In a previous post, I talked about using a Garmin to record pretty much all of my rides, I talked about gathering and analysing the data. While I use my Garmin to record everything, I save all of my data to Strava.
Before Strava, I was blissfully unaware of my personal bests, King Of Mountains or who was faster than me. Now though, I have a few hills that I always have my eye on, and try to either beat my PB or go for the KOM. After most rides, I look at the ‘relative effort’ that Strava produces and see how I’ve done. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good. Still, quite a nice tool to be able to compare my efforts.
I remember when Strava first began to grab the attention of cyclists of all abilities and disciplines, we were all still trying to figure out how to use it and were simply amazed that we could record the miles we’ve ridden. The coolest thing was that it showed the entire route, meaning we were able to prove that we’d gone out and done 65 miles in one go. Or better yet, we could find the new roads and areas that we’d cycled again.
Strava also introduced a competitive side to the weekend ride. Adding friends and comparing yourself against them. Going after segments that they’re quicker on and trying to beat them. My cycling buddy, Will, and I still have at least one segment that we compete against each other for. Unfortunately, I think he’s winning at the moment. Note to self must rectify that.
I started out with the free account which was good and helped me to explore Strava and to keep track of my rides and the number of miles I was riding. Recently, well I say recently, I think I’ve been a premium, or summit member as it’s now called, for over a year now and it offers quite a bit more to help you train. You can set yourself goals, compare your relative effort against other rides you’ve done recently. And, something that I quite like which is real-time segments on your Garmin. So you can see how well, or how badly, you’ve done during the ride.
Some people love it, some people hate it. They think that it can ruin a ride and make everything far too competitive and that the ride, run or swim only counts when you’ve recorded it on Strava. Personally, I think it’s a great addition to the cycling life. It provides the ability for anyone to look at how they’re doing, enable cyclists to set a target/goal for themselves which can help with motivation and get people out on their bikes. It can be great fun with friends and fellow riders. Afterall, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone.
Feel free to check out how I’m doing on Strava and by all means follow me.
Until next time.