Yeah, we all know that the word Strava has become synonymous with just about any activity-tracking and fitness app the same way the word Coke applies to almost any brown-coloured fizzy liquid. But did you know that there actually are decent alternatives out there, which let you track your performance data and compare it with your friends in a nonintrusive way? You might fancy yourself a diehard Strava fan but there’s no harm in discovering new grounds. You might even become tempted to switch between the apps on the next outing. Before you start rambling that cheats on e-bikes are ruining the stats anyway, let’s take a look at some.
The main objective of TrainingPeaks is getting you “race day ready,” as they state in big bold letters on their website. The purpose of the app isn’t just to log in your fitness data and see the gradual progress but to mainly structure your training schedule and strategy so you could reach a specific set goal the most effective way. TP is also popular with coaches because they can look at and analyse the training of their clients without requiring them to send in exported files and also allows them to make adjustments to the training plan on the go and in-app.
Komoot is geared towards those that do outdoor sports such as hiking or MTB cycling by displaying commonly known trails as well as user-created ones that are shared on the platform. Komoot offers data on each inch of the road and trail type, elevation, etc., which allows users to plan out their trips and prepare for the current conditions according to how much walking, trekking and/or cycling they wish to do during the trip. The manufacturer claims that the app works great even if you go off-grid and off-signal, which tends to happen a lot in the great wide open, so if you download the offline version of the map, you have nothing stopping you from enjoying the adventure.
If you’re not so much on board with Strava turning increasingly more into a new kind of social network, you might try the Garmin Connect. Garmin are seasoned veterans of the sports world and it shows. Besides the regular data collecting and activity tracking functions, the app lets you schedule an all-week or all-month (hell, even an all-year) exercise plan or offers you one of the bulletproof pre-sets, put together by Garmin expert couches who can also virtually guide you through your goal (e. g. cycling 5k) once you set it. The same as Strava, the app lets you connect with friends to compare results, schedule a ride together or gawk at pros’ crazy stats and is, of course, supported across all Garmin devices.
Endomondo is one of the better known apps, working fully offline once downloaded. It displays your route using Google Maps and tracks distance, duration, average speed, average pace, calories burned, and hydration. It even tracks what music you listen to while exercising, which can be viewed on their website afterwards. Just as many others, Endomondo allows setting and reaching personal goals and competing with others, which might even get you a prize. From the social standpoint, there’s a great feature that shows routes of other people nearby. You can issue challenges to your friends, view their progress, and even record a motivational speech for them. And if you, in turn, enjoy being cheered at, Endomondo can interact with you via audio messages giving reports on progress and encouragement.
According to cyclists with regular training and riding habits, theS app is really breathing on Strava’s neck in terms of feature range, services, connectivity, and layout arrangement. It offers the high standard in measuring distance, cadence, heart rate, average speed, etc., and in planning your trip, showing you detailed route profiles, sharing your rides and performance, creating neat and publishable Ride Records, and much more. Some RWGPS fans argue that the in-ride data and route building are better designed than on Strava and one Reddit user even stated in a forum that if the app had a bigger user base to compare results with, it would be perfect. Seems like it might be worth a shot!
Velo Hero is a free independent training log and performance analysis software. It gives competitive cyclists, runners, and triathletes the motivation and support to achieve their athletic goals while sharing their achievements and competing with friends. Individual workouts can be analysed in depth by using dozens of statistics, graphs, and analysis options, including Google Earth overlay and Excel export. In the words of the app’s founder Nils Knieling from Germany: “The biggest difference from other platforms is that Velo Hero is a one-man project. I get no support from companies and also will not sell your data. Since no one else is involved in decisions, I can implement new features quickly. I’m a cyclist and use my software every day.” Truly, by a cyclist, to cyclists.
This one might be smirked upon by MAMILs and roadie distance queens or kings but for each of us, motivation works in different ways. And if being chased by zombies finally gets you moving, then zombie run it is. Zombies, Run! works a bit like a real-life RPG using a creative storyline with over 120 missions that you must complete while collecting ‘supplies’ and outrunning zombies. You’re given instructions by amazing voice actors who make the thing feel as real as possible. By using your GPS, you can upload your stats online if you register to their website. The gamificated exercise is targeted mostly towards joggers but can be also tried on the bike if you’re up for a slower pace. Take a gander at this demo run, it gave us goose bumps!
Even if running from zombies can’t shake your determination to be a proud Stravaddict, mainly for the social and competitive aspect of it, you can still sync most of the other popular apps with it through an open-source project Tapiriik. This clever tool not only uploads your km’s, average speed, and output but also synchronizes your heart rate, cadence, power, and temperature data so you can make your rides or training sessions more efficient across all apps.