We all have probably heard about STRAVA. Its the virtual way of competing with people you don’t even know and also an excellent way of finding new routes and tracks whether you Run or Cycle. Its a great concept and idea which can propel your training.
The app is made to be used on most phones (just download the app on your app provider) or use any gps tracking device (garmin, suunto, polar etc) which you can offload a .tcx or .gpx.
So how do we get on with this once downloaded the app on your mobile phone?
1. Create a username on www.strava.com
2, Search on Strava for a segment you want to “follow”. For Dubai only start here!. Zoom in or search for the route you like and open that segment. You will then see all the details and timings, different riders have achieved.
3. And here comes the bitter truth, you have to be a “PREMIUM” member, paying member 59USD/year, to be able to download routes. It used to be a way around it on this site but they stopped that option. So become a member and download the route. (An alternative is just to go out there and ride the route without having it on your device and then later upload your training route to compare it to others achievement, that is the “free” option of competing.)
4. Upload the gpx or tcx route and save it on your garmin, polar or other gps device.
5, Find the file in your device and start following the route.
6. Upload your training session to STRAVA and compare your achievement.
We like STRAVA as an inspiration to find new routes, find new friends and be able to push your training further. And also the way it works is that if you do your training and then upload it on strava. Strava will then tell you if this training was part of any “route/segment” that was already named on STRAVA and you will get your “position” on each individual. Pretty clever and easy. But you can also save/name a route yourself that you did.
Of course there is a lot of Strava haters who is out doing routes with a motor-vehicle and beats new records with fake ways of achieving. I guess you can see this as a fun way of make people pulling their hair but a way around is to ride with power meters or HR monitors as that adds to the real data value.
There has also been a lot of privacy issues with Strava as you could in theory start stalking people where they live ,or do their training. But there is now also an option to hide your start/stop point.
So get out there and Strava!
The only problem as per today, is that you can not download the “route” that you like and upload it to your device.