iPhone, Garmin, Live Tracking

This is a write-up I made for a friend having problems with Garmin Live Tracking on an iPhone. It would get interrupted all the time, and show negative, or tiny percentages, of the real stats, though the map and track would look correct.

iPhone viruses / bugs:
iPhones don’t get generally malware unless they have been jailbroken / hacked.
This can only happen hands-on, and is not currently possible at the current OS version.

Any concerns can be fixed with a reinstall/restore of the phone.
I do this for any major upgrade (iOS 8 to iOS 9), but no more often.

This brings you to latest level, and replaces anything that got messed up.
Takes a couple of hours to finish the restore.

iPhone Restore / Reinstall:
* Back up to iTunes, plugged in is best.
* Disable your pin-code lock from Settings on the phone..
* Do a restore from iTunes.
* Wait for the OS install to finish (15-20 mins)
* Answer the 5 “new phone” questions to get back to the home screen.
* Re-Enable your pin-code lock
* Re-Enroll your fingerprints if you use that
* Wait for iTunes to finish restoring your apps and photos.

    Here is info about the LiveTracking problem specifically:

The stats error:
This is a design issue with the garmin app. They really need to fix it.
Reference: https://forums.garmin.com/archive/index.php/t-329984.html

The stats fix:
Replace the livetrack exercise with an upload of the activity.
* Finish the activity on the device.
* Delete the bad one from the Connect app calendar.
* Sync/Upload from your device.

Stability improvement:
The stability during tracking can be helped with:
* Disable WiFi while livetracking.
* Make sure all other apps are closed while livetracking
* Make sure the phone has been hard rebooted in the last week or two.

General Garmin stuff that *may* help:
* Update the Garmin Connect app from the App Store. Again.
* Update Garmin Express. Mine doesn’t auto-update anymore.
* Update Garmin device firmware. Maybe there is an unreleased version from support?
* Clear off activities every week. You can save the files to dropbox, or upload to Garmin Connect, or both.
* Maybe to a master reset as a last resort.

Master Reset of the Garmin Device
Plug in the USB cable
Copy all of the files off of your device.
Delete activities from the device
Unplug the USB cable
Power off the device of not already off
Hold Lap/Reset and Start/Stop buttons
Press power button
Wait for spash screen showing Garmin brand
Release Lap/Reset and Start/Stop buttons
Wait for power-up
Take outside for a 5-20 minutes so it can get the initial satellite fix.
Power off the device
Plug in USB cable
Copy the settings.fit, totals.fit, and records.fit back to “NewFiles”
Unplug USB
Power on and make sure all of your settings are there.

    Here are the things I have done that have helped my phone be less crashy in general:

#1 Limit what can use GPS in the background.
* Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Purple are running now or in the last few minutes. Grey are in the last day. Disable anything that should not be allowed. Keep garmin, strava, etc.

#2 Limit what can run in the background
* Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Disable anything that should never stay running when not up on the screen. Keep music, maps, chat/messenger, and similar enabled.

#3 Close apps when you’re not using them.
iOS 8 and later seems to have memory control issues. Lots of apps just get killed when they ask for memory, rather than being denied. If you close out everything first, then start the one GPS app, that often helps.

#4 is hard reboot your phone once every week or two.
I find sometimes my phone gets crashy, and only a hard reboot helps:
* close all of the apps running – double-click home, then swipe or close from there
* hold power button and swipe off when prompted
* Power on with both power and home button held down at the same time.
* Keep both buttons held down until the apple logo appears, then disappears again.
* Normal power on with 1 second on power button.

Strava Connect?

I accidentally deleted my upload bookmarks, because in Chrome, “T” means new tab in one context, but delete in the bookmarks context. Really stupid. As in ridiculously stupid. As in, how does the product manager remember to breathe, or not to eat their own faeces, stupid.

Anyway, this precipitated me finding the Strava (strive!) upload link, which now recommends linking to Garmin Connect. Now, Garmin Express magically uploads to all of the places I care about.

On the flip side, it’ll sync before I put in any details about the ride… Meh. Whatever.

Looks like power, hrm, timing, and laps all made it over.

2014-08-25 IBC new route

recovery ride. left gps at home. Used phone. Garmin is imported from the Strava TCX export, missing laps and pauses.

Power data is broken, with more drops than connections.
Not sure why, if that’s a Stages BTLE issue, or if my phone couldn’t catch the data from my back pocket.

Also, no HRM data because I only had an ANT+ strap.

My right shoulder is in pain, and very sore from HH100. I had a massage today which helped my legs a bunch, but my shoulder is from a pinch/abrasion in my neck. Low back is sore too. Need more stretching. I haven’t taken NSAIDs yet, because that reduces rebuild based growth/improvements. Maybe tomorrow.

Not sure if I’ll ride Tuesday.

2014-08-25 IBC new route


21.5mi Distance
1:27:03 Moving Time
467ft Elevation

94W Weighted Avg Power
66kJ Total Work
20 Training Load
38% Intensity

Data Avg Max
Speed 14.8mi/h 55.3mi/h
Cadence 53 97
Power 13W 643W
Calories 73
Elapsed Time 1:42:10

Heart Rate Zones
No data, but it was pretty slow/low speed

Zone Distribution
NOTE: There are a huge number of signal drops here, so the Z1 data is overinflated.
Z1 Active Recovery 1 – 134 W 1:13:23 96%
Z2 Endurance 135 – 183 W 1:02 1%
Z3 Tempo 184 – 220 W 31s 1%
Z4 Threshold 221 – 257 W 17s 0%
Z5 VO2Max 258 – 294 W 16s 0%
Z6 Anaerobic 295 – 367 W 25s 1%
Z7 Neuromuscular 368+ W 39s 1%
Based on an FTP of 245.

Distance: 21.48 mi
Time: 1:27:10
Avg Speed: 14.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 551 ft
Calories: 1,573 C
Avg Temperature: 97.0 °F

Time: 1:27:10
Moving Time: 1:28:45
Elapsed Time: 1:42:10
Avg Speed: 14.8 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 14.5 mph
Max Speed: 28.0 mph

Elevation Gain: 551 ft
Elevation Loss: 560 ft
Min Elevation: 430 ft
Max Elevation: 577 ft

Heart Rate
ESTIMATED from RPE – did not have HRM strap
Avg HR: 108 bpm
Max HR: 145 bpm

Avg Power: 94 W
Max Power: 643 W

Avg Bike Cadence: 53 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 97 rpm

97° Feels like 97°
7 mph ESE wind
Humidity 35%
Source: KDFW

Additional Information
Device: Unknown,
Elevation Corrections: Enabled
Power Average Calculations: Use Zeros
Summary Data: Edited

2014-02-01 Cartwright Ride Incomplete

Ride was 38.5 miles, but I forgot to turn on my GPS, and lost 14.5 miles after lunch. Runkeeper’s route/map editing helped me fix this.

MapMyRide, Garmin and Strava don’t really let me fix this, and show a big teleport in the route, even if I pick a different route.

Also, I had to correct my power use. Unrelated to the shortened GPS track, Strava reports only 59% of my power. That is an annoying thing to figure out. I used ns1.omnitech.net/cycle to calculate average power, which matches the calories Runkeeper calculated for me. Average power would be about 25% of that, divided by hours (2.73), and multipled by 1.163 to get watts.

As usual, I corrected the temperature to match reality. Annoyed that Garmin considers this a feature, but I guess they made up a big batch of these GPSes and don’t want to recall them. Baro seemed pretty reliable this ride.

Lastly, Erica saved my bacon. The wx kept getting colder than all estimates and she drove up to bring me another layer of warmth. And thanks to Sharon, Kathy, Becky, Jim, Steve and Theresa for waiting on me to change socks and bag my feet. Also, great ride everyone!

Reminder, all metrics below have been adjusted, but should be within 10%.

Distance: 38.48 mi
Calories: 2,388 C

Time: 2:44:40
Moving Time: 2:49:18
Elapsed Time: 3:59:41
Avg Speed: 13.7 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 14.1 mph
Max Speed: 32.1 mph

Elevation Gain: 1,237 ft
Elevation Loss: 1,237 ft
Min Elevation: 535 ft
Max Elevation: 703 ft

Avg HR: 152 bpm
Max HR: 191 bpm

Avg Power: 219 W
Max Power: 1,187 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 220 W

Avg Bike Cadence: 75 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 121 rpm

Avg Temperature: 44.0 °F
Min Temperature: 42.0 °F
Max Temperature: 49.0 °F

Average power is from
Max power is from strava.
Max Avg Power is from Strava, divided by 0.5936 due to Strava errors.
Avg Power: 219 W (Estimated from Strava)
Max Power: 1,187 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 220 W

Avg Bike Cadence: 75 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 121 rpm

Avg Temperature: 44.0 °F
Min Temperature: 42.0 °F
Max Temperature: 49.0 °F