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Status: Gathering Kudos

This was suggested in August of last year, but I haven't seen any further discussion or movement.  Currently, the only way to show elapsed time on something like a run, is to mark it as a "race".  The timing data is already there in the analysis portion of the activity, so it's just a matter of giving the user the option to use that vice "moving time".

Link to the original idea:

Mt. Kenya

From what I can tell, this could be a simple and very popular feature to implement that would only improve the app.

Big upvote for an elapsed time option when viewing splits without having to mark the activity as a 'race'. When moving at a slower pace or climbing a lot of vert in a short distance, moving time is distorted and unreliable. Since Strava has to translate uploads from dozens/hundreds of different brands/models of tracking devices - displaying moving time splits seems to add even further distortion rather than less. 

@Soren are there unintended consequences or complexities for allowing elapsed time when viewing splits? I know you may prefer not to answer this in a public forum, but I'm super curious what the strategic considerations are here.

Importantly, there is no apparent interference with upselling free users to a Strava Subscription - Strava seems to have a pretty fair subscription-locking strategy for free/paid users. The ability to tag an activity as a "race" is not paywalled (Strava Subscription Features) so enabling elapsed time break-down of activity splits would only improve the app and seem to not discourage subscriptions. 

Please keep us posted on this feature request to expand the Advanced Training features (workout analysis, etc.) to have a toggle between moving time/elapsed time when viewing pace breakdowns. 

Mt. Kenya

Very interested to see this feature added - as @markB said, for ultra running and training, elapsed time is much more important than simple moving time.

While I agree with a lot of what @geology_rocks said, I'd want to see this as a user level setting rather than just an option when looking at splits. Individual users should have an option to display activities with either moving time (default) or elapsed time.

Mt. Kenya

a year has past, but this simple option is still not available. 

Mt. Kenya

I totally agree. I want to show ELAPSED time for my hikes.

Just hiked Kilimanjaro, and summit night was in a REALLY slow pace, stopping and taking many deep breaths. 
The ascend and decend took 11 hours 10 minutes, but Strava shows 6 hours some... I have changed all 8 days hike to run > race to show the elapsed time instead of moving time. 

Since the data is already there, it would be easy to add the option to show either elapsed or moving time to ALL activitites. 

Mt. Kenya

I believe there is a hidden reason why Strava hasn't spent the one hour of coding time to make this happen. Is it to coddle its users into helping them feel better about themselves, because they can show the world that they are much faster? Forcing us to add a Race label to a non-race is lying, and for Time-on-Feet long training runs, "moving time" is lying . . . all that matters is elapsed time. Strava, we pay good money each month for this subscription and this simple coding fix should have been addressed years ago. Whatever false reason you have for not allowing a non-race Elapsed time forces us, the athletes, to lie about our uploads.

Mt. Kenya

@_duncanhall I also like the idea of allowing user-level toggling of elapsed time on activities! Keeping moving time as default is OK with me too so there's less of a splash when this option is launched.

Hope we get to hear back from Strava's Product Team on some of their considerations around implementing this feature. Would be stoked to see this feature implemented (hopefully before another year goes by on this thread).

@ other commenters on this thread - has anyone seen this idea suggested elsewhere in the forum? I am curious to see more discussion and possibly suggest consolidating threads if there're duplicates. Hoping to get more traction on this feature idea!


@geology_rocks aside from the original post in August 2022 and my "repost" of the same idea last year, no other mentions.  Admittedly, I didn't consider those who were/are scaling extreme surfaces where pace would slow down to the point where STRAVA would interpret it as no movement at all.  This has a strong potential to skew timing data for things like FKT and makes the app less reliable as a source.

Mt. Kenya

@geology_rocks I tried going through the list of Top Ideas but the closest related issue I could find was this thread, although they seem to be advocating for the exact opposite usecase that we are. Seems like two sides of the same coin though.

Even so, even if we combine the two threads it only amounts to about 60 upvotes of disgruntled users in a sea of literal millions who are either not affected or just not bothered enough to query the issue. But that being said, going through that list of ideas I did spot a few way more trivial ones with much less votes which have gotten delivered, so not sure how these things get triaged or prioritised.

So it may be that this issue is just too small a discrepancy to even receive a priority. Or the mod assigned to this thread has left, it never got handed over and maybe no-one there is even aware of it. It seems @Soren  hasn't responded to any posts since last year September.

Perhaps it's worth tagging some of the other currently more active mods like @Jane  or @Bryant? Is that a thing?

It would be nice to know what the status is. If they're not planning on looking at this anytime soon then so be it, but then at least we know we need to start looking at other solutions.

Mt. Kenya

@cysterc The two options are very much the same feature feature, allowing Default | Moving Time | Elapsed Time as an option.  I do like Moving time for many activities, but for others (especially Workout) the Elapsed time is the only one which matters to me as I am not moving.  Allowing us to choose would be great.

Mt. Kenya

Allow user to select elapsed time as default for Activities AND for Training Logs.  The current settings do not allow use of "time" to be meaningful since moving time shortens the true elapsed time. This significantly minimizes the utility of the app in a number of ways especially for those who train for ultramarathons by cumulative elapsed time.  Since the data is available within the app, allowing users to select their preference for e seems an easy enough feature to add.  Frankly, though not ideal, I could live with adding the feature only to the Training Log

Mt. Kenya

"It would be nice to know what the status is. If they're not planning on looking at this anytime soon then so be it, but then at least we know we need to start looking at other solutions."

@cysterc thanks for digging into this. I agree with your perspective here and hope for the same ^. I got an email notification that @Jane merged @CBStephens 's idea into this thread - so that suggests that this has some visibility to Strava's mod team. Hope to hear an update/status. If not, so be it. My sub comes up for renewal soon and given the recent price increase I may not renew Strava premium and use a combination of Strava free and the Suunto app (which does better E/T tracking).

Mt. Kenya

I agree, @geology_rocks. I recently received notification about another merged idea but we need a proper update.

E/T is a very basic feature expectation which, as I get increasingly into ultra-running, is becoming more of a necessity for me in a running data/social app. Activities in the style of a Backyard Ultra involve regular periods of running and then rest, with E/T being the important metric - currently impossible to display correctly unless tagging as a 'race'. Or if I run two long training runs but took different rest breaks how can I compare them? For these reasons I am also questioning the value of my Premium subscription and may not renew. Ultra and long-distance trail running is very underserved by Strava, despite being some of the biggest growth areas in running.

Crazily, M/T Vs E/T has received some (hilarious) press attention, such as this article from 2020: Alas, not enough for Strava to actually do anything about it yet.

Quoting from the article: "When it comes to Strava, the biggest fib centres on the difference between two measures – “moving” and “elapsed” time."

Mt. Kenya

This really is a strange thing to not be able to adjust manually. I use the ‘walk’ function to see how far and how long I am walking my dog over a week. Moving time is just an inaccurate stat to default to with no way to change. FYI - I had no idea it was only displaying moving time until I saw I completed a round of golf in 2 hours. With the number of shots I take, this is a near impossibility 🙂 I’ve stopped my premium subscription recently and no way I would renew until this was fixed

Mt. Kenya

@Milts I agree! Like you, I also wasn't aware of elapsed time for a while! I just assumed "moving time" was the definitive metric.

@Soren  & Strava Team

From my experience moving time consistently undersells the actual elapsed duration for activities with varied pacing like trail running (especially when there's vert and highly varied terrain), hiking with elevation changes, or anything stop-and-go (4th class "scrambling", etc.). I get that moving time relies on GPS data (this is stated in your HC article) but this is finicky across devices so defaulting to this singular metric doesn't provide the full picture.

Your HC article already acknowledges elapsed time as the better default for certain indoor activities since moving time falls short there. Well, the same logic applies to plenty of outdoor activities too when you factor in GPS flakiness plus insights from watch sensors like accelerometers, elevation tracking, heart rate data and so on. Why ignore those extra data points?

From the HC article:


  • Certain sports lend themselves better to elapsed time, including indoor ones like Yoga and Weight Training, and some outdoor ones like Skiing and Surfing (note that speed for Skis is still based on moving time.)


It makes you wonder what Strava's real motivations are here. A cynic might say it's peculiar that moving time often displays a faster pace for activites and therefore offering an elapsed time option would deprive users of that dopamine hit from seeing inflated paces. Classic psychology play from the social media playbook - make users feel like rockstars by fudging the numbers. Deception in the name of authenticity. This is what Meta has been proven to do, and I like to think Strava doesn't intend to follow that path. Get outta my Strava, Mark! JK, but hopefully you see the way this looks.

But maybe I'm being too harsh and there are simpler reasons, like attempting to maintain consistency in the Activity Feed and user profiles "Progress" section and weekly/monthly totals. I get that there's a need for a standardized time - why not show both (M/T & E/T)? Even if that's the case though, preserving uniformity seems like a poor trade-off for straight-up accuracy.

Here’s an example:

Case in point: I had a 5-hour hike/trail run recently where Strava decided my moving time was only 2:18 (activity linik). Despite my device's accelerometer, elevation and HR data all signaling constant motion besides maybe 30 minutes of stopping. Using "correct distance" the moving time updated to 2:21 which is still way off base. I accept this could be partly due to this reported Suunto issue, but I've noticed this inaccuracy for a long time across multiple watches I’ve owned (previously Garmin). Further, my friends also notice this inaccuracy for their Strava uploads across Coros & Garmin (and others).

So let's open this up a bit - either give us an elapsed time toggle to remove ambiguity, or create new categories specifically for outdoor activities where moving time admittedly misses the mark. You could call them "adventure trails" or "backcountry runs" or whatever (please come up with better names than me). Just acknowledge that one-size-fits-all “moving time” fails in those scenarios. This would be super helpful for tracking elapsed time when training for long distance ("ultra") the "race" option just doesn't apply in this use case. Better yet, enable a toggle between moving/elapsed at the activity level.

I don't understand the technical limitations Strava has to deal with - but I imagine they're thiiiick given the range of GPS device inputs Strava processes. Though, at the end of the day, if Strava continues turning a blind eye to this issue, it chips away at credibility over time. For data-minded athletes, having to second-guess metrics is just unnecessary friction. I think we all want this platform firing on all cylinders without compromising on core principles.

It would be appreciated if there could be more active engagement and responsiveness to long-standing user feedback like this issue. Continuing to innovate and evolve the platform experience will be important for Strava to retain its dedicated community over time, especially with emerging decentralized social models (e.g. Mastodon). Regardless, kudos for keeping the experience relatively ad-free so far. Overall, y'all rock & thanks.

Mt. Kenya

cc: @Jane for visibility 

I noticed Soren hasn't posted in a while, yet you're a Moderator and recently posted this blog in December on a similar topic. 

Thanks for moderating the forum and reviewing this post!