Another blog? And my thoughts on Strava…

I decided to dedicate another blog to satisfy my love of cooking/baking, separate from this blog…I forgot how “tough” it was starting this blog a couple years ago. Below is a link. It is a work in progress–of course, the wonderful weather has delayed my work on the blog, as my priorities revolve around outdoor activities rather than blogging 🙂 Feel free to check it out!

That (Vegan) Girl in Sneakers

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

For the past couple months or so, probably starting February when I started running more in preparation for the marathon, I began using Map My Run to follow my progress. I do have a very expensive Garmin watch and heart rate monitor, but do I use the $350 watch? Nope. The watch still works though…Maybe I’ll start wearing it again now that I feel guilty about never using such an expensive watch. Anyway, Map My Run is a great way to log your progress–the app is free, which is also awesome. However, many of my biker/runner friends use Strava. I used this app maybe twice last year, then deleted it…Not really sure why I deleted it. If you are unfamiliar with Strava (which, I doubt you are if you are up to date on cycling apps), it is basically the same thing as Map My Run. However, there are segments where you can actually “race” other riders (or runners). These segments are usually hills, but can also be segments, like a long, flat road that people use for time trials, etc. The fastest people are called “Queen” or King.” The program then places you according to your time compared to other peoples times. You can also analyze your performance online.

A couple weeks ago, I downloaded the app again. Let me tell you, I think I have actually seen a difference in my cycling. That, or I’m actually focusing more on my rides and pushing myself harder. Perhaps it is the latter. For the first time in a couple years, on my ride, I didn’t simply say (to myself), “Ack, it’s a hill. I’ll go slow.” Nope. My new mantra while going up hills is “Power up!” Pushing myself has definitely improved my tolerance to pain and burning thighs…As well as lead to me beating my “nemesis” female cyclists (road and mountain) whom I have never met.

Strava can also be used for runs…I’m pretty sure it was the reason for one of the fastest 5miles I have ever done.

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

I need to warn you, though. It is not always reliable, as I found out today after my run (trying to beat the time I managed for the “fastest 5” mentioned above), when it stopped recording for some reason mid run–and I swear I made a new PB on that run. Grrr! Frustrating! Ohh well, I guess it simply means I will have to do the run again.

Another possible negative regarding the program is it hinders your ability to “go with the flow” if something happens mid run (or mid ride). For example, I ran into an acquaintance on a run once, and had to stop to say hi. I feel it would have been rather impolite to run past her saying, “Sorry, can’t stop–I’m Strava-ing now.”

What are your thoughts on Strava? Is there another app or program you use to keep track of rides or workouts?

 

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jesse - Questionably Texan
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 11:39:29

    I recently discovered Strava. I had heard about it some time ago, and knew the basic premise, but didn’t sign up until a couple of weeks ago. I can see how it can ruin the ability to “go with the flow” for certain segments! I like the concept, and can see myself trying to pursue a couple of King of Mountain’s. I use my Garmin watch, and then import into Strava (along with Garmin Connect and Training Peaks).

    Reply

    • Jesse - Questionably Texan
      Jun 13, 2013 @ 11:50:54

      I meant to add that I’m looking forward to the new blog – I’m always looking for good vegan recipes (in full disclosure, I’m always looking for good vegan recipes that I can pass along to my wife, since when I cook, I stick to one of three things that I know how to make).

      Reply

  2. rendezvouswithsneakers
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 15:06:40

    Ah! I did not know you could import into Strava from your Garmin…I guess I need to dust off my watch and use it again instead of having to lug my phone on runs and rides…Although, I usually always have my phone on rides for emergency purposes. And yes, most recipes will be simple enough for both vegans and non-vegans to make…Plant based whole foods.

    Reply

  3. Laura
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 00:48:16

    I starting out on MapMyRide (and Walk and Run) and I have a soft spot in my heart for those apps. But I switched to Strava because you can export the GPX from strava and import into MapMyWhatever. Now I have a Garmin and I just upload to both websites.

    Strava is more for my competitive side. MapMyRide has all my friends. 😀

    Reply

  4. Trackback: 30 before 30 | A Rendezvous with Sneakers

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