Getting the most out of Strava
The sports tracking app, Strava, has become a staple on the phones of most cyclists. Part fitness tracker, part social network, there are so many ways it can add value to your life. So, we asked some expert Strava users for some tips on how to get the most out of its features.
Many of us have a terrible habit of using the same apps every day, not straying from the limited feature set that we know well. Knowing the amount of work that product teams put into developing useful new features, it pays to explore our everyday apps with new eyes every once in a while.
Here are our favourite features on Strava, both free and paid for:
1/ Gear tracker
Those who don’t venture beyond the “Record” and “Feed” buttons may not have come across the Gear Tracker feature on Strava (free). Frustratingly, it’s not yet available in the app itself, but you can access it via Settings on the desktop version. By logging your gear, Strava can send you an automatic notification when you hit the 500km mark for your shoes, or you can track the age of your bike components and stay on top of maintenance.
2/ Strava integrations (there are a LOT!)
If you want to track all your exercise in one place, getting familiar with the Strava Apps page will save you so much time in the long run. And it doesn’t have to be limited to running, cycling, walking or swimming activities - all exercise can be tracked. Thousands of developers from across the world have built apps on top of the Strava API, meaning you can link up apps like Puregym, Digme or Mindbody to your Strava account. The two will automatically sync, meaning you can track everything in one place.
3/ Route builder
The Strava route builder lets you create running, cycling or walking routes, which you can then share with friends or download to any GPS compatible devices. The Beta can be found online at https://www.strava.com/routes/new, and although it can be a little slower to navigate than Google Maps, it comes with added layers of insight; Strava pulls data from its many members uploads to show you the most popular routes. It’s a great way to explore a new area, and as you can also filter routes by gradient, you can tailor the route to your fitness level.
4/ Art on Strava
Not really a feature, but something you may never have considered using Strava for...! Gary Cordery was commissioned by Strava themselves to create an artwork to mark the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This may be out of reach of the average Strava user (i.e. us here at Beryl), but it’s really interesting to learn about the process behind creating a picture. Added bonus: you will look at your previous Strava maps in a whole new way.
5/ Perceived Exertion measurement
We have all had those days where a 10k cycle felt like 50k, and it can really get you down if you're training for a long ride. The new perceived exertion measurement feature in Strava lets you manually log how a ride felt, letting you track your distances and mental perception at the same time. Very helpful when you need to put a ride in context!
This is a paid-for feature, but you can get a free trial of the Summit membership if you want to try it out.