytracks to transfer stuff onwards elsewhere then it won’t work for ALL exercise types. That may be important to some people

    Could be short sessions that do not transfer as I did sessions last night as a short test – I seem to remember form a while back that only exercise with GPSin were transferred (as my pool session WAS transferred that must no longer be the case)

  19. Grzeg1

    There are at least two problems with the way things are now:
    – swimming activities are transferred as running – Flow should set correct activity type during sync, flow2strava has no problem with this, I really don’t know why it has not been done
    – pauses are still not handled correctly by Flow so those of you using pauses/autopauses will have wrong data in Strava as well – the other option is not to use pauses and let Strava filters determine moving time

    • david n

      Regarding pauses: The GPX that is generated from an activity, only records the actual time at the beginning of an exercise. After that, all timestamps for subsequent GNSS points are generated from the timing of the activity. Which means: If you go for a run, meet a friend, pause the activity, chat for 10 minutes and then continue, the next GNSS point will have a timestamp, that is 1 second after you’ve paused the activity – not 10 minutes and 1 second. As of such, it is impossible, for both Flow and Strava, to correctly handle pauses (because they have no indication of how long you’ve been pausing). I don’t know if Garmin/Suunto etc. do the same – but it might be worth a look.

      You can check this easily when importing the GPX into QGIS and querying a tracking point before and after you did a pause.

    • Grzeg1

      Exactly. The correct way to save pauses is to have multiple Track entries in TCX files. Next Track should be started after pause. At least that’s the way Garmin does it.

    • I thought GPX was supposed to use the GPS timestamp for each log entry? A +1s would seem odd given the location is based on knowing the exact time the location was taken. I believe internally Polar record with 1s intervals for legacy reasons as that’s how their HRM format records HR, but Polar had nothing to do with the GPX spec.

    • david n

      As far as I remember, the GPX specification does not say, what time you have to fill in for each track point (IIRC the ‘time’ tag is actually optional). Thus you can fill in anything you want. I will take a look this evening if there’s something more in the TCX files you can get out from.

      Point is though: So far, never did I see a time shift in my data when I made a small pause (at least in the GPX file) that would indicate a longer (~ a minute) wait.

    • Grzeg1

      I’ve been always using TCX and time is obligatory there:

      I used a longer pause once or twice and was surprised that timestamps in TCX files exported from Flow did not match :(

    • Grzeg1

      oops… brackets were not escaped above
      <xsd:complexType name="Trackpoint_t">
      <xsd:element name="Time" type="xsd:dateTime"/>
      <xsd:element name="Position" type="Position_t" minOccurs="0"/>

    • Aaron

      Then. It’s a Polar Flow TCX export bug, plain and simple. Ugh. They should know better.

      Or… more worrisome if they drop the timer pauses out of the sample data that is stored in Flow. It would be impossible to create “correct” export files. Even worse if the pause samples are not recorded in the watch, only the aggregate paused time?

      I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows where the timer pauses are dropped, it would effect my product recommendations.

    • david n

      It’s not a Polar Flow export error – it’s just the way Polar records this. I pulled the TCX and GPX straight out of the watch with v800 Downloader – and it indeed does not record time while paused. Technically, that’s not even an error, because neither TCX nor the GPX schema define, what time should be specified.

      Obviously, it would make sense to stamp the GNSS system time in there – and I think they do this in the Triathlon mode (because you have the transition time there) – it’s also possible that in Triathlon mode the watch just switches to a different “sport” internally and is not pausing – who knows. I don’t really care much because I’m not really interested recording the time when I have to go for a dump :) But if you want to record the pause, I guess you have to manually make a lap during that pause.

    • Aaron

      Ish. So it’s cooked into the watch firmware then? That’s a pretty basic bug, and a bit troublesome from an accuracy standpoint.

      Yup, TCX does have a standard for recording pauses, as does the FIT format. :)

      Knowing pauses are pretty important for any advanced analysis, *especially* for segment records. I mean, you can hit half a segment fresh, take a break for lunch, then hit the second half “fresh”, and it looks like one continuous segment without a pause? Please tell me that isn’t possible. Yikes.

    • david n

      Yes it’s the way they record it. At the start of the exercise, they grab the current time and then just add to each point the elapsed exercise time. Why they do it, I don’t know – maybe a legacy thing with their HRM files. It wouldn’t be difficult for them to fix this, seeing as you can display the current time on the watch during exercise.

      And yes – you can cheat that way. The question is: who cares? :) It’s easy to cheat on Strava segments – be it with “Polar-Pausing”, riding with an e-bike or taking shortcuts. Heck – I could throw together a Python script in a day that would automatically edit a TCX in such a way that it’s impossible to tell that I tampered with the file to make me 10 minutes faster. If someone really needs to cheat, then so be it. I don’t see any gain in this.

    • Grzeg1

      Sadly it seems exactly as you said. We could ask Paul Colby, the creator of Bipolar software that is used by v800 Downloader to convert binary data to TCX.

      @david_n Even if there’s no extended documentation, it’s kind of obvious that in TCX file, datetime object called Time required by Trackpoint is the time trackpoint was registered.

    • Aaron

      And yes – you can cheat that way. The question is: who cares?

      Respectfully, I think you’re missing the point. ;)

      Modern fitness platforms that do analytics commonly look at efforts across continuous segments – whether it’s something as simple as determining a new distance PR, or sophisticated things like looking at mean max power output or heart-rate over various time spans. These segment stats ripple down into other parts of the system (providing signals for FTP, pace zone adjustment, training load, and the like). It’s not just about KOMs.

      If pauses are not recorded, well – that data can’t be relied on. Basically an athlete is faced with a choice: a) never stop mid-workout, ever, or b) exclude paused workouts from these analysis. It means fiddling with data, which is a PITA.

      I totally understand you might not care about this, but there are lots of people that do. People should be aware of this when considering buying a Polar product.

      Most people would assume (myself included… until today) that Polar just handles this correctly and provides “good” data. Because Garmin has always done it. For like, a decade. And even apps such as iSmoothRun do this correctly.

      (shrugs). Kindof a bummer.

    • david n

      I see your point regarding the analysis. However: Which platform allows an automated segment analysis based on spatial data? Afaik it’s only Strava that offers this and their analysis tools are rather limited. In ST3 you can select them with the Trails plugin and then do the analysis there – and then exclude the workout that had the pause in it. So it’s doable but a bit tedious – I agree.

      You can however, get a variant c) with Polar products: Just hit the lap-button when you pause and again, when you unpause. That way you have the pause in it – granted, it won’t work for auto-pause.

      In any case: I’ll most likely send this to Polar support and ask them if that’s intentional. Especially for hiking, it would be nice to have some sort of pause-data rather than having the workout continuing (in a a lap) while you’re enjoying the view and chewing on a sandwich :) Though my guess is that their answer will be something along the lines of “It’s intentional”.

    • Aaron

      SportTracks.mobi uses all the timed data tracks in a few places – not just location – and handles mid-segment pauses in the algorithms. I know because I was involved with writing the code, and the pause issue came up due to customer feedback. There was literally a bug filed which said CP shouldn’t be calculated for segments with pauses in the middle. But it only works when the watch records them… ;)

      Presumably so does TP for zone adjustment, right? And there are numerous apps which track badges and whatnot for “best efforts”. I would also wager the Strava add on post analysis packages – velo viewer, cycling analytics, and the like use it. At the least they’re using strava segments.

      It’s an intentional bug to drop pauses from sample data?? Ooph. That’s not the answer I’d hope to hear. Like I said, *everyone else* handles this correctly, even smartphone apps developed by hobbyists in their spare time. At least there is a workaround… thanks for the info.

    • david n

      My guess is, that they never thought about this Problem – it’s present since at least the RCX5. Even myself see it as “normal behaviour” that everything stops when you pause – because I don’t know it any other way. Obviously, if someone can explain them this (maybe more people than just me), they will see this as a given problem and fix it.

      On a sidenote: If you’re still working with SportsTracks and are the same Aaron who wrote the blog entry for Interactive Segment Analysis: There’s still a question waiting in the comments section :) If you don’t want to discuss it here, you can also send me a pm on the ST forums – the name is the same on the board as the name I’ve asked the question with in the blog. Cheers!

    • Bongo McBongo

      Thanks everybody for explaining the Polar to Strava pause bug. A month ago I inadvertently created a Strava segment record using flow2strava from a run that I paused. The record is significantly below world record pace. I thought Strava would delete since the time is impossible.

  20. The one thing that is still missing is automatic sync between polarpersonaltrainer.com and Polar Flow. For people such as myself who have an older device i.e. RC3 GPS.

    So in my case I have to sync to ppt.com, view the activity, click transfer to Flow and then Strava will update. It’s a minor inconvenience, but with regular updates to Flow, maybe this won’t be too far away.

    • Luzandro

      Sorry to disappoint you, but as I’ve said earlier: activities that are transferred from ppt to Flow aren’t synced to Strava.

      “Training sessions you can’t sync to Strava:
      * training sessions that have been transferred to Polar Flow from polarpersonaltrainer.com or from Polar ProTrainer 5”

      so you have to
      1) export activities from ppt to Flow – with list view this is a matter of seconds for multiple activities at once
      2) export .tcx from Flow – this part sucks, because you have to do it for every single activity individually
      3) upload the files to Strava – this part actually works very well for me, as you can upload multiple activities at once and I want to “review” my uploads anyway to assign the used shoes, change visibility or add some comments

      of course you could also use something like flow2strava, but then again you have to trust another “random guy” with all your data to reduce a few steps

    • I didn’t see your comment before I posted.

      I presume that this doesn’t work because ppt > Flow makes the session “private” by default.

    • Luzandro

      No, if your privacy settings are private/follower in Flow, the activity gets set to private on Strava, if you have a device that uploads to Flow directly

  21. Just in time for the replacement of the v800 at CES :) any thoughts on a name for the next Polar Ray? Googling info is hard when they have such a seemingly random naming scheme so I’ve not even found any decent rumours about this one yet!
    I know you wouldn’t be able to share an actual product name if you did know it, but thoughts on their naming method would be most welcome as they’ve not traditionally been the “add a 10” type, they seem to change the letter and the numbers almost on a whim.

    • Asaf

      860- has optical sensor
      900- just better
      1000- really better
      1005- and then some

    • Bart

      What’s in a name.
      There are now 3 series (low to “high” end) A – M – V
      In all 3 series they got a range of domains pre-registered.
      polara100.com – polara350.com
      polarm400.com – polarm650.com
      polarv600.com – polarv900.com
      Product name is least important to me, it’s the product itself that could be interesting.
      And in Polars case you will have to wait until a hands on review to see what you get because the spec.sheet shown on launch is not the product you buy but the product you will finaly get after a few years of software updates.

    • I agree the name isn’t important, but Googling for rumours is much harder without a name. With Garmin, I can search for 930XT safe in the assumption that should be next so the people speculating are easy to find. That and Garmin have a forum for such things. Polar closed their forums a while back so it’s much harder.

  22. Guillaume

    Does it handle laps correctly now? Previously, manually entered (through lap button presses) laps would be included in transfer file and would should up in Strava, but laps created automatically (through workout creation) would not show up in Strava.

  23. Luis

    ohh wow… welcome to yesterday Polar!

  24. Georg N

    Any idea about duplicate detection?

    Because of frequent tech fails, I ride with both a V650 and an iphone running the Strava app.
    If the phone has no issue, that’s the thing that the Strava site gets (the downside being that
    there’s no HR, cadence, etc data).

    So wondering what’s going to happen if I auto-sync my Polar data…

    • Georg N

      To answer my own question…

      Strava gets two rides… one from my iphone app and the other from Polar Flow.

      Trouble is that the Polar ride was recorded as starting at 8:00am (Eastern) when
      the ride was actually around 1:10pm.

    • Matt

      Possibly showing up as the time it was synced, rather than time it was actually started?

      That’s what I’ve been seeing with my rides. Means I might have to go back to downloading the tcx files and uploading to Strava, because this completely breaks group rides and flybys, for instance.

    • Georg N

      No, I don’t think so. I sync’ed right after the ride, around 2pm Eastern.

      Since Eastern is GMT – 5 hours I’m guessing programming bug (my ride at 1pm (13h) – 5 = 8am)

      But you’re right, this is a bad bug that renders the auto-sync a step backwards.

  25. Tomas

    Polar also (finally!) delivered on the promise to allow migration of data from Polar ProTrainer 5 to Polar Flow – and quite frankly considering how the initial idea sounded (allow migration of 25 files at a time), the solution now deserves praise: Install new version of PPT5, select conversions (how your manual disciplines in PPT5 should be mapped to activities in Flow) and click migrate. for me I could watch 10 years of training data move to Flow in about an hour. Really worked well.

  26. About live segments. Are there any runners watch that can provide live strava segments?

  27. Dombush

    Hi Ray

    Was considering treating myself to a M450 or V650 and had a go at using the product comparison tool against the Garmin 520.

    Not sure if anyone else has similar but i cant seem to “select” (shade) the product to allow the comparator to work (using IE, Chrome and IOS). Perhaps someone could tell me if they are having the same problems before i go rummaging in various settings.

    Great blog by the way, a bible for the sports tech. enthusiast.


  28. Danny

    Made some tests synching from flow to strava as well. Workouts that get imported into flow from polarpersonalcoach (as for my RCX5) do not get pushed through to Strava while they do appear in Flow.

    • Tomas

      I wish I have found your comment earlier, before messing around for half of the day just to come to same conclusion.

    • Thomas

      It also says so in the documentation :-)
      link to polar.com
      There’s other interesting info also, e.g. “it has to contain sample data (needed to draw curves) from one of the following: GPS, heart rate, altitude, cadence or power.” That’s a lot of alternatives, being that only ONE of the above is enough. I recall Suunto needs a GPS track for any session to be transferred to Strava.

  29. Patrick

    connecting to strava is quick and easy but upgrading the M450 is not quick at all…
    I got a kind of beta popup message on my M450 during the upgrade. Looks like some developer forgot to remove some code when moving to production. Anyone else noticed the same thing?

  30. JonnyG

    I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem or if it’s because I don’t have Strava Premium, however when my Polar activity for an indoor roller session syncs with Strava it only pulls across the time spent completing that session and not my heart rate, calories burnt etc.

    Have I missed changing some settings along the way that would allow this?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Craig Ruaux


      Make sure that the “Stationary Trainer” tag is selected on the work out. I’m guessing it is showing as “Ride” at the moment, sometimes you need to switch the session type to “Workout” to see your other data. Strava does not handle stationary cycling particularly elegantly, if the session is tagged as a ride and there is no GPS data, you don’t see anything else other than duration. But HR and cadence (assuming you recorded them) are in there, it just does not show them without the stationary tag, or the session defined as workout rather than ride.

  31. federico


    I did a brick workout and only althe second workout gets uploaded to Strava. Am I missing something? happend twice already.

  32. Carlos

    When I did the linking of polar flow to strava, the auto uploaded activities where 5 hours earlier, so now all my activities begin at midnight, is anyone else having this issue?, syncing with Mac is not possible even after 2.5.6 update…. I am getting tired of so many troubles with it….

  33. mark wallace

    Polar flow is again experiencing issues. Last 24 hours you are unable to export activity files to update to strava. Why am I even having to do this?? Well, Strava sync that was working, is now not!! Is Polar just not up to the job?? Should I scrap my M400 and go Garmin, seems more reliable according to mates!!

    • Aaron

      Garmin had a several year lead on Polar with web technology and growing experienced talent – they’ve now offered a web-based fitness tracking solution for over ten years, and that even was based on a product that was out for a few years!

      It feels like the Polar team continues to go through growing pains with their new infrastructure and also – pace of development and stability of software. I’m not sure if the webdev team is inhouse or contracted out, but it might make a difference (especially longer term) and Ray might know.

      TL;DR: Yes: Garmin software is more reliable today.

    • mark

      Thanks Aaron. I am new to blogs but had to put it out there as it is infuriating. I called Polar, they pretty much said ‘they’re working on it’ – as yet, polar server still unable to cope with exporting files! It is poor

  34. Chris

    It seems like the auto upload from Polar to Strava is currently not working.
    Can anyone confirm this?

    • mark

      yes it is down. As is the ability to export activities to manually extract to strava. Polar have had it for me, I am ditching and going Garmin – far more reliable and forward thinking!

    • Aaron

      You might want to check out an alterative uploader such as this:

      link to github.com

    • Chris

      Polar has fixed it within hours after I reported the issue:

      “Team Polar Hey there! Good news, the training export is now fixed! Sorry for the inconvenience in this matter. – Team Polar
      08-02-2016, 20:44”

    • Simon

      Hey guys,
      I’ve been through the export bug yesterday and it’s working now.
      But something is still strange. When I export manually (I mean by using the export function from polar flow website, choosing tcx file) an activity from polar flow to strava (cycling in my case), the speed is constant at 17,6km/h during 2+ hours…
      The result is that the total distance + the speed are incorrect.
      Does anyone have the same problem?

    • Aaron

      We have observed the same behavior from Polar Flow when exporting TCX from (for example) M400 workouts.

      The exported TCX contains speed/distance data for a linear line from 0 to workout distance. Result: A speed chart with constant speed (horizontal line). This is a bug in the Polar Flow export.

      If you delete the distance track (using for example, the SportTracks PC app) and re-export, speed/distance will be calculated from GPS location. Now… all is well.

      Unfortunately there isn’t really a hack to handle this, since the distance element in TCX is used for speed/cadence sensor, it can contain data we need to recognize.

      Polar needs to fix this. Either by not exporting the distance track if there isn’t a sensor for it (correct, IMO), or calculating the accumulated distance from GPS points (redundant).

    • Aaron

      By the way… our customers reported this Polar bug on 11 January with a comment “this has been happening since November”.

      So it seems to not be a new bug really.

    • Simon

      Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to delete the distance information using SportTracks. It’s my fault I don’t know how to use it…

      I’ve bought the M400 one week ago, that’s why I thought the bug was new :)
      Since you’re saying that it’s happening since Novembre, do you know if Polar team is working on this issue? That’s quite a big deal for me :)

      Thanks again.


    • Simon

      Well, I’ve found how to do it with SportTracks. Since it just create a GPX file, I tried another option, exporting GPX file directly from Polar’s website.
      The speed seems correct now on Strava but the heartrate information isn’t available.

      Thanks for your help :)


  35. Piotrek

    What could be the reason that all exports to Strava is different data from those available in Polar Flow? The differences are not great, but they are. Changes distance, time, pace, etc ..

    In Polar Flow:
    5,34km, 23,58 min, 4:28/km
    In Strava:
    5.5km, 23:56 min, 4:19/km

    • Strava always recalculates things (on Garmin devices too). This article explains it: link to support.strava.com

    • Piotrek

      I have to assume that the results of Strava are more accurate?

    • I wouldn’t.

      I think it’s a case of both companies thinking they have smarter engineers than the other. I’m not sure I’d say either would always be right more than the other. Personally, I think it’s silly that Strava re-calcs them, since all it really does is confuse people.

    • James Kitching

      Hi. I havent uploaded to Strava for a while, but on my last two manual uploads, where I have cycled 100km (only recognised as 70km on Strava), and 103km (only recognised as 62km on Strava??). Both rides I had my V800 and v650 to confirm distance (v800 measuring all my stats and the v650 for maps/distance only (as the 2 devices wont work in tandem showing all stats). The v800 was the device I used for uploading to Polar flow before exporting to Strava..I cant understand the discrepancy, and cant find any way of editing this??

      I tend to do manual uploads as I really don’t want every activity I do to be on Strava, but usually just the biggies. Is there any way around this? I would love for there to be a fast upload button on Polar Flow and on my Android.


    • David

      Yeah I have the same issue, I use the V800 and the distance is all skewed when I’m exporting to Strava.

      I’ll put the V800 for sale and will probably not touch Polar products for a while. It seems to me that the development of software is not done in house, they release products unfinished and takes months to fix an issue. In todays world that is not acceptable. This issue with skewed tcx files has been happening since Nov last year

    • Chris

      is it happening when you use the auto sync or manually?
      You can try this link to tcxtools.com
      works for me for the manual export with m450. Now the auto-sync function runs smoothly.
      btw: tried to contact he polar support?

    • David

      Hi Chris

      It only happens when done manually, as in export the tcx file and import to starva every single time but only sometimes when doing it via auto-sync. If it fails via auto-sync you deauthenticate the auto-sync and re-authenticate it again and works for a while until it fails again.

      The tcxtools seem to work ok thou! thank you

    • Umut

      It is probably coincidence but can it be related to different Distance units (miles versus kilometers)? The ratio 100/62 is 1.61 points to this.

    • David

      I don’t think so as I did 50km and it showed as 26km, also the top speed on Strava is the average speed. I think Polar Flow skews the tcx xml file


  36. Luke

    I was wondering if someone could answer a question for me regarding my data when I auto-synch from polar flow to strava. If I auto-synch, when analysing segments, the gradient data is all ‘blocky’ whereas if I manually upload the data from polar flow to strava then the gradient curve is smooth. Is there a way to rectify this?

    I have included a picture that shows the ‘blocky’.

  37. Wilton

    Do all activities get uploaded to Strava, eg gym sessions on spinning bike (indoor cycling)etc, or can we choose what gets uploaded. Don’t want to share everything as I’m sure that would irritate some people following.

  38. Hjalmar

    Hi there, would you know how to export the complete (polar) history – the diary -in one go?
    Impossible to start exporting session after session ad nauseum, right?

  39. Gerard

    I’ve been able to automatically sync my Polar sessions to Strava for several months. But recently (i.e. as of Sunday), this automatic sync has stopped working. I’ve tried logging out and back in again for both Polar Flow as well as Strava but nothing seems to help.

    Wonder if anyone else has encountered this issue?

  40. Bongo

    Widespread issue according to Polar Facebook page.

  41. Jei

    Also TP connectivity finally available. I took 1yr TP premium earlier due to missing features & reports in flow, but now I must say iflow is finally starting to look as it should’ve 2 years back!

    Now polar keep up the update speed seen lately!

  42. i used polar for my spinning session today
    it recorded the hearth rate curve
    it also synced to strava but there it only shows max and avg hearth rate, not the curve

    i think it is related to the missing gps data, can this be ?
    can i manually correct my polar flow data and add a (fixed) GPS position ?

    any tips welcome

    Leuven – Belgium

  43. Stefan van Dijk

    I understand this posting is quite old, but just recently I have notices significant deviations between the activity measured distance by Polar flow and the sync within Strava. Just:
    1: distance not the same, i.e. 22.19 in Polar grit x and 22,68 on Strava
    2. Pauze handled incorrect, movement during pauze is included.

    This is using Grit X. Strava support says the Polar data is only providing GPS and no distance data.

    More people having this?