This review is a companion to my previous posting – A Review of Some Exercise Logging Sites.
Okay, so you’re uploading your GPS watch tracking to Runkeeper but want to log some weight-training on Fitocracy and want both sets of data to show up on each site, or your new Garmin GPS watch is uploading nicely to Garmin Connect but all of your friends are on Runkeeper and WeightTraining.com, or you like the advanced stats on TrainingPeaks but prefer to log things better on Runkeeper, etc.
You want to have all of your workouts show up on multiple sites without uploading or typing them into each one?
Well, what do you do?
Firstly you want to look through the settings and options for each site that you want to share workouts between.
You may find that the site you want to connect to is indeed listed and both are available for you to link together. And if the first site doesn’t have the ability to connect to the second site you may find that the second site may have the first site listed as linkable, but not vice versa (Who’s On First?).
Once you find it available to link it’s usually a fairly simple matter to connect the two sites. Sometimes it’s just a click, sometimes you must give it permission, and occasionally you may have to log into the opposite site and then link them.
Above in the screen capture you can see just a few of the many sites that Runkeeper can connect to. For some of the sites shown in the screen capture I had to go to the individual sites themselves to connect to Runkeeper as Runkeeper itself didn’t have the option to connect to the other site. This isn’t atypical for some other fitness logging sites, as I mentioned above – one may have a handy way to connect to another while the other doesn’t; but once you are connected it will show up as being connected on each of them and your data will be shared.
But what happens if you run across two sites and neither have any in-built way to connect to each other?
If you’re really ambitious you can register and login to a bunch of other exercise logging sites and perhaps find one might that in turn connects to both of the sites, and then you would simply connect all three sites together and be set. Even if you connect the same site to a number of other sites USUALLY the data is not duplicated, in some cases thanks to Runkeeper’s Healthgraph.
Or you can just manually log to each site, which can be tedious and sap your motivation.
Perhaps a better way would be to use one of the third-party sites I review here to connect all the fitness logging sites you use together.
I’ll review the four here (in no order whatsoever) that I know of, if you have run across others please post a reply to this blog posting and let us know.
I also want to note that Garmin seems to cause a few delays sometimes when trying to share things with external sites, sometimes maybe even not working in some cases, so it’s something to be aware of if you notice a delay in syncing with or to Garmin Connect. It may be an issue with Garmin’s API instead of the site itself, but normally it’s more of a delay than not logging an item at all.
It’s a bit difficult to find exercise logging sites that (reliably) connect to Garmin Connect sometimes. Not the fault of the syncing site it seems. So once you get something like Runkeeper to sync data with Garmin Connect you can usually use Runkeeper to connect up with whatever other site you are trying to sync with. Even if you don’t normally use Runkeeper it’s a great way to connect to other sites and use it as a bridge to them.
With the free account at Tapiriik (which you get by connecting any of the aforementioned logging sites to Tapiriik) you must manually click the big sync button in the middle of the screen to sync your activities. What could be easier?
Well, for a very tiny pittance ($2 or more bucks, $5 recommended) you can have it automatically sync things – no having to load the site and click the sync button. The interval that it syncs is quite often so you are assured that your fitness loggings will get synced quite quickly. I’m cheap, and I even paid to have it automatically synced!
In fact, a few times I have gotten home from a run or bike ride and my Garmin GPS watch has automatically uploaded its data to Connect Garmin, and Tapiriik has automatically synced Connect Garmin with Runkeeper and Strava before I have even gotten my clothes changed and a drink of water.
You’ll also notice that Tapiriik tries to sync and copy all old activities the first time it’s connected to a new exercise logging site.
After it syncs between the various sites you can also check a log to see what might not have gotten synced, either because one site you have logged something on doesn’t have an equivalent for an activity on another site or if there is an error.
It also can dump your workouts to DropBox, to its own folder. Nice feature, and a good backup. You can import these files into other logging websites, download them into a mapping program, or keep them as backups on your computer.
There are a few options for each site you are connected with – you can turn on and off syncing among the sites you are syncing between in either direction, and also toggle the ability for private activities to be shared among the connected sites. You probably want this turned on unless you have all of your activities set as public. Setting them as public isn’t always a good idea as anyone can see where your home is and such, if you’re concerned about such a thing and you probably should be.
All-in-all an excellent site created and run by Mr. Collin Fair.
CopyMySports.com is a bit more complicated to set up, but nothing that anyone who can follow some simple instructions can’t do.
CopyMySports used to be GarminConnectSync but it’s expanded from just connecting Garmin Connect to Runkeeper to also including Strava, thus the name change.
To connect to Garmin you must find the ID of one of your loggings on Garmin Connect. Pretty easy to do, just click on one of your activities and look at your URL bar in your browser and find the sequence of numbers which make up the ID at the end of the address. Once you have that it’s a simple matter to paste it into the correct field in CopyMySports and you can then click the CHECK ID button, then be connected.
Note here – just like in Tapiriik you must make sure that if your activities are marked private that you enable CopyMySports to access them. There’s a handy link that explains how to do it right on the main page or you can click here.
Once you are connected to Garmin Connect and have made sure that your activities marked as private are able to be synced then you can connect to Runkeeper and/or Strava with a bit more ease, similarly to how Tapiriik and the others connect to other sites to sync.
Like Tapiriik there’s not a whole lot of options here as syncing is its job. You can choose to copy all old activities to Runkeeper and Strava in addition to new ones as you log them, which is nice, and there’s a FAQ and a place to donate if you like this excellent service.
Fitnesssyncer (with three S’s ) started out in September of 2012 and at that time only synced to HealthVault, but has recently been expanded to many more sites. And it’s potentially one of the most useful in additional features and options.
It’s fairly similar to some of the other services in the aspect that you can easily set up a free account, and then give the website permission to access the particular exercise logging site’s info. You’ll find a good solid list of sites that it will sync data with or to.
Like Tapiriik it also syncs to a dropbox account but unlike Tapiriik the data is in CSV format. FitnessSyncer also can send your data to an e-mail address. Nice feature there.
The free account does limit you to five sources and tasks to sync with. A Pro Account gives you an unlimited number of sources/tasks and allows you to choose when to sync your data, and of course buying a Pro Account allows you to help the owner of the site in the development of this resource.
One of the nice things, which is unlike some of the basic sync-your-data site is that you can display your data in a simple graph form.
Another handy feature is the ability to set up rules so as to make sure that you aren’t duplicating the sharing of exercises across sites. It also allows you to filter certain ones, in the form of either completely filtering them out or including only certain ones. A nice and unique dimension to syncing.
On FitnessSyncer you will also find something called ShoeRenew which lets you keep track of your running shoes and other equipment, e-mailing you when you get to a certain mileage and need to replace (like running shoes) or perform maintenance (like on biking equipment).
I gotta say, while all the syncing services work well Fitnesssyncer in some ways has the potential to go above and beyond, depending on whether you need more than the ability to do simple syncing.
NOTE as of 8/28/2014 – Syncmetrics is currently shut down, please keep checking their site for further info.
Again, pretty standard stuff – you register and get logged in, where upon you can go to ‘Sync Settings‘ in the menu under your name and see the list of sites you can sync among.
Once you click an a fitness logging site you can then click its icon to get connected to it. It is pretty standard in that you must give the site permission to connect (or you must log into the site you are connecting to if you’re not already logged into it previously, this works the same as the other syncing site for the most part).
When you are connected to a fitness or health logging site you can then choose which other sites you want to sync that particular one to.
Once you get some stuff synced you’ll see some of your stats start showing up across the top. You can click some of your stats to get a few graphs and such. There’s also a nice quick knowledge base over on the right with help about syncing and other related things concerning each syncing site, with a bit of info.
You can also fill out your profile, have a profile pic, and connect to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
The nice thing about this site is that in addition to sites like Runkeeper and Strava it also syncs to websites like Fitbit (so does FitnessSyncer.com), Withings, Jawbone (so does FitnessSyncer.com), and Nike+. A note here – it syncs to the sites, not the devices themselves.
That’s about it, it does the job as it’s supposed to. Though right at the moment of this posting they were having trouble with Garmin Connect not working with the site. I imagine they will get this figured out soon.
In closing I want to thank Collin from Tapiriik, Gero from CopyMySports.com, and Eric of Fitnesssyncer.com for getting back to me and allowing me to use logos and screenshots and such for this blog posting. They all do an excellent job and provide a much-needed service, so try out their sites and support them if you are able to.
As time goes by I think we will see more and more logging sites integrate better with other sites, as well as new ways to transfer data back and forth. For example, here’s a post on “A simple tool to bulk import your RunKeeper data into Endomondo” (thanks to Lcm via a Fitbit forum posting for finding this).