Exhausted by pandemic restrictions and hungry for socialization, athletes around the world looked for more opportunities for interaction in 2022. And they actually performed better when they took those opportunities.
Overall, Strava found that athletes perform better when training with others. Athletes in pairs showed longer performance in both time and distance than when they were solo. They often lasted even longer when in a group of three or more, the company said.
That increased interest in group exercise also led to increased participation in communal sport events, like marathons. In general, the fastest-growing sports this year were communal ones, Strava CEO Michael Horvath said.
“Global trends in this year’s data show tremendous energy for activities we can do together,” Horvath said in a news release. “Anyone seeking an active life will find a motivation machine in Strava: tools to explore confidently, goals and insights to keep you on track, and a community to cheer you on.”
Strava Year In Sport: Detailed Findings
The 2022 findings show that many emerging trends reflect a “new normal” in how athletes train post-pandemic.
Many more runners began seeking the community of marathons, with participation nearly doubling compared to 2021. The company noted that its members uploaded 101 percent more activities outside their home countries, which likely reflects the broad trend of increasing international travel this year. (That puts international travel for 2022 just 3 percent behind what the company saw in 2019.)
Strava’s app currently includes more than 40 sport types, resulting in data on a range of activities. Here are a few of the report’s other highlights:
- The popularity of hiking has tripled on Strava over the last three years, the company said. In 2022, 52 percent of athletes uploaded trail activities to the app.
- As seen across the industry, interest in e-bikes continues to grow. The number of cyclists on Strava with an e-bike ride increased 26 percent this year. Also, e-bike rides were 30 percent more likely to be commutes than non-electrified bicycles.
- Bike commuting in 2022 also grew, and has nearly returned to 2019 levels.
To view the full data report and popular places to hike, bike and run around the world, learn more at Strava’s website below.