For those who like to stay fit and active, mobile applications like Strava are great to use and if you’re not very familiar about how to use Strava, this guide will help you get started. Strava is an app that is made for athletes by athletes. It is free to join and download. Within the app, you can track and analyze different aspects of your activities, among many other features.
The app works both on iPhone and Android devices. It turns your smartphone into a sophisticated running and cycling computer, utilizing your device’s GPS. It also works on GPS watches and head units. When you use Strava before an activity, you can track your performance stats and later on, analyze your data.
Before we explore how to use Strava, it’s good to have a better understanding of its features.
First, you can use Strava to measure your performance. The app will sync with your device, whether it’s a phone or a GPS watch or a heart rate monitor, then it will record your performance metrics. Some of these metrics are exclusive only to Strava.
Connect with Friends
Next, the app allows you to connect with your friends and share your data. This is great when you want to work out with your gym buddies or cycling groups. You can see your friends’ performances and they can see yours so you can motivate each other when you learn how to use Strava.
Once you record an activity, it will automatically publish in your Strava feed. Your friends and followers can share their own races as well as workouts. When looking at the feed, both you and your friends can give kudos or thumbs up to performances. They can also post comments on activities.
Within Strava, you will find hundreds of thousands of clubs which allow members to organize and join activities. It’s a great community to find friends, teams, and even interact with brands and gear shops when you learn how to use Strava.
For your safety, especially when running on unfamiliar paths, there is a feature called Beacon that lets you share your location in real time. Send your location as you run with your friend, partner, and family so they will know where you are in case of emergency.
Those are some of the basic features of the app when you learn how to use Strava. There is a premium subscription that lets you do even more.
How to Use Strava?
So how do you use it? It’s important to know how to use Strava properly in order to maximize its features and functionalities. Here are some of the most helpful tips and tricks.
Sync with Your Watch
If you are using a smart or running watch, or a wearable fitness tech, you can hook it up with the app to sync your data. It works with a wide range of GPS sports watches as well as cycling devices. All you have to do is to pair your account in the dashboard and it will automatically push data.
Build Your Routes
If you’re new to your location or want to find new places to run, you can use the Route Builder feature. Here, you can choose your start and finish points on the map and the app will show you new route suggestions based on the data where most users run. This is a great way to help you find paths and trails that don’t always show up on Google maps.
If you are in a location surrounded by hills, you can tap on the Min Elevation tab on the toolbar and it will help you find flatter routes which is a great way how to use Strava. When you’re done, the route will be saved and you can load it from the menu at any time.
When you know how to use Strava, you can use the data to break your own records. Run the same segment or workout and Strava will give you a virtual trophy once you reach your fastest record. You can even get multiple trophies when you do long and successful slogs.
There are also monthly challenges that you can beat like running a 10K. Any activity that is saved for the month will count towards your total. If you succeed in the challenge, you will receive a badge and it will be included in your Trophy Case that everyone can see.
Aside from your own records, you can also break someone else’s records. You can access the leaderboard and see other users who run on the same roads.
Heart Rate Sensor
Optionally, you can use a heart rate sensor to maximize the app. This will let you add all biometric data when you learn how to use Strava. If you’re working out and using your phone, connect it to a heart rate monitor and you can even listen to music.
Be Part of Clubs
There are virtual run clubs that you can join where you will be connected to real users. These runs are hosted by popular brands like New Balance and sometimes, just by regular users in your area. Search for clubs using the location feature or you can search for their names. When you sign up, you can participate in different runs and cycles. If you’re not sure what to look for, just click on Find a Club and choose what type of sports you like.
Another great feature you can use once you learn how to use Strava is that it connects so many global users in social media. Connect your Facebook or sync your contacts to the app and you can add them so that they appear in your news feed.
Learning how to use Strava is a great way to motivate yourself in your runs and workouts. There are so much to explore and you can do even more when you use the premium features. Connect with your friends and help them feel motivated by giving kudos.