A Strava voyeur

The cold, windswept weeks of winter separate the men from the boys when it comes to getting on the bike – so it’s a good job we’ve got Strava.

strava photoHaving never done anything like the Etape before, I have come to realise that motivation is the hardest part of training.

Happily, Strava helps. You can upload your rides, analyse your data (cadence and heart rate zones anyone?), compete against pros on sprints and hills or just use it to clock your miles and time in the saddle.

Training for this year’s Etape du Tour however has turned me into a real life Strava voyeur.

Every session that’s uploaded by those I know, whether on the turbo trainer, the commute or weekend ride, is noted and scrutinised to get an idea of whether I’m training enough. I want to understand whether they are training more than me and, if they are, what kind of training they are doing.

Just eyeing everyone else up, it is also a great source of motivation.

It is easier to be motivated at the weekends when you have people to ride with and plenty of time to ride. But in the middle of the week, when it’s raining, dark and windy the last thing you want to do is drag the turbo trainer out of a leaking shed or go up and down a hill, you just want to get home and put your feet up in front of the telly.

But one glance at a Strava feed to see who has put the miles in and suddenly the rain doesn’t look quite so heavy, the dark isn’t quite so forbearing and while the wind may well be blowing the garden furniture onto your next door neighbours property, it probably isn’t quite strong enough to take you, the bike and the turbo with it.

Tim Burt

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