My New Favorite Fitness App

So, I first started hearing about STRAVA several years ago from elite cyclists in my town (including my husband) who were discussing who of the other elite cyclists in our town were, that were beating them on certain road segments. I knew nothing about it other than the fast people used it to track who was fastest and that was ALL I needed to know to know: THIS IS NOT FOR ME. Also? I thought it was a cycling app.

Of course, then it made the news for heat mapping military bases and then I at least started considering the fact that – while this was NOT a good thing, at least it showed that a lot of people were using it for running too. So then I started listening more and realizing fast people were also tracking fast runners so, still: FAST PEOPLE = NOT FOR ME.

My husband uses it ALL THE TIME. And he loves it. It interacts with his Garmin watch and automatically uploads workouts but he also manually inserts workouts like swimming and weights so it gives him a really clear picture of his activity level. He’s been using it so long now that when he runs the same race another year it pulls up the data and recognizes he’s run that course before and compares them so he also gets a really clear picture of his speed progress. HE LOVES IT.

But still? HE IS FAST. I am not. Boom.

Well, when I started back to running a month ago I broke out my Garmin watch to start wearing again to record my run data. Donnie said, “You should use STRAVA, then I could give you KUDOS!”

WHAT? DO WHAT? STRAVA has a social component that my husband uses? I AM IN!

See, Donnie has Facebook and Twitter and Instagram but doesn’t use ANY of them. But STRAVA? He uses that constantly and so finally being able to interact with him in a social media way, allured me. Also? our dog has an account. He’s run more this year than I have. (Although not much recently because of the heat and Donnie’s torn calf muscle.)

SO! I signed up! And I’m not telling you this to follow me (I think I have it set pretty private since I’m not sure how to use it yet.) – I’m telling you this to show you why I love it SO MUCH!

First: You can track a workout like you do with Map My Run or Runkeeper. So, if you don’t have a GPS watch and just use your phone to track walks/runs, you can use the STRAVA app to do just that.

Second: You can follow other people and other people can follow you and you can give each other KUDOS on workouts which I love!

Third: It ranks your runs and tells you when you’ve run fast on any part of it. Look at all of the awards I got for my 10-miler this weekend! Since I’m starting over and I feel SO MUCH slower than before, using a whole new app has given me a way to monitor progress RIGHT NOW instead of comparing it to my past running self.

Fourth: If you’re fast, you can claim “segments” that get run a lot and you can rank on a list with other people who have run it. I run a .88 loop in Knoxville a lot and it always links to that segment winner list. Now, if I were fast? That would probably motivate me to take it over. But I am not so it just motivates me to remember I’m slow. BUT STILL! It’s a perk if you like that stuff!

ALSO – If you’re worried about security, you can create a “bubble” called a “privacy zone” around particular addresses you may not want to be connected, like to work or home.

And the default now is to NOT put your runs on the heat map.

And, like I said, I have my account pretty private because I don’t really understand it all yet so I don’t want to make it “public” but Donnie LOVES having a public account because he gets to connect with other runners.

Anyway! Are you on? I have no idea how to tell you to send me a follow request. I only follow my husband, my dog, and my friend who I knew how to search by name but I haven’t been able to find some people on it so I’m not sure about all of the privacy options I might not be using yet. Either way, I love it. It’s giving me great feedback and finally…FINALLY…I get to feel what it’s like for your husband to like something you do on social media!

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