Exporting Google Fit activities to Strava

Well, first i didn’t want to claim this as a guide or tutorial because i just want to tell my experience of doing this work of exporting. There isn’t any guide that helps me directly as a Google Fit user to exporting my activities into Strava. I just take a multiple of sources and adding own experience to sum this story. You could skip directly to the steps or summary at the very end if that’s what you are looking for.

Update: Recently I've found that Strava actually have moved to .FIT format which contains much more variables than .GPX (older format). Therefore, it is better that you use .FIT format instead when exporting. But this isn’t necessary because the GOTOES developer only provide this option for their donors/supporters. Unless you do donate for them, .GPX do still work wonder.

Lately, I've been quite drawn into running habit. It isn’t specifically running all the time as i was doing it all along jogging and walk throughout the track. It really became a habit when all you could do on the outside is that when the whole area is still covered with a pandemic.

Talking about Strava, it is the app that i used first actually. I only really moved to Fit because they have a quite complete choice of workouts and the main thing is they have a background tracking capability, which ensure i didn’t have to open the app every time just to put a walking activity that i want to know how much the steps covered. As i tend to stay at one app at a time, i opted the latter.

Didn’t know that Nordic people walks in a different way

Even though it didn’t bother me when i am exercising on my own, it becomes a problem when you are doing it together with companions. It is that when we are running together, i am the only one who tracking the activity. Of course, i also want my friends to know how much effort we put in it. Even though they allow sharing activities, Google Fit doesn’t really offer comprehensive sharing that allows my friends to analyze the workout we’ve done. They only included the time elapsed, distance covered, and heart points (what is even heart points man). Also, that the fact that i must do the share manually, quite itching eh.

It didn’t tell the whole story, right?

The next thing that comes back to me is, why didn’t i consider Strava again. They are acknowledged for the huge community, and it is driven by social media type of app specifically for doing workouts. It might be helpful to my friends able to examine their run quite much as I am by using the Strava features. Then there goes the app installed. It is quite dusty here since the last time i used this app. My last activity was nearly two years ago (it is the time where i start doing this stuff).

like the new calendar you got every year, except the clutter

Strava allows a synchronization with Google Fit, the works that you do will appears at Google Fit app too. I’ve done an exercise as a test, and it really shows up on my Fit journal, kudos to Fit. Then i wondered, why won’t the Fit activities show up to my Strava dashboard? It actually takes time for me to realize that they can’t. I surfed the web but there can’t find an evidence that Google Fit can synchronize automatically to Strava. In other words, it is a one-way sync. Strava could send activity to Fit but cannot do the otherwise (Actually Strava do takes the weight and heart rate from your Fit, but not the workouts).

I stressed that the fact my tons of run at fit won’t appears to Strava automatically. Therefore, i can’t let my friends see the exercise we’ve did in the past. There is an alternative actually, Strava allows us to upload activities we done using other hardware such as GPS tracker, fit band, etc. As long as we got the activity file, then it can be uploaded to Strava. Strava mainly uses .gpx file extension and why we should use that extension when uploading will be told later. Then, here we start the steps of exporting the activities (specifically from Google Fit to Strava).

Export Activity using Google Takeout

The first thing we had to have hand to is the activity file. the only way to get Fit activities is from the Google Takeout. This features from Google covers all the service they had offered, so you could also export something else simultaneously with our main objective — Google Fit activities file. As long as you are only wanting to export the Google Fit, then it will be better to select that only. The page by default selected all possible services, deselect them all and point only the Google Fit one.

Selecting all the services will end you up waiting for a huge downloadable file.

Now going specifically to exporting Fit, this section are options for choosing which data to be compiled for download. Our main meal located on Activities content, which will contain the .tcx file we will be using for uploading the activity to Strava. The other three also contain variables of us activities. While it might be useful for other reasons, those three contents will not be used therefore can be exempted. As Google Fit data doesn’t bloat with many big files, I’ll download all at one go for archiving purpose.

We will go for Activities content as we are up for the .tcx formats

Next section is about our download configurations. First, there are delivery methods consisting of E-mail and Drives options. In case you prefer waiting the downloadable at your filled up cloud storage, there are plenty of alternatives (not just Google Drive). But my own way of doing it are all the way through the classic mailing service.

As the second one, Frequency, is not our attention today as we just doing this for the last and only. But you could also set a frequency in case you didn’t mind doing this mess all year round. Last one is the pretty much easy choice, our file type. Whether it is a .zip or .tgz doesn't really matter as both of them come compressed and today archiver able to handle both of those. Our exports will likely be small sized files, so don’t mind about the gigas (well it’s different in case you are using Google Fit for decades and tracking billions of workouts). When you are done, press the blue button to create the export and Google will tell you to wait while they process. When they are done, we will get notified through email with the download link or drive link if you are using drives.

there’s mail

Then there’s that, we’ve done the Exporting section.

Converting activities format from .TCX to .GPX using GOTOES

First, why goes through this clutter and not uploading directly to Strava? well, it is mainly because Strava are recording workouts at their platform as a .gpx file and we want to get through those with some consistencies. While they do accept the .tcx extension, it didn’t end up well when Strava done analyzing the workouts. There will be a lot of separated workouts just for a one activity, especially if you are frequently pausing in Google Fit. Then there was the time elapsed inaccuracy which led up to shorter duration from how it should have been. While you could argue with me as i don’t know exactly why this happened, it could be because of differing in file formats. If you still want to skip this part, then go on. I’ve been there and my Strava becomes a mess, so i came up with this solution.

Workouts that contain location tracking will have a large size compared to others

Assuming you’ve done the downloading and extracting, go to the Activities subfolder. It will list all the workouts you’ve done since the start of time. Point out the fact that all the workouts that don’t contain location tracking will end up with a tiny chunk of size. We will be using the activities with a location tracking for our Strava account.

Easy way to filter it is by acknowledging which workouts have the large size (It will be highly likely to be a GPS-tracked workout, which is what we need). You could also filter by the file name and timestamp if you remember it.

After we’ve done the sorting and choosing which one to upload, we will go straight to GOTOES webpage. It’s online tool which allow combining, editing, and converting activities file such as .tcx and it’s free (consider donating). While it’s true that its main function is to combine activity, it is also useful for us if we only want to convert or fix activity files. Select the Upload button and refer to your previous activity file (.tcx). After done uploading, there will appear an orange header with a link to the editing and downloading page of our converted file. Select it and we will continue to the editing page.

Don’t change the options without knowing what you do.

It’s pretty complex options here, but our main objective has been achieved. This page will convert the .tcx file and now our activity will be in .gpx format when downloaded (default output is .gpx). The tools have already selected the default preferences for us, and it also has a good guide and tooltip for each option. Try experimenting if you will, it is indeed a good tool. After you done with the clutter, slide down and name your output file (optional) then click the big blue button below. I don’t recommend the Send to Strava option as it will end you up in longer wait and much more hassle. There we go our activity file in .gpx format.

Upload activity on Strava desktop

Now that we got our files in hand, time to upload the activity to Strava. Proceed to the Strava webpage and on page header there will be plus icon on the top right. Hover there and click for the Upload Activity option. We will be referred to the uploading page titled Upload and Sync Your Activities. Choose the file we got on previous procedure and upload it. Yes, Strava mentioned that they also accept uploading various file format, but they didn’t say that it will be uploaded properly.

Strava activity upload page.

After we’ve done uploading, it will pretty much like picture above. At this stage we already accomplished our main objective, uploading Google Fit activity to Strava without any trouble, disfigured, and other mess. You can complete the activity details and save it. There we go, that’s how it in long words. I’ll try sum this whole thing below, hope it goes well for you. Feedback will be much appreciated.

Summary

  1. Export Google Fit activity using Google Takeout. LINK
  2. On the downloaded folder, go to activities subfolder which contain .TCX file format.
  3. Identify which file that we will convert (gps-tracked activity file will have distinguishable size among others).

3. Upload the activities to GOTOES online tool. LINK

4. Edit only what you need, and make sure to mark the output file as .GPX format. The rest is optional and not mandatory.

5. Download the activity and then upload it on Strava desktop. LINK

6. Complete the details and save the activity, check whether the actvity uploaded properly on your activity list.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Let’s start again.