Growing up, I was more of a “hanging out in the art studio” versus “picked first in gym class” type of kid. I found intramural sports intimidating and brewery 5k's not to be worth it. Four years ago, when I received my offer letter from Strava and began working at a fitness-based app, my friends and family were flabbergasted, to say the least.
Sure, I downloaded Strava prior to applying to try to look more "legit" in my interview but I considered my walks to work each morning and six-hour concerts on the weekend to be my greatest exercise at the time. I definitely did not think of myself as an "athlete."
I thought Strava was for people like my roommate who already had the NY and Boston Marathons under her belt at 22. I thought I am not a cyclist/runner, I am not competitive, and I am embarrassed by what I post.
However, upon starting work at Strava, I saw all types of "athletes" at the office. Of course, we have the classic daily runners and hill-seeking cyclists, but I also found a new group who used the app in their own special ways. We are the neighborhood strollers. The weekend peak baggers. The avid nordic skiers.
In order to bust a few myths about Strava, I turned to some fellow employees across our offices for their reactions as well as helpful insider tips.
I am not a cyclist/runner.
"Strava is a record of your active life. Anything that keeps you active can be represented and celebrated on Strava."
"I actually mostly just use Strava to track my hikes so I can memorialize them and see the photos and the journeys I’ve done."
Embrace a new sport!- Strava is much more than just cycling and running uploads! Strava now has an extensive list of available sport types! Find one that you really jive with? Give starting your own Club a try. Clubs are a great spot to try to find your own ‘niche’ of athletes where you can:
Start a discussion! Struggling with the new sport? Found some cool new gear? See if anyone else is in your boat!
Events! Clubs are a great opportunity to start some local or virtual events on your newfound sport/hobby.
Photos! Another opportunity to share progress in a goal to your club without having to show actual stats.
I am not competitive
"Hit that sweet "Only you" setting and use it as a training log."
"This is your journey to enjoy and you can move as slow or as fast as you want. There is no need to compete unless you want to."
Have you heard of posts? - Strava has a wonderful feature called posts that allows athletes to upload journal entries, fun articles, cool photos, and other non-activity information to their feed. I love using this when I have a little extra to say that day and do not necessarily want to share my activity.
Photos & Video - I consider Strava my travel journal of my adventures. I always make sure to find a compelling walk or hike whenever I am visiting a new town and I love looking back on views from mountain tops, new cities, and a stroll along the beach!
I do this walk a couple of times a week and have started keeping it on “Only You”! I love looking back on the collection of sunrises. 🙂
“Only You” - I’ll admit that sometimes I am still hesitant to post my short walks, but I’ve learned to embrace just switching it over to “Only You” in my privacy controls. There is NO pressure to have to post every activity publicly, and I enjoy having my own little private adventures sometimes.
ALSO! The Mute Activity feature allows athletes to prevent individual activities from showing up in the home and club feeds as another option for a bit more privacy!
I'm too slow to be on Strava / I’m embarrassed.
"Default to private and make your own choices."
"You have to start somewhere!"
Training Log - There is nothing more motivating to me than seeing my beautiful circles in my Training Log. This year, I have been focusing more on consistency and the idea of “just get out there” over trying to hit specific goals. Having the Training Log pushes me to lace up my sneakers and take a lap around the neighborhood if that is all I can fit in my day. Those little green dots below represent my walks and make me smile that I made it out of the house that day!
Late summer turning into fall is one of my favorite times of the year and is usually when my Training Log fills up!
Challenges - Take a look at the challenge gallery! Strava has added a multitude of ‘non-competitive’ challenges that I have joined recently! I am currently trying to see how many miles I can walk in a month to beat my record.
Feeling inspired? Good! It is up to you to decide how you want to use Strava. While I realize this is a lowly blog article, I hope that it will inspire you to take pride in any activity posted. I will be rooting for you from my neighborhood stroll, weekend hike, or who knows, maybe this is the year I might try my hand at kite surfing.
Happy Trails, friends. I am always working to support the everyday athlete and would love to hear how you use Strava in your own unique way!