Strava Introduces Preplanned Routes for Cyclists and Runners

While many competitive cyclists (who isn’t) have been online with Strava for years, runners were slightly slower to adapt. But the powerhouse app is trying to change that.

Strava’s free mobile apps and website help members discover and plan workouts, record and share activities, and analyze and compare performance. And to make their services even easier for athletes, they’ve now introduced “routes” that have been gleamed from the approximately 2.5 million rides and runs that get uploaded to the site globally each week.

Since Strava is still a private company, they don’t have to release numbers, but they do confirm that “millions” have signed up for the service since 2009.

This is a digital tool that landed at just the right time, as the app world and global GPS capabilities came into tech-sync and use of mobile devices was skyrocketing. The founders/owners actually had the idea for the app and software years earlier, but the technology wasn’t ready to handle what they had in mind.

Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath met at Harvard in the late 1980s.  They both rowed on the crew team and thrived on the camaraderie and motivation of training with teammates. It is that friendly competition that was the inspiration for Strava.

In 1995, they co-founded an enterprise software firm called Kana Software, which they took public in 1999.  They had a lot of fun building that company and came to realize that entrepreneurship was the real passion.  Despite living on opposite sides of the country they remained close and jumped back into the startup game in 2009, when they co-founded Strava.

As the brand has grown they’ve broadened their focus, but it’s still safe to say there’s a highly competitive group out there, including pros, that have embraced this ultimate Brag Book. Folks love it for the community aspect and also as a serious training tool.

Strava screen shot 450

And now they are giving these athletes a new tool to help them “stay on course.” The new feature lets members import routes from into Strava’s mobile app for navigation during running and cycling.

“Since the debut of our Route Builder tool last fall hundreds of thousands of routes have been created on Strava,” said Alex Mather, vice president of product and user experience at Strava. “Now our members can plan new places to run and ride and explore them with more confidence using our mobile app.”

The app also has a “Route Back To Start” feature that automatically plots the most efficient path back to the beginning of the activity, in the case of accidents or sudden changes in weather.

The Route Builder feature also helps members plan activities that fit preferences and goals. It uses real athlete data to recommend the roads and trails around the world that runners and cyclists use the most. Millions of GPS-recorded activities uploaded to Strava inform Route Builder’s intelligence – which also allows members to run and cycle like a local, no matter where they might find themselves.

Strava’s mobile app, version 4.1, is available in the App Store and Google Play. The app is free and comes with the option of Premium membership that provides in-depth analytics, audio notifications, motivational tools like instant results, and member-only rewards and benefits. Strava Premium membership is available for $6/month or $59/year.

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