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Strava training plans: How to begin one and train like the best

Reach your cycling or running goals with a well laid plan.
By
November 17, 2022

Schedule your way to success with specific training plans from Strava. The popular fitness app offers guidance to runners and cyclists looking to add more structure to their race prep.

Read more: Strava: Everything you need to know

QUICK ANSWER

To start a Strava training plan, open the Training menu on the Strava website and select Training Plans, then select either a Cycling or Running plan. Note that you must be a paying subscriber to access this feature.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Strava training plans explained

A user opens the Strava training plan confirmation email on their Galaxy A51.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Strava wants users to work smarter, not just harder. For guidance, Strava members can access dedicated training plans to prep for races and events. These plans cover a range of lengths and can be tailored to your schedule and goals whether you are a runner or cyclist. Each evening, the following day’s workout is delivered directly to your inbox.

  • Runners: Training plans range from 6-12 weeks and can be customized based on your desired start date as well as by how many days per week you plan to run. Users can choose a training plan for either a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon. All plans begin on a Monday and feature runs with the quantity, duration, and intensity specified. Rest days vary depending on how many days users commit to running.
  • Cyclists: Training plans are four weeks long and are based on the number of hours you would like to commit to riding each week. All plans begin on a Monday and follow the same structure: Five workouts per week with shorter rides on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and longer rides on Saturday and Sunday. Monday and Friday are reserved as rest days.

How to begin a Strava training plan

A user opens the Training menu on their Strava Dashboard.
  • Open Strava.com on your preferred browser and log in with your Strava credentials.
  • From your dashboard, expand the Training menu and select Training Plans.
  • Click either the Cycling tab or Running tab to view available plans.
  • Click View Plan next to whichever title fits your goals and customize the hours/number of times you plan to commit to training each week.
  • Select a start date.
  • Click Start Plan.

Once you have followed the steps above, you can view your plan at a glance. You will also receive an email confirmation of your training plan. Your first workout will arrive the day before your scheduled start date. Each day of your training plan you will receive an email with the following day’s workout.

Tips for successfully finishing a training plan

An iPhone in a user's wrist displays the Strava app.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Like any fitness goal you set, completing a training plan is always easier said than done. However, there are a few ways to better your chances of success.

  • Be fair to yourself: Before you even begin, evaluate what expectations you can realistically put on yourself. What time constraints does your schedule include? Don’t sign up for six days of running per week if it will lead to stress and juggling. When you do make it out for a run or ride, don’t try to PR every single day, simply follow the plan as closely as makes sense for your body (and mental health!).
  • Be flexible: Schedules and structure are great, but life doesn’t always adhere to our best-laid plans. If you can’t complete a workout one day, swap it with a rest day or let it go.
  • Don’t cut corners: The quickest way to fall short of your goal line is to get hurt. It might be tempting to cut right to the chase, but skipping warm-ups can lead to injury. Likewise, cool-downs help your muscles recover after a hard workout and are worth a few extra minutes of your time. Make sure to push yourself, but be smart and listen to your body.
  • Make complimentary lifestyle choices: Training isn’t an isolated activity and shouldn’t be the only healthy choice you make each day. Try to balance your workouts with healthy eating, restful sleep, and hydration.

Read more: Use Strava’s Global Heatmap to see where people run, bike, and swim near you

FAQs

Yes, you must be a Strava subscriber to access the app’s training plans for runners and cyclists.

To stop a Strava training plan at any time, revisit the Training Plans page from your Strava dashboard and click Stop next to your current plan.

Strava recommends using McMillan Running’s Pace Zone Calculator to determine the appropriate pace for your workouts.