Strava challenges, perhaps one of the most popular and long-standing features of the Strava product!
When I first started working at Strava, challenges mainly consisted of cumulative challenges referred to as the MTS (Monthly Training Series), Strava Races (10k, half marathon), the Gran Fondo and a few hosted by some of our partners. Back then, we only had run or ride activity types and in order to participate your activities had to be public in order to reflect on the challenge leaderboard. At one point we even offered the opportunity to purchase unique gear like cycling and running kits for those who completed them. Shout out to anyone who remembers the rainbow of jersey colors (and the one athlete our distribution center accidentally shipped several boxes of foam swords to - are you still out there?).
Backside of Strava Gran Fondo jerseys
At that time, Strava Challenges seemed pretty far out of reach for me - more of a weekend warrior type who was maybe able to get in a few miles a week on the bike with friends. Going back to look at my Trophy Case I’m embarrassed to recall I was only able to rack up a few completion trophies each year. Since then, Strava Challenges have evolved into a wide range of types and eligibility, our partnership with brands has grown and the badge designs and rewards are just too good to ignore. Now, I’m able to select from a wide array of options that suit my fitness goals and am still challenged to complete some of the tougher ones.
I’ve struggled with consistency in my fitness (who hasn’t?) but Strava Challenges have been a great way to keep me motivated and accountable. And since shifting to working largely at home, they push me to get outside or move in some way which has been so crucial for my mental wellness, especially in recent years.
Completion badge for Vamos! Latinx Heritage Month challenge in Trophy CaseI know there may be some who feel strongly about what activity types should or should not be on Strava or in the Feed so you may be less than thrilled to know that I am not one of you (bless be the mute from Feed option!). You may not want to see my 10 minute stretch session but I’ll be darned if not uploading it keeps me from getting my Vamos! Latinx Heritage Month Challenge badge (15 hours of movement in 30 days is a challenge for some of us working at Strava, believe it or not - I will not be shamed). And just look how good that badge looks in my Trophy Case!
While I started using Strava as a way to track bike rides and eventually runs, I’ve shifted to more indoor activities like strength training and HIIT exercise. I tend to keep my activities private or mute them from the feed but participating in Challenges now gives me, someone more inclined to the single-player mode, a way to mark achievements in a more exciting way as well as motivating me to end the week with just one more workout.
On that note, I would love to know what is your favorite Challenge completion activity or a Challenge story you are proud of?