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Strava etiquette for beginners

A few do's and don't so you can make a seamless transition to being a Strava user without looking like a fool.

Just as different forms of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have taken over our everyday lives, Strava has done the same for endurance athletes.

Strava is a great way to share workouts with friends, track your training and personal bests, and follow others to see what they’re up to. But, there are a few certain rules you should abide by if you’re just starting out in order to make yourself an interesting follow rather than an annoying one.

What to do

Name your workouts

It doesn’t have to be super-creative every time, but put in the few extra seconds to give your sessions an interesting title. A simple description of how you felt, the weather, or what you were trying to achieve. Anything is better than “morning run” or “evening bike” (other than no-name at all).

Add photos

To make your posts more appealing for followers (and maybe make them a little jealous) upload some photos from your activity when you put it up. Whether it’s a nice sunrise, sunset, the fall leaves or some interesting wildlife you encounter, adding pictures will enhance your account and also allows acts a mini photo diary for yourself.

Make sure you’re in the right mode

Strava offers a variety of different settings – which is particularly great for triathletes. You can change the mode depending on if you’re swimming, biking or running – just don’t forget to switch! If Strava thinks you’re doing laps in the pool while you’re actually out on a trail run, it’s going to be all kinds of confused and the data won’t make any sense.

Track segments

Segments allow you to track your efforts during certain sections of your ride or run. This is a great element to use, as you can both monitor how you stack up against your previous workouts, but also against the rest of the Strava community who have gone through the same route.

What not to do

Leave your GPS on post-workout

An easy mistake to make is leaving your GPS on for your post-workout drive home. While it’s not intentional, you’ll instantly start recording CRs and the Strava community will quickly call you out on it. The activity gets flagged and removed quickly, but is still an annoyance.

Go into too much detail

While you should give a brief overview after every session, we don’t need a minute-by-minute breakdown. This also means that you don’t need to specify when you ran with someone who slowed you down, your lane was too crowded in the pool, or that you had to waited two minutes to cross the road on your ride.

Let Strava dictate your workout

It’s easy to get consumed by trying to set a new personal best or beat your friend’s time on a certain segment, but don’t force yourself to be at your fastest every time out (and get frustrated when you’re not). Listen to your body and enjoy yourself.