I started using Strava again.
It has been 2 years since I last used it. I didn’t like how it turned every ride into a competition. I subscribe to the polarized training model. Have you heard of it? If not, Road Cycling UK does an excellent job of explaining the method and benefits here. Basically, athletes spend 20% of their training doing intense training, and 80% doing easy, Zone 1 workouts. Many of the top endurance athletes train this way.
You can see the problem I had with Strava. I was working hard every ride, at least on some KOM segments.
Strava automatically allocates your time to any segment that you ride through and upload to its site. It then creates a league table of who is fastest, with the fastest being given a small yellow crown icon and the title of KOM (King of the Mountain) or QOM (Queen of the Mountain).
All of my regular routes include many KOM segments, and I was training hard every day whether I intended to or not. So, I stopped. Instead, I began relying on my heart rate monitor, recording the time spent in each of the training zones each day. This way I knew what route to ride, and how hard to train every day.
So why did I start using the app again, you ask?
Well, I have taken on this 10,000 km challenge – that’s right 10,000 km cycling in 2019 – and need to automatically record my annual distance and elevation gain. My cycle computer doesn’t maintain YTD stats or upload to an on-line site for analysis. Also, it only supports 2 different bikes. I regularly ride 3 different road bikes each with different tire sizes – 35 mm, 32 mm, and 28 mm – and subsequently different tire diameters. With Strava, I don’t have to worry about any of this. I simply have to load the app, press start, and stop when I finish.
I just hope I pay much less attention to the KOM segments his time, and continue with the polarized methods.
Do you use Strava?
Maybe you have other apps you prefer. I’d appreciate your input.