The trouble with Strava – a Coach’s perspective

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total Strava junkie just like everyone else, but I think Strava has three fundamental shortcomings.

Firstly, what does everyones favorite social media/GPS tracking website really give you in training feedback terms? Well, for each ride Strava offers a lot, especially if you are a premium member, but for tracking your weekly, monthly or annual riding Strava is really lacking.  Basic information such as how much time you have spent in each training zone in each week or month is a pre-requisite for tracking a rider’s training and without going through each ride and totalling up manually you can’t do this.

Secondly, trying to match or beat PR’s and KOM’s on segments can be used as a motivational training tool and is probably better than nothing but it isn’t exactly a structured training regime is it?  And this can actually be counter productive as it can encourage a rider to ride hard even if they are scheduled a easy day, just to see if they can get “up there” on the leaderboard.  This is human nature and not really Strava’s problem and is part of the reason for Strava’s amazing popularity.

Thirdly, and perhaps Strava’s biggest sin is that it encourages quantity over quality.  Every challenge Strava has ever done has been based on getting quantity – most miles, most ft of climbing, achieving x miles in x days that kind of thing.  All well and good for the casual rider, but to maximize performance, everybody knows it is all about quality over quantity.

None of the above is going to stop me using Strava though, I love it!


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