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Strava’s data reveals the secrets to successful training

What the app’s statistics say about how you should ride in the new year

In 2019, more than 48 million Strava athletes uploaded activities from 195 countries. With 19 million activities uploaded every week, Strava is sitting on a goldmine of big data. Here are some statistics about what successful riders have done to achieve their goals in 2019, and how you can use this information to thrive in the 2020 season.

Train together

If you want to increase your ride frequency and distance, cycle with friends. Athletes who join a club upload 10 per cent more rides after they become members. The peak start time for solo morning rides is 8 a.m., but those riding with a group tend to start their rides closer to 5 a.m., giving the riders much more pre-work training time. This leads to the most dramatic statistic and the biggest reason you should seek out a group ride: on average, group rides cover two times the distance of solo rides.

Goals help with motivation

Strava found that athletes who set goals in January (a Summit feature) are increasingly likely to remain active as the year goes on. Ninety-five per cent of those who set goals in January were still active by September. Long-term goals seem to be effective in maintaining motivational momentum. In the statistical report, Strava does not mention the fact that members who are paying for Summit are likely more serious athletes, although there is still a possibility that purchasing Summit leads to more intense training and motivation. Even if you aren’t paying for Summit, defining clear goals for the year will help you visualize your long-term training plan.

Keep it up over the winter

With the rise of indoor cycling, it’s important to ride your trainer in the winter so you don’t get left behind when spring rides start. In January 2016, 5.5 per cent of rides were virtual. This year, 15.2 per cent of January rides were virtual. The number of indoor rides has almost tripled in just three years and shows no sign of slowing down. The growth of virtual training platforms like Zwift and TrainerRoad means more riders are willing to put in the hours on the trainer during the chilly winter months. Get your virtual training plan set up and you won’t be struggling to keep up with your peers in the spring.

Stay on the road longer with a new bike

Planning on going on some long rides this year? How far you ride might depend on your bike. Strava found that these bikes had the longest average ride distance:

  • Colnago C64 average distance: 49.2 km
  • Bianchi Specialissima average distance: 48.9 km
  • Trek Emonda SLR average distance: 47.5 km
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 average distance: 46.5 km
  • Specialized Tarmac S-Works average distance: 46.2 km