I recently started using the cycling and run tracking iphone app Strava for my daily and weekly running and cycling activities. Now I have never been a huge proponent of stat tracking and meticulous training details. I have always preferred to utilize a more intuitive and responsive training and monitoring style that forces me to listen to my natural body queues. However I recently came across the Strava cycling app and it caught my curiosity. I have been adding in a lot of short rides to my training schedule opting to ride to and from my local gym rather than driving a car.
At first this was a fall out effect from my summer spent in Berkeley, CA where I didn’t have a car so I was riding my Fixed Gear bicycle everywhere. I found this to be a great warm up and cool down for my regular strength training and yoga sessions. So when I came back to sunny Southern California where no one rides and bike and everyone drives I decided I would buck the trend and continue cycling to the gym.
The problem is my daily rides had become noting more than transportation, I was no longer crossing paths with other cyclist or racing cars down the street (everyone in SoCal drives 60mph) so I was starting to feel a little board. That is when I got turned on to the Strava app.
So I downloaded Strava and went for my first ride and as soon as I completed and registered my first ride I was hooked. Instantly with Strava I was able to join a community of bikers. No longer was I riding solo on the streets now I had other Strava users to compare my rides to. The Strava app gives my that extra fuel in my tank to push for a better time on a segment to move up the leader board and become KOM (king of the mountain) or beat a PR (personal record) and earn trophies.
It feels a little silly riding around playing cycling app but I figure anything that gives you motivation is a good thing. I would recommend this app to anyone from brand new cyclist to top level athletes as the app provides the metrics you need to push your self and improve your riding.
I really like how on this app you can easily set segments on your ride where you can track and see how your time over this given segments compares to every other Strava rider who has completed the same segment. This feature is great because it is an amazing way to see how well you did compared to other riders and it gives you times and goals to shoot for! By shooting for the top of the leader board you are bound to improve your physical fitness and skills as a rider while staying motivated along the way.
Some of my favorite things about Strava: (how Strava helps encourage training)
- Record accurate rides with phone’s built-in GPS (gives detailed stats on distance, pace, elevation and est. calories)
- Saves a map of all your rides
- Track an unlimited amount of rides and runs (free)
- Compare your performance to friends, locals & pros (keep motivated by involving friends
- It keeps track of your personal records and so you can earn achievements for improving your performance (progressive overload)
- Discover new rides in your area (breaking up boredom)
- You can earn King and Queen of the Mountain honors by beating the best time (comparative goal setting)
- See what segments are the most popular in a given area and challenge the locals (community and competition)
My Latest Rides
My stats for the current week.
I am happily using Strava to track my activities, analyze my performance, and participate in challenges. I think you should join so we can compare our runs and rides. Join today at strava.com