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The dos and don’ts of Strava

A few things for new runners to consider before they start posting on Strava

Photo by: Lenny Maughan/Strava

If you’re new to Strava, there are a few dos and don’ts you should know about. In fact, even if you’ve used Strava for years, it’s worth reviewing these dos and don’ts (specifically the don’ts, just to make sure you’re not doing anything that might annoy your followers). Strava is meant to be a fun place where runners and other athletes can go to share their workouts (which is one of the dos), but there’s some behaviour that won’t fly on the app. Find out what’s acceptable and what isn’t before heading out for your next run. 

Do: post all of your workouts 

Strava is a judgment-free zone. If you start recording a workout, follow through with it and post it, no matter how bad it might turn out to be. Even if you think it’s the worst run of your life, nobody will judge you. After all, the whole point of the app is to encourage exercise, and that’s what you did, even if it wasn’t as impressive as you had hoped it would be. 

Don’t: make excuses 

So you’re committed to posting no matter what, and that’s great. But if you have a bad workout, don’t make up an excuse for the poor performance. We don’t need to know if you ran into a headwind the whole way or if you were trudging through deep snow. Everyone has bad runs. Forget about it and move on.  

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Do: have fun with the app

Make Strava art, enter the app’s challenges and compete with friends. There’s so much you can do with this app to have some fun, so take advantage of it. 

Try making Strava art. Photo: Strava/Liyang Wang

Don’t: forget to change your activity

If you use Strava to record bike rides, make sure your activity is set for a ride instead of a run when you hop on your bike. If it records as a run, you’ll get home and find that you broke dozens of Strava CRs (course records) and “ran” 50K in two hours (which is a massive world record — congrats). If you notice this mistake, it’s easy enough to change your activity back to a run after the fact. 

RELATED: 7 more Strava excuses we’re tired of seeing

Do: post pics 

Strava is a social media app, and if you see something worth sharing, don’t hesitate to put it on your workout post. You post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so do the same for Strava. If you share the nice views you saw on your runs, you might inspire your followers to check out the same routes.

Show off the views from your runs on Strava.

Don’t: get mad at someone if they record a ride as a run

You’re going to be careful and make sure that you don’t record bike rides as runs, but other people might slip and not realize they’ve messed up. If you see someone do this, don’t freak out. Mistakes happen, and they almost certainly didn’t do that on purpose. If they did do it on purpose, then they should have made it a little less obvious and not claimed to have run a 50K world record. 

RELATED: Strava’s Year in Sport report tells the story of running during COVID-19

Do: give kudos 

Let your friends know they did a good job. It feels good when people give you kudos, so share the love and give the people you follow a virtual pat on the back. 

Don’t: post everything you do

Strava’s for physical activity. If you’re outside and enjoying nature, that’s great, but don’t post something to the app unless it involved some kind of exercise. If you went tubing for an hour and recorded the ride on your watch, your followers don’t need to see that. Sure, your arms might be tired from getting whipped around on the lake, but it’s not a necessary post. 

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Do: chase CRs and crowns 

Strava is an online community built for competition, which is why there are segment rankings and CRs up for grabs. If you know of a segment nearby and you have a fast run planned, give it a shot and try to run the fastest split. We’re all starved for competition right now, so this is a great chance to feel like you’re racing. 

Don’t: be obnoxious about chasing CRs and crowns 

Yes, chase CRs, but don’t be so obvious about it. If someone takes your CR, don’t sprint out the door to win it back as soon as you get the notification that says they beat you. Stealing that crown back just a few hours after someone took it from you will just make you look silly, because in the end, you’re fighting over a made-up title on a 620m stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. There are more important things to worry about. 

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