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Did you run further than the average American this year? Here’s how you stack up

A photo of a woman running in New York
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Every year, Strava, the world’s largest sports community, shares its annual Year in Sport report, which reveals the activity trends from its community of 95 million global athletes (or users). 

Following the trend of 2020’s surge in activity during the coronavirus lockdown, in 2021, global activity rates continued to rise, with over 37 million uploads per week to the platform, as runners, riders, and hikers all clocked miles both indoors and outdoors. Activities increased across the board in the past year — there were 1.3 times more runs uploaded to Strava in 2021 than in 2020. It was a similar story for cyclists, with 1.2 times more rides uploaded. 

Thinking of downloading Strava yourself? Can't decide between the free or paid version? Read our full Strava review here. 

2020 vs 2021 increase in activity uploads

2020 vs 2021 increase in activity Strava uploads (Image credit: Strava )

The biggest increase in activities was seen in walking and yoga — perhaps a result of the lockdowns across the world. In the US, in 2019 only 5% of all uploaded activities were walking. In 2021, 12% of all uploaded activities were outside walking, with an average weekly walking time of 2.5 hours per week for athletes. Strava has seen that walking has also become popular across all age groups.

But did you run, or ride, further than the average American this year? Read on to find out more.

How far did US runners go? 

Runners in the US ran a total of 425.1 million miles in 2021, rising to a total elevation of 18.8 billion feet. In the US, the average runner heads out for a run of 3.7 miles, which lasts an average of 35 minutes and 29 seconds. For men, the average was slightly further, with the average man running for 4 miles each time they upload a run onto Strava. For women, the average was a little less, at 3.4 miles. 

In the US, the average runner heads out for a run of 3.7 miles, which lasts an average of 35 minutes and 29 seconds.

It seems runners in the US head out for a run for longer, on average than runners in the UK. In the UK, the average runner travels 3.4 miles each run, running for 34 minutes and 17 seconds. 

Strava found that athletes who set a goal for the new year were two hours more active in January than those who didn't. Looking for some new running shoes to set your goals for 2022? We've hand-picked the best running shoes, the best Nike running shoes, the best trail running shoes, and the best carbon-fiber running shoes to help you smash your goals. 

How far did US cyclists go? 

Cyclists in the US cycled a total of 1.3 billion miles, climbing 57.7 billion feet. On average, cyclists head out for a 13.8-mile ride each time they go out, riding for one hour and seven minutes. For men, this was slightly further, with the average ride being 14.4 miles long, for women, the average was 11.8 miles. 

Again, US athletes traveled further than cyclists in the UK, who, on average, uploaded a 12.9-mile bike ride, riding for an average of one hour. 

If you're looking to up your cycling in 2022, we've found the best Peloton alternatives for indoor cycling, the best shoes for Peloton and indoor cycling, and the best exercise bikes for 2022. 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.