Beeminder working better for step goal than Garmin

Last month I started using a Garmin Forerunner 25 (one of their cheaper running and activity watches). I wanted to stay in the garmin family (as I use a Garmin Edge for cycling and weight scales that update Garmin Connect) and have bluetooth and a gps for running (and at least when I haven’t hurt my knee the running is coming in ok).

However, I am also really enjoying the step counter. But the watch itself only has 2 ways of having a daily goal. Either a fixed amount (and cumbersome to change) or an automatic goal which bases the goal for today on what I did yesterday (might be a little more sophisticated but not a lot).

I find the beeminder goal much more powerful even without the precommitment/sting aspect. The dashboard colour, countdown to derail and graph are key to that

My days are very varied. Frequently if the number of steps is low then it will be because I have done a lot of cycling. Hence, the longer timeframe of a beeminder goal works really well.

I started with a goal of 5,000 steps a day and have now retroratcheted twice and increased the goal to 5,500 steps a day. I like the fact that the goal does not vary as much day to day as the garmin calculated one while giving me the option to gradually ramp up the number of steps. Plus big days (such as when I go for a run) get me ahead ready for quieter days.

My only regret is that initially I named the goal 5000 steps which is now not true as it is 5500 steps.

I can’t help but wonder if it will ever be possible for Beeminder to set the goal in Garmin Connect for me :slight_smile:

  1. How is the steps integration working out for you?
    I have a Garmin vivoactive and the steps coming to Beeminder from Garmin are quite wrong
    But it seems like this is not happening to all Garmin-Beeminder users…

  2. Just in case you haven’t seen it, you can set a fixed step goal on Garmin devices rather than an automated one.

It seems to come in fine. If I remember it was odd that when I created the Garmin goal I had to choose between a Vivoki/vivofit (for steps and sleep goals only) or “other Garmin” (for distance or time).

I don’t use the distance/time goals because they don’t distinguish between cycling or running (and I guess if I had a garmin to record them also swims).

I’d much prefer to be offered a choice of

  • steps
  • sleep
  • running distance
  • running time
  • cycling distance
  • cycling time
  • swim distance
  • swim time

The reality is that garmin have so many devices and some of them cross over multiple disciplines that making the choice by device is not so helpful (eg my forerunner 25 measures steps, sleep and runs) and will keep getting out of date.

Looks like some code refactoring is needed. Sadly garmin charge 1,000’s of $ to use their API (which is why I am doing some playing with the Strava API for running and cycling) so it is hard for people to contribute. My choice would be to use Garmin only for the things Garmin don’t themselves provide autosync to strava. Then add strava support which catches a whole load of non garmin users as well. That would mean garmin for steps and sleep only.

Yes, I have now done so. Just after writing the post :wink: I find the garmin connect interface rather crappy (amusing when people complain about beeminder and have not looked at what large companies such as garmin are producing). I’ll just ratchet that up to keep it in track with Beeminder.