Strava Subscription Review: Get More Insight on Your Workouts

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The Lowdown

I signed up for a Strava subscription with the idea of tracking my bike rides and my outdoor walks/runs. But the community aspect behind it has been a surprisingly powerful motivator for me to actually stick with the subscription, which comes with its own set of unique tools to let me know if the exercise I’m doing is beneficial or not.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • The Segments feature is excellent
  • Beacon function allows friends and family to track your location on rides
  • Route feature helps you find new routes to run or ride
  • Highly quantified workout data
  • If competition is a big motivator for you, you can get it with the Leaderboard function

Cons

  • A subscription is necessary to access anything beyond activity tracking, device support, and the social networking aspects of the free service
Strava Subscription Review: Get More Insight on Your Workouts Listen to this article

A Strava subscription has been a great way to keep me motivated during my journey of getting back in shape. 2020 was rough; I was working out regularly but wasn’t eating well. Unfortunately, it’s true that you can’t outrun a terrible diet. So paired with a proper eating regimen, Strava’s been my go-to tracking app for getting to a better me.

Strava Subscription; woman riding a bike

I signed up for a Strava subscription with the idea of tracking my bike rides and my outdoor walks/runs. But the community aspect behind it has been a surprisingly powerful motivator for me to actually stick with the subscription, which comes with its own set of unique tools to let me know if the exercise I’m doing is beneficial or not.

In contrast with their free plan, a Strava subscription gives you detailed segment results that analyze your efforts and compare them to your previous workouts, always pushing you to do more.

The filtered leaderboard is great for those who are motivated by competing to beat other people. Everyone is different in my eyes, so I try not to push myself based on the goals of others. But I can see how that might be a great motivator for others.

The live segments allow you to see your real-time performance against your latest personal best record. If you’d like to beat that one-mile goal you set six months ago, it will continue to push you to meet that, but only if you want. As the young folks say, “it’s the options for me.”

Strava app

Having cumulative stats only accessible behind a subscription paywall is a bit of a bummer, but I get that it’s designed to push people to upgrade from Strava’s free tier.

Strava has added so many other features to their subscription service, though, including Pace Analysis, Custom Heart Rate Zones (which I have paired to my WHOOP Band), and more. The subscription is really worth it if you’re looking for highly quantified workout data.

Strava app

As a cyclist, one of the main reasons I wanted a Strava subscription was for its Beacon and Routes features. I tend to try to find new routes when I bike, so I’m not doing the same mundane ride every weekend. Strava’s beacon is a live location tracking function that gives your family and friends peace of mind knowing where you are when you’re riding.

The Beacon feature pairs marvelously with the Routes function that generates new, fun routes based on where other riders have been. If you’ve been looking for a new trail to ride or walk on, or you are new to an area, it’s a great subscription feature.

When I ride, the personal heatmaps tell me all of the places I frequent, but (shoutout to privacy) doesn’t make this information available to the public or your friends. There are so many other features and functions to Strava Premium that are worthwhile, but from my personal experience, the main thing I’ve noticed it helps keep me motivated. I can’t say enough about how much a Strava subscription has changed my approach to fitness!

Strava is offered in two tiers: free and subscription. You can get a Strava subscription by paying $7.99 monthly or save a bit by paying for an annual membership at $60; you can sign up on their site or via their Android or iOS app.

Source: Manufacturer supplied subscription

What I Love: The Segments feature is excellent; Beacon function allows friends and family to track your location on rides; Route feature helps you find new routes to run or ride; Highly quantified workout data; If competition is a big motivator for you, you can get it with the Leaderboard function

What Needs Improvement: A subscription is necessary to access anything beyond activity tracking, device support, and the social networking aspects of the free service

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.