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The new user’s guide to Strava etiquette

How to gain major Strava respect

Your Internet presence is often the first thing someone sees about you. It’s not uncommon for a new friend or colleague to see your Facebook page before seeing you in person. Strava is the social media of choice for lots 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 lots of runners.

Photo: Strava

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Exercise fanatics around the world are posting and letting their friends know what they’re doing to stay fit. As with all forms of social media, there are certain norms that emerge around their usage. Here are the five most important notes of Strava etiquette for the new user (and your guide to having more kudos than all of your friends).

Rum Runners Relay start in 2019. Photo: Andrew Wagstaff

Turn your GPS off when you’re done running or riding

No one likes to flag someone else’s run or ride, but sometimes you have to, as Strava relies on its community of athletes to monitor the leaderboard. It’s an easy mistake to make, but after a great (or maybe really bad) run or ride, the user can forget to turn their phone or GPS off. Once they start driving, the GPS is triggering some huge CRs. They’re usually quickly flagged and removed, which is an easy fix, but nevertheless annoying.

Make sure your watch is in the right mode

Lots of Strava users do a bunch of different activities–which is super awesome. But when you’re running, make sure your watch is in run mode (and same goes for cycling or swimming). This allows for accurate segment stealing and post-run statistics checks.

Walking your dog is not a necessary activity post

It’s great to get exercise, even if it’s in the form of walking your dog. But we’re not sure that the dog walk is Strava-worthy.

Trackies: make it one file, not 30

Some track runners will upload three (or 10, depending on how many reps they’ve just done) in a row, with no title, no photos and no context. Track workouts are super fun to creep, but not when they’re presented as 20 files, added one rep at a time.

Add pictures

If you want your followers to be supremely jealous of your run, then snap a few pictures along the way and include them in your upload. This way, if it was a particularly great run, you’ve got a photo diary of that day’s activity.

You don’t have to qualify every run

Everyone has off days–your followers know this. It’s not necessary to let them know the eight reasons why you hit 4:40 per kilometre instead of 4:25.

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