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What is Strava's New Relative Effort Metric all about?

Introducing Relative Effort, the new Strava metric which tracks your fitness intensity across different activities such as riding, running or even swimming so you can always stay on track.

With the new metric, you can find out how much or how little effort you need to maintain or build fitness without the risk of overdoing it.

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What is Relative Effort all about?

With some scientific data and research, Strava used data formulated from the Suffer Score (a way to quantify effort during an activity using heart rate data) to produce a model that can be applied to track an individuals fitness across different activities.

"To calculate Relative Effort, the model takes in a stream of data with an athlete’s heart rate and the corresponding timestamp as inputs. Using the athlete’s max heart rate (either entered by the athlete or estimated), this heart rate data is divided into a number of zones that approximate different levels of cardiovascular intensity. For each heart rate zone, the model applies a coefficient to weight the time spent in that zone. The higher the heart rate zone, the harder the effort, and a higher coefficient to more heavily weight time spent in that zone." - Quantifying Effort through Heart Rate Data from medium.com, Chris Spada & Will Meyer, medium.com

How does Relative Effort work in the Strava App?

To use Relative Effort in the Strava app, simply head out for a ride or run, start recording as per usual, once you're done, upload your activity to see your new stats on the activity tab. Strava will then start comparing your recent efforts and also provide you with some simple graphs so you can see how you're measuring up!

Pros and Cons to using Strava's new feature Relative Effort to measure your workouts?

The new Strava Relative Effort feature gives you a more reliable, and precise training tool based on your heart rate data whether you are running, riding, or any other activity within Strava. If you're a little more on the competitive side, you can also measure group workouts to see how well you stacked up against the other group members.


To use Strava's Relative Effort, you need to be a Premium user, (sorry guys you need to pay for this upgrade) and must have a heart rate monitor connected to measure the data.

To find out more about Relative Effort on Strava, head to strava.com

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