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Strava tips for new runners

There's a lot more to Strava than just seeing how far and how fast you run

Photo by: Lenny Maughan/Strava

Strava is a great tool for runners of all levels, from beginners right up to pros (even Joshua Cheptegei has an account where he posts his world records). If you’re new to running, you’ve probably heard of the app, but you might not know too much about it. It tracks your workouts and shows you how far you run, yes, but there’s a lot more to Strava than its GPS features. Run tracking is enough for some people, and if that’s all you want to use the app for, go right ahead. For any Strava newbies looking for something more, though, here are a few tips and tabs to check out when you download the app. 

Check out your post-run stats

Obviously you can see how far and how fast you ran after your workout, but there are more stats to be seen if you do a quick scan of your run file. If you click your run, you’ll be able to see your splits for every kilometre (or mile, if you prefer that), and you can see an elevation map from your run.

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Under a tab titled “Results,” you can also see how you fared on local segments that you followed on your run. Here, you can not only compare your most recent result with past runs, but you can also see where you stack up against other runners on the same route. This might be obvious to seasoned Strava runners who are used to the app, but for new users, that isn’t necessarily the case. 

Find new segments 

You can also be proactive when it comes to these Strava segments and search for them before your runs. Hit the “Explore” tab and select “Segments.” This will take you to a map, and you can search any location around the world. You’ll be able to see all the running segments near you, and you can even filter them to find the flattest or hilliest of the segments.   

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Track your shoes 

If you log onto Strava on your computer, you can add your gear to your profile. Head to your profile settings, then click “My Gear.” This will take you to a page where you can enter the shoes that you use, and you can even request to be notified when you hit a certain distance run. This is really valuable for runners, as it takes the guessing out of determining how many miles you’ve run in your shoes and when you should get a new pair. 

You can be private 

Just like any other social media platform, Strava allows you to make a private profile. This is great for runners who want to keep their data to a close group of friends, or even to keep their workouts to themselves. There’s also the option to make individual workouts private (which you can do before posting a run on the app), so if there’s a run you aren’t happy with, you don’t need to delete it altogether, and you can instead hide it from your followers. 

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Enter challenges 

Strava has many challenges that users can enter, and the app will keep track of your progress the entire time. You can even search specific types of challenges, whether they’re focused on distance, elapsed time, elevation gain and more. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated, especially during a pandemic when races are cancelled.