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New Premium Feature: Fitness & Freshness for Power Meter Users

Premium members with power meters can now track their fitness and peak for that next big race.

When we recently launched Premium power features on Strava we promised to continue upping the ante for our Premium members. Today, we’re happy to announce Fitness & Freshness. This new analysis page is located within the Training section of Strava and gives members with power meters the ability to see their levels of fitness and fatigue after a ride.

If you aren’t already a Premium member and want to get the most out of your power meter, upgrade to Premium for only $6 per month or $59 per year.

Here is a breakdown of how we think about Fitness & Freshness:

While fitness is a complicated concept, it can be simplified as an accumulation of training over time. The Fitness Score is calculated using Training Load, to measure your daily training, and an impulse-response model to quantify its effect over time. This will intuitively capture the building up of fitness, as well as the loss of fitness during a break.

Conceptually, fatigue is easier to understand; it’s that tired feeling that limits your performance. We model it the same way as fitness, but on a shorter time scale. You’ll notice your score go up quickly after a couple hard days, but also go down quickly as you take a few days off.

Being in form, or “peaking,” happens when one is very fit but not fatigued. Here we model this as the difference between your Fitness Score and your Fatigue Score.

So What Does it Mean?
While this type of fitness and freshness chart is popular among endurance athletes, it can be difficult to understand at first. In general the overall numbers aren’t as important as general trends.

How It’s Calculated
Our method for calculating Fitness, Fatigue and Form is based off an impulse-response model first developed by Dr. Eric W. Banister in 1975. It was later applied to cycling by Dr. Andy Coggan.

The concepts apply to any measure of training stress. For example, the first models used average heart rate and time. We use Training Load, computed using power data collected by a dedicated power meter. We understand this isn’t ideal for everyone, especially runners and swimmers. In the future we hope to incorporate heart rate and other metrics to create a better picture of your fitness.

Important Note: The feature requires a power meter. If you’ve just started using a power meter, it will take 6-8 weeks for your Fitness Score to be accurate. Enjoy!


Have You Set a Performance Goal?

Performance Goals with a Social Twist

Setting a goal is one of the first things a dedicated athlete does as they prepare for a new season, a new month, and even a new week. With that in mind, we’re happy to announce the launch of our second set of Premium goal-related features: Performance Goals. Our initial release of Performance Goals focuses on segments and power.

Segment Goals…Finally
This feature has been in our hearts and on our minds for a long time. Now you can pick your favorite segment, scan the leaderboard for your target time, and create your goal. When (not if) you achieve your goal, we’ll show it off for you in the feed. Segment goals can be created on cycling and running segments.

Power Goals…Feel the Burn
Cyclists with power meters are in for a real treat. Now you can set power goals for popular time intervals such as 5 seconds, 1 minute, and 10 minutes. This is a great way to use your power meter to hone in specific skills. We’ll even show your power goals overlaid on your power curve.

Goals Just Got More Social
At Strava, we know the more social you are around your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. Thus, we worked hard to incorporate your friends and fellow athletes into the goal experience. You can now invite other athletes to “join” the segment and power goals you set for yourself. For example, once you’ve set your 20-minute goal on Old La Honda (Bridge to Mailboxes), you can invite your friends to set the exact same goal as you, or set their own specific time goal for the same segment. Either way, we’ll display all of your friends who have joined in on a particular goal so you can work together to push yourself to new heights.

The Fine Print

  • Performance Goals are public and your privacy settings will apply. Thus, goals created by athletes with Enhanced Privacy turned ON can only be seen by their approved followers.
  • Cyclists can not create Segment Goals on downhill segments.
  • Power Goals can only be achieved by using a Power Meter, Estimated Power does not apply.

To learn more about this Premium feature or many other motivating Premium features, check out our Strava Premium page.  If you aren’t already a Premium member and want to hit new PRs and get more social with Performance Goals, upgrade for only $6 per month or $59 per year. Enjoy!

– Alex

Segment Intensity Score for Power Meter Users

Geeking out over your matched segment list after a ride is a favorite Strava past time, and we’re excited to launch a feature that will give you even more to geek out over. Now available to Strava Premium members with power meters, Segment Intensity Score tells you how hard you worked on any given segment.  (Quarq, Cyclops, and the recently introduced Stages make some pretty sweet power meters!)

How is Segment Intensity Calculated?

We take the average power for a given segment and compare your average power for that segment with your best average power over the past 6 weeks for the duration of the segment. For example, if your best 20-minute power in the previous 6 weeks was 300W and you maintained 270W for a 20-minute segment on a given ride, you will receive a 90% Segment Intensity Score. A score of 100% means you set your best 6-week power for the length of the segment!

Hard Efforts Highlighted

You can’t go out and hammer every segment on a ride, but there are times when you give a specific segment a go – the Segment Intensity bar is a great way to quickly identify these hard efforts on a ride. Hover over a specific segment and we’ll show you the score!


Perfect for Interval Sessions

The segment intensity score also works with lap functionality, making it a great way to visualize an interval session and quickly hone in on the hard efforts while ignoring the recovery laps.


The Fine Print

  1. Only you can see your Segment Intensity Scores for now
  2. Segment Intensity Scores can only be seen on the Activity page
  3. Only Strava Premium members with power meters can see Segment Intensity Scores
  4. Segment Intensity is based only on your 6-week best power data

We’ve got lots more planned to make training with a power meter even more fun and would love to hear your comments and ideas! If you aren’t already a Premium member and want to get the most out of your power meter, upgrade to Premium for only $6 per month or $59 per year. Enjoy!

Strava + Instagram

For us here at Strava, not every ride and run is about crushing KOMs and CRs. We love to stop once in a while to smell the roses, wait for a friend, crack a joke, or simply enjoy the view. When the view is particularly epic, it’s become pretty natural to take out our phones and share our moments of bliss with our thousands (or tens) of eager Instagram friends and followers.

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of our integration with Instagram. We think the simplicity of it all is pretty magical: just connect to Instagram from the “Social Connections” section of your Settings page on Strava and we’ll take care of the rest.

Once you’re connected, just do what you’ve already been doing – take amazing pictures during your runs or rides and upload them to Instagram. Be sure to do this during your ride. We can automatically associate your photos with your activities, but only if they were uploaded during the time you were running or riding. We’re not going to be perfect, so we’ve given you the ability to easily remove any Instagram photos from Strava (they will remain on Instagram).

Your photos will show up in the Activity Feed alongside your activity, on your Activity pages, and we’ll even group them and put them on your Profile page (check out Ted King’s profile). Finally, we’ll look back at your Instagram history and see if you took any pictures while you were riding and running in the past and bring them into Strava.

We’re looking forward to seeing so much more than a GPS plot of your runs and rides, so hop on Instagram, pick the perfect filter, and give us a little view of your world!

Introducing Thumbnail Maps with Terrain plus Full Screen Google Maps

Good news to report on maps this week.  We’re continuing to work on them and just rolled out a couple of big improvements.

Better Thumbnail Maps
We’ve been reading all of the feedback in the New Maps discussion board and agree with many of the criticisms of the new thumbnails on the dashboard and profile pages.  As heavy users of the product, we look at these pages all day long and have been noticing the same things you have.  We’ve been working closely with MapBox and have some progress to report:

  • We’re now using terrain maps, a new feature from MapBox.  Check out the screenshot below and see what a difference terrain makes.
  • We’ve been playing with color saturation to try to increase the contrast of the shadowing which we felt was too subtle.  We’ll keep making adjustments here.
  • Labels – this is a gap that we’re continuing to work on with MapBox.  There simply aren’t enough labels in the thumbnails right now.  MapBox is working hard to make improvements to labels and we’ll keep you posted on this one.

Full Screen/Full Browser Google Maps
Thanks to an Innovation Days project (think Strava hackathon), you can now launch REALLY BIG GOOGLE MAPS on run/ride pages by using the fullscreen icon at the top right of the map. In Chrome and Firefox, fullscreen mode takes up your entire monitor display.  In Safari and Internet Explorer it will take up your entire browser display.

In addition to being able to explore activities in great detail with the fullscreen map, you can easily interact with the route using the elevation profile.  For more tips on using fullscreen mode, check out this support article.

Take a look and let us know what you think.


Alex Mather & the Design Team