This love affair is over.
Strava has been on my mind for quite a while. In fact, I’ve had this blog post written for such a long time but have always swayed away from posting it. Every time I think I’m free of it, I go back. I just can’t seem to help myself from pressing that big orange button to record my ride or run. But now – now is the time.
To go back to the beginning, I downloaded Strava in July 2015 for a short review I was doing for Trail Running magazine, comparing running apps. Since then I’ve felt compelled to upload every single activity. It was addictive. I’d sit there and examine how fast or slow I’d gone and compare my data to my friends. This compulsion was bad enough that if I forgot to start the clock I’d feel really quite distressed. If I wanted to stop along the way I would need to make sure that my run or ride was paused – somewhat taking out the joy of the snack I was eating or view I wanted to admire. I certainly did not want to compromise my splits.
I get that segments are there for riders to compete against each other but it encouraged me to push harder than my body wanted to. Yes, I know this is the whole point – but not if you’re doing damage to yourself and not if you’re taking away the joy of the run or ride. I felt huge pressure to not stop, so nobody could examine those slower splits when I uploaded my activity.
I love exercise; it’s undeniably the best way to keep you going from a mental and physical point of view. I don’t want to go out and smash myself to pieces every time. That’s not enjoyable to me. I’m not a professional athlete and nor do I want to be. I want to ride my bike for the joy of riding my bike so the pressure that Strava was putting on me felt intense. It was taking away that love and joy of just getting out there. I wrote a little about this in my recent post on going slow.
Either way, I don’t want to care what other people think about how I choose to exercise. I don’t want it to ruin my love of going outdoors and being with friends. So, I’ve recently started heading out without my phone or Garmin. No data is being recorded – you can see how little I’ve been putting on it recently in the feature image – and it feels pretty damn good.
I feel free.
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Or, maybe my look at the Morvelo Dash Stormshield Jersey.
Or take a look at how hard cycling 100 miles is – my experience.
You need to check the Women’s Adventure Expo out too – TOP event.