Running App Review: Strava

So I started the App review with Strava. I chose to use Strava Specifically for Feb knowing that Feb has less days than other months. I knew that it would be a good reliable app, so using it for less days would not alter that outcome, whereas some of the apps might need more days to test. I downloaded it from the Google app store for free. It works on android and IOS Phones.

I was very impressed with the app. I love the GPS Tracking, it is very accurate and has not failed me at all. I also love the fact that it does not only track roads, but also continued tracking me as I go off road.

I enjoyed the professional and clean look, and the interaction on the feed. Allot more of my friends use Strava than the Nike app that I’m used to, and it allows them to integrate between running and cycling. So if you do both these disciplines then that helps.

The accuracy of my pace and Kilometers ran worked out accurately. You can add photos, but only have one option with regards to the information that you can display on the image. This is something that comes down to personal preference, but for me I like adding the map as a overlay to the picture in other apps.

The only thing I found does not work as nice is the pause button. So my friend and I meet up for coffee every now and then, I run and she rides bike – and we meet each other along the way. This is lots of fun – but I noticed when I pause the run, it starts again after a while, while my black screen is on – this was a little annoying as it added onto my time whilst I was sitting down having my coffee.

You can integrate between the app and the website. Both will display your information and sync with each other.  Below are a few pics of the website. It is very user friendly and a lot of it is self-explanatory.

Website:

  1. This is your menu bar and all the activities that you can explore when your logged in:

2. Activity Feed: This shown your personal activities, if you press the drop down bar saying my activities you can alternate between your activities and that of your friends:

3. Below is your friend activity feed, you can follow your friends similarly as on Facebook:

4. You can choose to take part in activities/Challenges:

5. This is your Profile, the page is quite long the arrow just indicates where the page would continue if you scroll down. All the pictures you have taken is  automatically used by Strava to create a cover image for you. Here all your consolidated stats are visible, also your achievements and your activities.

6. When you open a Run – you will see the following view below. it will show all your achievements/top results from the run, a map, your distance, pace and amount of time that you ran in total. At the bottom it show’s you splits and a graph for better visualization .THE BEST PART for me is that is conveniently and automatically picks up who runs with you – they are called Fly-by’s, see picture below this one for better explanation.

So Fly-By’s are people that either run with your or just run the same route as you – not necessarily the same pace or time,As you can see here below- My husband and I obviously run the same route, and without either of us telling Strava we are running together, the app picked it up automatically. This is nice because when you run a race or even if you want to see who else runs in your neighborhood you can easily look up a running buddy if they also use Strava. You can also compare your stats, a little like running stalking…OK maybe not stalking, a friendly look up!

7. Creating your own Routes: you can also create your own routes on Strava. This seems to work best on the website – but you can view them on your mobile app as well. You can share your routes with others, and easily plan routs ahead. I love this feature. I usually plan my routes ahead of time for instance before a holiday. You can plan your routes from anywhere in the world.

If you open the route the bottom will be displayed:

Mobile App:

But the most important part is obviously how it works on your mobile, as this will be the platform that you use the most when you run. Below I took a few screen shots to explain how the app works. Also to show some of its functions. Again very user friendly, nothing intricate.

The app has a sidebar menu that pops out with all its options available, and on the top bar there is a little bell that will let you know when you have notifications. You will be notified when someone gives you a Kudo’s or starts to follow you. Any other important notifications will also pop up here for you to see.

Kudo’s is very similar to a like on Facebook, someone can give you a Kudo’s if they are impressed with your activity.


When you tap on profile you will be directed to your personal profile. On here you picture will appear and all the recent activities that you have taken part in. You will also be able to see your goal here and you achievements.

You can set goals and Strava will keep you up to date with regards to your progress. On your profile it will also show you how many Kilometres you’ve done for the month so far, and it will also display all your pictures.


The activity feed will automatically be displayed once you open the app. You can view your friend’s activity on yours only, just navigate between the 3 tabs. You can also search for friends to follow. When you scroll up and down on this feed you will be able to open your friend’s runs and check out their stats and the routes they ran.


START RUN: When you choose to record an activity the above map will be displayed. It will show you whether your GPS has signal or not, if you don’t have signal your stats won’t record accurately – so ensure that you have signal and that your data is on. This is one feature that sucks a little as you basically always need data for your app to work and with the Nike running Club app you don’t need data – it should track you even if you don’t use your GPS

PAUSE RUN: You can Pause your run and continue it again later. It will show you the stats of what you have run so far. You can press the flag to end your run or the record button to continue with your run. Here I found that the app just continues your run after you paused it without letting you know. Whilst my screen was black and not running, it continues by itself again. It just popped up a message saying the app malfunctioned and continues recording. This was a little annoying as it made my time for my run seem longer than it was, altering my overall pace for the entire exercise. This could be looked into maybe.

SAVE RUN: You can edit the name of your run, chose if it was a workout or a race, a commute, and even add a description along with pictures. This is nice, short and sweet. Works well and had no issues here. After saving the run it will be displayed in the activity feed. You can then choose to share from there.


When you decide to share and activity you can do so with the map that Strava automatically generates or use your own image. The picture will then display your run stats at the bottom of the image, see below and above.

Here is the end result of the pictures you can create: either the map or a personal picture – from here you can share on the different platforms.


When you click on a run it will open it and display all the relevant information. It will show you your map, pictures, who you ran with and also some stats on you splits. If you link it with certain devises it will also display your heart rate here. It will also show you who your fly by’s are along the same route.


You can also create your own routes on Strava. This seems to work best on the website – but you can view them on your mobile app as well. You can share your routes with others, and easily plan routs ahead. I love this feature. I usually plan my routes ahead of time for instance before a holiday. You can plan your routes from anywhere in the world.


My Faves of Strava:

  1. Accuracy: I feel so trusting towards this app now. It has not malfunctioned with regards to the map, and the GPS at all. It even tracks me of route as other apps don’t do this, they get confused. The distance and pace tracking also works very well.
  2. Social involvement: I love the fact that strava can pick up who I’m running with. You don’t have to add it afterwards, or even tag someone. Strava does it for you, so much less admin. I love the Fly-By’s feature. Strava automatically shows you who runs where in your area, if you’re in a race and you meet someone, and you forget to ask their name you can look them up if they also have Strava. Running Buddy solution
  3. Integration: Strava can integrate with so many other apps and devises. I could even link it with my Polar even though Polar has their own app as well, they don’t compete with each other so strictly that I have to choose between the two. I even linked it to my Medical aid, and get point for my activities.

 

I’m very impressed with this app all in all. It has a premium option that you can upgrade to with time, but I’m mainly interested in free things night now. I’m still in the beginning process of this 6 month Reviews but I do think that Strava will be a very good possibility to use permanently at the end of this journey. But let wait and see.

So on to the next app- Stay tuned to see what is the next free app I will be testing out! 

Click Here to see how RunKeeper did

Happy Running!

Jani

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2 thoughts on “Running App Review: Strava

  1. I used Strava some years ago when I was testing out 4 running apps. Your review sounds like they have done major improvements on the app. Yay! It used to pause itself or the GPS would just stop, that used to drive me insane because I was so obsessed with calories burned then lol.
    Until now, I had no clue about that stalker feature haha. Excellent review all in all

    1. Hi Shoshana, Thank you for the comment!

      I really liked Strava, I feel a little demotivated to move onto another app now, lol. I’m Glad if you said it seems like they made some improvements, I would definitely say give it a try,i really found it very reliable. Glad you liked it!

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