Garmin Auto-Sync is live

After 4 weeks of testing, we’re happy to announce that the Garmin Auto-Sync is ready! We could not have done this without your help. We’d like to thank all of our users who helped out through our Garmin fund drive, and to everyone who put up with failed imports, weird data, and writing detailed bug reports to help us bring Garmin Auto-Sync out of beta.

As of today, all Garmin users who are currently Pro, or have ever had a Smashrun Pro account, will be able to connect to Garmin Auto-Sync. To enable it, just visit your settings sync page, scroll down to the Garmin Auto-Sync section and connect. Note that you should disable any pop-up blockers before trying to connect.

Once connected, Garmin will automatically push your next new run to Smashrun. It’s a good idea to disconnect or adjust your settings for 3rd party sync services such as FitnessSyncer, RunGap and, especially, Tapiriik. It can get messy when runs are pushed from two directions.


Nike API Issues

Yesterday there were some changes made to the Nike API that prevent us from syncing Nike runs to Smashrun. We’re looking into a resolution and will keep you posted.

We’ve reached out to the people at Nike’s API partner program. The program has been closed for some time, but we’re hoping that they might make an exception. We’re waiting on their response now.

Nike import is BACK UP. Still unofficial, but it’s working.


Garmin password reset

Yesterday Garmin invalidated the passwords of many users of Garmin Connect. If you’re having trouble syncing you’ll need to first login to Garmin Connect. Once there, you’ll be prompted to reset your password. After that go back to Smashrun and update your password on the Settings -> Sync page. You should then be able to sync without issue.

Note: If you’re logged in on Garmin Connect’s site already, you may need to logout and login again to receive their reset your password prompt.


FBI Badges


We got bored working on the demographic ranks and waiting for Garmin to take our (your) money, so this weekend we decided to create some cool new badges. Since there’s absolutely no cooler badge than an FBI Special Agent badge, that’s exactly what we made.

Every year FBI agents need to meet minimum fitness requirements to pass their annual physical. This includes a 1.5 mile run within an age/sex graded pace. The minimum requirements to pass are fairly reasonable for most experienced runners, but to really excel they’re pretty challenging. So we’ve created 2 new Smashrun PRO badges. The Special Agent Badge – meet the minimum requirement for an FBI Agent, and the Super Agent Badge – score within the top 5% of all FBI agents. Good luck!


Garmin update

We’re still waiting for Garmin to sign off on our API request, but as soon as they do we’ll push it out to our beta testers. If you’re a pro user and want to help beta test the new API just shoot us an email.

Upside: Early access and helping the cause.
Downside: Potential failed imports and writing detailed bug reports.


Need a new running app?

If you’re in the market for a new running app (as I suspect many of you are) we’ve just gotten word that iSmoothRun has slashed its price by a whopping 60% for the next couple days. So for $1.99 you can get a rock solid app that exports directly to Smashrun, Dropbox, and a ton of other running sites.


Smashrun API Integration Bounty

When we started Smashrun we thought data viz + badges + running = awesome. But what we didn’t know then, was that we’d literally spend 80% of our time building a data aggregation platform against a quicksand of constantly changing API’s. Or that we’d be begging, buying and pleading our way just to be allowed access to any data in the first place. The remaining 20% of the work we’ve done has resulted in everything most people think of as Smashrun. It’s insanity. When you record a run, it should be just like taking a picture. You should own the finished product and you should be able to post it to any site you want.

So here’s the deal. We want life to be easier for our users. We want you to have great data. We want you to able to use any website or app you want without worrying about how it’s going to mess up your training history. So we’re offering a bounty to any app that integrates with Smashrun.

We have a great API. Its design is the product of learning from the work we’ve done with dozens of other fitness API’s. It favors data quality, simplicity, efficiency, and robustness — in that order. It’s vanilla OAuth. Some developers have built an integration with it in less than a day, and we’ve got tools to make debugging easier.

  • Integrate with our API and send data smoothly and seamlessly immediately after a user finishes their run.
  • Provide high quality data that users can use to analyze their run:
    • Send the data in JSON format
    • Encode pauses and laps
    • No resampling!
    • Include HR, Cadence and other details if you have them available
  • We’ll feature your app, so that our users can discover it.
  • Agree to our super straight forward terms of service.
  • You can send data to any other sites you want, the more export options the better for everyone.
We’ll pay $5/yr for every Smashrun Pro user who uses the app integration.

Note: People may use many different apps, so see full terms.

This is, naturally, subject to approval and applies only to mobile apps and hardware devices, not fitness syncers – you must be the originator of the data.

So please spread the word!

Please tell your favorite apps or, if you’re a developer, maybe now’s a great time to build your own.

Apply for access to the Smashrun API and let us know if you’re interested in the app integration bounty.

We’ve finished the initial development of the new Garmin API Autosync integration. We’ll begin a very short beta period after Garmin flips the switch next week, following which we’ll roll it out to all pro users.


Nike Run Club sync issue

It appears that the runs from the new Nike Run Club app aren’t made available through the Nike API. Right now, we’re not sure what we can do to get them. Either they’re there, or they’re not. This is frustrating to say the least. Between the recent changes to the Nike website and the new changes to the app we’re hearing a lot of negative feedback, and I’m not sure what the fallout will be. If anyone uses any apps that successfully get data from the new app, please give us a heads up. Right now, it looks like every app we know of that uses Nike data is broken…


Sale / Fund drive / Garmin Auto-Sync

Help! My paws can't reach the sync button.


The response from everyone has been truly astounding. We’ve already hit our goal, so we’re dropping the donate button – we’re really blown away by the support we received. We’ll keep the sale running to give everyone a chance. Thank you to everyone. We’re super excited to make this a reality.

One last thing. We added FIT support yesterday (mouse over gear in upper right and select import file). This is a prerequisite for the new Garmin API, so if you get a chance to import a test run or two it’d be great to get some feedback/bug reports. For most watches, a FIT file is used to represent the raw data as recorded by the watch, so it’s almost always going to be the best format to import.


Lately we’ve been spending a great deal of time working around Garmin synchronization issues. We sync with Garmin Connect, but we’re not an official Garmin API partner. Official partners pay $5,000 to get files pushed directly from Garmin watches. Thus far, we’ve resisted this route both out of principle and shallow pockets.  But it’s become clear that we’re not in a position to do so much longer. The method we’re currently using has gotten increasingly buggy recently, and it threatens to disappear entirely. We’re going to need to suck it up and make a change.

We’re not a big funded startup. We’re just Jacklyn, Chris and Steve, and we could use your help getting the cash together. So, from now until we raise the needed funds, we’re going to slash the price of Smashrun Pro by 25%. If you’ve thought about buying a Pro Membership for yourself or someone else, then now is a great time. Once we connect to the official Garmin API, Smashrun Pro users will never have to click the sync button again. And, of course, when/if/probably Garmin removes their “unofficial” API, we’ll enable auto-sync for all users.

A few other items:

  • You can now  import FIT files.  It’s beta, not yet rigorously tested, so if you encounter any problems at all, email us the file and we’ll sort it out.
  • The latest version of Garmin Express appears to not be sending duration to Garmin Connect, you’ll notice that your speed graph is missing on Garmin Connect, and since we’re downstream it’s affecting us as well. This resulted in some messed up Garmin imports. We’ve just put a workaround in place, so that we’re using the time of day instead and so far that seems ok. If you’ve had some runs affected this week, you can fix it by importing the TCX file, or shooting us a quick email with a link to the run and we’ll fix it.
  • If you’re a new user from Nike then you may have been affected by a bug that has prevented many older runs from being imported. We just put a fix in place but, to get your older runs, you’re going to have to do a full reimport. If and only if you’re missing runs, you can do an emergency full reimport by setting a far past minimum import date, and then clicking the Nike sync button 3 times,  one after the other. The 3rd time will trigger a full reimport.
  • If you’ve got your user profile set to Private, you can now share your badges and run stats on Facebook. We generate a url with a unique key which unlocks either the badge or stats page, and share that.

UPDATE: Some people asked for a Donate button, so we added one below. (You guys are awesome!)

(We hit the goal, and removed the donate button I can’t believe how quickly and how generously this was received. Excited to start hacking away and building!)

Demographic ranks update

Demographic Ranks

In the past few weeks, we received over 200 unique suggestions for demographic ranks. They ranged from “3 kids, 2 cars, and a house” to “Borderline Alcoholics” (actually, likely some significant overlap there). If there’s one thing that quickly became clear from this whole exercise, it’s that the ability to create groups is far more interesting than “demographic ranks.” A lot of the suggestions would make awesome groups, but kind of so-so demographic filters (we’re looking at you, Disco Runners). So, the crowd has spoken and been heard, and we’ll plan to add groups to our development timeline.

Nevertheless, demographic ranks is what we promised, and so that’s what we’re working on. The next step is to pare down the list, since a rank needs at least 100 people onboard in order for it function.

To do this, we merged any duplicates and similar suggestions, and we dropped demographics that had less than 10 members. You can imagine that this was a long, drawn-out, and somewhat painful process for us, because who’s to say that “Soft and Sporadic” and “Middle-Aged Beergut Ultra” wouldn’t make good demographics?

If the demographic you chose has been merged with another or dropped because it didn’t have enough votes, you’ll be prompted to choose again. Note that we will keep the traditional demographic categories including: “Everyone”, M/W, M/W < 30, M/W >30, M/W >40, M/W >50, M/W >=60. The custom demographics that resulted from the merge and cut are (drum roll please):

Runners with kids
Desk jobbers
Marathon Training
Just for fun
Trail Runners
Ultra-Distance Runners
Couch to 5k’ers
Overcoming Chronic Disease

A few notes:

  • If enough women hop into any of these groups to carve out a separate group, we’ll break it up.
  • Redditors is a weird demographic. We know. And yes, it flies in the face of pretty much everything we just said about distinguishing groups from demographics but, the thing is, there’s just so many of you. You need a home on Smashrun somewhere so, for now, the ranks it’ll have to be.