300 Strava Challenges

I can’t believe that I’ve completed 300 Strava Challenges. Some of my Strava friends don’t bother with them, while others complete them every now and again. Me, on the other hand, got a bit obsessed with them.

Even when I joined Strava five years ago I was never too fussed about KOM’s or segment hunting. Back then, there wasn’t as many challenges, often only one a month, and they could be a serious challenge. Gradually more and more appeared, sometimes eight in a single month. Not all of them are posted on the Strava challenges page. The website here lists all challenges, although many of them are segment challenges in far off countries.

As I am a triathlete, I can manage both running and cycling challenges, and for an eight period from Dec 15 to July 16 I completed every single challenge, running and cycling, distance and climbing. The last year I’ve not completed as many due to a running injury, but most months I’ve managed the easier running challenges.

Back in Jan 15 I set up a Strava group, only for those athletes who had completed 100 challenges (find it here). We only have five members, so join up if you can.

In Feb last year I celebrated completing 200 challenges by riding 200km (Strava activity here), hence why yesterday I rode 300km to tick off 300 challenges (Strava activities here and here). I’ve set a trend, and while I might manage 400, I think 500 is beyond me.

To finish off my ramble, here are some answers to the more obvious questions.

First challenge:

Rapha Rising Jul 2012

Last challenge:

Gran Fondo May 2017

Toughest challenges:

CTS Bucket List Aug 2012, where the challenge was to ride 683 miles in 7 days. The Alpen-Traun in a day Aug 2014, where you had to complete a ride of 252km (strava activity here). It took me two attempts, as I only managed 245km a week earlier.

Easiest challenge:

What I find easy could well be a significant challenge for someone else, and what I find to be hard could be a walk in the park for someone else.

Memorable challenge:

Quarq Power Trip Feb 2013. The challenge was to complete a 100 mile ride, but there was only a three day window, and it snowed (strava activity here). Another memorable challenge was the Strade Bianche challenge from Feb 2016, as this was my 200th challenge (strava activity here). I emailed Strava and they sent me a T-shirt, water bottle, plastic phone wallet and a truckers cap.

Annoying challenge:

In June 14 I completed a double ironman, but my support crew managed to take my Garmin cable with them, and by the time I got it back I had missed the window to upload my 52 mile run, thereby not completing a challenge.

Favourite challenge:

I like cycling time based challenges. These level the playing field so it doesn’t matter how fast you are. It also doesn’t matter if you do hills, go off road or touring.

Challenges that could be better organised:

I don’t like to criticise Strava, but sometimes the challenges don’t appear to have been thought out thoroughly. For example, earlier in the month I ran a 10k, ticking off three 10k challenges that were all on at the same time. Next month the 10th Rider challenge requires you to complete a 100km ride, which is generally what the Gran Fondo challenges require. Why not have a different time period, or make it a slightly different distance.

Has anyone completed more challenges than me:

I don’t know, but if you do know of anyone, send them over to me.

Finally, here’s to the next bunch of challenges and hopefully I’ll still be here when I reach 400, 500, 600 or more.

Edit: For some reason this has been my most viewed blog entry, but as of October 2020 I have now completed 500 Strava Challenges, which you can read about here, 750 challenges here and 1,000 challenges here.