Five Reasons You Should Join City Fit Girls on STRAVA

Photo via STRAVA

Photo via STRAVA

By Takia McClendon

Last week, a few of the women in our network were able to snag a free shirt and a pair of shorts from Lululemon. Just a few months back, several others grabbed a free pair of running sneakers. What's the catch? STRAVA accounts.

What is STRAVA? It's a free online community for cyclists, swimmers and runners/walkers. It helps you track your workouts, connect with other runners, join challenges and in some cases, helps you win new gear from some of your favorite brands. 

Last fall, we jumped on the STRAVA train to participate in The Ghost Race and now we're sharing five reasons why you should too. 

1. No more missed connections.

Ever fangirl over another runner on the trail? You run the same route every Monday and Wednesday but you never met in real life? Well if they use STRAVA to track their runs, the app may connect you if you ran the same segments during the same time period. Then you can give them a thumbs up on their run (and hope to get one back too). Hey, a girl can dream....

2. Never forget a name -- again.

If you run with City Fit Girls on Wednesdays or Saturdays, you can meet dozens of women every week. That's a lot of names to remember. With STRAVA, you can find out who ran with you and match their name to their face when you join our club on the app. You're welcome.

You may also like: An Open Letter To The New Girl At Run Club

3. Let's be for real, you want to track your progress.

By syncing your Garmin watch with STRAVA or recording your workout with the app, you can track your performance - and improvements - when you run the same route repeatedly. Did you run that hill faster than last time? Damn right you did.

When you log into the web version, you can access a full training log with your workouts from the month (and previous year). 

4. Will run for friends -- and food. 

Use STRAVA to connect with other women in the group who run at your pace. That way, you can chat about upcoming races, post-run fuel and who knows, maybe a cross-training date soon?

5. Use data to become a better athlete. 

All jokes aside, STRAVA makes it easier to make sense of your fitness data. Whether you use a FitBit, Garmin, Polar or your cell phone, the app allows you to track your stats including the mileage on your favorite shoes, your total miles for the week, your average distance and more. 

You may also like: Guide To Choosing Your Next Garmin Watch

Join the crew and see our stats

To get started, all you have to do is download the app to your phone or set up an account on the web. Join City Fit Girls and you're all set to go. If you have a GPS device, be sure to sync it with the app. If not, you can record your workouts directly through the app. 

Other perks include: a race calendar, find local running clubs, explore segments, and save your favorite running routes. 

What about privacy? Strava allows you to make any individual activity private. You can also create a privacy zone perimeter around any address like your home, office, or any place you tend to start activities from that you’d like to keep private. You can make your profile viewable only by signed in Strava members, and abbreviate your last name for more anonymity. In addition, you can require approval before allowing someone to follow you. [Adopted from]

Takia McClendon is the co-founder of City Fit Girls. She's a shoe expert and manager at a running store in Philadelphia and a Certified Level 1 USATF Coach. Follow her online at @takiamcclendon. 

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