Striving for Strava

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!


That’s blog site downtime, not me (fortunately!)

I last posted on the 17th August following the family holiday. I attempted to make my next post a week later but found the blog missing all my previous postings. In fact, it looked like it did after the initial WordPress install, showing the default welcome page!

I went through a series of steps involving database table checks, etc but couldn’t find anything wrong. The only thing that worked was resetting the DNS address with the domain registrar before changing it back to the hosting site, all of which takes a few days to propagate through the webosphere.

I’m not super web tech savvy, but I can sort most things out with google holding my hand. I can’t quite get my head around this one though – I didn’t modify any files on the site but everything is back to normal?

I was just glad I had a recent backup (although I have updated the frequency from weekly to daily!)

Charity Miles

Listening to last weeks The Geek Runner podcast, I heard about an iPhone & Android app called Charity Miles that will generate corporate sponsorship for several charities based on a walk, run or biking activity.

I immediately registered and tried the app on my lunchtime walk. All went well, earning a few ‘minutes of education’ for Pencils of Promise, or so I thought. The app seemed to have an issue syncing over my phone network.

Syncing over wi-fi worked the next morning after finishing my 1 mile barefoot dog walk, earning 2.5 minutes of education, and another 5.5 minutes on my lunchtime 2 mile barefoot run.

The app uses Facebook to authenticate users, and will post each activity on your timeline. This can be turned off within Facebook but I am leaving active for a couple of days to raise awareness, as well as posting on twitter.

The corporate sponsorship initially stands at $1 million for the first 12 months.

Getting There….

After thinking about starting a running blog for a while (well all right – a couple of years) I’ve finally created one.

Initially I set up a blogger account but I found this fairly limited, although the dailymile widgets are nice and easy.

I then tried a WordPress hosted blog, which is more flexible but doesn’t allow plugins or widgets “for security reasons.”

So I eventually settled on my own domain and hosting, with a WordPress installation.

I just need a few posts now!