Anytime I run, hike, bike, kayak, whatever.....I have my Garmin Fenix strapped to my wrist and a heart rate monitor hugging my chest. I love the data. Pouring over my activities, I am constantly evaluating my performance against myself. Strava just seemed like a perfect fit. Not only can I evaluate my performance, I can evaluate my peers and athlete idols. How do I stack up against Rob Krar, Jamil Coury and my no name neighbor three doors down? Strava is encouraging me to get out on those days, when I rather would not leave the quite of the house. After all I don't want to fall a position on the Aravipa Running group weekly mileage list.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with social media. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare.....the list goes on. Addictive personalities and social media don't blend well, at least not in my experiences. But like all things, when used as a tool (rather then a fix) they can be extremely beneficial. For instance, Strava.
For those of you that are behind the times let me introduce you. Strava was released in 2009 as a social media platform for athletes. It used the GPS data from your device and quantified it against other athletes/friends. Genius. The site also tracks KOMs(King of Mountains), CR (course records), etc. The site also analysis your activity and notifies you when you set PRs (personal records) on segments or routes. Strava allows users to comment on activities and give 'Kudos' for activities posted. During certain times there are challenges that you can engage in, which are an excellent way to boost motivation. The site can be used in different ways depending on your needs. Even allowing you to hide your activities for total privacy, and just act as a training log. Strava can be an excellent tool for training when used appropriately.
In conclusion, if you are not on Strava, you should be. After all, if it isn't on Strava it didn't happen. Now get out and run/ride/walk/hike/swim/yak/train/climb/get outside!