Why I love Strava

On 11th May 2015 by Rachael

Strava_Logo

I used to think pace, intervals, recording personal bests or pace was for ‘old school’ runners.   I was a run and explore kind of runner, taking strides for enjoyment and to de-stress, why bother to record things?

But as each year has passed, I’ve learned to love running even more BECAUSE of gaining knowledge about these techniques. And finding Strava.com has been my best discovery of the last few years.

(I’d like to point out,  that I am NOT being paid to create sponsored content with this post. Unfortunately. I just think that Strava is brilliant).

Free to download to your SmartPhone, it records your route, duration, distance and pace, with audio announcements should you wish to keep abreast of your pace. So far, so like MapMyRun and other such alternatives, you may think.

But the real genius of Strava is not only that you see your intervals per mile or kilometres over the course of a run or ride in a handy graph format, but it keeps your activity history.

AND after each session, you can see if you ran/rode a certain ‘segment’ of the route faster or slower than last time, whether you got a personal best over a mile or kilometre, PLUS where you are on a leaderboard of all the other athletes (filtered by gender if you choose) who have run the same route.

You can also follow friends or fellow athletes (it is possible to lock your profile if you would prefer to know who is following you) so that you get new ideas of routes, not to mention seeing how you fare in terms of speed and pace against others.

And I can’t help but find something pleasing about looking at the outlines of all the routes that I have run over time, the hills and mountains I’ve climbed or dashed down, the cities and villages, and the cafes that I’ve recovered in.

In fact, three years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to create a digital App that would allow you to download other people’s routes for when you are travelling in cities elsewhere in the world, along with places to eat. Well, Strava have beaten me to it.

Launching today (11th May, 2015) their new service, Strava Local, billed as a Trip Advisor for runners and cyclists. Login online to find the best routes for runners and cyclists in cities from London to Paris, San Francisco to Sao Paolo, and also where to stop and eat.

The routes have been curated using the data, in London, from over 10 million activities.

At the moment, you can only access this service via your laptop (and you will need to download the route and upload to a navigational device to make the most of it) but it helps to tie in travel, running and cycling. And i’m a BIG fan of that.

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Find out how fast – or slow, you REALLY were up that hill

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Look back over all the places you’ve run

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Was it a good run for you today? Or was that ‘third’ best the result of a hangover?

If you don’t want to run or ride with your smartphone many training watches including Garmin can synch automatically with Strava, so you only need run with you training watch.

Want to follow me on Strava? Follow Rachael Woolston.

If you are based on the South Coast, you can also join my women’s run club on Strava, Fitbitch Run Club, and cycling crew, Fitbitch Ride Series to train with us for group runs or rides, or join us virtually.

 

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