Strava has announced a new update that will give athletes more credit for their indoor sessions. Creators of partner challenges now have the option to allow virtual rides or runs to count toward their challenges on Strava.
Indoor virtual activities are categorized as those that include GPS, distance, elevation, and time data from a simulated route. Intersntingly, Strava itself decided to opt out of the rule change and only count outdoor rides and runs toward its challenges.
Zwift also confirmed that all virtual cycling and running activities undertaken on Zwift can now count toward select partner challenges on Strava. This comes as good news to all the avid indoor runners and cyclists who also like to partake in those challenges. Not so much for the avid outdoor enthusiasts that don’t believe in indoor miles.
Strava partner challenge creators will have the option to allow virtual runs or trainer rides to count toward the challenge. Currently you will be able to tell if your indoor miles will count by reading the challenge information. Hopefully Strava will add some type of badge, icon, or filter to make it easier to know which of these challenges allow for virtual miles.
“Our community loves Strava,” said Eric Min, Zwift co-founder and CEO. “75% have connected their Zwift membership to Strava, accounting for 250,000 Zwift activities currently uploaded each week. These people are also passionate about riding and running outdoors, so it’s both fantastic and fitting that their Zwifting can count towards partner challenges on Strava.”
Strava notes that the British cycling apparel company Le Col will be the first to offer a challenge, with Zwift users and outdoor cyclists able to receive rewards for completing the “10 Hour Season Starter Challenge” between 1-14 February.
Indoor cyclists and runners for long complained that their indoor miles weren’t being counted toward these challenges. However, some outdoor enthusiasts view indoor miles as cheating and shouldn’t be counted toward these challenges. “One of the guys I regularly ride with is just about able to manage 25 or 26 kmph average over a 100km ride but can comfortably achieve 35+ kmph on Zwift.” one rider said.
Some other athletes view these Strava challenges as a joke and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But it’s interesting to see Strava itself decided to opt out of the rule change and keep all its challenges for outdoor rides only. Regardless of which side you are on, it will be interesting to see how the new rule develop and if more challenge organizers reward you for your indoor miles.