Show heart rate data on swim activities

Currently the swim data from the HRM-Swim doesn't display. It would be good to get it on there for suffer score etc.



  • The root cause of it not working is all perfectly well described at the end DC Rainmakers excellent review of the HRM-Swim and HRM-Tri from 3 years ago -

    "3rd party sites (Training Peaks, Strava, etc…) are having challenges consuming the swimming activity files generated when the HRM-TRI/SWIM straps. This is because Garmin essentially appends the HR data to the existing workout file, rather than make it appear seamless. This is using a slightly updated version of the ANT+ specification that almost nobody has implemented yet. On one hand it’s good to see Garmin being innovative, but on the other hand they should have ensured 3rd party compatibility ahead of time (even if via some shim process). Or at least worked with those companies to ensure supporting of the metrics.

    The ‘fix’ for that is that these 3rd party companies have to update their sites to use the recently released FITSDK version (16.30) in order to support the appended HR data. I’m sure that’ll happen sooner or later, but it’s kinda a bummer for now."

    I just tried the workaround of deleting the activity from Strava, exporting the activity to a .tcx file from Garmin Connect and uploading that to Strava and it doesn't work.

    Quite simply Strava needs to update to support the FITSDK version (16.30) just like loads of other sites do ... e.g. TrainingPeaks (and of course Garmin).

    But also I've found the 'Fitness & Freshness' stuff in Strava is a laughable simplification of ATL and CTL metrics so let's face it, Strava is a good 'fitness' social network but that's about it ... I'd strongly recommend TrainingPeaks for anyone serious about ... well fitness.

  • After being a premium member for a couple of years I cancelled last year because of this problem. I see Strava have done absolutely nothing to fix it even though they were obviously aware of it nearly 2 years ago. Talk about contempt for your customers! I may just unlink my Garmin from Strava and walk away as it’s just so frustrating - and Garmin have noticed Strava’s inability to listen to customers and added social aspects now.

    And agreed with others - a manual workaround is not a solution. It should be reading the HR data from the Garmin connector. 

  • Hi Everyone, 

    I appreciate you adding your thoughts and frustrations. I understand where you're coming from. I've put this on the team's radar and will work toward getting this added. 

    Keep on commenting and upvoting so when I share with the team, I can show the overwhelming popularity with these requests. 

  • With all due respect Jess I work for a software company and I know how easy it would be to extend your adapter to support FITSDK version 16.30 or later.  You've had >$70M in VC and have over 150 people.  I mean TrainingPeaks did it years ago and they've got <50 people and no VC so their dev team / budget will be much smaller than yours!

    Like Mark above, I'll probably not renew my premium membership next time because I can't use Strava for any kind of decent fitness tracking.  The 'fitness & freshness' calculation change has made it useless and the above issue means that any swimming activities dont correctly contribute to it anyway.

    Also, FWIW, with your change to 3 types of paid subscriptions it looks like the 'Summit' plan makes you triple pay for various 'Premium' features.  Where's the logic in that?

  • @Jess,  I think the modular concept of Strava Summit has potential.  If you really want to increase revenue, make Summit go above and beyond regarding swim metrics, including stroke type, heart rate, SWOLF, and more.  Since Strava's core user base uses segments,  I was surprised to realize that I can create a Strava segment from an open water swim.  Very cool.  I'm sure this is not well known.  Also, as a reminder, the lack of swim heart rate data is primarily an issue affecting Garmin smartwatches.  The Polar V800 does export swim heart rate to Strava via the Polar Flow program/app.  Finally, multisport activity, particularly triathlon, is a big reason people wear these watches.  Unless I'm missing a change, Strava does not integrate multisport performance into one activity.  This should also be corrected in order to broaden the appeal of Strava Summit.

  • That would be great !

  • I would expect this as standard - shocking that I pay for premium and it is excluded from the analytics. Makes a mockery of the freshness/fitness  functionality which is now useless for me when I mix activities - kind of the whole point of having a Garmin & HR for swimming / biking etc. I will likely not move to summit and will look at other platforms.

  • Another premium user that won't be renewing because of this issue. Its a disgrace that this has been happening for three years already without a fix.

    TrainingPeaks it is for me from now on.

  • Please fix. Or say goodbye to yet another premium member. Thank you

  • @Tim - Thanks for finally explaining why this is a problem for Strava.  I didn't realize the HR data was appended to the end of the file and a newer Ant+ version was used along with FITSDK.  Makes sense now.  

    @Jess - The dev team should be able to address this in one "sprint".  Alternatively don't recommend purchasing a HRM when looking at the "Hear Rate" section of a swim activity. At a minimum you should list what HRMs are supported.  


  • Another Strava Premium user here that will not be renewing subscription because of this. I have also advised everyone in my swimming group (triathletes) against Strava Premium (Summit) due to the lack of support for swimming activities. Shame!

  • Please keep adding your comments and click the ^ arrow to up-vote above. 

    Strava does accept heart rate data from most Garmin swim uploads, but the data is only displayed in the graph on the mobile app, not yet on the website. And there is no suffer score calculation. 

    With notable support for this improvement, I think the work can be prioritized to fully support the display of HR for swims and the inclusion in the suffer score calculation.[/endquote]

    year and a half and still not implemented? Come on, whats really holding this up?

  • Has anyone discovered a workaround for inputting HR data from swims? I don't mind doing some legwork if I could get my swims to import.  I typically use my Apple Watch with either the native app or MySwimPro. 

  • It is BS that it shows in the app ... see attached app screenshot and Garmin Connect HR graph for comparison.

  • @Josh AFAIK there is no work-around.  The whole exporting from Garmin as a .tcx or .gpx or .fit file does not work.  So basically dont bother using Strava to accurately track your fitness if swimming is any part of your routine.  TrainingPeaks is the go if you want to be serious.

  • I have cancelled my premium tariff today in protest. This is very poor and from these updates, a much needed feature.

  • I will not confirm nor deny my source, but a friend works at Strava and recently said, regarding this issue: "We’ve recently done a lot of under-the-hood overhauling to be able to fix stuff like this, and this fix is slated... Wish I could give you exact timing but it’s on the way!"

  • Really hope this is true. I see lots of people canning their premium membership over this issue.

  • I hope so, but I have my doubts: If you happen to understand German, this is a very eyeopening interview with Strava's community manager for Germany:

    Key takeaways for me:
    - Strava sees itself as a social platform, not a TrainingPeaks competitor.
    - Strava sees great value in the user generated gpx files and hopes that they can find ways to monetize these without alienating its users

    Since analytics isn't a top priority and pool swims won't produce gpx tracks I don't have high hopes (but keep my fingers crossed).


    As many of you related, deleting the activity from Strava, exporting it as a .tcx file from Garmin Connect and manually uploading that to Strava doesn't work. Strava says that "the activity already exists.", despite being  excluded already.

    But following this 1 minute steps you will be able to get your swim activity with the heart rate measurement.

    The key will be to make Strava thinks that the activity is not the same that they automatically imported from Garmin Connect.

    1: download the TCX file from Garmin's site.
    2: delete the activity from Strava.
    3: Open the TCX file with notepad and Click Edit on the menu bar, then select Replace in the Edit menu.
    4: Once in the SEARCH AND REPLACE window, you will have to change the hour of the day of your activity.
    5: For this exemple, let's supose that your activity was about 2 hours of swimming and started "17:something" and finished 19:something".
    6: insert "T17:" as the search string and "T16:" as your replace string. Then click REPLACE ALL.
    7: insert "T18:" as the search string and "T17:" as your replace string. Then click REPLACE ALL.
    8: insert "T19:" as the search string and "T18:" as your replace string. Then click REPLACE ALL.
    9: save the file and upload it To Strava.

    Works fine. You will have your activity showing 1 hour soon on your feed, but it is better than do not have the heart rate measurement.

  • 👆Thanks but no thanks.

  • Thanks Ossian - This workaround works !

    And have updated my past months data successfully.  HOWEVER...

    ...I'm still waiting for a Strava fix before I go back to any premium/summit subscriptions.

    As has been identified before, it only requires a technical fix due to the way that the HRM data is added to the original file after the live event - this is because the watch and the HRM band do not synchonise in real time underwater during the swim.

    Thanks again, but still looking forward to a solution at source soon


  • Ossian - as they say

    STRAVA needs to fix this.

  • Hi @Strava, any update here?

  • I am joining the number of people that are going to cancel their premium. Ut is now widely cover subject, clearly not a hard fix and simply a functionality that is now a standard. Fix it.

    it would be great also that you look at the number of people frustrated but that do not say anything...

  • Please keep adding your comments and click the ^ arrow to up-vote above. 

    it is 10/16/2018 - and you are still gathering upvotes to make it work? srsly starva? 


    Strava does accept heart rate data from most Garmin swim uploads, but the data is only displayed in the graph on the mobile app, not yet on the website.

    no its not - no hr data on mobile app nor website, but all data in garmin connect


    You make your product useless for progress analysis in swim or triathlon.

    Maybe it is time to go for trainingpeaks


  • I checked the Strava flyby results for the Kona IM on 10/14/2018.  Very few swimmers were able to post heart rate.  It really is quite hard to capture and post to Strava.  One Garmin user managed to upload a relative effort score with her swim, perhaps by using the trick method described elsewhere.  FYI, some Polar V800 users did post good swim heart rate data while others just showed some flat graphs at very high or low heart rates.  However, one swimmer did upload a very accurate heart rate trace along with his fast pace:

  • +1

  • +1

    Come on, Strava. Please add heart rate and Suffer Score data to Garmin swim activities. I pay for Premium and I’d really like to see all my activities properly displayed.
    Thanks in advance.

  • + another 1. Can’t quite understand why this is taking so long to address!

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