How can average speed be higher than max speed on a segment?

This is caused by the way Strava matches segments and determines average speed. When Strava matches you to a segment it's likely there won't be GPS points in your activity that match exactly to the segment start and end points. This means that your segment match can be slightly longer or shorter than the actual segment length.

When we calculate average speed on a segment however, we use the actual segment length, and your measured time on that segment. When we calculate the speed data on an overall activity, we use the length and time of the entire activity.

This is particularly evident on very short segments; the shorter the segment, the larger the percentage of the segment's total time is accounted for by the sampling rate of your GPS device.

Unfortunately, this is simply a limitation of our segment matching process at this time. Unless we do interpolation of your GPS points to time segment efforts, this issue will exist occasionally. 

If you're interested, here's more on how to optimize segment creation to ensure this doesn't happen.

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Comments

6 comments
  • So why it isn't a priority to fix this issue? Segments is one of the most important features of Strava that distinguishes it from other platforms. It is frustrating to see this issue so often. It gives advantage to runners with lower resolution GPS devices that refresh less often. Also if one knows exactly where the segment starts and ends he/she can easily cut the segment distance by up to 100 m short and still match the segment. To achieve that is is enough to enter the segment from the side or just turn around just before the start and the finish. It will still match and report a higher than actual average speed.

  • hello.
    Please nice as those charged to analyze and correct this activity https://www.strava.com/activities/691265080 times movement.
    Thank you.

  • So Strava dot NOT interpolate when calculating speeds over segments?

    Then there is no point in making ANY segment shorter than a few kilometers.

    My trust in Strava's data just plummeted to that of the level of endomono...
    I demand you fix this!

  • It's sad to hear that Strava isn't going to fix this issue. Segments is the best feature of Strava. Come on!

  • Surely applying a rule that average speed cannot exceed maximum speed would be a very simple partial fix for this issue. On shorter segments many of the top 10 often have average speeds significantly higher than max. Example https://www.strava.com/activities/75211641#1495198066

    AVG MAX
    Speed 36.9mi/h 25.7mi/h

    Come on Strava, sort it out:

    ....
    # Do speed calculations
    ...

    if (averageSpeed > maximumSpeed) {
    averageSpeed = maximumSpeed;
    }

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