2018 Strava year in sport report: Club motivation, run commuting, and popular days

As we end 2018, it is interesting to check out data collected by exercise services. Strava is one of the most popular services and shared data on social aspects of fitness, trends, and commuting practices.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Image: Strava

While the wearables we use for tracking activities have their own ecosystem to capture and archive the data collected, there are other services available that aggregate data from a number of devices and also provide advanced reporting and analysis of that data.

I've been a Strava subscriber for a couple of years and continued my subscription with the new Strava Summit service. Strava sent along its year in sport report and the data is rather fascinating while also giving me ideas for other ways to exercise in 2019.

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Strava has apps for various wearables, including the Apple Watch, Google's Wear OS, Samsung Tizen on the Galaxy Watch, iOS, and Android. In addition, you can sync various services to Strava even if there are not apps for the wearable or smartphone available. For example, you can have your Garmin Connect or Fitbit service sync to Strava.

Strava collected data from its more than 36 million users around the world, 195 countries, where 15 millions activities are uploaded every week. It looks like accountability can have a significant impact on helping motivate athletes with those who were in one of the 250,000 clubs uploading three times as many activities as those who are not part of a club. My first goal of 2019 is to join some clubs.

The most popular run uploaded in the US is from Prospect Park in Brooklyn while the most popular bike rid is the Central Park loop in Manhattan. Globally, Prospect Park takes the crown for running while Box Hill in Dorking, UK was the most popular bike ride.

I like to capture photos when I run in cities where I am traveling, but found it interesting to see that the most popular activity with photos taken is snowshoeing, followed by backcountry skiing. I've never used emojis when I upload my data on Strava, but data shows those who use an emoji in the title received twice the amount of kudos for their activity.

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The most active days in the US were 14 July for biking and 23 November for running. People seem to take those Turkey Trots seriously and I'll definitely have to consider one for next year.

I bike to the train station, primarily now on my RadCity electric bike, so I don't count that for Strava exercise, but found it interesting to see that there was a 70 percent increase from 2017 to 2018 for those who run for their commute. I never thought much about running as part of my commute, but with four miles to cover in the morning and afternoon it is definitely something I could do if my fellow train commuters didn't mind the sweat.

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