Strava Adds Indoor Workout Recording to App (For all users): Quick How-To Guide

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Undoubtedly, for many readers of this site, you’ve probably got a watch or twelve to record your indoor workout on. But, if you’re still narrowing down options from my recommendations guide, then this new tidbit might be applicable to you.

As of now*, you can record an indoor workout on Strava’s mobile app that doesn’t have GPS involved. Previously, workouts recorded on their mobile app required GPS – which weren’t really ideal when you wanted to record a gym workout and show it have a giant GPS splotch over your home. So that’s solved.

With this change, you’ll also be able to record your heart rate data with a paired Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor for those indoor workouts as well. And again, this is for all Strava users, not just paid subscribers.

Using it is silly easy, simply crack open the Strava app, and then tap the ‘Record’ button’, which brings you to the regular GPS recording page. However, down at the bottom, tap the sport listing:

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Next, simply scroll through all the sports, past Windsurfing, to find the new indoor sport modes at the bottom of the list:

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Or here, in text:

– Crossfit
– Elliptical
– Stair Stepper
– Weight Training
– Yoga
– Workout

In my case, I selected ‘Workout’, which is of course the catch-all bucket for everything else you can imagine (and that Strava can’t imagine). From there, you can tap the heart icon to pair up a heart rate sensor via Bluetooth Smart. Note that you don’t have to pair the sensor…but…if you’ve got it, flaunt it?

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Once paired up, you’re good to go and press start. You’ll see elapsed time and your heart rate, that’s it (what you see below left, there’s no option to create laps or such).

Upon ending the workout you can then add a workout title, set a photo, change privacy settings, and all the usual jazz. Afterwards you’ll see the starting time/date, average HR, max HR, and elapsed time in the feed preview. And in the workout details you’ll get your heart rate analysis as well as calories.

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The next time you open the app to record, it’ll default back to whatever sport you used last.

And that’s all there is to know about it. Oh, and of course, you can still apply the ZwiftIRL meme generator to any photo after the fact, even if it’s not cycling – just to thoroughly confuse your friends about whether it was a naked yoga workout, or a Zwift one. But ya know…don’t get yourself banned on Strava.

With that – thanks for reading!

*This is rolling out today to users. You’ll need the latest Strava app version (190 or higher), and you might need to wait for the feature to become live on all accounts over the course of the day.

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39 Comments

  1. Frank

    On a very unrelated note: I may have missed it (I probably have), but do you ever work out outside of the Amsterdam region? There are great cycling and running routes, e.g in the Arnhem / Nijmegen area and the south of Limburg, which are only an hour away from where you live. You probably move to the next great city in a few years and it would kill me if your only image of the Netherlands is the Amsterdam region :-). If you ever need a guide, feel free to drop a line!

    • I do indeed wander out of this area from time to time, but we don’t own a car. So realistically the only way I leave this region is via bike or train, or, if I rent one of the car sharing cars here in Amsterdam.

      We’ve taken some other trips of course within the country/around, and I usually enjoy workouts as part of that.

      I definitely want to do more exploring though, and will probably do that this summer when the weather is better, and hopefully the COVID situation makes travel more interesting again. After all, having apple pie after any workout is a key focus area for me. 🙂

    • Claus Jacobsen

      He could follow Jasper Verkuijl on the next “big trip” i’m sure he’s planning. If I’m not mistaken, they actually live about 20k from each other. And he rides with his kiddos in a trailer. – looks funny when he overtakes other riders on highend roadbikes, and he just comes along with a trailer in tow on his bike 🙂

    • anon

      That would be an amazing collab! 🙂

  2. Alex Johnson

    I can only assume this is a no. But is there heart rate storage/forwarding for this? So we could strength train out of range and still get HR data for those of us without the higher end watches.

  3. Brandon Brotzman

    Is that miopod write up ever going to come lol? I’ve been happy with mine for some time now. Especially with the first beat analytics baked right in. Not sure what that’s going to look like long term but I’m glad it’s working well for now. I’m also planning on trying their new Cue service these next two weeks just more out of curiosity as I’ve already got a plan, but i think it’s probably a worth while move on their part to find ways for additional revenue. I’m curious if you’ve tried out their workout subscription service yet?

    • Pavel Vishnyakov

      +1 for mioPod review. I remember that during the last DCR Open House you mentioned that it’s not that special, but I believe it’s the only standalone HR strap on the market with FirstBeat analytics

    • Indeed, that’s actually why I’ve been using it lately. To get this review out the door, but I wanted to ensure nothing has changed accuracy/etc wise since then.

      I could see it dropping next week-ish.

      I’d say my main complaint (singular complaint?) is that I find that sometimes it just turns off early in a workout, despite me thinking it’s recording. I think those are times where it didn’t fully engage the record-forever mode, and is just in the temporary turned on mode, which is then shuts off from some numbers minutes later, like going into standby.

      I’m not sure if that’s just a stupid me issue or not – but it’s really about the only annoying thing. Unfortunately for my specific purposes of wanting to set it and forget it, and using it as a backup data source for HR comparisons, it’s kinda a blocker for me personally.

    • Brandon

      I completely agree with you on the odd issues related to its tracking mode. My biggest issue has been when I’m doing the live workout option and want to see my live heart rate data on the phone. Now that could a user area on my part as well but I do find myself constantly starting and restarting the device in order to get the live broadcast through the app working.

      For me I always wear an H10 strap too hooked up to my Apple Watch 6 and Polar Vantage (yes I’ve got a data problem lol), so losing any data from the miopod isn’t a deal breaker but its connection and data collection method could definitely be refined.

      Speaking of polar and data I hadn’t seen mention of polar flow now allowing you to connect a heart rate device right to that app. I wonder if that means in time polar beat will be dissolved. Have you heard anything on that front?

    • yep, you’re not alone. I do that. it’s user error tho.

    • So our very scientific poll of three users is at 100% occasional failure rate. Hmm…

      I’d actually love to know what I’m doing wrong (or, all of us), that causes it. I agree it’s likely user error, but I feel like I’m doing the same thing each time and yet don’t get the same result each time.

  4. Scott

    So you can record time and your HR, but not anything else? No power, cadence or any other bike metric? Seems like they came up a bit short…

  5. Jim Peyton

    Hiya Ray: Good stuff, BUT…I am running Strava Version 191.9 (1217847) for Android and alas….no indoor workouts appear after the Windsurfing. I guess indoor has not rolled out for Android?

  6. RichardH

    Alas, still no Tennis.

  7. Brandon

    Sorry I put this in another post but it’s more pertinent to this article as it’s own topic. I haven’t heard any mentioned from you on polar allowing direct rate rate tracking through the polar flow app now. Do you know if this means polar beat will eventually be dissolved? I haven’t tried it yet myself but the only real I use beat is because it will show recovery time info. Other then that I think it’s useless to have the two apps.

  8. Steven

    Does this mean that maybe workouts from some watches like Fitbit that aren’t GPS will sync with Strava now?

  9. Andrew

    Did you ever test the Polar Verity Bluetooth range claim of 150m?

  10. Carl

    First off, DCR, the work that you do is excellent and much appreciated. Thank you!!

    Second, with regard to this much-needed Strava update, they still don’t seem to let us edit/add a distance after an indoor, non-gps workout. For example, if you select stair stepper and do a 30 min stair stepper workout, there doesn’t seem to be the option to add your data afterwards (e.g., floors climbed, steps climbed, elevation, etc.). Even if I try to edit the stair stepper workout after I’m done, this still doesn’t seem possible.

    Third, if you do an indoor treadmill run (one of the more common indoor activities), does Strava want us to select “Workout?” OK, fine. But, there still doesn’t seem to be the option of adding/editing your distance run on the treadmill.

    I could be doing something wrong and overlooking the option to add your workout metrics. But, it would be really nice to track your indoor workout metrics beyond just heart rate and elapsed time.

  11. David Stakes

    No point if it doesn’t pair up to a smart trainer. To show distance as well. Stick with the Wahoo app for that.

  12. Luis

    Strava should look to what’s happening in the segments.
    There are more and more e-bikes, and they are taking the koms and invading the top 10 chart.
    The same thing in the runs. Many people do “runs” with bikes! Trying to get the best time in the segments is not fun anymore!
    I think that there’s no difficulty to implement AI to analise the workouts.

    • mpulsiv

      e-bike riders should comply and select the correct sport. There’s a dedicated sport in Strava, just for them!

    • Luis

      Yah, I know. But some of them don’t care. There should be implemented some AI to do that automatically.

    • mpulsiv

      From my perspective, e-bike riders should not even use Strava. Motors don’t belong in this space.

    • Why? Strava’s singular purpose these days is social, with or without segments. Most Strava users don’t care about segments. I use an e-cargo bike to enjoy the countryside with my kids for 5 hours, I can’t share it on a Strava because…?

    • mpulsiv

      Ray, I think segments play a major role for avid riders, when it comes chasing PR’s and KOM’s. Some get their significance from it. Personally, I don’t rely on this data. On this note, it’s unfair for riders with motor to pollute the data for others consumption. Just my 02 cents ?

    • Except there’s literally a simple classification that removes it from the listings.

      I agree, that Strava should be using more data to filter out truly dishonest riders, but I’m not sure where banning e-bikes altogether is really logical.

    • maxfrance

      They should be kicked out without asking permission, unless they use the proper activity selection !!!
      I totally agree with you.

      Cheaters

  13. Mickv

    This sounds good- I normally use a Forerunner 15 for indoor workouts – but it’s a pain as garmin connect won’t allow me to set the workout to anything except running. So after uploading I have to change it to ‘cardio’ or whatever (and then repeat the change process on training peaks and strava as these all sync before I can change it).
    This new strava feature takes out the faff! Thanks!!
    Mickv

  14. Szymon

    Hi, I am just wondering what stands behind the fact that the most common indoor workout, which is obviously a treadmill, is still being totally ignored by Strava. There are: elilptical, stair stepper etc., but no treadmill? I have no idea why and that’s really annoying. I know there is some let’s say workaround via Strava website where you can manually edit your workout, but as far as I recall treadmill is not listed anyway. Personally, completely unacceptable for me.

    • Andrew Burch

      The only reason I have spent 20 min looking for this same comment. It is very odd that treadmill and spin bike (stationary bike) are not options. Makes no sense at all and frustrates me to the point I need to know why

  15. Timothy Gurney

    Love your reviews