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New Strava Features Coming Soon: AI Coaching, Safer Night Heat Maps, and More

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Last week, Los Angeles hosted Camp Strava 2024, a pivotal gathering of Strava executives and industry leaders. The event was devoted to unveiling Strava’s future direction, highlighting its most anticipated new features and its impact on the athletic community.

This year’s event focused on the theme of progress, the power of connection, the importance of innovative training methods, and the endless possibilities of exploring the world around us.

We are focused on two fundamental shifts to accelerate how we deliver value to 125 million people globally — building for women and leveraging Artificial Intelligence — which will unlock new community-and-partner-powered experiences across the platform,” said Michael Martin, CEO of Strava.

I attended the 2-day event to bring back the newest innovations from the leading endurance athlete’s social media platform. A primary focus was on enhancing the Strava experience for women, with special guest appearances and panels featuring some of the most prominent female endurance athletes. The discussions centered around making sport and Strava safer and more inclusive for women.

Unsurprisingly, another significant topic was AI and how Strava can leverage machine learning to enhance user experience. With these two themes in mind, here are the upcoming features that excited me the most.

Dark Mode

Strava announced the launch of one of its most requested features: Dark Mode. This new feature will enhance the in-app experience for all users by reducing eye strain and improving accessibility while recording activities or browsing the feed.

Athletes can look forward to a rollout later this summer, with options to keep mobile settings always dark, always light, or synchronized with device settings. Dark mode will be available on paid and free subscriptions.

Strava Athlete Intelligence

One of the most exciting and promising features coming this fall is Strava’s beta launch of an AI-powered tool. This feature transforms your training data into easily digestible summaries, providing context for your accomplishments and fitness goals. After every run or ride, Strava Athlete Intelligence will summarize each step you take, making it easier for you to interpret the data and understand your performance.

As a conference attendee, I’ve gained access to the early Athlete Intelligence beta testing. Strava Athlete Intelligence currently provides retrospective feedback, offering valuable insights on completed runs. While this information does help some in planning future training, the true potential of AI lies in analyzing past data and giving future recommendations to optimize performance.

However, after speaking with several Strava executives, such forward-looking capabilities seem some distance away. While I found the amount of information it currently offers is relatively limited, I’m eager to see its future developments. Athlete Intelligence will be available on paid subscriptions only.

Night Heat Maps

Designed with safety in mind, Night Heat Maps are a valuable tool for women who prefer to run during the dark hours. These maps allow you to easily toggle between daytime and nighttime heat maps, providing insights into the community’s preferred routes during these times.

The Night Heat Map only looks at the activities that are logged between sundown and sunrise. This offers women a quick and reliable way to identify more visible and safer routes. Night Heat Maps will be available on paid subscriptions only.

Weekly Heat Maps

Instead of using all the past data about a route, regardless of date or time, Weekly Meat Maps will provide you with up-to-date information about activities and certain routes people are going on. Because it uses real-time information, you’ll always know if that trail you want to run is open or closed, no matter the season or how busy it may be.

One of the most valuable applications I can imagine for this is quickly knowing if that high-altitude trail is snow-free based on others who have run it. Weekly Heat Maps will be available on paid subscriptions only.

Quick Edit

To empower women with the freedom to choose and maintain privacy over their shared information, Quick Edit allows users to modify the most common details of each activity easily. With Quick Edit, you can choose to hide certain information, such as your map, start and finishing times, and health-related data, such as heart rate, all from a single screen. Quick Edit will be available on paid and free subscriptions.

Upgraded Club Pages

Previously, creating and editing a club was only possible through the web. With the upgraded club pages, you can create and edit your club directly through the app. This upgraded club experience also includes the ability to direct message other club members, allowing members to share routes, make plans, and have one-on-one conversations.

Furthermore, clubs can initiate threads on specific topics, fostering dedicated conversations about things such as weekly workout schedules or nutrition advice. Additionally, clubs can now create challenges exclusively for its members, enhancing motivation within the community. Upgraded Club Pages will be available on paid and free subscriptions.

Strava Family Plans

With a family plan subscription, you and up to three family members and friends can be on the same subscription plan. This means you can include your immediate family, a close-knit group of friends, or even your workout buddies. Strava didn’t provide details on how much a family plan will cost, but they did comment that the pricing will vary by country. You can receive updates here.

Final Thoughts on New Strava Features

Overall, I left the event feeling optimistic about Strava’s future and personally motivated after hearing so many inspiring stories. It’s no secret that Strava is a subscription-based business that relies on subscribers to thrive and grow.

As someone who recently canceled their premium subscription due to perceived lack of value, I’m now hopeful that these upcoming upgrades will better justify the $11.99 monthly fee. Although I don’t have exact release dates, Strava plans to roll out these features over the next year.

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