I'm new to owning a Garmin, but I wanted to do my own analysis on my heart rate data outside of Garmin's analysis. To do this, I had to export a Garmin .fit file to a Excel csv file. I could then import the data into MATLAB to do my own analysis. After searching some forums, I found no great way to export the data. I even tried some online converters, but they didn't work. After some fidgeting, I figured it out. It's actually pretty easy, but it took some work to get it right. Here's my step-by step-process:
Step 1: Load the data into Garmin training center. If you don't have Garmin training center, it's a free download from the app store or Garmin's website. Choose the activity you'd like to export and select the export option.
Step 2: A popup will come up asking you what format. Choose CSV. If the software was better, this would be the last step... But then i probably wouldn't need a blog post about this. The resulting CSV file gives me an error if i try to open it in Excel, and then the data is all jumbled into the first line.
Step 3: Open a BLANK workbook in Excel. Choose the import option.
Step 4: Select a text file (Not a CSV file) for your import type.
Step 5: Choose "Delimited" for your file type and click next.
Step 6: There are TWO important pieces here:
First: Set your Delimiter to "other" and insert a quotation mark (") as the delimiter
Second: Set your text qualifier to none.
The reason for this is Garmin puts quotation marks around each comma, which seems to mess up the whole Excel import process of a normal CSV
At this point you should be good to go! You'll notice every other column has a , in it. Those columns can be deleted. To get to the data for each individual waypoint you'll need to scroll down until you see the line that reads: "TrackPoint Table." I really hope this helps someone else who likes to do their own things with their data! Enjoy!
The data for each waypoint is under the heading "trackpoint table" a little ways down.
A final note: I'm not an expert on GPS watches and so if you contact me asking about which GPS watch to buy: I won't know. This guy has Really awesome reviews on GPS devices. Go check out his site.