Welcome to Strava Anonymous – it’s been 24 hours since my last segment.
OK so what am I prattling on about – well if you haven’t tried the new training app Strava then let me enlighten you. Those with long memories who have stuck with me since the beginning will remember a post about Cyclemeter, an app available for the iPhone that tracks your ride, and was a cheap and effective replacement for a Garmin GPS that can cost hundreds of pounds. However there is now a new kid on the block and quite frankly its bloody addictive.
Strava is available to use in a number of different ways, you can download the app, use your Garmin device to auto upload you GPS data, or you can use any GPS mapping device such as Cyclemeter or (as I have escaped the cult of Apple to an excellent Windows phone) Endomondo and import your rides yourself. So why do this and what does Strava offer?
Firstly it’s free (you can purchase premium membership but the free version is fine for most users). In the blink of an eye Strava takes your GPS data and then maps it, against segments. Segments are usually hills or long straight roads set by other users – and these blue lines are where the fun begins. Essentially once Strava has your time is logged your time against the segments your time becomes part of a league table against everybody else who has ever ridden that segment. So now those with competitive sides can learn where their local segment are and “race” against others when out on your own. Even if you’re a novice/average rider then you can just race against yourself as Strava will flag personal records.
For me its been great when tackling my local hills, even the odd rise on my commute to work, – I have been pushing myself far more than I normally would and my climbing has improved immeasurably, well actually measurably I have knocked almost a minute off a nasty little climb in Anglezarke. Just having targets now means I am am hitting the hills a lot more just to race a few more segments, as quite frankly I am fully addicted to Strava, at my local cycling club we all joked that we no longer see roads but blue lines that make up segments! If your training for a Sportive or just trying to improve an aspect of your riding then try it, and we will keep you a seat at Strava Anonymous.