This weekend I participated in my first triathlon (see the obligatory finish line photo below)! In celebration of that accomplishment, I’m going to briefly highlight a map-related training app called Strava.
Strava is available through a mobile app and a desktop platform. It creates essentially a training log of all the activities you’ve done and lets you take notes like you would in a training diary. I like the quick summary on your profile page– it lets me easily compare this week to last week and see which activities I’ve neglected or excelled at. I haven’t been using Strava for very long, so I don’t have much longer term data to look at.
From the mobile app, you can record an activity by clicking the plus sign in the lower right corner. The plus sign will take you to a menu that includes “Record Activity” and some other options. Clicking “Record Activity” takes you to the main tracking page. By clicking the shoe, bike, or other center icon you can change the sport. I love that they have options for hiking and e-bikes! From here it’s pretty intuitive to hit the Start button and use the pause or resume buttons if you take breaks.
After each activity, you get a quick summary of your speed and distance. The analysis section takes you to a route map and a detailed elevation, speed, and distance interactive graph. Strava also has a feature called “Segments,” which are short snippets of routes. You can compare your performance to other Strava users on the same segment, or track your progress over time.
My favorite thing about tracking data on Strava is how flexible the platform is. Some of my friends use Strava every time they bike as away to track their annual miles. So far I’ve only been using it for “training” activities such as triathlon prep, but I will probably start using it for more non-commute riding. You can tag activities to count towards specific goals, so I may use that as a way to distinguish between fitness cycling and transportation cycling. Some people sync waterproof fitness trackers to their Strava account to record swimming or canoeing, but you can also add these activities to your training log manually. I haven’t been using Strava for very long, but so far it’s worked really well for me. It records a number of metrics I care about, is easy to use, and has appropriate privacy features for me.