If you’re an avid runner it’s almost impossible to ignore Strava. The run tracking, group managing, kudo giving website and app is everywhere you look. People posting, arranging outings, sharing on Facebook and Instagram make it almost inescapable. So what’s the problem?
While getting kudos is nice and can certainly make you feel loved they’re not always the best thing for a runner. That creates the Strava Dilemma. Here are the reasons using the app can be a double edged sword and you might want to skip it altogether (sometimes).
Pushing too hard. When you’re sharing every split you tend to get competitive. Whether you’re naturally a fight to the finisher or someone more relaxed on race day you still have an innate desire to be at the top of the leader board.
Unfortunately, taking first place on a segment isn’t always the right focus for a workout. Pushing to stack up at the top all the time probably means you’re not listening to your body, or your coach. Most of your runs should be easy and in the end working hard on every outing to rock a segment can lead to serious over training, injury and burnout. Consider skipping the leader board as an opportunity for your body to thank you for an easy day.
Quiet Time. As stated in this piece, some runners like to be alone. If you share that kudo earning workout from your favorite trail how long will it be ‘your’ trail or route? Running is both a team and a solo sport but there are lots of us who like the singularity of running solo. If you’re not ready to give up that favorite spot is sharing a good idea?
Negative Feedback. What happens when someone makes a not-so-nice comment on your outing? We all have bad days. Even though the running community is generally a very supportive place, there’s one in every crowd. Letting a Debbie Downer get in your head can have big consequences. Make sure you take all comments with a grain of salt. There’s always someone who’s faster, or slower, going further or placing higher.
Safety. Most people start and end most of runs from the same places. That makes you easy to find. While their exact schedules might vary, making your locations harder to find might be a good idea. Strava does have a feature that allows you to cover your starting spot. That five mile radius circle, though, isn’t very big when you’re in it every day. Especially if you’re running alone leaving an electronic paper trail of posts advertising where you’ll be at the end of a 20 mile run might be better left out.
Now get out there and run no matter if you’ll share it or not!