Stravaholic

12
Nov
2013

StravaholicI am officially “one of those people.” You know those people, the ones that immediately upload their ride data, before they’ve even taken off their helmet, to check their Strava segments to see if it was a PR or maybe, hopefully, a KOM.

I’ve always loved looking at my ride data, trying to connect my heart rate and speed to what I remember the perceived effort to be.  I look at where I felt OK and could have pushed harder, or where I was all out and still need improvement. I look at my intervals to find variances, and usually find I’ve slacked off in the middle of them. I worked with a couple of coaches for a few years who would also look at my data, since they weren’t local, to see how I was or wasn’t improving. They would plan out my future rides based on this data, so clean data was a must at all times. The sensors on my bike had to work, and I wore my heart rate monitor for the most mundane of rides, to ensure I stayed under zone 3 for recovery.

And now, coach-less with no prospect of doing a road race anytime soon, its even worse. Back home I would think, hey that’s neat, when I got a KOM (QOM, really) or a PR, but here it’s the end-all for me. I go out on a ride to specifically nail down a segment, riding slowly in between to save energy. On my ride this morning I had 11 achievements (PRs and QOMs) because I rode with the A group, and I can’t wait until next week to see if I can hang with the fast guys for just one more bend in the road. I was a little miffed that on a 9 mile segment, I missed the QOM by 16 seconds.

Others here can be the same way, and I think that’s because there’s not much racing, at least on the island. We feed our competitive spirits by racing each other and the clock simultaneously. My heart rate rises whenever I get an email saying someone has beaten my time, and I plot my revenge. It gets personal; I know the names of all the regulars ahead of me on the Leaderboard.

My mountain biking is started to get affected as well. I said a couple of weeks ago that “I have zero interest in doing the same off-road” in regards to watching my Strava times. This is now a lie. Lately, when I ride off-road, I think, ok, I haven’t messed up yet, let’s go a little faster here so I can move up a few spots.

This needs to be resolved. Tomorrow, I’m going on a mountain bike ride, and I vow to ride as slowly as possible, and focus on technique and form instead of speed. Next week is a recovery week, and I’m going to leave my HRM at home for most of the rides, and put my computer away in my pocket, out-of-sight.

My name is Ashley Irving, and I’m a Stravaholic.

Enjoy Your Ride

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11 Responses to “ Stravaholic ”

  1. Shawn McAfee on November 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Harrassy.

    Give in to your Stravacism and never think that way again.

  2. Joel Phillips on November 13, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Don’t hate me because I never record ride data other then notice what time I start and end, then retrace my route on Google Maps to get an approximate distance, and calculate an approximate speed. I have my version of intervals, gawking around vs. not gawking. I like to kill hills and go wahoooooo while bombing down the other side. Stavaholic or not we’re all Loving the Bike and that is AWESOME!

    • Ashley on November 13, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Hear hear. I didn’t do so well on my ride this morning…kept it easy but on the way back I nailed a couple of segments. Got one QOM. I have my MTB in an hour to try and make amends.

  3. Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I wouldn’t say I’m a Stravaholic, but I do enjoy checking things out on there from time to time. Seems like I only upload my data to the site every month or two. But the cool thing about living on a small island where not many cyclists have the right kind of computer to upload to Strava….is that I am KOM on every segment they have for Grenada.

    • Ashley on November 13, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Yeahhh according to Strava I’m one of the faster women on the island, so now I’m competing against the guys on some segments.

  4. Bob Burpee on November 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I download my data to five different sites (including Strava). I don’t expect to compete for KOMs but I like to keep track of my data to see how I’m doing (that and I’m just a data junkie)

    • Ashley on November 13, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Oh man, you’re crazier than I! When I first started riding I kept a journal of my miles and times, one of the old Bicycling.com journals. I still have them some where. With the internet came me posting my data on a lot of sites, but now I’ve pared down to Strava and TrainingPeaks.

  5. Mark Beaconsfield on November 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

    My names Mark, and I’m a Stravaholic.
    No, I do not race or train. In fact, most of my riding is commuting to and from work, with the occasional recreational ride thrown in. But I do love to compare my times with others, and seeing where my friends (local and worldwide) have been riding. We all hate the dreaded email telling us we have been beaten, but it does help to push us harder to become better. Feel free to follow me on Strava, and I will do the same.
    Ride Safe.

  6. Michael on November 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

    After hassling me for months my friends finally convinced me to get a Garmin. I said I wasn’t interested in how quick I can do a hill and wouldn’t get competitive, how wrong I was I now go out trying to beat my friends and get to the KoM and its so annoying when you miss by a couple of seconds!
    I’ve become everything I said I wouldn’t, a Stravaholic

    • Ashley on November 13, 2013 at 2:10 am

      Just wait till you remember you can make your own segments where hopefully you’re the only one riding it.

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