Strava Premium Review: A Guide to Strava Premium

 

Strava premium review

Strava recently made some changes to Strava Premium, which is known as Strava Summit. Some of the most well-loved features are now for subscription only members. In this post, I’ll review Strava Premium, and consolidate at the end whether it is worth the small cost. You’ll have probably made your decision by then, anyway. 

I want to deviate for a bit and mention how I recently listened to an interview with Noah Kagan and Mark Gainey, one of the co-founders of Strava. Gainey discussed the early growth and scaling strategies of Strava – give it a listen here. What caught my attention most is how Strava was established with the “inch wide, mile deep” customer focus strategy. Gainey and Horvath value the user experience on Strava more than anything, and this is a testament as to why most Strava features were previously free. 

Gainey explained that their dedicated user base loves not only the Strava platform but the company of Strava itself, and what it represents. They decided to make most of Strava’s previously free features behind the paywall. This is because, for $5 a month (the price of a coffee!), this dedicated user base is very likely to become a premium user. The analytical features, such as route planner, Strava segment creation, and leaderboards are worth it. When I recently read Strava’s Brand Playbook, a quote stood out to me:

“Strava is a community of people devoted to putting effort into their activities. For them, being active is not a chore. It’s part of who they are. They’re people who balance their commitment with real-life” – Strava Brand Playbook

I also listened to Fitt Insider podcast with John Vennare, where he also interviewed Mark Gainey. This is also worth a listen, just click here. 

What do you get with Strava Summit?

Strava premium review 2

The new structure of Strava Summit unlocks all of Strava’s features, some of which were previously free. They’ve recently integrated some new features too, such as the new “Training” tab in the mobile application which allows you to track and analyze activities on a week-to-week basis. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of Strava Premium v Strava Free, which I pulled from the Strava Website:

strava premium review 3

 

What does Strava Summit do?

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The free version of Strava no longer includes popular features such as route building, segment leaderboards, and advanced performance metrics. Free users will no longer be able to see entire segment leaderboards including specific metric rankings (such as age, gender, weight etc). Free users will receive access to view the top 10 athletes’ rankings on segment leaderboards. 

To break it down (as per the Strava website as a guideline) – if you choose to subscribe to the paid service, you’ll get access to:

Compete in Strava Segments: Compete on mapped out segments (snippets of road/path/trail plotted out as a route on Strava) and compare/keep track of past efforts on these segments. 

 

Strava Segments Premium review

Access to a Training Dashboard/ Training Log: This feature allows you to track your fitness progression, and see what phase of training you’re in. Below is a screenshot of what a training log on Strava looks like with the paid service. You’lll see it plots the longer workouts as bigger circles, and different coloured circles for different activity types (run, swim, hike, bike etc). The total distance is tracked off to the side, and you can see all the previous years of training since you’ve been on Strava. A great digital training diary and backlog!

Strava Training Log

 

To set personal goals: You can set time, distance and performance goals, and track your progress across each. See a screenshot below of what happens when I navigate under the “Dashboard” dropdown menu and hit “My Goals”.

Strava Set A Goal

Analyze your training comprehensively: Through access to power data and HR data, Strava allows you to identify patterns in training and performance. Strava includes a Fitness & Freshness graph, under “Training” drop-down menu. For cyclists, there’s a Best Effort’s power curve graph which can be generated, under the same menu. Here’s a screenshot of my “Fitness & Freshness” Graph. Strava states that they measure this through a combination of relative effort and power-based training load.

Strava Fitness & Freshness

 

Plan and discover new routes: Strava can suggest routes for runs and rides (you can filter it to road/path/trail only on the map feature), based on GPS activity in that geographical area from other Strava athletes. To create a route, you hit the “Explore” drop-down menu and then hit ‘Create a Route’. See a screenshot of the Strava Route Builder Screen below:

strava route builder

 

Safety Beacon: You can share your real-time location with friends and family via the app. This is a nifty extra feature to help you feel safe and supported on runs and rides. 

Access to a personal heat-map: This is an interactive visual map of all your runs and rides that you’ve completed around the world. I personally love this feature, all the highlighted coloured lines show where I’ve run, and the darker means I’ve run those areas more often. Take a look below for a screenshot as an example:

Strava Heat Map

Access to Training Plans: Strava provides access to fitness apps (from acclaimed apps to start-ups) which provide training plans of all sorts – from ultra-running to road cycling. Click here to learn more, and gain access to a database of varied training plans. 

Strava has their own training plans for runners, available here, and for cyclists, here. Alternatively, you can access “Training Plans” via the drop-down menu on the Strava website. 

 

Strava Training Plans for Runners

Strava released a statement in regards to this change and explaining the shift over of most of the popular free features to a subscription service:

“Dedicating Strava to the community is also a commitment to longevity. We are not yet a profitable company and need to become one in order to serve you better. And we have to go about it the right way—honest, transparent, and respectful to our athletes.” 

How much does Strava Premium Cost?

Strava Premium Review

 

Strava have decided to consolidate their package model previously into a single subscription package. Now Strava charges $5.00/month for an annual subscription, with the first 2 months free if users commit to an entire year. Click here to subscribe to Strava Premium if you’re interested. Previously, Strava separated it’s subscription services into packages (incl. Cost break down) such as:

  • Training – (1 yr, $23.99)
  • Safety – (1 yr, $23.99)
  • Analysis – (1 yr, $23.99)

 

You could do combinations of these packs, or subscribe to all three for a year, totaling $59.99. 

Is Strava Summit Worth it?

Well, since all of the features discussed above are, according to seasoned Strava users, the most beloved features, I definitely think it is worth sacrificing the cost of a cup of coffee a month for Strava Premium/Summit. If you enjoyed these features and engaged with them before they were placed behind a paywall, then it is little harm done to subscribe. Plus, there are some perks you could cash in on as a subscriber. See my screenshot below:

 

Strava Perks

I reached the Strava Perks landing page (screen above) through hitting the “Explore” drop-down menu, and then ‘Subscriber Perks’. If you scroll down, there are even more! 

Strava Clubs Case Study: How to create a Strava Club for your business

strava clubs case study

Strava Club Case Study: How to create a Strava Club for your blog or business

I decided to create a Strava Club and promote it, to learn the most effective way to execute this process for a small business or company, and also for a little bit of fun. I now have my very own Strava club Wild For Trails–  connected to this blog (larahamilton.com). In this post I’ll guide you through how to create a club on strava, strava club widgets, strava challenges in strava clubs, and setting up a strava marketing strategy utilizing strava clubs.

The goal of my club is to connect athletes internationally and locally (in Boise and in Sydney – my two home cities), provide a platform for camaraderie and education, and set up/facilitate live activity meet ups in Boise and Sydney when I am in the localities. I’m super excited to keep this club running (pun intended) and watch it grow. 

Strava Clubs 5

This process proved to me that a Strava Club can be easily set up for a business or brand, opening up a new platform to engage athletes with your product or label. I recently read this awesome article which honed in on some relevant stats surrounding the growth of Strava. It’s truly fascinating. 

 

Strava is “growing at 1 million per month as of July 2019. In that year’s Tour de France, 120 of the 176 riders regularly log rides in Strava”. 

Chris H – Harvard Business School Student Article

 

If you’re a sport-focused brand, company, or business wonder, you’d be silly not to create and grow a Strava presence. Check out my post on Strava for Business here, which walks you through the how to’s, essential features of setting up a Strava Business account or Strava Partnership. If you’d like to contact me so I can personally walk you through the steps or help you set up a Strava Business Plan – click here.

What is a Strava Club?

A Strava club is essentially like a real-world sporting club but facilitated online via Strava, complete with statistical features, scheduled club runs, club competitions, and challenges (known as Strava Challenges). Clubs can be created for any sport or multiple sports that Strava supports. Clubs can be in the form of:

  • Real-life local clubs that want an online Strava presence or post their events on Strava to publicize them
  • Brand affiliated/Strava Partnership Clubs
  • An online-only virtual club

I decided to create a club connected to the larahamilton.com running blog to experience the set-up process myself and learn how a brand or business may do the same. This is a screenshot of my homepage for the Wild For Trails Strava Club.

strava club wild for trails

I invited members to my club by clicking ‘Invite Athletes’ on the right.

How do I join a Club on Strava? – Creating a Community 

The great thing about Strava Clubs is many groups or brands have their club page primarily based on Strava. Strava attains so many new users simply by athletes wanting to join a local club and therefore joining Strava so they can see the scheduled group meet-ups and join in the friendly Strava Challenge competitions. If your brand or business has a club on Strava, you can invite members to join as per above. 

I want to walk through the simple steps of how users find and join a Strava club. I first go to ‘Explore’ at the top drop-down menu of the Strava homepage. See the screenshot below.

Strava club 1

The next page that pops up will be the Strava Club search page. I wanted to search for all running clubs in Boise. So I typed ‘Boise’ into location, and hit the running check-circle, then hit ‘search’.

Strava Club search screenshot

I decided I want to join the local running store club – Shu’s Idaho Running Company. I clicked their blue URL title, and then on their page, I clicked ‘Join Club’ in bright orange under the description. It’s that simple! See the screenshot below.

Shu's idaho run club join

Promoting Your Strava Club

The most effective way to promote your Strava club is to first grow your athlete member count. This is most effectively done via:

  • Inviting athletes physically via the Strava Club page
  • Word-of-mouth spreading via Group Strava Events (physical presence)
  • Setting Strava Challenges – The completion banner, badges on your club member’s pages, virtual trophy symbol, brand tailored segment, and the leaderboard will promote your brand naturally
  • Provide Incentives for Challenge completion – Brand prizes, discounts, access to online resources etc
  • Running Facebook Ads directly to your brand club homepage or next club event (send them straight to a ‘product’ or live event, in this sense)

 

I’ll explore these other strategies below:

  • Pinterest pins directed to the club page 
  • Post Content on Strava
  • Inserting a Strava Widget onto your personal blog or company website. 

 

Pinterest pins are a unique but interesting way to drive traffic to your club page, and potentially gain new Strava users utilizing your brand as the segway for the athlete onto Strava. On Canva, I created this pin, which links directly to my club page:

strava club wild for trails 1

I then targeted Strava related keywords searched for on Pinterest and placed them in the description of the pin. This pin is linked directly to my personal blog also. I want the Strava Club, my personal running blog, and the Pinterest pin to be interconnected to best optimize the promotion of my club. This exact growth strategy could be applied to your brand. Contact me to learn more about forming a Strava Business Strategy here.

Content posting is a must. It is how we keep the discussion board alive on the club page, and it will appear in your club members/athletes activity feed as a notification, in a sense. See the screenshot below of the club post page, accessed via the club page. 

 

strava club wild for trails 3

This content is directly from my personal blog, I just shared it on Strava as well. Brands with personal blogs and content can create Strava posts with content directly from their site. It takes the thinking out of the process and further promotes your brand on the platform. On the top right of the screenshot above, you can click the button to ‘Post Content’. 

 

Strava Club Content posting

 

Inserting a Strava Widget onto your website is super simple. On the club page, to the right on the bottom, you’ll see ‘Share [Club Name]’s Runs’ – click this. See the screenshot below.

strava club wild for trails 4

 

This will pop-up. See the screenshot below.

 

You’ll want to embed the URL to either on or both of the Widget into the Footer of your website. (I found this to be the best, least disrupting to your website layout design). When you refresh your website pages and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see these 2 widgets (I embedded both) on the page. See the screenshot below for an example from my website.

Strava Widgets1

 

This is another great way to promote your brand or business Strava club via a website platform.

Strava Club Challenges: Can I create my own challenge on Strava?

Strava clubs 2

Challenges encourage users to engage with the application and consistently check in with the app to see how their effort or multiple efforts/attempts for the challenge are faring over time. 

This is a win-win for both Strava, the brand, and the athlete. Strava is publicized as the challenge spreads on the platform and via word of mouth (trust me, in Bosie alone I have heard the Boise Summit Series mentioned in various venues across town over 5 times – in active communities these spread like wildfire). This draws new users on to the platform so they can complete the incentivized challenges, and in many cases earn prizes affiliated with the brand or local companies the club page is trying to support. Boise Summit Series paired up with local breweries for one of their challenge prizes. 

In the screenshot below, I completed one of my challenges on my morning run. The badge appears below the stats as you can see. If you’re a brand labeled challenge, this is great publicity for your brand. My morning run with the Strava challenge completion banner will appear on my personal activity feed, promoted to all my followers. They can click into the challenge via the banner.

strava activity upload

 

Other types of challenges require donations to a charity cause, or an entry fee for a virtual run often in return for a mail-delivered finishers medal or brand-affiliated discounts. 

An example of a virtual race with an entry fee, Strava club, and finisher prizes is the SeaWheeze virtual half marathon and 10k (originally a real-life race, gone virtual).

Strava virtual race

 

You can join the run club on Strava as you can see in the bottom right (click here to do so), where your training and race effort will be posted. You can also see other motivated athletes working towards completing the challenge too. 

Strava virtual run 1

 

Users get a unique badge for their virtual Strava trophy cabinet and a finishers medal posted to their door, along with other cool prizes listed on the rego page. You can register for the SeaWheeze Virtual Running Race here. 

Since COVID-19, challenges have become more popular than ever, as have Strava virtual runs which can easily be set up utilizing set routes with Strava Segments. This works via GPS Sports watch connection to the Strava app, which recognizes the route run, and uploads the athlete’s effort for that particular route onto Strava. See my screenshot below of a past Virtual Run I completed hosted by the Strava Club – ‘Pace Athletic’. They utilized the Spit to Manly Strava Segment. 

 strava segment

Strava then places the athlete’s activity/effort onto a leaderboard under the segment or set route.

Strava Segment 1

 

The Pace Athletic Strava Run Club could then determine their winner based on the top Strava Segment times posted at the end of the challenge, as shown on the leaderboard. Strava categorizes these leaderboards automatically if the challenge has a gender, age, weight class category, etc (as you can see in the bottom right of the screenshot above). This is a great example of a local running business establishing a Club Challenge to promote their brand, services, and spread camaraderie associated with the brand. I personally completed this challenge and won’t forget it for a while – it is great real-time marketing, connecting dedicated and motivated athletes directly with the business or brand. 

Plus, it’s free to do

Strava Club Events

I decided to create a test event on my club page – it was very simple and is a great way to create face-to-face relationships with other members of your club. If you’re a brand, setting up brand affiliated club events is essentially like putting a face to the brand. If you know anything about marketing, this is a must. To add a club event – on your club page hit ‘add club event’. 

Strava Club event

 

Next, a club event pop-up form will appear. See my screenshot below.

Strava club event form

Fill this form out, and voila – you’ll create a club event that looks a bit like this one I created shown below.

Strava Club event 3

 

Strava is pretty snazzy and lists all the club events you’re attending on your activity feed and profile, alongside all the challenges you’re in the process of completing. See my screenshot below for an example. It’s in the top right corner.

Strava profile

 

You can promote your club event on your personal or brand activity feed, and even share it on socials. See the screenshot below of the event page. One the right you’ll see ‘Share & Invite Friends’.

Strava Event

On the mobile application, when you hit this button, this will appear. It’s great that you can even send the group event run out via text, airdrop or Facebook messenger app.

Strava Club Run

 

Strava Clubs Privacy Settings

Strava allows you to make your club open to all, private, or women only. When you first set-up your club, you’ll see this option at the bottom of the pop-up widget. 

If you want to learn more about how to set-up and grow your brand on Strava, contact me here.

If you’d like to join Wild For Trails – a community for trail fanatics (running, mountain biking and hiking) on Strava, click here.

Strava Business: A guide to advertising your brand on Strava

strava business

Strava Business: How to advertise your brand on Strava

Strava is one of the best ways for brands to connect directly with the athlete. Strava Business is a platform that has been established to effectively advertise brands to extremely focused target markets – essentially users already engaging with the products. Strava advertising is a must for all sports brands in the future, breaking down geographical and time barriers that could potentially prevent effective athlete-brand connections. The aim is to create a Strava Marketing Strategy.

We are witnessing a shift in the marketing world, where athletic focused advertising is no longer as effective in the form of annoying ‘pop-up, in your face’ ads, but integrated into physical challenges, clubs, and the athletic activity itself. This is a win-win for the business and the athlete. Luckily, Strava Business exists to help brands reach athletes directly. 

What is Strava Advertising?

strava business 1

Strava allows its brands (which they call ‘partners’) that have connected with the platform to establish connections with motivated athletes from all over the world, from many different athletic disciplines, with a variety of goals. That’s a market waiting to be tapped in to. I recommend establishing what your brand goal will be when establishing its presence and forming an athlete-brand based community on Strava. Think creatively. If you’re a sports watch brand, you can use Strava to highlight particular activities and segments to promote a certain model of your watch. Polar has done this, and Strava wrote a case study on it which you can read here.

In my screenshot below from a Parkrun, I completed a few years ago, I even listed the watch I was using – A Garmin Forerunner 735XT. This is a form of brand exposure via an athlete on Strava. See it like this – if a well-known athlete with a large number of Strava followers completes a race, the activity upload is going to get a lot of traffic. The traffic/athletes viewing the activity can see what gear the athlete used, and are more likely to go out and buy the same gear.

strava business 2

Athletes on Strava are diverse. There are road runners, trail runners, track runners, cyclists, swimmers, hikers, kayakers, surfers, skiers.  The list is long, and they’re all on Strava. I personally follow athletes from all of these disciplines and also use my own Strava for running, swimming, cycling, skiing, and surfing. These connections can be formed via:

  • Establishing sponsored virtual challenges for athletes 
  • Creating clubs athletes can join – these form communities which brands can directly engage with. 
  • Just as on Instagram and Facebook you can directly engage with athletes. Whether this is via ‘Kudos’ (Likes), commenting on activity uploads, finding athletes on leaderboards from segments and routes, shared activity uploads. These features are all a part of the camaraderie and fun that have allowed Strava to build a platform of over 50 million athletes from 195 countries. 
  • Sponsored Integrations 

 

I’ll break down these components of Strava Business for effective Strava Advertising below. 

Strava Challenges: Sponsored Challenges to introduce and engage your audience

Strava Challenges allow your brand to directly engage with athletes and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds. Athletes thrive off challenges, and its a cyclical process too. Once we complete one challenge, we become hungrier for the next. Trust me, I’m one myself. We don’t settle, and the motivation and friendly competition Strava fuels with its challenge leaderboards, kudos, commenting feature, and reward incentives only fuel the fire. See the screenshot below of an example of a UK based club challenge I’m currently completing from the US/Australia. The 2020km in 2020!

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I noticed that they’re currently advertising a club event (see the blue URL link) – a virtual monthly 5k race. I clicked the link, and was taken to this page, where I could join the race and even invite friends to join me:

strava business 4

As a brand club page, you could set challenges just like the one above.

Challenges are completely customizable. You can choose:

  • The duration of the challenge – it could be 1 week or 1 month
  • Age – you have the option to open the challenge to certain age groups only
  • Who can enter – it can be a private club challenge, or open to all of Strava. You choose your field. 
  • Gender competing – can decide to have all race results compiled as one, or categorized into gender results. 
  • The sport for your challenge – eg. running, swimming, cycling
  • The style of your challenge – it could be run a half-marathon as fast as you can, complete this specific trail route as fast as you can, or run for 20 hours this month. Be as creative as you like with this. The more diverse you can offer, the better. 

Challenges facilitate the process of continual user-brand re-engagement. By setting regular and interesting challenges, and providing reward incentives, users stay interacting and engaging with the brand and motivated to virtually compete. Clubs can post challenges by posting on their club page and inserting a segment link at the end of their post. See the screenshot below from the Boise Summit Series Club Page for a brief example:

strava business 5

 

Challenges increase brand exposure and therefore new potential customers. Other Strava users can see their friends complete challenges through activities posted in their feeds, and friends also get notified when their fellow athletes join a challenge. Strava will then ask if you’d personally also like to join the challenge with a simple click of a box in your personal activity feed.

strava business 6

Another perk is that the Athlete’s personal profile/dashboard has a featured gallery of the current challenges they are participating in, alongside a virtual trophy cabinet presenting the challenges they have completed. Athletes can track their progress in a challenge anytime, via their personal profile, activity upload, or on a club page. Athletes will also tend to post their challenge completion on socials – even better for your brand.

 

strava business 7A screenshot of a segment (route) that is being used as a virtual trail race on Strava, facilitated by the Boise Summit Series Club.

Strava Challenges are a new form of sports-focused advertising. The brand in a sense, is the instigator for the athlete to continue participating in challenges and setting new goals. This is motivational and has a positive influence on potential customers. This is very different to a traditional marketing advertisement. 

Challenges facilitate a community brand experience for athletes. Athletes will begin to associate a positive and ‘human’ feeling to the brand. It won’t seem like just another label. With Strava, this is often one of fun, camaraderie, and friendly competition. 

You can reward your participating athletes and community – challenges have incentives. Athletes who complete the challenge will receive a finisher’s badge in their digital trophy case, displayed on their profile.

strava business 8

You could also choose to offer product discounts, such as online store discount codes, race entries, tailored experiences. I’ve even seen local club based challenges offer physical prizes. I personally won a challenge and collected a physical prize in-store. The store had set-up its own Strava running club, complete with challenges and prizes. 

Using Strava Challenges to promote your brand is an extremely effective and innovative way to engage a community that has already established a common interest in the sport, they likely have similar goals alongside drive and determination to take on new challenges.

On their website, Strava explains the benefits of sponsored Strava challenges are brand building, meaningful customer interactions, and conversions. I’ll explain in my own words below: 

  • Brand building – Think of it like driving new traffic (customers) to the brand, and capturing their attention.
  • Meaningful customer interactions – provide content they can engage with, and then interact with the community. 
  • Conversion – We nurture the athletes to further engage with the brand and be a part of the larger brand community. 

 

Strava Clubs: Cost-effective athlete-brand strategy

Strava clubs are free to create. This is one of the most cost-effective strategies to promote your athletic or sports brand on the internet and more specifically – social media platforms. Strava has cleverly taken the idea of a physical sports ‘club’ – complete with a community feel, camaraderie, friendly competition, organized events, members from all walks of life and with similar interests – and made it a virtual reality. This breaks down geographical walls and therefore expands brand exposure to athletes remarkably. 

Clubs are very easy to set-up. This process is carried out directly through your Strava profile, under the “Explore” tab → “Create a Club” black icon on the top right as shown in the screenshot below. You’ll then be guided through the user-friendly prompts. 

strava business 9

Strava clubs facilitate athletes to engage directly with your brand and feel a part of a larger brand-focused community. This is especially true when your personal Strava Business Brand Strategy involves challenges that can be integrated into your club. Let’s look at Red Bull Australia Club as an example – see the screenshot below:

strava business 10

I can see that some of my Strava friends are also apart of the club, in the right-hand column where it says “2452 members”. I can also see where I rank this week so far, and follow along on other athlete’s training journies who also have an interest in Red Bull Australia and its associated interests (adventure sports, outdoors, action etc). 

Clubs allow you to target both local and international athletes, and can be established for any sport that Strava offers activity logging for. This could be cycling, running, swimming, mountain biking – you name it. The next task is promoting your club on Strava and on your social media platforms. 

Content – Brand Strategy via Strava Clubs – if your brand or organization posts content, such as blogs, you can publish the content directly to the club page, and athletes can choose to share it on their socials. Blog content posting is a must for any brand wishing to grow. Contact me here to learn more about the content-brand strategy. See the screenshot below for an example of content posting in the form of blog content on the Red Bull Australia club page:

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Your content will naturally gain exposure on Strava. The platform has established an algorithm that delivers every club post directly to the athlete’s feed. Strava promotes on their website that athletes engage with club posts at higher volumes than traditional social media platforms. This is because Strava is a very athletic-specific social media platform. The members of Strava are already interested in sport, health, and the outdoors – let’s take the guesswork away from targeted advertising. 

Want to join Run Rally?  It’s a Strava club connecting runners locally and internationally that I personally manage. Click here. 

Strava Partnerships or Strava Partner Integrations

Strava Business allows athletes and brands to create ‘Strava Partnerships’, also known as sponsored ‘Strava Partner Integrations’. When we talk about a Strava Partner Integration, we are discussing activities that appear on an athlete’s feed that have a direct association with a Strava partnership brand. For example, a Zwift activity uploaded on to Strava will feature the Zwift banner on the activity itself, in the athletes feed. This will be visible to all the athletes following the Zwift user, and if the activity is labeled as public, it will also appear in any relevant club feeds they have joined. This is maximum brand exposure. 

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Strava has listed a number of brands that they have formed partnerships with on their website. To provide a few examples of well-known Strava partner integrations:

  • Zwift – at-home cycling and run training game that connects these athletic communities virtually.

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  • Peloton – at home cycling workouts that boast a live and on-demand feature, and high-quality, professional coaches.

 

  • MindBody – the app that connects people with fitness interests to local and online classes. Whether it’s yoga, strength training, group runs, or spin classes. Mindbody has it. Mindbody connects directly with Strava, to make your activity uploads seamless.

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Interestingly, as an activity uploader (the athlete), you have the choice as to whether you want your activity to upload with the recognized partner integration. This is found under Settings → Partner Integrations. 

Strava Community: Exposing your brand to 50 million + users

 

strava business 15

 

Strava explains that its platform allows brands to directly “interact.. with the most engaged community of athletes in the world.” I personally can testify to this, as I use Strava myself, along with most of my Australian teammates. I have email notifications set up to notify me when a Facebook friend signs up to Strava. In light of recent world events, I have had influxes of emails notifying me of friends signing up – not specifically high-level athletes, but from all walks of life! It is essential that your social media marketing strategy is solid in today’s increasingly online-based consumer habits. If you’re a business owner of a sports brand, I can’t stress the importance of establishing yourself on the Strava platform now and get in early before this is the new normal. 

How to Contact Strava and how to take the next steps forward. 

Strava has its own contact form to assist you with Strava Business queries. They specifically ask if you are interested in establishing a Strava Business model targeted at Challenges or forming a club. The form is available by clicking here. 

If you want personally tailored advice on how to effectively establish and grow your brand or small business on Strava, or develop a Strava Business plan strategy – fill out my form here, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Feel free to also join my communal run club on Strava, Run Rally. Click here. 

How to use Strava: A Guide to Basic Strava Set-Up and Strava Premium

 

Strava is the ultimate online social running platform that connects athletes from a variety of sports, most notably running and cycling. Strava is a great way to track your running training, share it with your network, and club (yep, you can join real and virtual clubs), participate in virtual races and challenges and stay connected with your running community. Strava is in app form and also accessible via the website. Strava’s popularity is taking off at present in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it offers athletes a social platform base where they can hold each other accountable, spread camaraderie from afar, and stay motivated. Back in February Strava announced that it has over 1 million new sign-ups every 30 days on this funky blog post where they shared their stats with the community. I personally started using Strava again in February because of these reasons. Many users utilize it to keep track of their training for their coaches to see, and not surprisingly, compare their efforts with other athletes doing the same activity. Competitive humans we are. 

 

How do I set up Strava?

You can sign up to strava.com using a Facebook or Google account, or simply using an email address. I decided to go through the sign-up process again to show you how simple it is to set up an account. Once you’ve selected your medium to create the account from, you’ll be guided to this pop-up:

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Strava will give you the option to connect your account to Facebook if you wish. The software recognizes any of your friends on Facebook that are already using Strava. Strava will then suggest that you follow your friends on the platform to get your Strava profile and network up and running (pun intended). 

Your Strava page will end up looking a bit like this (I haven’t posted any activities as you’ll see – this is just a test account for this post).

 

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To ‘record your first activity’, you’ll want to connect a GPS running watch to Strava. In the screenshot above, and on your dashboard, you’ll see “Connect Device” in the orange clickable box. Hit that.

 

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The most popular running watch brands that are used with Strava appear to be Garmin and Suunto – both trusted GPS running watch and running technology companies. 

I decided to try connecting my new Strava Dashboard with Garmin, to which I was guided to a Garmin connect page pop-up that looks like this below:

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Sign in to your Garmin account as directed, and you should see this pop-up on your device (see screenshot below):

 

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I recommend switching on both toggles, for the full user-experience on Strava. 

Once your device is connected to Strava, auto-upload will occur between your device app (Suunto or Garmin Connect, if you use either of these watches) – I have and do use both, so these are the platforms I am personally familiar with. 

I’ll now show you my actual account dashboard, including an example of an activity upload. This will demonstrate what stats Strava Free version provides you with (premium is their paid service, as I’ll discuss further below). As an example, I’ll show you my recovery jog and strides stats from this morning which appear on Strava under “My Profile”. This is the main page that correlates all your stats : 

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The bolded text ‘Morning Jog’ and ‘Strides’ is clickable. It will direct you to a comprehensive landing page with even more analytical breakdown. See my screenshot below: 

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I personally enjoy how Strava allows you to interact with their graph feature below the geographical map, by switching the different toggles on and off. If you’re a map lover like myself, it’s pretty neat to see the elevation profile of the route you ran. 

 

Running with Strava Friends 

If you ran with someone else who has Strava and you’re connected on the platform, if they upload their run Strava will connect your activities and show other users that you ran together. See my screenshot below as an example: 

 

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If Strava doesn’t automatically recognize that you ran together, you can always add them in manually. I love looking at my Strava activity upload of a team or club workout and watching all the banter and comments manifest below the activity. 

You can also use the “Strava find friends” feature to find potential connections and invite other athletes to Strava. You can find this feature when you hover over your avatar/logo in the top right-hand corner of your dashboard. The pop-up below will appear: 

 

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What is the best way to use Strava?

 

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Athletes have a variety of reasons for being active users of Strava. For some, it is about staying accountable for their training. For others, it might be about competing with friends, for coaches to track and monitor their athlete’s training program or plan, to discover new routes and trails, or to compete in virtual races. Virtual races are taking off right now, ignited by the recent world events. More and more clubs are posting individual segment challenges with prize incentives. For example, in Boise where I am residing currently, Boise Summit Series release trail segment challenges each week and the prizes are cool, such as a variety tub of locally brewed beer. Boise has a great brewery scene. This is awesome to see, as it builders that community culture in a time where there is a feeling of disconnect, and fosters that much-needed camaraderie and friendly competition at this time. 

You can join clubs easily on Strava – just hit the ‘Explore’ keyword on the top of the screen. See the screenshot below:

 

 

On your “My Profile” page, you’ll see the avatars/logos of all the clubs you are apart of. Like this. I am apart of a large variety of clubs including actual coaching/training clubs I have been apart of, park run groups, brand groups, running store clubs, challenge clubs/virtual run competition clubs, corporate platforms etc:

 

I personally use Strava to track my training each week. In particular, mileage, elevation climbed, (I like to try and hit a certain amount on tougher weeks, to ensure there is variety in my running – no one likes a runner that avoids hills). I also like to look at my pace in routes I have run multiple times to see signs of improvement and analyze paces of my workouts when I wish. Strava is truly handy to see all your stats in one place, and quickly. For example, your goals. You can set mileage/km goals to hit weekly too:

 

You can also average stats (generally not always accurate, don’t count a Strava PR as an actual PR) – only real physical race results are PRs or PBs. A loaded topic, for another time.

 

 

Strava Free v Strava Premium 

 

At the beginning of the sign-up process, you’ll be directed to a pop-up offering a 2 month free trial of Strava premium. See below: 

 

 

 

It is worth doing the free trial (put the date in your calendar in case you don’t want to renew) just to experience the full offering and user experience Strava offers its users. Strava has made some updates very recently to its platform, meaning that you can only compete on segments with other users (and yourself) if you have a premium. 

A segment is a snippet of a route, road, trail, track, etc of a specific distance that has been constructed and labeled on Strava. The great thing about segments is you have a record of all your past efforts on that segment. You may cover multiple segments on one single running route. See the screenshot below for an example of a segment, and a segment leaderboard: 

You can also explore Segments in your area, with Strava’s feature ‘Segment Explore’, under the Explore tab at the top of the dashboard page:

 

 

With Strava premium, you’ll also get access to more analytical resources and therefore more overall data on your dashboard. This includes HR (Heart rate data) and Power Analysis which then allows you to gain an idea of how hard you had to work to produce that particular time, or run that particular session/route at that pace, as an example. 

Strava has also made its Route Discovery and planning features now only available to premium users. Strava suggests routes for you to run or ride, which it determines based on the area you are running and cycling in, combined with the activity uploads of Strava athletes who have done the same activity in that area. See the screenshot below for an example of what the Route creation landing page looks like.

I got to this page via ‘Dashboard’ and “My Routes”:

 

 

For safety, Strava has also included a Beacon feature – if you carry your phone with you when you run or cycle, you can send out a beacon at any time to let your family members know your location and planned route. Great for those runs in unfamiliar areas and on unpredictable terrain, or for the younger and more vulnerable users. 

The Heat Map feature that comes with premium is also pretty cool. You’ll see an interactive map of all the runs and rides you have completed around the world. Nothing super special from an analytical standpoint, but pretty cool aesthetically! 

Luckily, Strava is no more than a good large latte or beer, coming in at just $5/month after your 60-day free trial is up. It is worth sacrificing 1 cup of coffee a month for some of these extra nifty features. Click the link to sign up: https://www.strava.com/subscribe/checkout?package_ids=4%2C5%2C6

Want to join Run Rally –  A Strava club connecting runners locally and internationally? Click here.