App-based fitness coaches have been growing in popularity over the past few years, as companies attempt to turn their fitness tracking apps into services that can also help people train more effectively. The latest to do this is Strava, the self-proclaimed social media network for athletes, which has added a new feature called Live Segments.
Live Segments is essentially aimed at runners and cyclists who use their phones to track their progress, and offers real-time audio and visual cues on personal records, the segment, and who’s at the top of the leaderboard.
“We’ve seen that athletes use Strava for motivation and to see their progress over time,” Aaron Forth, the company’s chief product officer, told Digital Trends. “With Live Segments, runners and cyclists can get that real-time motivation to give their best effort and continuously improve. If you see that you are only a second or two behind your best time for your favorite segment, then you’re likely to give that extra push to set a new PR for yourself.”
Using Live Segments is pretty easy — in the Strava app, simply start by recording a run or ride. As you get closer to a starred or popular segment, the app will turn to Live Segments mode automatically, showing a map of the segment, as well as a notification bar with the name and location of the segment. Premium customers will also see their efforts in real-time on the screen, as well as personal records. When the segment is completed, you’ll see your results for the segment on the screen.
The update isn’t a huge one, but it should help athletes better track their progress during a segment, rather than simply finding out how they did afterward. This could help in fine-tuning the details of a training session.