I love to use technology. It is what I do for a living and what I do in my personal life. I am a geek in just about everything I do. Gadgets, gadgets, and more gadgets! Running is no different. I need to be able to track my progress and view routes or races, give encouragement, and get feedback. It motivates me! I have also always been into GPS and mapping even before I became a running.
I started using DailyMile a few years ago and loved the social aspect of the site. The DailyMile team is a small team of part-time developers the last time I checked and their site suffers from it. I decided to support the site and pay the $50 a year membership fee a couple of years ago. Not because of the features they offered but just to support their growth. I figured I can’t complain about what the site lacks if I don’t support them. Fast forward two-year and to be honest what you get for the premium account just isn’t worth it any more. The rate at which additional features and functionality get added or even fixed is so slow. Stagnant is a better word for it and to top if off many parts of the site are just too difficult to use. The races feature is one of those features that is borderline unusable. The stats page is just so-so. As anything but a weekly stats option it is frustrated to use.
The best thing about Daily Mile is the social aspect and I have met many of the people who read my blog on DailyMile. But lately since my Garmin 305 battery has dropped down to only 2 hours of life I have had to use the Garmin Fit app to track my runs. It is an automatic upload to the Garmin Connect site and that means Daily Miles is now the bastard son. Most of my runs now get added once a week to DailyMile and this just about kills the social aspect. Don’t even get me started on the issues that DailyMile has had with their sync option. It is better today but for a good year it only worked a third of the time.
Garmin Connect has always been my back up for tracking runs since it lacked the social aspect of Daily Mile. Having had a Garmin device since I started running it is just easy to get the data up to their site. Looking at past data is a breeze and everything is right in front of you for filtering. They recently added a calendar system that is better than what you pay for with DailyMile. Lately I am going to the Garmin site almost exclusively to review run data. Garmin just released a big update and the new site is even better.
The Garmin site does lack the social aspect and that is my biggest complain of using Garmin Connect exclusively. I do follow a few other runners on Garmin Connect but it is only looking at their runs and not interaction at all.
Now enter Strava. I fist heard of Strava a couple of years ago when found a Gu challenge online. You ran some distance over a month period and Gu would send you a pack of Gu samples. The package was better the farther that you ran. That was why I created a Strava account. After the promotion was over I never really paid much attention to their site. But I have to stay the Gu promotion was great!
After my frustration with Daily Mile the past few weeks I happen to check out Strava again via their iPhone app a few weeks ago. The design of the app and their website is fantastic and very easy to use. The social option seems to be much better than Garmin Connect but I don’t know anyone that uses Strava right now. If you are on Strava find me please!
The big question mark for me with Strava is how to sync past data. I wanted to export all my Garmin runs and import them to their site to test their stats page out. After a little digging I finally found the answer to the export problem. Tapiriik.com worked flawlessly for me last night. I moved 2-3 years of runs and bike ride in about 20 minutes with a few clicks. It support a lot of other sites when transferring data.
Now that I have all my data on Strava I am finding that to really use the full features of the site you need to pay for their premium site. Right now I am debating if I cancel my DailyMile premium account and move that over to Strava.
I am having a new running watch delivered today. Another Garmin watch so Garmin Connect is here to stay. I am struggling with how to get the social fix since Garmin just doesn’t cut it. So my question for my visitors is what site do you use? Maybe I am too narcissistic and you don’t need that feedback as much as I do. Maybe this has to do with the fact that train alone. I don’t know. Either way I am frustrated right now with the technology, tracking data, and the social aspect of it all.