​Fitbit and Strava explained: How to sync your workouts and fitness data

Get these two fitness behemoths working together for your workouts

Strava is a favourite here on the Wareable team and it's become a must-have app for runners and cyclists alike. As a resource for tracking, comparing, studying and challenging yourself it's an essential fitness app, and brands like Fitbit and Garmin have had to open up to Strava.

Fitbit now supports two-way integration with Strava. That means that when you head out running with your fitness tracker the session will appear within your Strava workouts, and you can check how many records you smashed on your weekly route.

Essential reading: Fitbit Charge 2 review

But perhaps even better, if you go on a Strava workout your steps and calories will count into Fitbit's daily goals. If you've ever been frustrated by burning a thousand calories running but not getting the credit on your Fitbit, this is the answer.

Follow these steps for connecting Fitbit and Strava together, and getting your fitness data working between the two.

How to connect Fitbit to Strava

Fitbit and Strava explained: How to sync your workouts and fitness data

1. Link them up

You can fiddle around in the dashboards of both devices, but the easiest way is to head to the dedicated page and click the connect button.

2. Log into Strava

You'll be prompted to log into your Strava account. Type in your details here, or choose to login via Facebook and Google.

3. Authorise

You'll then need to authorise Strava to connect to your Fitbit account. Once that's done you'll get a reminder of the types of data that will be shared.

You can only have GPS-tracked activities sync from Fitbit to Strava. Firstly, that means that walks and general daily activity won't appear within Strava, nor will gym sessions, for example. It has to be a run or cycle. It also means that you'll either need to use a Fitbit Surge or a connected GPS-tracked activity on Fitbit Charge 2 or Fitbit Blaze.

Manually share workouts with Strava

Historic activity also won't be uploaded automatically, so if you've got a big run logged in your Fitbit account then tough luck. But not so fast: you can export runs from your Fitbit web dashboard and load them into Strava.

Fitbit and Strava explained: How to sync your workouts and fitness data

1. Log into Fitbit

Log into your Fitbit dashboard and click Activities from the list. You might need to trawl a little bit as every single walking workout is recorded here – which typifies a reason why Fitbit users might want to use Strava in the first place.

2. View a workout

In your Activity History, find a workout you want to export and click the View Detailsbutton, which reveals the full summary of your workout.

3. Export

In the upper right corner are three dots. Click these and choose to Export as TCX file from the resulting menu.

4. Head to Strava

Head to the Strava dashboard, log in and head to the plus button in the top right. Click and choose Upload Activity and then choose File from the menu on the left.

5. Load your TCX file

Click browse and upload the TCX file you just extracted from the Fitbit site – probably in your downloads folder. The run will then be loaded into your Strava stream.

These are the main ways in which the Strava and Fitbit apps work together. We'll be exploring more ways to deal with and extract data in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for those.

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