Strava is one of the most popular fitness tracking apps for runners, cyclists, and other athletes. With over 95 million users, Strava provides detailed activity tracking as well as a social network for athletes. As an avid Strava user for 5 years, I want to share some tips on how to make the most out of Strava by marking segments and tracking workouts.
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What are Strava Segments
Segments are portions of roads or trails marked by Strava users to track times and compete on leaderboards. For example, a popular segment might be a climb up a local hill or your regular running loop in the park.
To create a new segment in the Strava mobile app:
- Open an activity and tap on the map.
- Tap “Add Segment” and select the start and end points.
- Give your segment a name and description.
- Set privacy and enable leaderboards if desired.
You can also create segments on the Strava website by clicking on the map and selecting start/end points.
Pro Tip: Create segments for your favorite training routes or sections where you want to track progress. Enabling leaderboards adds a fun competitive element!
Using Segments for Training
Once segments are created, here are some ways to utilize them in your training:
Race Virtual Partners
Open any activity on a segment you’ve done before. Scroll down to the segment in your activity details and tap “Race Yourself” or “Race a Friend” to virtually race a previous effort or another athlete.
Compare Segment Efforts
See all your attempts on a segment stacked up to compare performance over time. Check out the analysis tab for detailed metrics like heart rate, power, and pacing.
Target Segment Goals
Set goals like getting a PR or hitting a time target for a segment. Use segments to quantify progress on specific climbs, sprints or race courses.
Pro Tip: Star your favorite segments so they automatically display performance stats when you complete them.
Tracking Workouts on Strava
Strava isn’t just for logging runs and rides! You can also track strength training, yoga, hiking, and just about any activity.
Recording a Workout
To record a workout, simply start a generic “Workout” activity on your phone or wearable device. Many devices like watches and heart rate straps will automatically sync data to Strava too.
Adding Sets and Reps
The Strava mobile app includes an option to add sets and reps to your strength training activities. You can specify exercises, weights, reps and rest times.
See what your friends and pros are doing for inspiration by following their training feeds. Give kudos to activities and comment to interact.
Pro Tip: Use privacy zones or unfollow certain people if you don’t want certain activities to show up in your main feed.
Additional Strava Features
Beyond segments and tracking, Strava includes many other useful features:
- Training log to view your workout history and performance analytics
- Route builder to map and plan rides and runs
- Fitness and freshness estimates based on your training data
- Clubs and challenges to keep you motivated and competing
- Beacon safety feature to share your location with contacts
The free Strava subscription includes plenty to get started but upgrading to a paid Summit plan unlocks additional advanced performance analytics.
I hope these tips help you get more out of your Strava experience. Let your competitive side loose, embrace the social community, and quantify your fitness with detailed data. And most importantly, have fun out there!
What features do you enjoy using on Strava? Share your thoughts in the comments.