New to Strava? Here’s Everything You Need to Get Started!

It’s never easy picking a running app, especially when there’s so many to choose from. Not only do you need to choose one that’s compatible with your GPS watch or smartphone, there’s also the question of which one has the best features for your needs. Not to mention which one is most popular with your friends – running is always more fun when you can do it in good company!

FCRC’s running app of choice is Strava. We run a yearly competition that is free and open to all members, to help give you an extra push to hit your goals and targets. But what should you do if you currently use a different running app? Don’t worry, this article has you covered! Not only will we show you how to set up your account and synchronise your future runs with your GPS watch (if you use one), we’ll also show you how to import all of your existing runs too – so you can keep your entire running history, all in one place!

Step One – Set up your Strava account

If you don’t yet have an account, head over to the Strava website or download the smartphone app to get started. You can choose to set up your account using your email address or by connecting with Facebook – both are easy to do and only take a minute.

If you connect with Facebook, you’ll also be given the option to follow your friends that already use Strava. This is a great way to get started and allows you to see their runs; comment or give them kudos for their activities; and view any photos that they’ve chosen to upload. This is one area that Strava sets itself apart: not only is it a great fitness tracker, it’s also a social network for runners and cyclists.

Be aware of the 2 privacy features that Strava offer too. The first allows you to approve who can follow you before they can see your profile, whilst the second gives you the ability to set a privacy area around your home. Anyone viewing your activity will then only see where you went outside of this zone. Both of these options can be accessed by visiting the Privacy tab under Settings.

Step Two – Sync your watch

Once you have created your Strava account, it’s time to get everything connected. If you currently use a running watch, you’re in luck: Strava works great with Garmin and TomTom watches (to name but a few). Runs that you upload to your GPS watch’s website will automatically be sent to Strava each time you sync. Head over to the Upload page to connect these services to Strava once, and that’s it – all future runs will appear on Strava. You can continue to use your watch and there’s no need to use the smartphone app to record your runs.

If you don’t use a watch, then switching to Strava is a lot easier. All you need to do is download the new app and start recording your runs with it…

Step Three – Import your old runs

…But what about all of those old runs, PBs and races – the ones that are locked away in your old favourite running app? Good news, these can be imported to Strava too – it’s quick and simple to do, and works great regardless of if you run with a watch or a smartphone app.

Option One –

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.26.00 is an easy-to-use tool, designed to synchronise your runs between almost every running app on the market. Runkeeper, Endomondo, Garmin, Training Peaks and Strava are amongst those covered, and although this article is only aimed at helping you import your old runs into Strava, can also sync your future runs back to your other apps if you want to keep these up-to-date too (although this costs a small yearly fee and isn’t necessary if you’re going to use Strava as your primary app from now on).

The sign-up process is really simple. Click on the Strava icon and you’ll be redirected to the Strava website, to give permission to access your running data. Once you approve this, you’ll be taken back to the website where you can then repeat the process to add your old running apps. Once you’ve added them all, hit the ‘Connected’ button underneath one of your old running apps and you’ll be presented with a window like this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.30.29

Copy the setting above so that all of the runs in your old running app will be sent to Strava, then hit Save. Repeat this for any other old apps you have. Leave the setting for Strava blank. If your old running app contains any runs that you’d marked as private, tick the setting above to ensure that these are picked up too.

Once you’ve completed this, click the cog icon underneath the large Sync button and change the date to ensure that knows to go back far enough in time to grab all of your old runs!

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.35.49

Hit Save then press the Sync button and leave to do its job. This may take some time so don’t worry if you don’t see the results immediately – simply check back every so often to see what progress it’s making.

You may notice that MapMyRun and Nike+ are missing from the list of’s supported services. Whilst there are other third party tools that can support these, the solution isn’t as simple and can result in some incorrect data being imported. But – all is not lost – our second option supports both of these!

Option Two – RunGap


RunGap is an iPhone-only tool that essentially does the same as for a small fee. The app itself is free to download (click here) but you’ll need to pay a one-off charge of 79p to complete the import of your old runs to Strava. You can also install the app on an iPad or iPod Touch if you don’t have an iPhone.

Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll be presented with the main screen – simply tap the name of each of your old running apps to log in and give RunGap permission to download your data. Don’t forget to add Strava too!

After you add each app, RunGap will fetch all of your runs – so make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi when you do this. You can watch the progress at the bottom of the screen after you add each app.

Once you have completed this and all of your old runs have appeared, it’s time to pay the 79p ‘Swag Bag’ charge. This one-off fee unlocks the import function which will allow your old runs to be added to Strava. Tap on the three bars in the top left corner of the screen to show the menu, then click on Swag Bag.

This fee is a one-time purchase and won’t auto-renew.

Once you have paid the fee, tap on Share & Export from the menu and select Strava. This will start the process of copying all of your old runs to Strava. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi when you do this too to ensure that you don’t use up your data allowance!

Step Four – Go Run!

That’s it – you’re now ready to use Strava! Check out this fantastic video that Crusaders Jim and Ian made a few years ago to get an insight into some of the fun you can have.

Step Five – Sign up for the Strava Challenge

Don’t forget to Like our official Strava Challenge Facebook page to be the first to hear about each month’s new challenges. Good luck for the year ahead and welcome to the wonderful world of Strava!

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