Virtual Trainer Activities on Strava

This article discusses the different types of virtual trainer activities and explains best practices for uploading, categorizing, and flagging these activities. 

Categorizing your Activities

There are many different types of virtual/smart trainers on the market, most of which give you the ability to 'virtually' ride anywhere in the world. Because these files contain real GPS and time data, they will match segments. Trainer rides are not the same as riding outdoors with traffic, road conditions, weather, etc. and because of this, we can't allow times from these activities on public segment leaderboards, nor can we allow the activities to be counted towards challenges (unless otherwise stated in the challenge rules). 

Guidelines: Virtual trainer activities must use the sport type "Virtual Ride" or else they are subject to getting flagged. 


Image A: Zwift Island "Watopia" Image B: An activity from a TACX trainer
They_see_me_zwiftin____Ride___Strava.png Strava___Activity_Search.png



Flagging Virtual Trainer Activities 

Just because an activity was done on a virtual trainer, does not mean it should automatically be flagged. 


Reasons to flag a virtual activity:

  • The activity is not labeled 'Virtual Ride.'


Do not flag a virtual activity if: 

  • There are issues with a segment match on a virtual segment.
  • There are questions around the accuracy of someone's power output or elevation.



Labels and Categories for Activities

Change the activity type to "Virtual Ride"— Preferred option

Using this sport type for your virtual activities removes you from real-world segment leaderboards and puts your efforts on a virtual ride-only leaderboard. This tag will also allow the activity to count towards your profile stats. 

Flagging the activity

This will remove your activity from public leaderboards, but your activity will still remain public. Besides seeing a red flag bar on the activity page, there are no negative repercussions of having a flagged activity.

Making the activity private

This will remove the activity from public leaderboards and hide the activity from the public. You'll still be able to see your segment times.

Change the activity type to a "Workout"

This will remove your activity from cycling segments altogether. The activity will remain public.

Marking the activity as "Stationary" 

This will remove your activity from segment leaderboards and hide the map. The activity will remain public.




The time and date is incorrect

Strava uses the timestamps in the file along with the UTC offset of the location in which you're riding (based on the GPS data in the file) to determine the start time of your activity. Depending on how your virtual trainer formats the time data, it's very likely that the start time, and possibly the date, will be different on Strava than the day you actually rode. For example, Zwift's island of Watopia takes place on a real island called "Te Anau," which is UTC+11. Because of this many people will not see their activity until the Zwift time/date becomes present time for their timezone. 


Do Virtual Ride activities count towards distance or elevation Challenges?

We know they do a great job simulating real-world climbs and miles, but unfortunately, Virtual Ride activities cannot be considered for Challenges


Will Virtual Activities count towards my metrics?

Virtual activities will count towards your profile stats. This includes the year to date (YTD) stats, histogram, last 4 weeks, among others. 

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