It’s official: riding with your friends makes you stronger

How to stick to your riding goals, fresh stats and an Escape Plan challenge from Strava

Strava stats say riding with friends is good

In its decade of existence,  Strava has become an integral part of many people’s cycling and sporting habits. It provides a way to log activity and progress, discover places and people and, most importantly for some, compete for the top of an imaginary scoreboard.

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Whether you love it or not, Strava’s success is undeniable — it now has as many as 44 million users worldwide. As we all know, where there’s an app there’s a stat, and Strava has recently studied its users’ data to reveal (or confirm) some training traits that will help anyone obtain lasting fitness — even if they don’t feel the need to Strava their pursuits.

Be active, often

Strava says that “regular activity is the key to staying active”, which may seem obvious — what next, riding a bike is the key to cycling, we hear you say — but there is a little more to it than that.

The brand continues, “athletes who upload to Strava an average of 5 times a week have twice as many active weeks per year as those who upload only twice per week”. In other words, once you get on a roll, there’s no stopping you. Go you!

Friends are good

There’s no denying that a contemplative solo ride can be good for the soul, but all that time alone might not be the best thing for your performance — Strava claims that activities completed in a group lasted 10 percent longer and went 21 percent further than solo activities.

Diversify

“Why am I doing this? What is life? I could be at home eating cake, but no.”
This guy has just realised that maybe, to become a better cyclist, he’ll have to take up running
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media

Practising different sports will make you more likely to be active for a larger portion of the year. Strava’s study shows that “people who do four different kinds of activities per week stay active for three times as many weeks in a year than someone who does just one sport”.

Less is still more

From looking at marathon runners, Strava has concluded that it’s not always about going flat-out and, again, diversity is key to sustained improvement: “For marathon runners who ran the same race two years in a row, people who got faster did fewer training runs at their marathon pace when training for the second year’s race. Runners who improved were also more likely to have increased their time doing non-running activities compared to the previous year.”

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Use Strava all the time

Only joking. Although, there is some merit to this, as Strava says that for every minute spent on the app, users spend 50 minutes being active. Handily, its new “Escape Plan” is here for you, a multi-sport challenge to log exercise five or more times per week for a month. It might just be your ticket to a new habit.