All aboard the Strava Train!

Runners are a special breed of people. You’ve all seen the article, “Are runners smarter?” We like to think we are! Especially when it comes to recording our training. When you’re a runner can’t help but gaze over your logged miles, time spent running, pace etc without feeling like a micromanaging pack rat. I promise you it’s fun being anal about the running digits. It’s the best way to monitor your progress and keep tabs on every run. How you ask? Stravastrava

One of my coworkers recommended using Strava – and I’ll admit, I’m never going back to just any mediocre mile logging website.  Let me explain. Strava is a playground for runners when they’re not running. You can upload your runs via a gps watch or even your smartphone. It works similar to facebook where you can follow your friends and see their workouts first hand. You see EVERYTHING! haha their pace, route, heartbeat (if they have the strap).

You may say, awww this is like every other website out there. BUT NO! One word. Segments. Segments are point A to point B stretches. They can be a single road, a steep 15% climb, descents, winding roads.

Capture

This is a segment I claimed while I was visiting friends in Wilmore, KY (aka old stomping grounds).  You can see it’s an easy descending hill, so it wasn’t a challenge to grab. Here’s the leaderboard:Capture2

 

Since Strava was originally a cycling site, you can tell the running hasn’t taken off by storm. The leader boards are pretty weak in comparison to the cycling. By the way, see the guy in second? After I robbed him of his record, he tired to beat mine a couple days later. Aaaand you can see the evidence – no dice for him. Better luck next time.

Are you excited yet…blood boiling? Segments are bridging the gap between reality and good ol’ virtual competition. We’re living in a great time people. This site is an excellent motivator to get you on the road and having some friendly push and shove with your chaps.

The site also uses a club function. I’m currently on the Acidotic Racing leader board where your weekly numbers are stacked up against all your teammates. There have been many times where I’ll do double day workouts to put my face on the podium, even if it is only third place. It’s fun to be noticed for your hard work.

So this service is free. There is a premium membership for 6 dollars a month. There are couple of features that make it worth it. My favorite being the heatmaps. Strava will create a map and color coat it based on where you travel most.

heatmap

Here’s my running playground at school. The red lines are the most traveled roads and trails while the darker and lighter blue lines are taken less. You can see the campus and roads surrounding are super concentrated while the outskirts are more blue. It’s a really innovative feature.

Premium members also have access to useful training videos that explain how to do hill repeats, progression runs, and much more. Another way they’ve measured your workout efforts is through the Suffer Score. This scores the amount of effort you’ve put into a session based of off your heart rate frequencies and personal bests.

I highly recommend you leave your current mundane log and move to Strava. It’s a highway to relieve your hunger pangs for running, cycling, and swimming data. You’ll thank me later!

Check out this cool 2014 summary video:

http://2014story.strava.com/video/4267598

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