MATLAB Answers

Is there a matlab function to read in a *.fit file from a Garmin device?

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John Mercer
John Mercer on 11 Apr 2018
Commented: Rik on 13 May 2020
Garmin GPS watches record a variety of parameters during running, cycling, and swimming. The parameters are all recorded in *.fit files. These files are read into different user interfaces (e.g., Garmin Connect).
I would like to read the file directly into matlab in order to process them.
I found a web site that does this:
But this is time consuming to do one file at a time.
Has anyone created a matlab function to accomplish this?

Answers (4)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 12 Apr 2018


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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 18 Apr 2020
The Fit File Repair Tool is based on Microsoft Access. It has many functions to process .fit files. Fit files can be imported, processed, and amongst other things exported to Microsoft Access.

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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 18 Apr 2020
The answer is no. But the alternative is to export .fit file data through the fit file repair tool to Microsoft Access.
The fit file repair tool is controlled by pressing buttons. I was in contact with Mathias Krallmann from Germany, the developer of the fit file repair tool, several times. He is a friendly person, and he was always open to include wishes of his costumers in his updates and offered test versions with updates. He as an update tradition of 16 years.
When I got him right, it should be possible to control the fit file repair tool by scripts to avoid pressing buttons.
The structure of the fit files I tested looked not so transparent. But I think it should be possible to write scripts in Microsoft Access to process data for scientifc or biomedical purposes. In Garmin Connect this is not possible.

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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 19 Apr 2020
Mattjas Krallmann is world leading expert for .fit files. He even knows how to edit pool swim files.

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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 19 Apr 2020
I tested the Fit File Repair Tool and I could not find an option to control the tool with scripts
Converted .fit files are a data soup from which you have to fish data.
I found a script Converting Garmin FIT to CSV which «needs testing»:
There is also the this is ant .fit sdk I mentioned before:
There is a java tool for converrting FIT to CSV which eventually can be used for batch processing.

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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 19 Apr 2020
Here is the thread from the THIS IS ANT forum with the official THIS IS ANT java tool for converting FIT to CSV:
The official THIS IS ANT tool for converting FIT to CSV can be found here:
But this is only a beta version of the SDK. Where is an alpha version of the SDK with the tool?

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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 25 Apr 2020
Edited: Peter Gamma on 25 Apr 2020
Max Candocia, the developer of the tool «Converting Garmin FIT Files to CSV»
is a Data Scientist who lives in Chicago and works at Mark Bio Inc, a biotec start up as a data scientist. He has a MS in Physics and a BS in Statistics:
According to the documentation, csv files generated by his tool have a simple an clear data structure. For me personally, the data structure of the files converted by the official THIS IS ANT .fit to .csv converter was not clear.
I continued a thread about this subject in the GARMIN forum. Unfortunately, my posts where removed and the threat was locked:
I don t know what was the reason for shut down.
I tried to use the Candocia FIT Files to CSV converter. Unfortunatley, I failed the first time I tried tu use it. It uses Python as a base, and I m not familiar with it.
I think for everyone who is interested in a simple and clear data structure of converted GARMIN fit files, it s worth having a closer look at Max Candocias tool.


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Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 11 May 2020
I started a new Thread in the THIS IS ANT FORUM:
Python script to Convert Garmin FIT Files to CSV (Max Candocia)
Peter Gamma
Peter Gamma on 13 May 2020
The question about deleted posts in the Garmin Forum should not be discussed in the Matlab Forum, but in the Garmin Forum. So I asked my question there. Why where my posts deleted in the Garmin Forum?:
Rik on 13 May 2020
I am tempted to delete all the posts on this thread that do not relate to Matlab. Can you convince me why I shouldn't? A link to a python tool would be fine, but complaining about the Garmin forum doesn't seem relevant at all and only serves to confuse. Your last comment was even flagged by the spam detection system.
Try to condense your answer into 1 answer. It would be best if that includes a list of external tools needed (including download page links) and a suggestion about how you would use those tools from within Matlab to achieve the goal.

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