Strava: The Human Exercise Tracking App with Social Network Features

This week I went downhill skiing for the first time this year. When I was planning this ski trip I tried to think of some technology I wanted to try out and report back for this blog. While skiing I decided to use one of my favorite apps Strava to track my trips down the runs. I know there is a lot of Apps that do athletic tracking but I have always used Strava for my Mountain Biking and skating so I thought I should try it for skiing too and talk about it today.

This is what I tracked, you can see that it recorded that I did 20 runs doing a distance of almost 25 kilometers. Strava uses your phone's GPS to record this data as the app runs in the background. With this data, I can see how I did and compare it to future skiing trips. With Mountain Biking I often use this app to try to go farther each trip and over the winter I tried to see how fast I could go skating. Strava tracks a variety of sports including Running, Biking, Kayaking, and Swimming. With this wide variety of sports, I find the app versatile and I use it basically every time I’m active.

Strava has a big social aspect, you can connect your account with Facebook and add friends. When friends you can see their activity’s and athletic progress. As well you can send encouragement to your friends and compare your performances against each other. Strava has a feature called segments which are small routes that Strava captures during your trips. Strava compares the time it takes you to complete a segment to other users in the app then forms a leader board. While skiing I got a top ten in a segment on one of the runs I did, not to brag but I guess I am one of the best Skiers in Saskatchewan. When you have the fasts segment it calls you the King of the Mountain. I find these leader boards encouraging and great motivation to get faster at various sports and find myself redoing segments until I make my way up the leader board.

One of my favorite aspects of Strava is its challenges. Every month there are multiple challenges for every sport the app tracks that you can compete in. Some of these challenges have cooperated with sponsors and give out prizes for completing them. For example, this summer I completed a challenge of biking over 100 KM in a month which was sponsored by Trek Bicycles so for completing this challenge I got this mug. These challenges have gotten me to get out and work more because the rewards are pretty good like discounts on online stores and physical things like this mug:

In Conclusion, every athlete should track their activity so they can chart improvement, the easiest way to do this is with a phone app. There is a lot of apps to do this tracking but Strava is my favorite. Strava, adds the addition of offering motivation for athletes and a social element that I find other apps do not have. If you use another app to track your athletics let me know and I’ll try it out.

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