Strava Training Glossary for Running

See our glossary below to learn how to make the most out of your training on Strava.

Grade Adjusted Pace (GAP)

Grade Adjusted Pace estimates an equivalent pace when running on flat land, allowing the runner to compare hilly and flat runs more easily. Because running uphill requires extra effort, the Grade Adjusted Pace will be faster than the actual pace run. When running downhill, the Grade Adjusted Pace will be slower than the actual pace.

The adjustment generally becomes larger as the grade steepens, although research has shown that the downhill adjustment peaks around -20%, after which it becomes slightly less extreme. Grade Adjusted Pace does not account for terrain differences or the technical difficulty of running downhill. The calculation of Grade Adjusted Pace is inspired by work done by C.T.M Davies and Alberto Minetti studying the effects of grade on the energy cost of running.


Moving Time

The moving time feature on Strava is used for all running activities that don't depend on fair competition (races and segments). We calculate moving time in two ways.

  • If the runner doesn't use the pause feature on their device, we will automatically detect when the runner is resting and calculate moving time and pace using only GPS data. The moving threshold is anything faster than a 30-minute mile pace for running activities.
  • If the runner chooses to pause their run activity on their device, we will honor that choice and represent moving time according to the time and pace that is shown on the GPS device.


Elapsed Time

Elapsed time is used for the pace analysis of all running races, laps view, and segment efforts. Elapsed time measures the total elapsed time of the run, including stops and pauses. We believe that this is the fairest and most accurate way to represent the pace for workout efforts and competitive running activities.


Pace Zones

Strava uses a recent race or time trial to calculate running pace zones. Run data is bucketed into pace zones using Grade Adjusted Pace, which allows easy comparison of equivalent-effort pace on flat and hilly runs.

  1. Active Recovery - Very easy running. Usually done before or after a hard workout. Active recovery is also the pace runners jog during recovery intervals between harder efforts.
  2. Endurance - Comfortable running. Sometimes referred to as the "conversational" pace. This zone usually makes up the bulk of a runner's mileage.
  3. Tempo - This pace often matches a Marathon's or up-tempo pace's intensity.
  4. Threshold - A pace that can be sustained for up to 60 minutes with some difficulty. Workouts in this zone can be run continuously or broken up into longer intervals.
  5. VO2 Max - The pace at which a runner reaches the maximum level of oxygen consumption. VO2 Max pace is typically run in intervals due to its intensity.
  6. Anaerobic - Extremely hard pace, often done as short intervals or longer time trials.
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