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How To: Auto-sync / mass upload all old GPS files via any service to Strava


How To: Auto-sync / mass upload all old GPS files via any service to Strava

For far too long I've desired to amalgamate all my old run data onto Strava, but the task seemed far too large to tackle during race directing season. With the series finale of the Coast Mountain Trail Series in the books as of October 10th I am finally able to focus a bit of energy towards other projects, and this was near the top of my list. 

I started on the onerous path of downloading and uploading a single file at a time. It was taking me approximately a minute per file or thirty minutes per month of archived training. I set in on a tackling two months per night at the end of my day, and after two days I finally stepped back and said out loud "there has to be a better f-ing way than this."

Of course there was a better way and a simple google search will answer this for you, as it did for me. I am not here to tell you anything more than is already posted on the ole interwebs, rather I'm going to briefly describe how GD easy it was for me to accomplish this once I landed on the service that seemed the easiest and cheapest to use. 

Tapiriik at

There's a donation button that starts at $5. Apparently you can contribute as little as $2 but I figured if this thing actually worked that $5 was a near theft on my part. 

You simply login each of your respective accounts, hit sync and voila! Done and done! In my case I had over 800 files on my old Garminconnect account that I wished to upload to Strava. You can choose to sync in any direction, between 13 different service providers, or basically every service but Movescount (insert sad face). No biggie though, all my data was synced in a matter of hours.

Quick tip: Most of my Garminconnect files were listed as private, so they initially wouldn't sync. I scrolled through over 800 files to change the setting from private to public and then it synced instantly. Of course immediately after accomplishing this I hovered over the Garmin box to see a settings button appear. Clicking on this button allows you to mass select "sync all private files too". Damn. Oh well. 

For just $5 Tapiriik automatically added over 800 files with over 1400 hours and 8600 miles to my Strava files. I can now look back through 2009 to view my entire training history and it's proven quite insightful, through my lost year and subsequent comeback after twice breaking my foot, to the correlation to race day successes via consistency in training over months and even the full year leading into an event. It's nice to host everything in a single space (or multiple spaces if you sync all your services) and no one can touch Strava for how they display and present your data. 

So there you have it, if you've been considering updating your Strava account with your historic GPS data, it's as easy as $5 and five minutes. Have at er!

If you hadn't already noticed this is my new website, I hope you like the layout. I haven't delved into it too far just yet and will get to that in the coming months, but I figured first things first, it was time to post a blog for the first time since August 8th. Typically at this time of year I attempt to catch up on the things I can't stay on top of during event season and this year is no different. I'm hopeful to maybe even get a few race reports and/or trip reports posted in the next few months as well, just don't hold me to that :)




Music To My Ears

I was recently interviewed for Talk Ultra and it went live on Friday. Here's the link with full podcast details. As it lists in the Show Notes I pick up the mic at around 2h30m into the show.

I've never been one to train or run with music, though I love music, strive to discover new artists on a regular basis and attend at least five or six live shows a year. Music is a big part of my life, yet it has never effectively made it into my running on anything near a regular basis. The main reason behind this is that I've simply never had success in any of my running with music experiments. The last time I recall running with music prior to 2013 was during the final 20 miles of my WS100 2010 run. The music made a huge difference in helping to block out the pain and I do believe it allowed me to close out stronger than I would have otherwise, yet my setup was still marginally frustrating and it never migrated into my regular running routine.

Heading into the HURT 100 last month I really wanted the ability to zone out over the final 20 mile loop and I knew from experience what an asset music could be in this regard. I started searching through online running with music forums and write ups and sure enough there has been a slight technological shift in how you can effectively run with music these days. My primary issue in the past has always revolved around the wires and how to effectively cut down on the annoyance of the bouncing and frustration of the tangling.
Though we don't yet have hoverboards in our daily lives the integration of bluetooth technology has slightly revolutionized the listening experience. After a few hours of disseminating information I made the decision to break the golden rule. I was going to purchase new items that I wasn't going to get a chance to train with. I was going to effectively trust in the reviews I'd read and head into my final lap at HURT with a completely new system that I had yet to properly test. (it arrived the day before we departed for Hawaii and I ran with it for a total of 30 minutes in advance of the race)

The Jaybird Freedom bluetooth headphones promised a lifetime warranty against sweat, but more importantly they offered up to 6 hours of battery life and cost less than $100. The reviews were pretty much unanimous that these were leading the way in the bluetooth headphone charge.
I didn't want to simply carry my bulky smartphone, so next I sourced the smallest bluetooth enabled music player and it didn't take long to settle on the brand new iPod Nano, even though I had recently happily migrated away from Apple based products. At $149 for 16gigs it seemed reasonably priced and it was incredibly compact and exactly what I was looking for.

I rather blindly trusted that my own research combined with the manufacturer claims, along with the reviews I'd read, would be accurate enough to at least get me through my final HURT lap without any major issues. Sure enough and thankfully so everything performed amicably on race day and I got away with my breaking of the cardinal rule in ultra running.

Since HURT it's been a bit of a treat to incorporate music into my personal running experience as I've always  desired to do. Typically right now I'll use music on one or two of my runs a week, usually on days where motivation may be lacking, or on days where I'm looking to run at a hard pace and where I know music will help push me along.

Today I got to listen to my first Talk Ultra podcast while running and it worked perfectly as a distraction tactic to help me focus on my twenty mile run more than the shitty-ass weather of the day. I was almost an hour into my run before I even looked at my watch or processed that I was already sopping wet with a few hours of running left to go.

Music and podcasts are a highly effective way to keep motivation high or help bolster motivation when it may be lagging far, far behind you.

So I'm curious, do you listen to music or podcast when you run? If so what kinds of music or podcasts and what type of setup do you use or prefer?

I hope you enjoy the interview. I really like what Ian and Talk Ultra are doing for the sport and it was an absolute pleasure to get a chance to tell my story a little in front of what I know is a very diverse international listener base.

As a side note, some other long term ultra running goals that I failed to touch on near the end of our talk include:

-FKT attempt on Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier
-A possible larger volcano based multi day running journey in WA State
-FKT attempt on entire Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada and finishes/begins in the park where Linda and I are getting married later this year
-FKT attempt on the Stein Valley route in BC north of Whistler
-Hardrock 100
-Tour Des Geants in Italy
-Grand Slam of Ultra Running




My New Mantra

New for 2013, Salomon Sense Mantra - my favorite!
A mantra I started using in late 2012 was 'fight'. That's it. Just that one word. Fight.

I started using this for the first time during the Mountain Masochist 50 miler in early November. It was my third time running the race and there were some climbs that had forced me into power hiking during my previous two times on the course. I knew I was trained and ready to race, and that I should be able to finally run the majority of those climbs. My goal was sub 7 hours which I feel I would have run had there not been snow on the course, and of course had I not detoured for almost six additional miles. Anyways, during those climbs I still had to fight my tendencies towards power hiking. I still had to convince myself in those moments that I had it in me to run terrain I'd never run before.

I simply chanted in my head "Fight, fight, fight...fight, fight, fight" and low and behold I forced myself up and over the steepest parts of the course faster than I'd ever done so before. It wasn't easy, but it isn't supposed to be. Fight.

I've never been one for mantras, but for me, this simple word sums it all up perfectly. It was a long few years fighting through injury. It was difficult to fight through the lack of confidence in my own abilities after being down for so long. I had to fight day in and day out to stay motivated during my own training and to believe that I would get back to where I once was.

When you line up at a race you're out there to fight against the course, against the weather conditions, against the competition, and most of all against your own internal dialogue and weaknesses. You have to fight through all of this to stay focused if you want to get the most out of yourself come race day. For me recently, it's come down to simply reminding myself that it's not supposed to be easy. To achieve your absolute best, you're going to have to learn how to fight, and the hardest battle we all wage is against ourselves and right inside our own minds.

"The mind is weak. The body is a machine. Control your mind and your body will be forced to follow."

One other Mantra I've acquired recently has already lead to happy feet and fun times on our local trails. My favorite new shoe! The Salomon Sense Mantra.

Here's A quick video review on competitor magazine

I had my very first run in these shoes today, and I absolutely loved how they hugged my midfoot while giving me ample room in the toe box. This is known as ENDOFIT which is a Salomon exclusive technology. It's an internal fit sleeve designed to hug the forefoot and improve feedback and foot wrapping. Along with this the drop is but 6mm, which I'm a big fan of. 16mm in the rear and 10mm in the front. This is not a minimalist shoe but I'm not a minimalist runner.

The Mantra is based on the S-Lab sense that Kilian wore during his 2011 winning run at Western States.

"The Mantra adds only a few essentials to make it friendly for everyday running; a little more cushioning, a little more protection, and a longer OS tendon to return more energy.
Natural motion construction for running has a lower heel drop, supporting a midfoot or forefoot-oriented stike, better enabling muscles to absorb more shock instead of joints and ultimately building greater balance and overall running efficiency."

My debut in the Mantra via STRAVA. A brand new shoe for 2013 and it already owns some of the KOM's on The North Shore:)