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The Fitness Zone

Strava Running and Cycling
June 19, 2014 | by Solveig Litchfield

Solveig Litchfield, Lead eCoach at the Australian Institute of Fitness Queensland looks into whether the Strava Running and Cycling app is useful to track your activity.

Strava is one of the many apps that allows a community of athletes from all over the world to track their rides and runs.

Once you have completed the activity using the app on iPhone or Android you can view and analyse your activity instantly. Alternatively, if you used a Garmin, Soleus or Timex Run Trainer (GPS watch) to record your activity, you can sync the activity to your Strava account online and view and analyse it in the same manner on your computer.

You can chose to simply use Strava as a personal and individual performance assessment, or you can connect and follow other athletes and check out their activities. You can even give those you follow on Strava kudos' and comment, similar to the way you would like' and comment on Facebook.

Pros:

  • It's free
  • It's easy to use
  • You can create a private account whereby you have to approve for someone to follow' you
  • You can sync your activities recorded on a Garmin (and a few others) to your Strava account
  • It provides social online interaction with a community of like-minded individuals
  • It helps keep you motivated and inspired
  • You can join Strava Challenges e.g. Run a marathon in May
  • Starva segments allow you to check if you have achieved a personal best and where you are ranked for segments against other athletes who have completed the same segments as you e.g. Queen of the Mountain up Ivory Lane.
  • You can create sub-groups within Strava and invite a niche group to be a part of it e.g. a triathlon club
  • You can make friends through Strava

Cons:

  • It isn't compatible with all GPS devices
  • The GPS tracking can go wrong when riding or running and record an inaccurate distance or summary of results

Overall, Strava is great for both recreational and elite athletes who enjoy a sense of online community and accountability with their training in an unintimidating environment. Strava is great for those who like to monitor performance improvements and break down their activity into km splits, elevation gains, segments for comparison to other Strava athletes and for some, receive public recognition. A great app!

About

Solveig is a Nutrition Coach and Qld Lead eCoach at the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, and enjoys long distance running.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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