Working with .FIT and other files - give us your feedback!

There are a number of different file types out there for training and analyzing your data. Among them, some of the usual suspects include .FIT, .TCX, .ERG, .ZWO, .GPX, .MRC, and probably more that I’m not thinking of at the moment.

How do you use these files?

Are they easy to work with, or are there hurdles that makes them difficult to use within your preferred platform(s) or apps?

I enjoy using as the central place for all my data, including using the workout builder. It has the option to import/export ZWO, MRC and ERG formats, which makes converting from one format to another very easy. I know David said he is working on FIT file uploads, so that would complete the list of the files I use, and that my friends/athletes use.

I’m not a subscriber to TrainingPeaks, nor Today’s Plan, which means I can’t get a FIT file onto my had unit (Lezyne) unless I manually recreate it in the free version of TrainingPeaks. Not too difficult, but does take a bit of time and I can’t load beyond tomorrow on the free version. At least I get to visualise the workout while building it, so it’s fresh in my mind when doing the workout.

I am still using WKO4, so all files have to be manually uploaded (all in FIT format from my Garmin and Lezyne). Not difficult, just a schlep since the integration for WKO4 no longer works.

For interval creation:
In the days of computrainer I would work with erg files for workouts. They were relatively easy to create/modify in a text editor once you got used to them. However there were helpful websites that allowed you to create erg files using an easy user interface.

These days I do my intervals on Zwift so I use .zwo files. At first I edited them in a text editor as they are ‘fairly’ straightforward. But currently I do all file creation/modification in the zwift program itself.

For analysis I use WKO5 which syncs automatically with Strava, so I don’t have to mess with the fit file from my Wahoo Roam.

The only work I do with GRX files is to create/share routes. I find the free version of ridewithgps is very good at route creation (Strava is a bit glitchy). Typically I’ll export the GPX file from ridewithgps and import into Strava if I need to share the route as Strava is very good for sharing. Strava is also great for getting the routes to my Wahoo Roam.

For me, the only file type I even somewhat directly work with is .TCX, and that is only when I export a route from RideWithGPS to put on my Garmin Edge 820.

My workflows:

  • Indoor / Most Training Rides: I use TrainerRoad, which pushes the completed .FIT file to Strava, Garmin Connect. And then Strava pushes this file to TrainingPeaks. For me, this just works and all of these platforms correctly read the .FIT file that TrainerRoad produces
  • Outdoor Rides: I record on my Garmin Edge 820 which uploads to Garmin Connect. And then from Garmin Connect, the .FIT file gets pushed to Strava, TrainingPeaks, & TrainerRoad. Again, this works seamlessly without any work on my part
  • Analysis: I use Golden Cheetah, which pulls completed .FIT files from Strava. This works, without me touching the .FIT file
  • Routes I create: currently I’m using RideWithGPS to create routes. I export these as .TCX files, and then manually load them onto my Garmin Edge 820 to use. This works.
  • Routes I get from other places: I try and get routes (e.g., from races / events / etc.) as .TCX files, as this file format seems to play best with my Garmin Edge 820.

Long detail on: basically for me / my workflow, I don’t see any problems currently with the file formats I commonly use for cycling.

I use the Sport Coach app for Android. It takes CSV files created using Excel (xlsx) for complex intervals. The simple ones I simply create in the app.
It allows me to export sessions and key facts in CSV format to process in any way I want.
I also like that I don’t need anything else but a heart rate monitor and ear buts during the training as instruction are spoken.

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It seems like I’ve been using .fit and .tcx recently and using .gpx less frequently. On a rare occasion I will download a .csv file to look at only when the uploaded data analysis looks scrambled.

I mostly use trainingpeaks, and that relays the file to my head unit or zwift. Since we cant import a blank file into TP, it would help if the workout was written out in text along with whats currently given so I can build the workout in TP without having to import it into something else, then dissect . Maybe just include a screenshot of the detail in the workout builder in the zip file?

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