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I don't think I'm giving you any news. If you are a Garmin user you will have already noticed that your watch or bike computer is not syncing your workout through the phone or even with the data cable. Or if you've been on social media for sure you've seen it at some point.
It all started yesterday morning. Something that just seemed like a fall or unscheduled maintenance.
Cuando alguien tropieza con el cable del enchufe… pic.twitter.com/kHsRxShMpU
— Eduardo correrunamaraton.com (@Correr1Maraton) July 23, 2020
It can happen in the best families, and in fact has already happened before. But as hours went by and the state of the entire Garmin ecosystem continued to fall, the thing seemed to be getting serious.
Throughout the afternoon rumors began to arrive, both from Taiwan (where Garmin has its factory) and from Kansas (where its headquarters are located).
— Eduardo correrunamaraton.com (@Correr1Maraton) July 23, 2020
In the absence of official confirmation from Garmin, they appear to have been the target of a Ramsonware attack that has killed all their systems.
But it's not just Garmin Connect what doesn't work, it's EVERYTHING. Call centers don't work, they don't have access to chats or emails.
How long can it be until Garmin Connect is up again?
Well, it's totally indeterminate, but we're probably talking about several days. Garmin will have plenty of backups of all its servers, but now they need to scan all of them very carefully to verify that the virus is not on them and is reactivated when the server is recovered.
But don't panic, because luckily we have the possibility to get the data of our workouts through the data cable as I will explain below. Once you have the workout file you can upload it to other platforms like Strava, because as you know... if it's not on Strava, it hasn't happened. So do not use this as an excuse not to train, because you can do it perfectly!
How to sync workouts when Garmin Connect doesn't work
For the duration of this period and until Garmin reestablishes full service, you can continue to use your GPS watch or bike computer for your workouts. You record the activity as before, and in that sense you don't have to worry.
Once you're done, you have two options. You can be patient and wait for Garmin Connect to recover, at which point all your workouts will sync and appear on the platform. That you're a craving and can't wait? You can extract the workout file from your device's memory and then upload it to any other platform. Here's the procedure:
- Connect the device to the computer using the data cable. Yes, that cable that until now you used only to charge, also allows you to sync your device. You can close Garmin Express, because we won't use it (mainly because it can't connect).
- Once connected to the computer and depending on the device, we will have to operate one way or another.
Devices that do not support music playback
For watches without music or bike computers, you can access memory directly as if it were a flash drive, regardless of the operating system you are using. Both Windows and Mac will behave the same.
Devices with music playback
This case is different, since these watches when connected to the computer behave like an MTP device. In the case of Windows that means that we will have two hard drives, one for the file system and one for the music. It also does not presents any issue. However on Mac you will have to install another program, since the operating system is not able to operate with MTP drives. How can I access the memory then? With the help of Android File Transfer.
- Well, you already have access to the device's memory. Where are your workouts? In this folder:
Inside this folder you will find all your workout FIT files, both those of these days and the previous ones. Identifying the one you need is very easy because the name of the file is the start date and time of the activity.
For example, the one I needed to extract now is called “2020-07-24-06-35-45.fit”. That is, the training I started at 6:35 on July 24. Copy it to your computer in the location you want (desktop, downloads, etc.) and you're done.
- And now that you have the file on your computer, you can send it wherever you want. For example TrainingPeaks, dragging the file to the calendar
Or upload it to Strava
That's all, you'll be able to review your workouts even without having to wait for Garmin Connect to return from the grave. When that happens, the workouts will be synchronized with Garmin Connect as they have always done and from there they will continue their usual route, sending them to the rest of the platforms.
Strava identifies that you have already uploaded that file, so it won't be duplicated. However, there are other platforms that don't, such as TrainingPeaks, so you'll need to check when Garmin Connect is operational again.
However, if you don't want to be aware of that and only use the external platform, you can delete the file from the memory after passing it to the computer, so you make sure it doesn't sync later.
How to sync routes without Garmin Connect
The workouts done are not the only thing to take into account. What if you planned to navigate a route on the weekend and haven't uploaded it to the device yet? Don't worry, because you can also do it even if Garmin Connect doesn't work.
To do this, you simply need a FIT or GPX file from the route. You can download it from Wikiloc or from the platform you use. What if you wanted to “draw” it from Garmin Connect? You can use any other platform, such as RideWithGPS.
Once you've downloaded the route to your computer, you'll need to pass it to the memory of your watch or device. Where? Just upload it to GARMIN/NewFiles folder.
That folder is for everything. You can put any file and, after disconnecting the cable and restarting the device, it will be placed in the folder that corresponds to it. So after the device is turned on, you will already have your route loaded so you can navigate it.
How to sync interval workouts without Garmin Connect
You didn't have any route planed, but your coach had programmed an interval workout in TrainingPeaks? Well, it's the same as with the routes.
You can download the training file in TrainingPeaks. Open the workout and where you have the intervals you will find a download button.
When you click on it you will see the option to download the FIT file.
Same procedure as before, you put the file you downloaded into the Garmin/NewFiles folder and when you disconnect it, it will be placed in the corresponding folder and, on your device, you will find it in the workouts menu.
As you can see, working with Garmin devices is very easy even if Garmin Connect doesn't work. It is an advantage that they offer, as other brands depend only and exclusively on the cloud, and in a case like this in Polar or Suunto we would have no way around (in Wahoo we could work in a similar way).
I hope this little guide helped you go though this difficult days... Thanks for reading!