Challenge yourself with Strava Segments

Challenge yourself with Strava Segments

Running together with others is not an option for the time being. Challenge yourself with Strava Segments. (photo Pixabay)

In addition to all that working from home, it is nice to go outdoors and play sports. Running is approachable, relaxing, you feel fit and healthy afterwards, and you get inspired to get back to work at home or before work.

For the more performance-oriented runners, participation in running races is not yet in it. Joint training sessions at your athletics club or running group are also not possible. For very understandable reasons, in many countries adults from the age of eighteen are allowed to exercise outdoors with a maximum of two people, as long as there is a minimum of 1.5 meters between them

Goals keep you motivated

The motivation to improve as a runner is not everyone given in the current situation. It helps your motivation to find new goals and get your highlights out of them. You can find it in one of the many virtual competitions. Some even include an app complete with music, directions and competition ambience. Just really. But you’re walking on your own.

We also see other innovations, such as The Fair Battle of ProRun. Each month, in a ranking,  you can see your performance level compared to women and men your own age.

Athletics clubs and running groups offer individual programs and classifications that often use Strava. Strava has developed since 2009 as the social medium for runners and cyclists. It has its own app and tracks your performance on the basis of GPS independently or linked to your running watch.

Everyone or your friends only can follow you and give you kudos. Kudos are “well done pats on the back”. Nothing motivates better than appreciation. It’s nice to get kudos. And for training buddies and trainers, Strava provides proof that you’ve done what you say.

If you run a training course more often, Strava recognizes this and keeps track of the data and the trend for you. You can see in a graph and also in text whether you’ve been faster or slower on this particular course lately.

Strava segments

Strava segments can be found all over the world. Wherever and independent of the length of your run, you always pass multiple segments that someone has created in Strava. Sometimes a segment is short, sometimes longer or very long. They all have in common that Strava keeps a ranking of this.

There are so many segments that you have enough in every training session to find a suitable segment and accelerate on the spot. This provides an useful block training. Depending on the length of the segment, you train different paces in a playful way. It’s nice to see if you’re climbing in the segment rankings.

You can filter anything and everything in such a ranking. People of your own age class or weight. To everyone, to people you follow in Strava, or just on your own results. Forever, this year, or just today. And it provides information how you’ve ran. Nice to analyze.

Above all, the segments give you a multitude of small goals to improve you or to rank you just a little better than a running friend. That motivates.

Too bad is that Strava since May 2020 makes distinctions in free and paid subscriptions. The free version still offers a lot and is enough for many. The subscription of about € 60 per year will bring you more. Whether you need it is a personal choice. Strava offers the opportunity to try it out for free for two months. Just don’t forget to cancel in time if you don’t want to go through with it.

Wherever and however long you run, you will always pass multiple segments that someone has created in Strava.

Live Segments

One thing is that you have to remember where the segment you want to accelerate starts and where it ends. And when you think you know this exactly, the GPS can still bother you. From one day to the other GPS can differ. If you want to set a sharp time on a segment, it’s best to start some distance for the starting point and go through after the end point.

For cyclists this is much more difficult than for runners. The action area and speed on the bike are greater. In combination with less familiar terrain, you’ll miss the beginning or end of a segment even more easily. Many of our friends therefore use Strava’s Live Segments. This option gives a signal when the segment starts and when it ends.

With runners this option is less known but just as possible. Strava offers it for various brands of multisport watches, including Garmin  and Polar.

Live Segments works very nicely. You’ll get a signal on the screen of your watch with at choice beeps and vibrations as you approach the segment. Immediately a countdown of the number of meters starts to the starting point. Right at the beginning of the segment you get the screen and signal Go! As a service, your PR is also on this segment.

Running on the segment you will see a screen with the distance that still needs to be run, the time you are on the road and how much you are in front or behind the schedule of your PR. Instead of your own PR, you can also choose to virtually run against the fastest of the leaderboard on that segment.

The end of the segment is also reported with a screen, vibrations and beeps, along with information on what the result is compared to your PR.

Along, Ron took pictures of the watchscreens. Shooting photo’s takes time. So Ron earned no PR for the segment ‘Teahouse – Canoefarm’.

With Live Segments, it doesn’t happen to you anymore that you only see after your run that you missed your PR in a second. Or that you could have climb a place in the standings if you had known that the finish line was a little further? With Live Segments, you get feedback in real time, so you can see exactly how you’re doing while running. It’s highly recommended.

In advance, you must select for which segment or segments you want to receive this Live information. You can select up to 100 segments. We just wouldn’t take too much of it on your regular training courses. That doesn’t motivate anymore and doesn’t make the training any better.

Afterwards, you can compare yourself to a running friend and see where you virtually had to let him or her go. Then you’ll know what to do next time on this segment.

Screenshots of Strava Live Segments: when approaching the segment and at the start.
Screenshots of Strava Live Segments:  on the segment, and at the segment end.


Our book ‘The Secret of Running’ is for sale in our webshop. Also available in German as ‘Das Geheimnis des Laufens’, and in Italian as ‘Manuale completo della corsa’.