Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To Strava or Not To Strava

Lately, I've started to see more controversy about the value of Strava, which I thought was interesting. For example, today alone I received two emails discussing the good and bad about Strava.

The good? Well, Strava is like a cyclist's social network. We connect with our cycling buddies, whether across town or across the pond. It gives us the opportunity to show what we are up to and, perhaps, brag about a new PR or KOM. It provides cycling visitors the opportunity to look for cycling routes in areas where they are visiting

The bad? That is really easy. For one, it tempts us to get out of a training routine, to turn every ride into a challenge, either to beat our own time or to best someone else's time. Because of the competitive nature of cyclists, some get so obsessed by losing a KOM that they become reckless in their attempt to get it back!

I use Strava and there are times when I feel like going for it. But, I also have a training routine that I stick to and could care less when I upload a ride what others think. I can appreciate what others do and, if they take a KOM from me, good for them. I'm not going out the next day to get it back.

I won't vouch for its 100% accuracy all of the time but I do like the fact that they make it easy for you to track your progress, to get more value out of your training. Tools designed to make you a better cyclist, whether you race or not.

Michael Horvath, Strava's CEO, told the BBC: "As I get older, I am less interested about how fast I'm going. I'm more interested about how much fun I am having. And so that goes back to the storytelling and the social aspect which is at the core of Strava."

Strava gives me (and the rest of the people who use it responsibly) a way to keep track of saddle time. For that, Strava is a cheap, convenient, and easy way to monitor how things are progressing. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with a little motivation.

Have fun with Strava but not take it so seriously that we put ourselves and/or others in danger. And, to get the most out your training, stick to your plan!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mark,

    I use strava as well. I feel like the core concept of strava is one I teach to companies is one I teach to CEO's as I work on their strategy execution, "what gets measured, gets improved".

    The question then becomes who and what are you measuring and can or should you compete in that market. That is where some Strava users fail to use common sense. Focusing on pushing yourself to the limits rather than asking is it the right thing to do.

    Thank you for your post.