Does Strava Work on a Treadmill?


Strava is a widely popular GPS tracking and analytics service used by runners and cyclists. Due to regional constraints or individual efficiency, many runners end up using treadmills to get their miles in or to supplement outdoor running. With the growth in both Strava and treadmill running, the inevitable question surrounding whether or not the two work together is ever-present.

Strava tracks data and distance using GPS, which is often blocked or largely inaccurate when used indoors. While Strava does not work on treadmills in settings that have no access to GPS, individuals can manually enter data from treadmills into Strava.

Although Strava does not seamlessly work on treadmills, there are other alternatives to track mileage, as well as other alternatives to treadmills. Whether you are a hard-core treadmiller or a loyal Strava follower, there are other options to optimize your exercising and data tracking experience.

How to Track Treadmill Activities with Strava

Tracking treadmill and stationary activities while using Strava or similar GPS-based apps, is not as straightforward as activities that have access to GPS, like outdoor running or cycling. Luckily, there are ways to bend around this obstruction and continue accurately tracking your stats.

Manual Input

The most straightforward and sensible stand-in for tracking treadmill sessions using Strava is to track your distance and time using the treadmill, then insert it into the Strava website using a laptop or computer.

If you track your activity using an Apple Watch or Strava-friendly watch/device, you can track your activity and label it as a treadmill exercise.

Steps to Manually Enter Data:

  • Locate “Upload Activity” on your account. It should be an orange plus sign in the top right corner.
  • Select “Upload an activity manually.”
  • You will still receive the credit for your training, and it will be saved just like any other activity.

Steps to Mark an Activity as Treadmill/Stationary:

  • Locate the “My Activities” tab
  • Select “Edit” on the workout which you wish to mark as a treadmill run
  • Select “Mark as Stationary”

Once you have manually inserted your treadmill activity, it will be saved and added to your storage of running history. Using these steps, you will be better equipped to track your treadmill activities and keep tabs on your data.

Where Does Strava Work?

Just like with any GPS-reliant technology, Strava has its boundaries, although many of these can be bypassed using the same trickery seen above. Utilizing the manual input faction of Strava’s website will give you a consistent, if clunky, source to dump your basic data.

For the more modern runner or cyclist, employing Strava on a smart device to obtain precise, efficient data is a better move. Wielding the knowledge of Strava’s limits is important to avoid technical issues and potential loss of data in your next activities.

Anywhere with a Clear GPS Signal

In order to gain a better understanding of where Strava is usable, it is necessary to delve into the details behind the main functioning body of the tracking system: GPS.

The Global Positioning System is a series of over 30 satellites orbiting the Earth with the primary function of offering accurate navigation across the globe. Strava utilizes this mechanism by applying its services to the running and cycling orb.

Anywhere with a concise GPS signal, namely above-ground areas unobstructed by solid bridges, materials, or deep woods, will connect to GPS satellites and deliver accurate navigation services. Areas complying with these factors will allow Strava to function properly.

Strava’s GPS tracking system will work in:

  • Mountains
  • In the middle of the ocean
  • Deserts
  • The wilderness (when a clear path to the sky is present)

Benefits of Treadmill Running

If you end up sticking to your resolution to get in shape or lose weight, treadmill running appears as an efficient, healthy option. The quality of being able to run any time, rain or shine, is a notable perk of treadmill running, as is the reduction of joint stress.

Reduced Joint Stress

In comparison to orthodox outdoor running, treadmill running offers a reduction in joint stress and strain; its softer surfaces and flatness use fewer muscles and act as a sort of ultrathin pillow for runners’ feet.

This reduction in bodily stress is especially beneficial for those who foster knee problems and overweight individuals. Beginner runners may also utilize treadmill equipment to ease into the routine or running regularly.

One must remember not to pamper their body if they plan on running outdoors in the future. It is a strong idea to supplement outdoor running with treadmill work so as not to soften the body and legs to the point of avoiding regular running. Again, everything in moderation.

Encourages Regular Exercise

With the weather, location, and other conditions out of your control, treadmills offer the solution to exercising consistently, whenever and wherever you wish.

This attribute of regular exercise is especially valuable for individuals seeking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise.

For more information on exercise guidelines, visit thisOpens in a new tab. website.

Reaching these levels of activity on a treadmill is very doable, with many variations in workouts and changes in incline to keep every runner or walker tuned in and attentive.

Alleviate Boredom

Although some despise the very idea of running in the same few feet for miles upon miles, others can apply their attention elsewhere, watching television or partaking in other activities while running.

Finding the perfect multi-task to pair with treadmill running can be difficult, but fortunately, there are quite a few options.

These options include, but are not limited to:

Listening to music

Watching TV or movies

Reading a book or magazine

Learn a new language

Phone call (maybe a bit difficult if running)

As is the case with many activities, testing out new options is the best way to figure out what works best with you. Keeping an open mind is necessary to pinpoint the best way to optimize your treadmill experience.

Drawbacks of Treadmill Running

Despite the many positives mentioned earlier, treadmill running has its negative sides as well; these drawbacks surface more prominently in some more than others, leading many to avoid treadmill running entirely.

Can Be Expensive

With some rolling out at over $2,000, treadmills are not always a viable option for new runners or exercisers. Maintenance of the running machines can also become an issue, as regular usage may lead to issues beyond the normal wear-and-tear.

If using treadmills at a gym or club, a subscription payment can also add up; these fees may outweigh the benefits gained, especially when free alternatives are available in outdoor running.

Although money may stand in the way of using a treadmill, do not let this deter you from exercising as a whole; nothing is more expensive than your health.

Can Become Boring

After running on a treadmill for a few days, boredom may stack up for some individuals. Even with entertainment all around, many are unable to reach the same “flow” experienced during outdoor running.

Others find these outlets to alleviate their boredom to be distracting more than anything, and for that reason, struggle to satisfy their running wants fully.

Poor Training for Racing

Ultimately, treadmill running or walking simply does not translate its outdoor counterpart; these discrepancies can prove fatal on race day.

Raw exposure to rigid, more extreme conditions, like temperature or surface, often end up hurting race times and experiences.

Thankfully, a solution persists; in alternating between treadmill and outdoor running, you will minimize the risk of being unprepared for competition.

Bottom Line

Strava is an application that can be utilized on treadmills, although the path to successfully using it is slightly obtuse. Strava is used everywhere on the planet and is successful in all places, bar those underground or obstructed.

Just as Strava has its perks and pitfalls, so too does treadmill running. Whether you are lacing up for a treadmill run or opening Strava for whatever reason, always remember to have a good time.

abel

Retired Athlete, Retired Personal Trainer, Retired University Teacher, Retired Sales Manager...

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