I love a good Strava challenge. The monthly distance, climbing and metric century challenges are all good motivators and it’s nice getting that “digital badge” for your profile. But lately, I’ve noticed a trend. There seems to be an ever increasing number of third-party companies launching Strava challenges, and with this a “watering down” of the effort needed to complete them.
Many of these new challenges aren’t even that challenging. Take the one below for example. Upload one activity a week for four weeks, with a minimum activity length of five minutes! Twenty minutes of activity spread over four weeks. Yes. You did read that right…
Many of these “challenges” seem to be nothing more than legal email harvesting. Joining a Strava challenge usually means agreeing to your email address being added to the marketing list of whichever company is hosting it. Many of these challenges get over half a million entrants. That’s potentially five hundred thousand new emails to send advertising to! A simple Strava challenge must be an effective way for a smaller company in the fitness industry to seriously grow their mailing list.
It could also be an additional revenue source for Strava? It’s no secret they struggle to turn a profit. I have no information on how much companies have to pay to have their branded challenge added, but I’m sure it’s not free.
There are so many new challenges popping up, it’s almost got to the point of challenge pollution!
Maybe I’m just being elitist. There must be a huge influx of new members signing up to Strava as they increase their activity options (it’s no longer just cycling and running, folks) and any additional motivation to get out the door and exercise has got to be a good thing. There’s a limit though, otherwise the challenges simply lose their meaning and eventually people will stop signing up. Challenges need to motivate and be, you know, a challenge.
I don’t really bother with many of the third-part challenges any more. For example I know I’d easily “achieve” the First Month Streak Challenge I posted above, but what’s the point? For now, I’ll just stick to the official Strava ones.
And the Rapha Festive 500 of course! 😎
What about you? Are you a Strava Challenge badge hunter?