Strava Elevation Gain: How to correct and manually add elevation to your Strava Activity


Strava elevation gain
Gunnison Sage Burner 13k Trail Race, Mad Moose Events


Strava Elevation Gain: How to correct and manually add elevation to your Strava Activity

If you’re a vert nerd like me (sometimes), I like to ensure I’m tracking this as accurately as possible. This is particularly important if you’re trying to do race-specific sessions or long runs, and want accurate data from the run to upload to Strava or be recorded on Strava.

A big question I had recently was, how do I manually add in a run with vert? For example, if I do a treadmill run with an incline:

  1. How do I know how much vertical gain I climbed? (particularly if you can’t sync your watch to the treadmill via Bluetooth) 
  2. How do I add this in vertical gain manually to Strava?

Let’s break it down. 

How do I figure out how much I climbed during my treadmill run?

strava elevation gain, strava gps
Moab half marathon, 2022.

It’s hard to figure out how much you’ve climbed on the treadmill if you are constantly changing gradients. However, if you plan on how much mileage you’ll run at a certain gradient, you can figure out just about how much you climbed during your treadmill run. I personally use this resource to figure out the specifics of my run, based on how much gradient I need to put on the treadmill to simulate my mountain run.

Calculate Elevation Gain on a Treadmill workout, Click here. 

The other option is to sync your tracking device to the treadmill via Bluetooth if this option is available. This can sometimes allow for elevation tracking.


How do I add this in vertical gain manually to Strava?

It would be so cool if we could do this on the app, but it’s not possible. What is possible from the Strava app standpoint is the ability to adjust elevation gain to match the map data or your watch data. Often if your data looks whack when you upload it from your watch to Strava, all you need to do is adjust elevation (no more bonus vert or under-measuring vert!) See my screenshot below on how to do all of this.

How to add Vertical Gain manually on the Strava Website:

1. On the top right-hand corner click the plus sign, then click ‘Add manual entry’

strava gps, strava elevation gain


2. On the ‘Manual Entry’ page, you’ll see ‘elevation’. Type in your elevation from your treadmill run or activity here:

elevation gain strava, strava vert


How to adjust incorrect elevation on Strava Web:

  1. Click into your activity, and then hit the 3 dots on the left-hand column. Here a menu will appear. Hit, ‘Correct Elevation’. You can always revert this using the same method too. See the screenshot below:


strava track vert, vert on strava, strava elevation gain


How to adjust elevation on the Strava App

In the app, click on your activity. Hit the 3 dots up top to the far right-hand side. Click ‘ Adjust Elevation’. See screenshot.

elevation gain strava, adjust elevation strava

What is the difference between elevation gain and max elevation Strava?

Elevation gain is the total amount climbed over the duration of your activity. Max elevation is a recording of the highest point you attained during your activity. You can see these stats by opening up your activity and clicking ‘View Analysis’. 


How does elevation gain work on Strava?

elevation adjustment strava, edit strava elevation, strava app elevation gain

Strava uses a combination of GPS and barometric pressure data to calculate elevation gain on activities.

The GPS data provides information about the distance traveled, while the barometric pressure data is used to measure changes in altitude. By combining these two pieces of information, Strava can calculate the total elevation gain for an activity.

Barometric pressure sensors are present on many GPS devices, including most modern smartphones. These sensors measure changes in air pressure, which can be used to estimate changes in altitude. Strava uses this data to calculate elevation gain by identifying the change in altitude between each data point in an activity and summing up the positive changes in elevation. 

It is worth noting that the accuracy of elevation gain calculations can be affected by factors such as signal quality, weather conditions, and device calibration. In some cases, Strava may also apply filtering algorithms to the data to remove noise and ensure more accurate results.


My friend and I friend have different elevation data on Strava, why?

If you have differences in elevation data say with a teammate who ran the same route, it is likely due to differing GPS device data. Discussed above is how to adjust elevation data on both the Strava App and Strava website so it is more accurate. Strava will utilize inbuilt map elevation data to provide you with a better reading, overriding the GPS data provided. However, you can readjust this.


Is Strava elevation gain accurate?

Strava’s GPS data accuracy can depend on several factors, such as the device used to record the activity, the signal strength, the location, and the environment.

In general, Strava’s GPS data can be quite accurate, with an error margin of a few meters or less. However, there are cases where the data may be less accurate due to signal interference, such as tall buildings or dense forests. GPS signals can also be affected by weather conditions such as cloud cover, precipitation, or even solar flares.

Strava uses a number of techniques to improve the accuracy of its GPS data, including data smoothing, noise filtering, and advanced algorithms that can correct errors in GPS signals. Additionally, Strava’s data analysis tools can help identify and remove anomalous data points, which can further improve accuracy.

Overall, while there is no guarantee of perfect accuracy with any GPS tracking system, Strava’s GPS data is generally reliable and accurate enough for most users. If precise measurements are required, it may be beneficial to use a dedicated GPS device or consider other options for improving accuracy.


Does elevation gain include downhill?

No, elevation gain is solely the climbing (the ‘gain) you attained during your activity.

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