training peaks, strava, and garmin | the bookish athlete

With so many devices and apps available that will track your training, it’s not hard to find something that will do the job. But the bigger challenge could be finding the right device, app, or system that works best for you.

Before we dig into using platforms like Training Peaks and Strava, let’s talk about why tracking your training is worth it.

keeping track of your workouts and training is valuable for many reasons:

  • It turns going through the motions into training with a purpose.
  • It adds structure and organization to your routine.
  • It increases accountability.
  • It helps you identify trends – like the cause of a performance increase (or decrease).
  • It gives you a way to measure progress.
  • It makes recovery more of a priority.
  • It ensures you vary your training load – frequency, duration, and intensity of workouts.
  • It shows you how much training you’re actually doing – or not doing.

Because there is so much value in tracking your training over time, you’ll find plenty of tools that can get the job done. But beware! It’s easy to get distracted with multiple options and lose sight of what you’re trying to do (track a workout). The focus shifts more to the method than the training itself. And I admit I’m guilty of this.

I like to try new gadgets and systems, but before I know it, I’ve got too many apps, and all that data I’m trying to keep track of is spread across multiple places.

To keep from losing sight of the intention and value of tracking my workouts, I’ve gotten more disciplined about the tools I use. And I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of tools while deciding that I will NOT get distracted by shiny objects.

training peaks

First up is Training Peaks. Training Peaks is my long-term training and performance tracking software of choice. My ultimate goal is to get any and all workout data into Training Peaks. I love the performance metrics that Training Peaks tracks over time, the ability to plan out future workouts, as well as the coaching platform.

After some trial and error, I’ve figured out how to get pretty much any workout (in as much detail as I prefer) into my Training Peaks account. Here is how I direct that traffic:

trail runs, hikes, etc.

Garmin Fenix 6S > Garmin Connect > Training Peaks

swim workouts

Garmin Fenix 6S > Garmin Connect > Training Peaks

peloton rides

Peloton Bike > Strava > RunGap > Training Peaks

strength training workouts

Garmin Fenix 6S > Garmin Connect > Training Peaks

yoga and other cross-training workouts

Garmin Fenix 6S > Garmin Connect > Training Peaks

Based on this list, here are the four other tools I use to upload data to Training Peaks.

garmin fenix 6S

I gave up my Apple Watch a few months ago to wear the Fenix 6S as my everyday watch. The battery life is nice, and I know it will last if and when I start doing longer miles on the trails. I use this watch to track mostly swimming and running workouts, but I also use the strength training and yoga modes.


I’ve recently started using Strava more, mostly because of the Peloton bike. Without an Apple Watch or the new Peloton Bike+, there really isn’t a way to get the data from a ride off the bike. Except for Strava! Peloton has a feature where you can automatically share a ride to Strava, including key metrics like power output, cool graphs, cadence, resistance, time, etc.

I like sharing my trail runs and hikes on Strava, but I’m not really interested in sharing all of my nitty-gritty Peloton class details. So I transfer each ride to Strava but keep most of my workouts private; it only shows up in my personal feed. Once the workout is shared to Strava, the next trick is to transfer it to Training Peaks. Strava and Training Peaks don’t have a direct integration (yet), so I use an ios app called RunGap app to transfer the data to my Training Peaks account.

garmin connect

Garmin Connect comes with a lot of features that make it similar to Training Peaks. But rather than feeling like I have duplicate data spread out across multiple platforms, I’ve chosen to use Training Peaks over Garmin Connect. I pretty much only use my Garmin Connect account as a go-between for my watch and Training Peaks. I like checking in on some daily metrics like the number of steps, stress scores, etc. But really, I use it to sync up with Training Peaks.

getting started

If you’re new to tracking your workouts, the easiest way to get started is to use what you already have. If you have a watch that comes with software (like Garmin Connect or Fitbit), you could start there. Start uploading your workouts and paying attention to your workout details. Figure out what you’d like to keep track of for the next few weeks, and then start experimenting with different ways to do so. Find what works for you, because as the saying goes, the best system is the one you use.

What tools do you use to keep track of your workouts over time? Follow me on Strava!