The app wants to know how you really feel.
- Fitness-tracking app Strava announced two new features that measure your overall fitness.
- The features—Perceived Exertion and Fitness—work for running, cycling, and swimming and are a part of a Strava Summit subscription.
- Perceived Exertion focuses on the intensity of an athlete’s workout, while Fitness analyzes how workouts add up over time.
One of America’s favourite running and training apps is preparing to show you just how fit you really are. After the introduction of a new map feature last February, Strava is continuing to update and seek to please its 45 million global users.
This week, the company is rolling our two new features for athletes—Perceived Exertion and Fitness—with the intent of helping athletes track their progress and overall performance. The features are currently available to Strava Summit subscribers ($89.99 per year) on iPhone and Android.
Perceived Exertion focuses on the intensity of an athlete’s workout. This feature works for swimming, cycling, and running but does not require the use of a heart rate monitor. Instead of measuring your fitness with data contrived from the app or a fitness tracking device, this is a more introspective feature, which allows you to rate your perceived intensity of a workout on a sliding scale from 1-10, which also translates to an “easy” to “max effort” rating.
If you aren’t sure about how you felt during the workout, Strava helps you out with assigned details appearing as you slide up the scale. For example, “hard” is described as, “could barely talk,” “breathing heavily,” and “outside your comfort zone.”
The Fitness feature works alongside Perceived Exertion and takes your daily input to help measure your current fitness, allowing you to see how you are progressing over time. The feature also takes into account how resting or increased intensity affects fitness level and notes if there is a significant increase in training load, which can alert an athlete to the possibility of overtraining.
Athletes will be able to see a current fitness score as well as look back at their previous fitness and compare it over time.
While heart rate, pace, and data is useful, this feature adds a personal aspect, requiring athletes to reflect on how they felt during a workout, rather than relying entirely on what the (sometimes faulty) data tells them.
While Strava has become popular for its usability and social aspects, it was lacking somewhat in the area of useful and advanced data.
“These features are great ways for an athlete to capture their effort and take a look at patterns over time so they can see how they’re progressing,” said Megan Roche, endurance coach and scientist for Strava, in a press release. “Whether you’re an athlete training to PR a marathon or just want to run or ride a few times a week to stay fit, Fitness and Perceived Exertion can help motivate you to get out the door and go.”