Fitness apps: For athletes who are willing to change

WIf he regularly records one workout after the other with his sports watch, he will quickly learn to appreciate the analytics of the major providers. In the app or in the web browser you can see your best times, come across long-term developments or be amazed at the performance of friends with whom you have connected virtually. In this way, you are tied to the ecosystem of the respective provider, and that is what you want. If all fitness data is stored in the cloud of the respective manufacturer, the change is difficult.

If you still want one, for example from Garmin to Polar or from Fitbit to Strava, you do not lose your own data. Because thanks to Article 20 of the European General Data Protection Regulation there is “data portability” with the right to receive one’s own data in a “structured, common and machine-readable format”. Wonderful. But mostly you can only export the data, but not upload it to the new service and import it there.

In order to get around this annoying restriction, a number of apps help with the transition from one sports world to the other. SyncMyTracks is available for the Google operating system and can be tried out for free. Then a maximum of 40 of the latest trainings will be copied from one service to another. The full version for three euros does not have this limitation, you can have all activities or those of a freely selectable period of time. The basic information is transmitted without any problems, but the problem lies in the detail. Be it that the sports are called differently in the new service, or that calorie calculations and other statistical evaluations are incorrect. So you have to go to work carefully and don’t expect everything to work perfectly right away.

Several small details did not come with me

In the Apple world, we tried Run Gap, which offers similar functionality, but only works fully if you take out a subscription that costs 4.50 euros for three months. After that, the imported data can be passed on to a few dozen sports services. The in-house Apple Health can also be addressed. When running, the app took over the route including the map, the heart rate display, the pace, the step frequency and the altitude profile of the route. The basic data was also perfectly adopted for cycling. However, a number of small details did not come with the move. This is not surprising either, because the manufacturers of sports watches distill their exclusive content from the raw data, such as information on performance, the calculation of maximum oxygen uptake and other things. Nobody wants to publish their formulas, according to which the athlete’s training condition, recommendations, indications and other parameters are calculated.



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