The Things You Wish You’d Known Before Joining Strava

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Strava has been a huge hype for a number of years, but would have joined if you know what you know now? By far the largest social media platform in sport, it does a fantastic job of bringing athletes together and letting everyone celebrate their fitness accolades in one place.

With 16 uploads a second for 2017, it’s very clear that Strava is fast becoming one of the largest social networks in the world. Some incredible stats make up the sites most successful years yet. The go to site to upload all outdoors activities in GPS or manual form, to ride with others, chat & compare training sessions and techniques – it’s well worth joining if you haven’t already.

— THE 10 DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRAVA RIDE WE ALL UPLOAD —

What many people fail to realize is that whilst it’s fun to keep up to date with friends & meet new athletes, Strava is one of the most comprehensive training tools available. With everything from measuring fatigue to offering detailed analysis of sessions – you can learn a whole host of information about yourself.

It ruins easy rides.

Gone are the days of rolling out to the cafe with the squad. You’ll be sat in the group enjoying a nice spin, chatting to the rider next to you, when all of a sudden, the pace takes a huge kick. Before you know it you’re in a flat out chain gang trying to hang on for dear life. Jeremy on the front has decided he’s going for the local KOM, and somehow you’re involved, but you can’t sit up & be dropped due to pride.

Chances are you’ll be missing it by a few seconds anyway despite a huge tailwind and everyone riding their best bikes. Nobody realized the tour of Britain rolled through in 2017 and set the bar far higher than any of us realised. And before you know it, the 1 hour cafe ride has seen you home 4 hours late for lunch.

— WHY COMMUTING BY BIKE IS SURPRISINGLY BRILLIANT —

Challenges take over.

Rapha festive 500? Who needed family time around Christmas anyway. Every now and then a new challenge will pop up that you know you can get agonizingly close to. It might stretch over a few days, it might end up on a day you know you actually should be really busy. But you’ll fight tooth & nail to get that badge!

You promised you’d spend some time with the kids, but you have to get the March Gran Fondo badge. Sorry guys, I’ll be back for lunch… I hope!

You have to pay for the best features.

Like most platforms, Strava need money to develop. When it first launched in 2009 there wasn’t any costs. But as the team has grown and the app is required to develop, Strava have had to add a subscription fee. Though it won’t break the back at around £5 per month.

— SPORTIVE RIDING – IS THE FUTURE ELECTRIC? —

The features you can unlock with Strava’s premium Summit are fantastic. You can get heavily into the analysis, check out your heat maps and get deep into the segment leaderboard to see exactly how you stack up.

There’s no easy KOM’s.

Gone are the days when the chaingang would go out and pick up a handful of KOMs and top 10s. Nowadays it’s becoming almost impossible to bag yourself a KOM unless you’re out racing in an obscure setting. Pro pelotons & elite time triallists seem to have more of them bagged. Some of them only seem achievable in a car.

Getting a KOM takes careful planning, good weather and a handful of luck. Then you’ve gotta hold onto it for dear life and hope nobody else swings through and does a better job in the near future!

December is a race to the closest round number.

Early in January you’ll set yourself an annual mileage target, probably based on the sour taste you have in your mouth from the year before. That or the obscene amount of food you’ve eaten over the Christmas period. As summer swings through it looks like you’re on track, until September/October happen and it all goes belly up.

— BIKE TRENDS – THE FUTURE OF CYCLING —

You’ll spend most of December out in the rain and cold chasing those extra miles to tick you over to the target. Not to mention is the Festive 500 at the end of the month and that’s always a big ask. Too stubborn to miss out, you’ll clock up an unheard of amount of miles and even more I owe you’s with the partner.

He took my KOM? Friendship over.

As if getting the notification that someone stole your KOM wasn’t bad enough. Try losing it to a”friend”.

You’ll spare yourself the hit by telling everyone you don’t mind, and that you weren’t really trying hard in the first place. Before carefully plotting your attack on winning it back. As well as letting their tyres down a bit at the cafe stop… jokes jokes.

The name of the activity is everything.

Remember the days when you had peace of mind and the ability to think about nothing but the beauty of the open road? No, well don’t worry, nobody else does either. You’ll now spend the entire ride thinking about something witty to call it.

A lot of the time more kudos comes from a better name than your actual activity! But once you get round to actually uploading the ride, the one you originally had in your head isn’t suitable any more anyway. You wonder why you call it anything other than lunch ride anyway.

— THE BEST STRAVA TIPS —

It’s a trap.

Highly addictive, you’ll find yourself wanting more and more. Just a little bit of this, just a bit of that. Trying to get another new route on the heat map, or squeeze out an extra few KMs. Chasing segments, racing friends, it all adds up.

You harmlessly joined the app 5 years ago, not knowing what it would entail. Now you’re a lycra clad brethren with shaved legs and a cult attitude… Ok, maybe it’s still a bit of fun and brings us all together for the better, but it’s certainly addictive.