Time Series Errors in Garmin Activities

The short guide to fixing time series errors

When uploading to Strava you may get an error that the “time series” is missing and your workout cannot be uploaded. This can even happen after Garmin Connect has successfully loaded from the same device; but the strange time and straight-line graphs hint that something wasn’t right.

You can export the TCX file and edit it to remove the error and then upload the corrected version.

The TCX file is in XML format. It may look scary, but there is a simple pattern: each data point is enclosed within a “Trackpoint” tag.  Your recordings will have more or less tags depending on the sensors being recorded.

<Trackpoint>

<Time>2014-03-10T02:36:23.000Z</Time>
<Position> <LatitudeDegrees>-35.30690263956785</LatitudeDegrees> <LongitudeDegrees>149.08046174794436</LongitudeDegrees>
</Position>
<AltitudeMeters>579.5999755859375</AltitudeMeters> <DistanceMeters>59299.0</DistanceMeters>
<HeartRateBpm> <Value>171</Value> </HeartRateBpm>
<Cadence>77</Cadence>
<Extensions>
<TPX xmlns="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/ActivityExtension/v2"> <Speed>5.556000232696532</Speed> </TPX>
</Extensions>

</Trackpoint>

But how do you find the time?

The “Time” tag has the date and time. Sometimes the date can leap into the future. (I’ve never noticed time jumping.)  For example, <Time>2014-03-10T02:36:28.000Z</Time> leapt ten years ahead at the next recording point <Time>2024-05-20T02:36:38.000Z</Time> on one of my rides. It took me 18,000 hours to cross a 100m long bridge, which was the first sign of trouble. 

Fix it

  1. Open the file in Notepad (or similar text editor)
  2. Scroll to the end of the file and look for a time tag and copy the dodgy date.
  3. Scroll to the top of the file
  4. Find (CTRL + F) and paste the date.  Click find to look for the first instance of the dodgy date.
  5. Replace (CTRL + H) the dodgy date with the correct date and replace all.
  6. Save As… select All Files, amend the filename, but keep the TCX extension.  (If you don’t deselect “Text (.TXT)” you’ll get a text file that will not upload to Strava.)
  7. Upload the file to Strava.
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