Yesterday Tacx (via Garmin) sent out an e-mail to users of their Tacx Training platform that on April 22nd the world will change. Or, depending on your view – end. It’s that day that the Tacx app/platform will utilize the Garmin Connect backend as opposed to the Tacx one. However, by connecting the two accounts now, activities from the Tacx apps will begin to show up in your Garmin Connect account. Additionally, your profile settings will sync between the two platforms.
And at some unnamed point down the road, your existing Tacx app history of activities will get pushed over to Garmin Connect as well. Though, it’s not clear exactly when that’ll happen – Tacx/Garmin simply say “Syncing older activities will be rolled out at a later date.” All of this is outlined in a big FAQ support page they’ve posted.
However, buried in that was one interesting line item:
“Will activities recorded using a Tacx app update my Garmin Training Status? Garmin is working to provide this enhancement at a later date.”
For those not familiar with this bit of messiness, within the Garmin world there’s the concept of Physio True-Up. Basically this means that if you have a Garmin watch (say a Fenix 6), and a Garmin bike computer (say an Edge 1030), that the two will keep your workout history in sync, and more importantly keep your training load and recovery status in sync. So you could do a run on your Fenix, and it’d impact the training load status on your Edge device. In theory. In practice this varies.
However, what doesn’t vary is that there are other activities that can end up in Garmin Connect that DO NOT impact your training status, despite showing up on your Garmin Connect app. For example, your Zwift rides show up, as do TrainerRoad rides, and now Tacx app rides. However, none of these impact training status. Thus you could spend all winter on Zwift, and Garmin would assume you’re just lazily eating pizza 24×7.
While FirstBeat has acknowledged in the past that technically it’d be possible to add training load from 3rd party apps, this is the first time they’ve ‘announced’ plans to actually do so. Albeit, Tacx is sorta now a first party app.
Anyway, my point here is more hoping that Garmin looks to do it for the very small number of partners that they do allow to push to Garmin Connect. After all, these are people that *BOUGHT* Garmin devices (typically high-end ones), and they simply want a cohesive end user experience. It’d be totally reasonable for example that you must have an appropriate Garmin device activated on your account for Training Status to show. Just as it would also be reasonable that said device must upload a workout at least once in a while (if a bike computer), or non-workout data if a watch. Sorta like how frequent flyer miles expire. I think those would be entirely reasonable solutions to any concerns around people using the platform without having a Garmin device.
And while undoubtedly Garmin/Tacx sees Zwift or TrainerRoad or whomever as competitors, ultimately, Garmin is first and foremost largely in the business of selling devices – not software subscriptions. Of course, as usual, nobody else in the industry does anything that even approaches what Garmin has today in terms of sync inbound from Zwift/TrainerRoad/etc, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Hopefully, this is the first tidbit of that.
With that – thanks for reading!