So what is strava?
“Run or ride a segment (specific section of road or trail) and compare your effort against past efforts, as well as other athletes who’ve run or ridden the same segment. See where you rank and start moving up the leaderboards.”
I first heard about strava last year but assumed it would have little significance to me in little ol’ Markat Harborough due to the USA user bias. So when it appeared on my radar again recently (for the wrong reasons) I decided to register and see if there was any local activity.
After a quick and painless registration, a search revealed quite a few road cyclists in the area who were regularly logging sessions. There were also a couple of local runners who ran regularly on the same routes I used – great!
So I uploaded a few of my most recent runs using the garmin gpx files, and I was awarded a few personal achievements for my trouble. I then wondered about importing my garmin history in to strava, and maybe claim a few of those course records. There isn’t an easy strava side way to to this en masse, but I found a website claiming to do just that, as well as copying in any fresh data from garmin connect. After setting up this process, my 3 odd years of moutain biking and running had appeared overnight – wow!
This indeed landed me a few Course Records (CR) or King of the Mountains (KOM) for cycling activities, and also refreshed my personal achievements, although some of these are off due to GPS reception issues. It is also very easy to create a new ‘segment’ using the gps map of a previous run, and then others can attempt to beat it.
Now when I get in from a run my data is uploaded to garmin connect and all I have to do is make it public for it to show up in strava. After a few minutes I can see if I beat any previous distance or segment records. Strava also have a phone app which will record activities directly and I believe gives a warning when approaching a segment, but I haven’t really tested the app yet.
I haven’t looked too much into the controversy regarding strava – I didn’t want to form any opinions before trying it for myself. What I do know is training is more fun with others and it can bring out the more competitive aspect. If that happens in a time shifted, virtual environment then so be it.
Once all this long distance training malarky is out of the way I’m looking forward to attempting a few local segments to see if I can grab me some CRs!