Strava for Cyclists (and Runners?): Free* High Tech Training for Backaphobics

41566_129416293739469_6478_n.jpgI've heard there are dozens of us out there. People like me. Backaphobics.

That's right, backaphobia is a DSM-4 recognized psychological condition whereby you just can't stand the sight of someone else's back and you must do everything in your power to stop looking at it. By passing them.

Backaphobics make great athletes. And my backaphobia makes me a pretty good triathlete. Being bad at the swim, I just thrive on the pass. Biking by 100 others like they're standing still, and putting down old swimmers who are huffing and puffing through the run is my specialty.

The trouble with triathlon training is there just aren't a lot of our people out there who want to do crazy workouts with us. And you can't get fast if you haven't got anyone better than you to chase.

Well fellow backaphobics, there's help out there. It's a new training tool produced by Strava, a local business out of Hanover, NH. Designed primarily for cyclists, Strava lets you upload workout data from your GPS device (Garmin Edge 505, Forerunner 310x/305/60 for example) or even your iPhone onto their incredibly well designed online interface. Run data works the same way, although they don't have any enhanced functionality tailored to runners (yet?).

You've probably tinkered around in Garmin Connect at some point - it's a neat way to track your mileage, heart rate, elevation, all that jazz. Strava takes the Garmin Connect idea to a new level and lets you upload your favorite rides and overlay them onto a map that shows OTHER PEOPLES stats for the same course. So now you can look at your numbers and compare them to other premier athletes in you area. And wonder how they beat you so readily on the Pomfret Hill climb every time. Then, go gawk at HTC-Highroad's training ride from that morning. And you thought you were fast...

Looking at people red-lining on hill climbs is just the beginning (how many KOMs can you earn?). Think about your favorite loop, the one you ride 3 times a week. Now you can watch your progress on those intervals at the stop sign at mile 5 - just a little further every time. And, when your buddies do the same workout hours later, check in to see who's really getting stronger. Competition is a healthy motivator, and Strava really helps you tap that drive.

Now, think again about that ride you do three times a week. Maybe it's time to find a new, more challenging route. Check in at Strava to see what kinds of workouts others are doing, and find new places to ride too. This works great when you're traveling and want to find a guaranteed quality ride (or run) - just upload it to your GPS device and roll out!

Hopefully you can find a way to use Strava to complement your multi or single sport training. And thanks to Strava rep Nicole Marcoe for this free three month Strava trial - 

Check out the full Strava functionality and blog us back to let us know how you're using it!

And here's a video if you're into that kind of thing.

1 comment:

  1. Hope the triathalon therapy is helping with your condition. Such a sad, sad affliction.