Safeguarding your data

All this talk of public offerings, capital injections, take-overs and the like raise the spectre of the other reality: the companies and sites that we rely on for recording and analysing our data are eventually going to fail or be closed.

Some of our data is with commercial companies, in my case TR and Strava. Some is with dedicated amateurs, like Elevate and To protect myself, I keep basic summaries [time, distance, TSS, best 1-minute, 5-minute, 20-minute and 60-minute power] on a spreadsheet – enough to gain an idea of progress if something untoward happens. But of course, this is very limited in comparison with the data that is somewhere in the cloud.

So what do you do to protect your data against the risk that a company or a website goes down? Should I be doing more?

For Strava, you can go to “My Account”, then “Download or Delete Your Account” and export all data. It comes in a ZIP file with all GPX, photos, other stuff. I do this every few months and put it in Google Drive and local storage. I wish I’d done this kind of thing in the pre-cloud days, because I’ve lost all my pre-2009 rides that were in Polar’s software.

I think we can thank the EU’s GDPR for forcing sites that operate in Europe to provide this kind of thing. That said, I’m not sure what TR offers right now - I just get all the rides via Strava.

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At the moment everything I record ends up in Garmin Connect, Strava, TR and TP. So I guess I’m pretty well protected through diversification! Any event that simultaneously wiped all 4 of those platforms out to the extent that there was no way of extracting my data (even if they went bust I’d expect there to be a period where they were in administration and you could still download or request data) is likely some global catastrophe that will give me more important things to worry about than my training data from 2013…


I import all my workouts into Golden Cheetah (in addition to TrainerRoad, Strava, TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect, and Final Surge). I’ve gone through a variety of different devices since 2003, but have every ride, run, swim, kayak, ski/snowboard, hike, snowshoe saved and available for later analysis and review. This way I can use the platform of choice today to look at workouts but still keep your history on your local computer.

I upload to Garmin Connect, TR, Strava and for a little while Golden Cheetah but the analytic data was really to much for me. I also hand write everything in a journal. That’s by far my go to for reference. Started doing it as a runner and just kept doing it as a biker. I can tell you exactly how much I weighed and what workout I did 4 years ago without even turning on my PC. I love it

Due to my inability to limit my platform choices, my fitness data automatically ends up in the cloud within a minute or so after every ride on TR, Strava, Garmin Connect, TrainingPeaks and a couple times a week on the hard drive of my computer in WKO4 (which also automatically gets uploaded to the cloud on Microsoft OneDrive).

Of all my data, work and personal, my fitness data is by far and away the most backed up! Barring some sort of world wide catastrophe that will make riding a bike for fitness a distant memory, I think most of us are pretty well set on our fitness data backups ;-0

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If you are concerned about “putting all your eggs in one basket,” keep in mind that the free versions of Strava, TrainingPeaks and Garmin Connect will sync your data so you can set them up for automatic data collection/storage purposes even if you don’t actually use them for analysis/tracking on a regular basis. just remember your login credentials and it will be there if you ever need it.

This is very relevant to me as well with the announced obsolecence of SportTracks PC application. One of the things I really liked about it is that I had all of the data locally. “No concern that it might someday go away” except that the developer is now very obtuse about saying effectively that next spring it seems likely that the application will stop functioning.

Now I’ve got everything all syncing with Strava, TP, Garmin Connect as others have mentioned. My concern about that is knowing which is the source of truth. Right now for me that is SportTracks. I don’t record any notes or 100% ensure any of the online services don’t have anomalies (duplicate data, missed activities, things maybe logged without GPS (the horror I know)).

I’m in the process of thinking through right now where my future source of truth should be. I’m leary of it being in the cloud for the reasons @michaelfrommelbourne mentioned. is an excellent service if you want to get everything sync’d up. It can also sync into a dropbox folder which you could further copy (single direction) to another place to act as your vault.

I think to do it once off it can be done freely or if you pay them then it will always watch the accounts you have connected.

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I forgot about the tapirlik account i set up a couple years ago until I saw this post. Sure enough, it has been dutifully putting all my TR workouts into Dropbox all along and is up to date.

A more relevant question than back ups might be how do we get rid of all this data if we ever need to? Its everywhere!

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Just quoting this as if you substitute Golden Cheetah for WKO4 I have backups in all these places too :grinning: I also download the original fit file from the source, usually Garmin Connect and keep the file both on my hard drive and in iCloud. Not that I’m OCD about it or anything.