Home > Training

Strava’s newest feature: perfect routes for every occasion

Strava is hand-crafting routes for every kind of runner

Strava is the social media platform of choice for a lot of runners–it’s like Instagram, Twitter and your favourite exercise app combined. And it’s one of the main avenues of communication and logging miles for them, as well. Today, Strava launches their newest feature: routes. Using Routes is like having a local runner with you at all times, who also happens to know every city and town like the back of their hand. The feature suggests three possible runs, based on a runner’s individual specifications, a generates them in seconds.

RELATED: The new user’s guide to Strava etiquette

Routes can be found in the Explore feature, along the bottom row of the app. Simply tap Routes and toggle filters to change recommendations, or choose to draw your own route. The app uses both Strava’s heat map data and map matching to produce routes. This combination gives insights into where local runners run and the conditions of the roads, trails and paths. Since the app has over three billion activities across 50 million athletes, their route-building data spans over half the world’s roads and trails.

RELATED: The 5 kinds of Strava posters

The filters

Filters allow users to design their ideal run. If you’re in a new city on business or for a vacation, you can make a perfect route, site unseen. The filters are: location (current location or other), activity type (run or ride), distance (select from provided ranges), elevation (prefer flat, prefer hilly or no preference) and surface (prefer pavement, prefer dirt or no preference).

The three suggested routes, or the option to draw your own

The recommendations

Strava will generate three possible routes based on your specifications, and you can save the one you like best.  Each recommendation will provide details on the time it’ll take to run the route, elevation, surface changes and the heat map to see your potential routes’ popularity. All the user has to do is save their desired route and start running. Routes can easily be synced to GPS watches as well.

If you’d rather draw your own route, just trace its outline and Strava will generate an optimal loop based and where you want to go.

Practical uses

This feature is ideal for the runner who’s always on the go. If you’re someone who travels a lot for work or training, having several perfect routes designed for you is ideal. Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, Routes is a good tool to find new roads in your own backyard. Routes is available only for Strava subscribers, but becoming a Summit member only costs $6.42 per month.