Elevation, Elevation Gain, and Stryd
Updated over a week ago

When does elevation data not come from Stryd?

When you run with a GPS watch the elevation data will likely come from the watch instead of Stryd, no matter how the watch is configured. This applies to Garmin, Suunto, COROS, and Polar (in most configurations). Some GPS watches are not very good at measuring elevation, this will show in the data.

When does Stryd provide elevation data?

If you are running with the Stryd app on your phone or Apple Watch, elevation will come from Stryd. This is also the case for running without a watch and just Stryd (and uploading the Stryd data with your phone after your run).

If I use a watch, can I still get the elevation data as recorded by Stryd?

Stryd will store 40 hours of running history on the device which includes elevation as recorded by Stryd. You can upload the Stryd data with the Stryd app on your phone. If you use a Garmin watch, set up a secondary Stryd account with a different email address to avoid duplication of data in your primary account.

Elevation data in PowerCenter and the Stryd app on the phone

PowerCenter will display your elevation as stored in the FIT file. In most cases, the elevation data displayed in PowerCenter will come from the GPS on your watch but there are some exceptions.

Elevations shown in PowerCenter can be different than in Garmin Connect, Strava, or other platforms.

How does PowerCenter calculate elevation gain?

Calculating Elevation Gain for any given run or run segment is more complex than simply taking the difference between the elevation at an endpoint and the start point. We often get questions from users trying to apply this method by looking at running like this:


The start point has an elevation of 148m, and the endpoint has an elevation of 158m, but the gain only reads as 8m. Why is this?

The first reason is that elevation gain is calculated using not just the start and endpoints but also considering smaller gains in the middle of the data.

Secondly, at Stryd we’re often calculating elevation gain from GPS data, which is imperfect and can be quite noisy or inaccurate. To correct for this noise, we apply filters to the data to allow for more accurate calculations.

The calculated Elevation Gain number you see in PowerCenter is using this corrected data, rather than the raw data that is visible in the graph. This means that the Elevation Gain and Grade numbers in the summary stats are more accurate than what you would obtain by subtracting the start and elevation points.

If you’d like to learn more about different methods of calculating elevation gain, I recommend this article from GPS Visualizer as a good starting place. We don’t use the same methods of correction as mentioned in that article, but it gives a good sense of why elevation corrections are needed when calculating the gain.

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