GPS manufacturer Garmin and popular online training service TrainingPeaks have announced a partnership designed to seamlessly integrate users’ Garmin Connect and TrainingPeaks accounts.
Users of Garmin Connect, Garmin’s online workout logging and sharing community, who also use TrainingPeaks training software will now be able to upload to their workouts wirelessly through the Garmin Connect application. Workouts uploaded to the Garmin Connect site will be allowed to migrate automatically into a user’s TrainingPeaks account.
The update will live within the Garmin Connect site, and will most directly help riders using Bluetooth-enabled Garmin headunits such as the Edge 510, 810, and 1000. Those users can set up auto-upload with their phones, sending workouts to both Garmin Connect and TrainingPeaks with just a single click of a button.
Linking the two accounts is simple, and should take less than 30 seconds for users who already have a Garmin Connect account. The connection needs to be approved on both the TrainingPeaks and Garmin Connect websites.
At the end of every ride, riders can quickly upload the ride from a Garmin headunit to Garmin Connect, either wirelessly via the company’s iOS or Android App or via a cable plugged into your computer, and Garmin Connect will push the workout onto the TrainingPeaks calendar within seconds.
The other side of the story
Garmin’s Collaboration with TrainingPeaks is excellent news for users. Moving data between the two services just got significantly easier. But the technology in the background is changing as well.
Historically, Garmin has been quite keen to share its API, the information required for this sort of collaboration, with third parties. It had an open API until earlier this year. That policy appears to have changed; Garmin will now continue to seek partnerships with third-party training applications, but its API is not open, as it was before. A formal partnership now needs to be established with Garmin before a third-party developer can collaborate with the GPS giant. That partnership will set app developers back $5,000, according to Ray Maker of the excellent DC Rainmaker blog. (For a detailed look at this change, check out Maker’s Counterpoint to Autosync post.)
The TrainingPeaks collaboration marks the first time Garmin has allowed users to more easily upload to another highly popular cycling training website, dramatically improving the experience for users who utilize both services. But closing off its API to smaller developers, by making access prohibitively expensive, is a bit concerning. Of course, we don’t expect a partnership between Garmin and its primary online-logging competition, Strava, anytime in the near future.
Open sharing of API is nothing new for much of the industry, of course. Strava is quite open with parts of its own API (though it, too, has occasionally made changes that altered the way in which third-party applications interact with the site), and the Wahoo Fitness app — a free phone based training application — uploads to popular training sites and has been for some time. The Wahoo App can track Bluetooth devices, such as the Wahoo or Pear heart rate monitors, Wahoo’s Blue SC Speed and Cadence Sensor, the Rflkt head unit, and Bluetooth power meters, such as the Stages Power Meter. Wahoo will push workouts to TrainingPeaks, Strava, Garmin Connect as well as eight other training websites.
Garmin is seeking to build a suite of apps around its Garmin Connect service, but wants tighter control over that suite. This is not surprising. Whether it ends up being a net positive for end consumers is still up for debate. Given the effective and simple collaboration with TrainingPeaks, we have high hopes.