Whether you’re aiming to just get out on the roads or trails a few times a week, or to bag a new marathon personal best, two new Strava tools, unveiled today, can help you get a better idea of how your workouts are lining up with your fitness goals, and when you might be at risk of overdoing it.
The Perceived Exertion feature lets runners manually note how intense a run felt, on a scale of one to 10. It’s intended as an alternative to heartrate for tracking their effort over time, and it can be used with or without a heartrate monitor.
And Fitness is a new analysis tool designed to show users understand how their workouts are contributing to their overall fitness. They can see their Fitness Score on a graph each day, and zoom out to observe their fitness trends over one-month, three-month, six-month, one-year and two-year periods.
Perceived Exertion is free with the free app. Fitness is free to Summit subscribers, with a free trial available to users of the free app.
Megan Roche is a multi-national champion ultrarunner, doctor and running coach, dog lover and co-author of The Happy Runner (with her spouse, David Roche). She’s been using the new Strava features in her training, and has some comments on why the new features are so useful: “A perceived exertion metric… helps you understand what your body is telling you. Overtraining is a real danger, and one that can happen gradually, making it harder to recognize. Quantifying your perceived exertion will help you recognize overtraining earlier so you can readjust. I have worked with athletes who have had overtraining; it happens gradually. This new feature helps show if you’re overtraining at an earlier stage.”
Regarding the Fitness tool, Roche says, “Sometimes fitness builds slowly–with the new Fitness feature, you can see the gains of fitness a little earlier.”
Strava is the free social networking app for athletes that’s compatible with hundreds of smartphones and GPS devices. Download the free Strava app at www.strava.com. Upgrading to a Strava Summit subscription costs USD $59.99 and gets you additional features (including Fitness) and customizability.