Strava’s latest update offers segment recommendations and custom challenges
A little under a month ago Strava updated its app navigation and promised more updates would follow. We have just seen the first of those updates, and we like the look of it.
This latest update brings everything segments and routes into one place in the maps tab within the app. Furthermore, Strava is now offering segment suggestions – personalised recommendations for planning your ride – within the segments section of the maps tab.
Segment suggestions are personalised for each athlete and organised into six categories:
- Visit popular spots: A sampling of the most popular segments in the area.
- Discover new places: Popular segments in the area you haven’t matched to yet.
- Break your record: The segments where you’re close to beating your personal record.
- Climb the leaderboard: Segments where you’re close to getting a top 10 spot on the leaderboard.
- Go for a workout: Find nearby tracks, areas for interval training, and other areas where the community trains.
- Become a legend: Segments where you’re close to becoming the Local Legend.
While I have not yet tried the segment suggestions, this new feature seems to have the potential to help riders plan and vary their rides much more easily. It also seems to take the guesswork out of Strava’s Local Legends feature and help riders pinpoint which segments they can jump up the leaderboard on.
I am particularly interested in the “discover new places” feature, as it appears to auto-suggest ways to improve my Wandrer score.
The automation and variety the maps update brings are interesting, but it’s the new group challenges that should capture most people’s imagination. This new feature enables athletes to create custom challenges and compete specifically with their friends.
Strava says group challenges is its new flagship product. This feature offers challenge creators the option to challenge up to 25 friends to most activities, fastest effort, or longest single activity challenges.
The group challenge feature can be used for all 32 sports supported by Strava, and challenges can run for any duration from one day to one year. Athletes’ “public” or “followers-only” activities will count towards the challenge. Any photos uploaded to a workout will appear in the group challenge detail page for all participants to view.
The fastest effort challenge may well divide opinion in groups and clubs around the world, but the most activities and longest activity challenges could prove to be very useful motivation for many. I can’t help but think how great this might have been a year ago during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Strava has limited both these new features to subscribers only, but non-subscribers can trial the challenge feature for up to three challenges before being prompted to upgrade.