Strava Premium is worth it

Is Strava Premium worth it?

I love Strava (especially compared to Runtastic)! The merging of different sports, the linking of different devices and the very useful functional differences between the app and the desktop version. I also find the basic functions extensive and optimal - nevertheless I let myself be seduced and once tested the premium function. Here is my subjective impression of the different functions:

set goals

What can the function do?

If you have a wattmeter available, goals can be set here, such as delivering 500 watts of power over a minute.

Another function is that a goal can be set for a certain segment, which is then synchronized and played back directly in the app during an activity.

My assessment of the premium goals

For me, the watt measurement is the same as with many functions that will be explained later, there are better ones on the market, mostly from the corresponding manufacturers. For me, these are not the killer features that justify the price of the premium function.
If you track the activities with the app, then the objective for segments is great, because there is direct feedback. If you use external devices such as a Garmin Forerunner or Edge, it is of little use during training.

Heat maps

No real surprise - my bike heat map

A function that, to be honest, I was really looking forward to. But the way it works is a little different from what I thought. I would have found it exciting that you can see from a section of a map what are the most popular training areas in the region for a particular sport. In this way, you would have a quick overview of the "good routes" in foreign cities or perhaps see new routes that were previously hidden from you.

In fact, your own activities are graphically displayed very nicely, the more often you have taken a path, the darker and redder it becomes. Nice to look at, but without any real added value, because I actually know where I'm going or walking - because I know every blade of grass here.

Training videos on Strava

The first premium function under training are the videos. It is nice that the collection always changes with the season. Well done in terms of content and technology, but the wheel is not being reinvented here. But there are definitely new incentives for your own training.

Training plans in the Strava premium version

This is what the daily emails look like that come from the training plan - but do not address individual needs.

With Strava Premium there is the possibility to create different training plans for different goals. You choose a goal and the time of the training plan and a corresponding plan is displayed. At the same time, a CRM tool is started, which sends an email every day with a reference to the scheduled training.

What doesn’t work:

  • the schedule does not include personal pace or heart rate zones
  • the plans are not so individual that the plan includes the target time for a particular route
  • no target times, hay frequency ranges or the like are given in the plan. Just about, today 60 minutes faster run
  • the daily emails do not take into account whether you were already active in the morning, for example
  • Activities are not compared, marked or similar with the training plan
  • accordingly there is no comparison of whether or not one is on schedule
  • only one training plan can be completed at a time

I have to admit that I would have liked a lot of these features with Strava Premium. Because when I look at the training plans from Steffny or other authors, they are much more specific and can be implemented quickly with a simple Excel table. Strava has certainly not yet shown its full potential here. More specific plans with a corresponding comparison to the activities would be a real added value, especially because the heart rate zones are shown with Strava Premium.

Performance curve and fitness & condition

Are the attempt to show complex factors such as fitness and condition with fairly simple numbers. From my perspective, this mainly happens through the number of training minutes completed and the heart rate range. All in all, I find the graphs quite confusing and what is almost worse, I can't draw any conclusions about my training from them. The only thing that is really true is that I fell into a phase of extreme fatigue after the marathon - but I knew that even without this analysis.

A feature at Strava Premium that doesn't get me anywhere, or I just don't understand it.

The Strava Suffer Score

Is one of the first things you notice in the Strava Premium feed. In terms of the basic principle, this is again an attempt to record various parameters in a key figure. The Suffer Score primarily relates to the heart rate, the different frequency ranges and the length of the training. The longer in high frequency ranges, the higher the Suffer Score. For example, an easy run in the morning scores around 50 for me, while the marathon is 464 and the cyclassics are always around 200. I admit that the number is quite good, especially the differences between cycling and running are really exciting.

Heart rate analysis

In every workout at Strava Premium, you can see a very nice graphic showing how long you have been training in which heart rate range. A distinction is made between endurance, moderate, speed, threshold and anaerobic. The classification is based on the measured maximum heart rate. This is nice to look at, but since there is no feedback to the training plan, and so the numbers have a direct influence on the training, it is nothing more than a gimmic. Garmin is much further ahead with its heart rate control by watch. And the five zones can be calculated really quickly with an Excel table.

Very exciting, the heart rate after a workout by Michal Kwiatkowski

Segments at Strava Premium

The best thing about Strava is the segments. In the premium version you can create equal opportunities in the form of age and weight classes. This is a successful idea, because it is practically impossible for non-top athletes to make a COM and thus collect the coveted trophies after each session. I love it.


For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that the trophies and challenges that have been collected are always visible with Strava Premium. Well who needs it.

Strava Premium is now worth it

Mhhh, I love Strava and think the functions in the basic version are very good. I don't find the additional features in the payment mode so convincing, however, because a lot can be done with a simple Excel.

What is your assessment / experience with Strava Premium?

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