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Converting HRM Files to TCX

· 5 min read
Polar WebSync logo

I recently posted an AWK script for combining GPX and HRM files into TCX format. This script is really handy when you have GPX files with or without matching HRM files, but what if you have HRM files without GPX files?

It did not immediately occur to me that there'd be any value in converting lone HRM files to TCX, since I think of TCX as being geographic location focused (which is not strictly true). However, prompted by Conrad, it became apparent that I could indeed convert HRM files (without GPX files) to TCX, and indeed, I already had 30 or so such HRM files that I'd been entering into Strava manually (stationary trainer sessions, and weights workouts).

gpx2tcx Shell Script

· 6 min read screenshot

Following on from my gpx2tcx AWK script and Windows batch file, I now present what will probably the last separate component in the series... my Bash shell script.

This script is similar in nature to the Windows equivalent presented earlier, however it is considerably more flexible. Unlike the Windows batch file, this Bash script supports a number of command line arguments that allow its operation to be tweaked more easily.

Combining GPX and HRM Files into TCX Format

· 12 min read
Polar RCX5

Three of the most common file formats for recording exercise data are HRM, GPX and TCX. HRM is an older proprietary, but open, standard created and maintained by Polar, which deals with heartrate information, as well as speed, cadence, altitude and power. GPX is another older standard which deals primary with geolocation data from GPS receivers. TCX is a newer format that effectively supports all that HRM and GPX support combined, and then some.

My shiny new Polar RCX5 (which I really like) happens to export data (via the Polar WebSync application) as separate HRM and GPX files (for legacy reasons, no doubt). Whereas Strava (which I also really like) supports GPX and TCX imports (amoung others). So of course, I can import my GPX files from the RCX5 to Strava pretty easily, however, that will provide Strava with no heartrate nor cadence data, since the GPX format does not support those.

So the question I faced was: how to combine the GPX and HRM files from my RCX5 to a single TCX file? Since I found no appropriate tools readily available, I wrote my own ;)