With so many running, cycling and various assorted fitness apps out there at the moment I thought I would take a look at one of the more popular cross fitness styled applications, Strava.
Immediately there’s a lot to like about the app, regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS (clearly my testing has been done Android, not the latter). The fact that there is an app for both major platforms is a huge bonus, so you’re not caged into one or the other and you won’t lose your data should you see the light and head away from iOS to Android.
Like many other applications of it’s type, there’s a bit of a competitive feel to it when you follow your friends and you can compare your stats to theirs side by side. It doesn’t need to be that way though, you can give “kudos” to your friends for their efforts as they can to you, as well as commenting on rides/runs to help in keeping each other motivated.
You can track your progress, time on the go, distance covered as well as the equipment you’re using which is a really neat little addition to the data over a number of the competitors in the fitness tracking market that I’ve tried out. What for me is the genuine killer blow straight out of the box is the fact that the app isn’t crippled without paying the $6/month or $60/year for premium membership and I truly applaud them for this. You’re not subjected to adverts to cover this, you simply don’t get some of the more intriquite features such as effort/power tracking, heart rate analysis and goal setting.
Should you venture down the path of purchasing a cycle computer such as a Garmin or a running GPS watch you can directly upload your GPS data along with heartrate to the application via their webpage www.strava.com where you can see your friends data as well as get recommendations on people to follow in your area or professional athletes who may be of interest to you.
The app also has a number of great features for privacy such as “privacy zone” where it won’t show a start/finish location to protect the location of your home to public viewers, you can (in a similar way to facebook or twitter) set your profile to private however this only prevents people from following you, it won’t prevent them from visiting your profile to see your data.
While there’s plenty of applications around for fitness tracking, out of all the apps I’ve tried Strava certainly has the edge over their competitors with features, functionality and a well thought out interface for both web and mobile use. I don’t mean for this article to sound like an advert but frankly, if you’re into cycling or running I can’t recommend at least giving Strava a try out enough. It’s an extremely good application for all levels of fitness from beginner to professional athlete.
Have you tried out Strava or one of their competitors? Let us know what the killer feature you’re looking for in a fitness application is