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April 20, 2017

Strava makes it easier for weekend warriors to coordinate workouts

by John_A

Why it matters to you

It’s sometimes tough to schedule outdoor activities but Strava’s new Events feature makes it easier.

Strava, the self-styled social network for athletes, is getting better. On Wednesday, it took the wraps off Club Events for iOS and Android, a social feature aimed at coordinating meetups between members.

It’s a new component of Strava Clubs, informal groups of like-minded users. You can join a Club from Strava’s smartphone app, and once you do, you will see recent rides and runs logged by other members, a comment section, and a club widget that shows your club rides and runs on your blog or website.

The update lets Club administrators create Events from the Strava app and post event details with other Club members. Participants get alerts for new events and event details and can respond to event invitations and see route information.

There is a new Apple Watch complication, in tow, too. It acts as a shortcut to Strava’s companion smartwatch app.

“Bringing our Club Events feature to mobile is another way we’re continuing to help our community of athletes engaging with one another,” Will Lee, a product manager at Strava, said in a statement. “From talking to Club admins, we learned that they were looking for an easier way to plan group activities with members, especially on mobile. Club Events on mobile allow athletes in a club to quickly organize a real-world activity. Bringing Club events to mobile is our latest step to build thriving communities on Strava.”

The update comes on heels of Strava 2.0, a redesigned smartwatch experience that added the ability to record and upload workouts without the need for a paired smartphone.

It’s not the only improvement Strava has made recently. In August, it gained Beacon, a feature that lets users share distance, caloric expenditure, and speed in real time.  In March, it added Live Segments, a cyclist-focused feature that serves up real-time audio and visual cues.

Some users have gotten creative with the app’s tracking capabilities. Athletes in the U.K. ran 28 miles to plot the outline of a dragon in Strava’s shareable map.

The app is free to use, but the Premium tier ($60) adds daily schedule and riding advice, plus plans tailored to take into account the time you have to ride and the date you want to achieve your goal. You get leaderboard filters (by age and weight), a workout effectiveness ranking (Suffer Score), a real-time emergency monitoring feature, the ability to download third-party routes, and more.

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