This is another episode of missing features in Strava. Here is the list of past episodes:
I honestly feel they should hire me as a product manager.
I am finally a paid user now, mainly because I am curious. Unfortunately, I am not sure I find any premium feature is really so useful that I can’t live without.
Here is one example of the relative effort. So each activity (run or ride) they will give a relative effort number, which I have no idea how they calculate. I suppose that this graph allows me to easily see if I have a consistent effort every week. If I am training for a race, it is probably important. Because I was having some trips earlier, there were 2 weeks I had very low effort, hence the chart is pretty off.
But do I really need this premium feature to know that I am not training consistently in the past few weeks?
The most disappointed premium feature is the training plan:
That is it! It is a hard-coded table with what I should do in a 10-week half marathon training plan. Every day it will send an email to me about the activity for the next day. It is dull.
I don’t know about other people, but I cannot make the commitment that I can strictly follow the plan. I have tried. What I can do is, make the commitment for the week. Therefore, I need the plan to adjust to my own schedule. What I really mean is, if the plan asks me to do an easy run on Tuesday; however, I do an easy run on Monday, because I happen to have time, why can’t the system adjust the plan? I will follow the idea to have a rest day and then have a interval run the day after. I need an adaptable training plan feature.
Second, there is no anything cohesive between the training plan and my activities. For example, when it asks me to do a run on one day and I do it. There is nothing to say, “congrats, you complete the plan today!”, or “you can do it better, I notice your pace drop”, or “good job, you went extra miles today!”. Nothing, the system does not care if I have done anything! Basically, I need a feature that can analyze my weekly performance with my current training plan.
Finally, it does not allow training plans to carry over. I have a full marathon race coming, and I also sign up couple half marathons. I want to arrange a plan for the full, but with the consideration that in between, I have some half to run. Strava cannot do it, because it’s a hard-coded table! It will only allow you to setup a 12-week training plan for a full marathon. It does not care if I want to have a 24-week training with 2 half marathon in the middle. I need a feature that supports flexible training plan for multiple races.
All those above 3 features can be done using some sort of machine learning and adaptive algorithm. I can’t believe they still don’t have such things.
Overall, I am not really happy with the premium Strava features, unless things are changed, I don’t think I will pay it again next year.