I run and train so that I can then race, but not everyone runs for the same reason. Some people run just to keep fit, some people run because it's cheaper than a gym membership and some people run just to de-stress. But what if you run, don't race but want a target to hit? Have you tried Strava?
Strava is a free website which allows you to track your running or cycling via GPS. You don't need a GPS watch either, you can use your phone as long as you can download the free app. But how does this give you a target?
When you go for a run, you either use a GPS watch or your phone to record where you have been. Once you get home you then upload your activity to their website. You can then see the route you ran on a map and you can analyse your pace, the distance you ran, the elevation and whether you have ran any segments.
This is my route from this morning's run.
What are segments?
Segments mark popular stretches of road or trail (like your favourite local climb) and create a leaderboard of times set by every Strava athlete who has been there before. You can create your own segments as well and then challenge others to try and beat your time.
Don't worry though if you aren't the fastest person to run a segment, you can still achieve Personal Records (PR), which means you can challenge yourself to run that segment faster next time you are out.
You can still use your other gps logging software if you wish but I've found that over the past 2 years, I hardly ever log in to Garmin Connect any more and most of the people I run with log their runs on Strava. It's a great way to see how friends are doing and also organise group runs. RunningBeside.me has a Strava Club which anyone is welcome to join, head over to the RunningBesideMe club.
Not only can you chase segments but you can also find new routes to run in your local area by searching activities. If this sounds all a bit 'big brother is watching you' you can make your account private so only people you allow can see your activities. My account is open so f you want to see my feed, head over to My Page and if you join or are already on Strava, feel free to follow me and leave me a message.
Enjoy segment hunting!