How to publish your Garmin training data to other services with "tapiriik"

There is a new way to publish your training data on multiple services with just one click. And you know what? It’s completely free! The name of this great tool is “tapiriik”. At the moment it supports synchronisation of SportTracksGarmin ConnectStravaRunKeeperDropbox and TrainingPeaks.
With just a few settings you will be able to backup your training data on different databases.
The home page as it appears at your first access.
The login to each service can be done just once at the beginning, with the normal User+Password method. Saving the credentials will limit this operation at just the first access. After that you will just need to access tapiriik and do the sync.
To connect a service, just enter your login data.
The options you can manage are explained in the picture hereunder. You can simply decide, for each service, from and to which other service synchronise your data. In this example I decided to sync the other services starting from SportTracks, because that’s where I have my main log.

The “Options” window of each service will allow you to decide what synchronises what. Just click on the arrows under the “From” or “To” option to activate or deactivate the direction of sync.
If you suddenly decide that you don’t want to use one of the services any more, you can just unlink it under the options menu. Nothing will be deleted, in case you do it accidentally.
To disconnect a service just click on the “unlink” button in the options window.
Nothing will be deleted after disconnecting a service.

Some websites like Dropbox will require an “app authorisation”, like showed in the following figure. Also RunKeeper works with apps, so you will be asked for the same thing.

For some services, like Dropbox, the login comes as an external app authorisation.
Since Dropbox works directly with folders, you are allowed to choose where to save your files. Also the file extension (*.tcx or *.gpx) can be selected, like the naming system. Simply click on “Reconfigure” under the service icon to activate the options window.

In Dropbox options you can also decide the target folder, the file format and the file naming system.
After the general setup just click on “Synchronize now” to start the sync. If your database is large, the operation will require some minutes the first time. After that, if you will do it with a regular cadence (let’s say once every one or two weeks), the sync time will be less than one minute.

Clicking on “Synchronize now” will start the synchronisation between the selected services. Closing the window after this operation won’t affect the sync.
There is also the possibility, by paying just 2.00 $ a year (!), to have the synchronisation automatically done for you. Definitely a reasonable price, don’t you think?
Pros and Cons:
+ A service like this coming for free is absolutely good news.
+ Having the chance of using Dropbox is a remarkable step towards data ownership freedom, since the users can migrate their own data as they prefer (that’s also the philosophy of SportTracks‘ team).
+ Heart rate data, where available, are correctly transferred among services.
+ The website is very simple and usable.
+ The sync time has been improved a lot in the last months.
+ The following cons are not directly linked with tapiriik, but are the result of a great lack of standardisation between platform services.
– Strava doesn’t import no-GPS files; this is a problem for people doing indoor training sessions.
– RunKeeper imports no-GPS files, but sometimes doesn’t take into account the corrections made and you can often find activities with correct duration, but empty distance.
– Garmin Connect shows the same problems as RunKeeper does.
– In general, I’d like to see the corrections made on distance, since GPS devices often over-estimate distances.
Here you can find a list of my running-related posts. Now shut down the notebook and have a run!

Science and Training:

Garmin, Polar and WTEK: heart rate sensors comparison

Thanks again to Mark, head of the Centre of Altitude Training “himaxx Berlin” (, and to WTEK, I had the opportunity to make an interesting comparison between different heart rate monitor sensors.
Nowadays this kind of sensor is widely used in sports at every level, helping to track important parameters and to calculate some interesting stuff like training load. The leading actors of this post are the Garmin HRM2-SS, the Polar T31 and the WTEK, in its HS-2+ and HS-1C versions.
The three sensors tested: Garmin, Polar and WTEK (click to enlarge).

Apart from the well-known chest-belt technology (Garmin and Polar), I’d like to do a small introduction about WTEK sensor’s working principles. This interesting transducer is a photoplethysmograph, a complicate word for a simple function: it illuminates the skin and subsequently measures the changes in light absorption due to the pulsatile component of the cardiac cycle. In other words, it can measure the differences in blood volume, identifying this way the heart rate of the subject. This is an interesting feature, since the sensor can be applied to the forearm or to the forehead, simply using a sweatband as a support.

How to fit the WTEK sensor (click to enlarge).


While the WTEK HS-2+ sensor is compatible with all the ANT+ devices, the HS-1C just supports a specific communication protocol with a WTEK C100 watch. And since the C100 doesn’t have (yet) an internal memory, I needed to make a video recording of the HS-1C data in order to save them for analysis. However, I found easy to record HS-2+ data on my Garmin Forerunner 210 watch (even if the sensor must be fitted on the same arm of the watch, to avoid communication problems).


The altitude chamber, for the occasion set to sea level, before and during the test. I am wearing a wristband on my left forearm to support the WTEK sensor (click to enlarge).


The WTEK C100 watch, its charging station, a sensor and a wristband (click to enlarge).


The protocol was very simple: after a 4-minutes acquisition while sitting, I ran 36 minutes with some speed variations and some constant pace minutes. In the following graph the values are plotted (I registered WTEK data every 5 seconds).
Heart rate data (click to enlarge).
 The main WTEK problems, compared to chest belt sensors, are the following:
  • an initial period of 10 to 15 minutes is necessary to stabilise data
  • every sudden change in heart frequency needs 10 to 15 seconds to be noticed by the sensor
  • an overshoot (both negative or positive) always occurs when heart rate changes quickly, for example during interval training or hill repetitions.
The good points, however, are that:
  • the errors, after the stabilisation period, are almost always included in a ±5% interval (taking as “real” values the average between Garmin and Polar data)
  • correlation coefficients (degree of similarity between two sets of variables) are quite similar, being 0.9998 between Garmin and Polar, 0.9891 between Garmin and WTEK and 0.9889 between Polar and WTEK
  • mean registered heart rate values are pretty close (152.8 bpm for Garmin, 152.7 bpm for Polar and 157.7 bpm for WTEK)
  • usually the error causes an overestimation of the HR values (a dangerous underestimation happens very rarely).
Absolute percentage error calculated between WTEK and the average of Garmin and Polar values (click to enlarge).
Concluding, if we assume that chest belts HR monitors give “true” values (which is obviously not true), WTEK sensor is a comfortable alternative for people that can’t stand traditional sensors. The performances detected are sufficiently accurate for amateur sports people, especially for those who want to monitor constant-speed sessions.


The WTEK products tested (click to enlarge).
Here you can find a list of my running-related posts. Now shut down the notebook and have a run!


Science and Training:


Forest steeplechase training

A short preview before the end-of-season video. Enjoy!