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With its broad user base of over 45 million athletes, growing monthly by a million, Strava serves as the primary training tool for a huge number of cyclists worldwide. Now, following on from the company’s restructure of its premium package last year, and the addition of new mapping features in February, Strava has rolled out two new features in its mobile app to allow athletes to better track their performance.
The ‘Perceived Exertion’ feature offers a simple way for athletes to record the intensity of an activity. Instead of tracking metrics like heart rate or power, Strava users can use a sliding scale from 1-10 in the Strava app to select the perceived intensity of a workout, from Easy to Max Effort. This feature is available free to all app users, not just Summit members.
The ‘Fitness’ feature works directly with Perceived Exertion (or heart rate, if available) and helps track general fitness progress, providing high-level insight into trends over time. It is calculated from an accumulation of past activities, and provides a visual representation of how workouts – and rest – contribute to fitness. By flagging an increase in training load, it should also help an athlete avoid overtraining.
The feature gives users a daily Fitness Score, charted on a graph, and allows analysis of trends over time and in comparison to previous time periods. This feature is available to Strava users with a Summit subscription (US$59.99 a year).
These latest features – especially ‘Fitness’ – are significant in that they provide an easily-interpreted objective tracking tool, a feature lacking from Strava until now. Despite its market-leading position, Strava has previously focused mostly on the social aspects of its platform, with users heading to other platforms like TrainingPeaks or Golden Cheetah for serious analytics. Whilst Strava’s new features don’t offer quite that level of drill-down, it’s a step forward for the company’s appeal as a training tool.
Both features are available now in the Strava app, on both iOS and Android.