I run to be free
Tutorial: Sync Running Communities: Nike+, miCoach, Runkeeper, Garmin | iPhone

One thing most runners really do love is taking track of their activies. There are a lot of different communities and tools around and the common case is that you have to decide which one you’re on board with. No big deal at all, but in general running communites have the aim to motivate by comparing with your friends which might cause two problems for high-tech runners.

First is your friends might use different communities due to chosen hardware or pricing for apps or just for starting with something and dont want to stop it. Other thing is if you decide for one of your friends communities and find it does not give you the features you want, you might consider to switch but of course, on the other hand, dont want to lose the social aspect. I might soon make a post about the advantages and disadvantages of the different communites, but you can find a lot on google and maybe you already have found out yourself. 

I started running with nike+, like in my opinion most people do cause of the big community and the concern’s high reputation. The Nike shoe sensor and also the Nike GPS app do a good job tracking your runs. At some point i wanted to go further using heart rate sensors for training and, sadly nike+ supports that only for ipod nano, sportsband and the sportswatch - but not for the iphone. As i didnt want to go without gps or buy a 200 dollar (+50 dollar heart rate) sportswatch with the need of having another device for music i started to look for alternatives on the iphone.

I first ended up with Runkeeper which is indeed a good app, too. A good thing i found out was that theres a tool which can import your runs from nike+ to Runkeeper. Nice. Runkeeper also supports some gadgets like integration of Withings Scale and, most important to me, heart rate monitoring. HRM can be done with the Wahoo Fitness Run Pack which is still 120$. Too much, in my opinion.

Search went on and i discovered adidas miCoach. For a long time it hasnt been an alternative for me as you needed the miCoach Pacer and also a shoe sensor with not having gps and a high price as well. But times have changed and adidas came up with a GPS-based iphone app and latest with the so called miCoach Connect which enables your iPhone to use the miCoach heart rate monitor and optional the shoe sensor for more statistics. Another big plus is that you have training courses within the app and you run to zones, either speed or heart rate which gives overall a great training experience in my opinion. So yep, as you might have realized miCoach is the boat I’m in at the moment.What you prefer is of course up to you. A big advantage of using miCoach is what i want to show in this tutorial. Syncing your runs with other communites and having the big advantages of heart rate monitoring and zone based training.

So, enough for now, let’s see how we can do that.

First of all you need the miCoach App from the app store. You can get it here for free. Register an account, set up training, all as usual if you haven’t already. For having the best experience get the miCoach Connect, but you can try without first (see notes concerning nike+ later).

After doing your run, you sync it within the app with the micoach page, all as usual as well.

To sync the run with other communities, we will need to export it. The website runningfreeonline.com will do the the job for us. Register, make your preferences, also check your privacy settings.

What comes next has to be done for every single run:

Being logged in on the page, click + Add and chose Adidas miCoach. Log in with your miCoach account and password (only once). Then click “Go miCoach” and you will see your miCoach runs. Select the One you want to export and click “Collect”. On the next screen click “Save all”. Next Screen is Share. Click on the link after “Link to this activity using (your link)”. In the menu select “tools” and afterwards “Get Activity TCX file”. A file will be downloaded to your computer. We’re done with runningfreeonline at this point.

a) If you have no heart rate monitor and miCoach Connect you can simply import that run with this tool:


Select Garmin tcx and select the file you just downloaded. Login with your nike+ account and click “Convert and upload”. The run will be uploaded to nike+ but without having heart rate (as we didnt use it) and WITHOUT GPS. To avoid this we use a little workaround in Version b) (The one with miCoach Connect and HRM)

b) Make an account at connect.garmin.com if you havent already. Right on top select upload and manualy upload the tcx file we downloaded before. then check the activity.. in your browser you can see some adress like http://connect.garmin.com/activity/123456789#.

copy the “123456789” part and go to http://awsmithson.com/tcx2nikeplus/ select Garmin Activity id and post it there. Also make sure “Include GPS” is enabled. Login with your nike+ account and click “Convert and upload”.  Now you should have your run with GPS and heart rate on your nike+ profile, a feature even the Nike iPhone app doesnt give you.

For some wierd reason this step doesnt work if u didnt use the miCoach Connect with heart rate monitor. So u will have to use the step mentioned before (a) without the gps map, sadly (or get the miCoach Connect)

To complete the tutorial, you can also use the tcx file we created to import your run to runkeeper. Just visit runkeeper.com and click post new activity. Click next and select again the tcx we downloaded in the beginning and save your run.

What i have to mention is that the starting time of your run might differ by some hours, but i guess you can live with that, or correct it on some of the pages at least.

If you have problems or questions just leave a comment.

Btw: I am using this myself and it works fine for me. If there’s anything going wrong with your data and things get messed up remember you do this at your own risk.

  1. iruntobefree posted this