Strava v.s. DailyMile v.s. Garmin Connect

Posted by on March 29, 2014

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.

dailymileI 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 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.

strava_logoNow 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. 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.

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 12.02.51 AM

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.

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10 Responses to Strava v.s. DailyMile v.s. Garmin Connect

  1. mark Agcaoili

    Welcome to Strava!! It will be fun to see you progress this year with mileage and intensity as you prepare for your races this season.

  2. Brent

    I’ve been struggling with the same thing this year as I have been using all three sites. I really like a lot of features on Strava, although I do prefer DailyMile for entering workouts manually when I use a treadmill. Lately, those runs just haven’t made it on Strava.

    I also started using to automatically add new workouts that I post on Garmin Connect to Strava. There is a little lag, but I find they are always on Strava within a day, usually within a few hours. The challenges and segments on Strava are fun as long as you don’t let them dictate your workouts. I haven’t really connected with the Strava community yet, but that’s on me. I can’t speak to the premium membership, but I would be interested to know how you like it if you sign up. They were recently offering a free trial that I’m kicking myself for not trying.

    • Ed

      Brent, I couldn’t get the copy my sports to work on a regular basis. It seemed to work the first time then nothing after that.

  3. Sadye

    I’m DailyMile-only. I use MapMyRun to record my runs while I’m out, but just out of basic personal-safety concern, I don’t find “friends” on it.

  4. Fred

    I enjoyed your post. I’ve been on DailyMile for several years and have also started looking at other options. It seems like the DM has basically been the same for a couple of years and as you mentioned a lot of the features don’t work well. The only thing that has kept me there is the social interaction but even that has started to fade. I may try Strava if I can recruit a few of my regular DM friends who keep me motivated. If I do I’ll look for you!

  5. Jake

    Ed, we met on DM I believe. I also dropped the DM pro (after getting for the same reason). I have set a Strava account, although there are a few things I REALLY don’t like about it.

    What I do like is the auto sync to Garmin, which at this point I can’t get DM to sync to it after trying everything I can think of.

    What I don’t like:
    – A total pain to enter a manual workout… which I have to do a lot since I don’t use my watch that often when in a gym or hotel gym. Why do I need to enter 00:42:00 instead of just a field where I can put in 42. Same with the time.
    – Also, when I enter a workout, I have to then edit it again to add the description…
    -The android app is rather confusing, IMO.
    -The simple changes to the screen would make it a lot easier to add a workout… or I guess I may just need to enter everything at garmin connect and just skip Strava… time will tell, but it is sad that DM is just sitting there with nothing happening.

    That said, since I can’t spend more time on DM and nothing has changed there in years… no sense in continuing that.

    What I would love to see in an app is one that I can choose what I want to display as the “primary measurement” I would use minutes, not miles for example..

    Thanks for the post!

  6. Phil

    Hi Ed

    I found the graphing and analysis capabilities of Garmin Connect and Strava somewhat lacking from a training point of view. (The social aspect is great, though.) I wrote my own website to analyze my running data in ways that were meaningful to me and my friends in my local running club. It’s free. I welcome you and your readers to check it out and give me your feedback.

    Some features:
    You can zoom in on a portion of your data and the graph will rescale. (That’s one way to get rid of your 35 min/mile pace spike from waiting for a traffic light.)
    It will automatically find your ave pace, heart rate, and cadence — from the portion of the graph that’s displayed. So if you zoom in on the segment from mile 2.5 to 2.75 you’ll find your local averages
    You can select the amount of data smoothing.
    You can see your splits by mile, 1/2 , or 1/4 mile.
    It will automatically figure your pace zones and then figure how much time you spent in each zone
    It will calculate pace, heart rate, or cadence versus grade. You can use those graphs to see if you are running constant effort or constant speed
    Plus more…


  7. Aurelio Soares

    Your post summarized all my feelings about the way DailyMile was going.
    I’ve just decided to drop it and migrate to Strava, mostly based on your review. I will upload all my activities since december 2014 to it and see how it goes.

    See you there !

  8. Aaron

    If you’re looking to dive deeper into analysis and performance metrics, you really should check out SportTracks. It fully integrates with Garmin, and offers a lot more than Strava.

    You can sign up for a free trial on their website.