Social Features and Training Diary Features in Strava
[Advance apology for long post. Sorry, no TL;DR]
There needs to be a clearer differentiation in Strava between its social features and its training diary features. No doubt Strava was originally conceived by its founders with mostly the social features in mind, but other features have gotten grafted on over time without a clearer differentiation between the two types of features. Looking at it from the point of view of a cyclist, I see the two feature sets as classified something like the following (the asterisk * represents features not available in Strava, or in some cases, such as photos - to phrase it diplomatically - "not yet developed to its fullest potential"):
- Basic activity metrics - GPS/map data, elevation, distance, time, speed
- Photos* and videos*
Training Diary Features:
- Performance metrics - heart rate, cadence, power (and related power metrics such as TE and PS*)
- Power analysis
- Training stress analysis - "Fitness and Freshness”, etc.
- Advanced analytical tools - quadrant analysis, scatter plots*
- Training calendar - Planned workouts/training plans, coaching*
- Equipment tracking - [sort of, currently, so gets a *]
This is relevant because it relates to how Strava distinguishes (or really how it **should**) distinguish between regular and Premium memberships. I think if you were starting out to create Strava today, you would probably make the social features free and put all the training diary features into the paid Premium accounts. However, I realize that Strava is kind of stuck in a path dependence and can’t do this now as it’s already giving away some training diary features for free. But by differentiating better between the two types of features going forward, this could result in greater ability on Strava’s part to add new and useful or enhanced features (many of which already have strong support here in the “Suggest a new Feature” forum). Speaking for myself as an age-grouper, the main attraction of Strava Premium to me is the “Filtered Leaderboards”, ie, leaderboards ranked by age group. I can get all the other training diary features (and more) from other sources, such as TrainingPeaks and Garmin Connect. If Strava added these other training diary features, I would consider making Strava my one-stop shop (and maybe a really good photos and videos capability should also be a Premium feature). And would I be willing to pay more for these features than I’m now paying for a Strava Premium account? Yes, I would.