does strava work on a treadmill

Does Strava Work On A Treadmill? Here’s How To Do It

Tracking your workouts and runs is a great way of seeing how much activity per week you’re managing, as well as monitoring your fitness levels. Strava is one of the world’s leading brands for GPS-based technology that allows you to monitor various activity types.

However, as it’s based on GPS data, it can be difficult to track indoor workouts that involve things like treadmill activities and weight training. The best way around this is to manually enter your workout into the Strava app or website, but you can also connect a heart rate sensor to track the workout for you.

strava app

Here, we’ll look at which workouts – including indoor activities – you can log with Strava, and how to do it.

How to track your treadmill workout on Strava

1. Enter it manually

Nowadays, the modern runner will usually split their training between standard outdoor runs and sessions on the treadmill. One of the limitations of Strava and other activity tracking technology that uses GPS is that they can’t track stationary activities, as you obviously aren’t going anywhere so there is no need for the GPS.

So, if you do a run on a treadmill, you’ll need to log this manually on Strava. Here’s how:

  • Once you’ve finished your treadmill workout, take a note of the data the treadmill gives you such as distance traveled, calories burned, and the duration of your run. It helps to take a picture when the treadmill displays this data. It’s also a good idea to take note of your activity start time.
  • Log in to your Strava account online, or open up the Strava app. Click ‘Upload activity’ and then select ‘Upload an activity manually.’
  • Input the relevant data so that it’s logged into your account.
  • If you want to log this workout as a stationary activity, head to the ‘My activities’ section and then find your treadmill workout. Select ‘Edit’ and then select ‘Mark as stationary.’
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This manual entry option is quite clunky, but it ensures you’re keeping track of all your levels of activity. You don’t have to log the workout as soon as you’ve finished it either – you can always wait until you’re back home and have a bit more time.

2. Connect a heart rate sensor

A simpler, more accurate way of tracking your treadmill workout on Strava is to connect a heart rate sensor. Obviously, this requires the purchase of a heart rate monitor, which isn’t a viable option for everyone, but if you do have one or choose to get one then you can connect it to Strava:

  • Open the Strava app, and hit the ‘Record’ button at the bottom of your screen. The usual GPS tracking screen will open, but there’ll also be an icon to select ‘Sport’. 
  • Once you’ve clicked this, you’ll have a list of activities to choose from. ‘Workout’ is always a good selection as it encompasses any sort of physical activity.
  • After selecting that, you’ll be presented with your workout screen and there’ll be a heart icon for a heart rate monitor. Simply click this and then connect your sensor using Bluetooth. Once the connection is made, you can begin your workout and monitor your heart rate throughout.

You don’t need to be an expert on heart rate to utilize the heart rate analysis on Strava, plus you’ll get a more accurate reading on the number of calories you burned on the treadmill.

The workout will automatically be logged on to your Strava account once you’re done, so you won’t need to go through the steps of manually logging it listed above.

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How to track other activities on Strava

strava app being used for tracking outdoor biking

Strava isn’t just limited to running; you can track your use of other indoor training equipment as well. Things like weight training, circuit training, and using indoor bike trainers can all be logged on Strava in the same way you would with a treadmill workout, be it manually or with a heart rate monitor.

However, activities like weight training are a little different when you have to track them manually as there is obviously not a machine there which can tell you how many calories you’ve burned. In this case, you should keep a note of the workout you completed and input as much detail as possible on the Strava website or app.

Benefits of treadmill workouts

man using the treadmill in a fitness gym

Sometimes, outdoor runs just aren’t feasible; perhaps the weather is too rough, or maybe you just live in a densely populated area where it’s difficult to find the space to complete a run. This is where treadmill runs become particularly handy, as all you need are your running shoes.

The technology of treadmills has also become quite advanced and some of the newer models are very versatile pieces of equipment. You can create very specific workouts tailored to your goals and effectively track your progress.

An important physical benefit of treadmills is that they also reduce the stress on your joints. As the belt of the treadmill is moving while you run on it, there’s less of an impact on your joints as opposed to running outside.

Final Thoughts

There are two main ways to use Strava on a treadmill; complete the workout and then log it manually into your Strava account, or connect a heart rate monitor to the Strava app and track your workout while you’re doing it. 

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Either way, you can navigate the issue of there being no GPS data to use when performing stationary activities and ensure that you don’t lose track of your sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to use Strava?

The optimal way to use Strava is to make use of its GPS tracking software while going on outdoor runs or cycles. It’s a simple process and you’ll get detailed insight into how you’re performing.

Aside from that, linking a heart rate monitor to your device and then the Strava app is another great way to make the most of the platform.

George Gigney

George is a Level 3 Personal Trainer and qualified Behavior Change Specialist. He has been training clients for several years and writing for over a decade, focusing on sport, wellbeing, and fitness.

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