Online logbooks are something that many of today’s cyclists can’t live without. Strava and Garmin Connect are good examples of these new apps, which keep a record of your rides. Strava appears to be the better loved of the two by both amateurs and pros (there are even T-shirts bearing the words “If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen”), and this American company recently released three new tools to help every athlete achieve his or her personal goals at their own level.
Strava is a great tool for the amateur athlete, but it also has features for athletes who want to take their performance to the next level. Previously, and for a fee, Strava Premium provided users with many of these additional functions, though not all of them saw widespread use. The monthly price of Strava Premium has risen considerably in recent years. It often didn’t make sense for cyclists to pay more for the few functions they used, which is why there are now three separate paid packages tailored to the needs of Strava’s clientele.
“Summit’s Training Pack provides all the tools and insights athletes need to train smarter,” is how Strava describes the first of three packages. When you choose to upgrade, you can also tailor-make your own goals: for example, you can set your own targets on your own favourite segments, or set out how many kilometres you want to cover each year on your bike. In addition, you unlock a number of analysis functions that allow you to better understand your own performance in detail. Or you can compare your performance per-segment with others from the same weight or age class.
Of course there is no training pack without actual training schedules. Strava’s schedules are set up by professional coaches, and are available in all shapes and sizes — choose a goal, and go for it!
Another one of Strava’s latest features is found in the Safety Pack: the Beacon function. This allows you to share your location with designated contacts during your training session. This is especially useful for people living in the less densely populated parts of the country, or for those who travel through dodgy neighbourhoods during their round trip. Thanks to the Beacon there is always someone who can look out for you. And in the case of a flat tire, you don’t have to explain exactly where you’re stuck..!
The title of this package says enough: this package is meant for the data freaks who want to get everything out of their heart rate monitors and power metres. Based on this data, a figure is assigned to your fitness and freshness, so that you can better assess whether you’re on the right track, you need to take a day rest or whether you can schedule extra training. Values are determined by your effort so you can better estimate how your performance ranks compared with others. Finally, you can use Live Segments with this package. This funciton allows you, if your cycling computer supports it, to see if you are pacing ahead or behind your personal records (PR) while you ride on a particular segment. How awesome is that?
Before this release, users paid €7.99 per month for Strava Premium — the costs per package are now just €1.96. When you want all three packages, you get a 15% discount and you pay € 5, – per month. You have to take out an annual subscription for this, however. When you want to use Summit for a shorter period, the monthly price is slightly higher. Current Premium members are transferred to Summit by default with access to all three packages for the same price. Bonus: paying members get exclusive discounts on brands partnered with Strava.