If you’ve never heard of Strava, but you love a good stat, then this post is for you but I have to warn you, Strava can be very addictive so read on at your own peril.
Strava is the Swedish word for “strive”. It’s an app and website, which allows you to record and analyse your sporting performance. If you have a Garmin or similar GPS device, then you can most likely upload your results into the Strava website. If you don’t have one, you can download the app to your mobile, take your phone with you and it will record your route, pace and various other bits, which you can track either on the app or the website later. The app seems to use quite a bit of battery power on my phone at least, so you might not want to rely on it for a longer run, but I’ve had it running for a couple of hours or so. Just make sure you are fully charged.
I use Strava with my Garmin watch. I record my run on the Garmin and when I get home, upload it to the Garmin website. I have linked the Garmin and Strava accounts so the run is automatically uploaded to the Strava site. Nice and easy.
I love a good stat and typically I’ll spend as much time looking at the strava output as actually running. There are several similar apps but the main reason that I use strava is because of the segments. Within strava, you can define part of your run as a segment, perhaps a favourite stretch or hill, and then whenever you record a run on that segment, your performance will be automatically compared with your previous efforts and also those of others who have covered the same route. Eventually you start to recognise when you are approaching one of your favourite segments and you’ll find yourself putting in more effort just to get a better PB on a hill. It makes the solo training runs much more interesting for me and helps to keep me motivated.
You can also record which shoes you ran in and keep a track of the mileage you’ve done over the year.
If you do decide to join Strava or you’re on it already, consider joining the Red Rose Strava club.
There are a number of club members using Strava already. You won’t be alone and you may find a bit more motivation to get out there and record a run.
The widget below shows some of the latest runs on Strava done by Red Rose members. (It’s a clever little widget, check it later and you’ll see the details have changed. It’s always up to date)
And this one gives a summary of all the runs on Strava by Red Rose over the week. (Of course, if you aren’t on Strava, your stats aren’t on here)
Once you’re in the Red Rose club and you’ve found some favourite segments, you get to spend even more time analysing them. I do CV parkrun regularly and one of my targets is ‘The Kessel Run’. It’s the really tough bit through the Big Wood from just after the Troll bridge to just before cow bell corner. (If you’ve done CV, you’ll know it).
You get two shots at it each week and Strava helpfully tracks your performance through it every week. I seem to be struggling on this segment at the moment. Must try harder.
An you can compare your times against others in the Red Rose Strava club.
Unsurprisingly, Karl is leading this particular segment at the moment.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
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