Strava Freebies

At the start of the UK’s lockdown I reached the milestone of completing 900 Strava Challenges. Naturally I emailed Strava to ask for some free goodies. They said ‘yes’, but that it might take a while as no one is going into the offices at the moment. Well, last week I received a small package containing a t-shirt, socks, water bottle, cap and a couple of stickers, all branded with the Strava logo.

I have to say that the socks and t-shirt fit really well and are incredibly comfortable, so a big ‘thank you’ to Strava.

Since my initial email I have now completed over 1,000 challenges, but I think I’ll wait a bit longer before begging for more freebies.

1000 Strava Challenges

I’ve completed 1,000 Strava Challenges. Actually I’m at 1,016 as I hit 1,000 a couple of weeks ago. I still enjoy the challenges, although I think that there might be too many of them. September was the biggest month for ever, completing 52 challenges in one month alone. It took me almost one year to complete that many all those years ago. However, with all these new challenges there are loads that I don’t manage to complete.

I had a thought that maybe I should call it quits and not do any more challenges; leave it at 1,000, but then I completed a few more without realising it. In the end it doesn’t really mean anything, although sometimes it does push me out of the door if I know it is the last day of a challenge and I’m nearly there. I’m definitely fitter for them.

I will keep on doing them, and then I will keep on blogging as I reach ever greater mile stones. Here’s to the next 1,000.

Anyway, you can read about my 300 milestone here, 500 here, and 750 here.

Do you do the Strava Challenges?

750 Strava Challenges

My most read blog entry, for some bizarre reason was when I wrote about completing 300 Strava Challenges (read about it here). It’s not very well written or even that interesting. My blog entry when I had completed 500 Strava Challenges was slightly better and obviously has had far fewer ‘hits’ (read about it here).


Well here we are again, and amazingly it has only taken 14 months to go from 500 to 750 Strava Challenges. 20 a month seems to be the norm. My lovely wife finds it endearing, much like Eddie Stobbart spotting. (Helen bought me a spotting book one Christmas so that I can write down the ones that I’ve seen).

Five years ago, when I notched 200 challenges, Strava kindly sent me a load of free stuff. I might email them again, see what they’ve got lying around, gathering dust, that they can send to me instead of throwing in a skip.

I wanted to write a blog without mentioning the Coronavirus, but as we are currently on day 1 of lockdown, albeit being allowed one form of exercise a day, Strava Challenges might have to have a hiatus. I hope not, as not being able to exercise outside would send me round the bend, and our silly Pointer would be nuts. I don’t do Zwift and even if I did, there isn’t a version for dogs. Maybe I should make one.

Anyway, if Strava keep up with the many challenges, then I might reach 1,000 in just over a years time.

500 Strava Challenges

18 months ago I blogged about completing 300 Strava challenges (read about it here). It wasn’t a particularly well written blog (I generally know if a blog I’ve written sucks), but it has become my most read blog, with well over 300 views. Not a huge amount I grant you, but large enough for my little blog.

Today, after a short run with our dog Nelly, I’ve checked off another two challenges bringing my total up to 500. You can see the screenshot from my phone below, with the badly drawn circle.


Incidentally, I really like the new-ish feature on the Strava app that shows how many challenges have been completed.

Three years ago I celebrated completing 200 challenges by cycling 200km. I also contacted Strava who very kindly sent me a T-shirt, water bottle and a few other goodies. At 300 challenges I cycled 300km and once again contacted Strava with the aim of more freebies. Alas, none was to be had. At 400 challenges my legs were not up to a 400km ride, and I also failed to beg for more free stuff.

500 challenges then! I’m definitely not doing a 500km cycle ride in the middle of January, with heaps of snow forecast in the next few weeks. An alternate target to set myself might be to swim 500km over the whole year. I’m having a bit of a swimming month, Swimuary if you like, so I’m off to a good start with 42km done in the first 15 days.

I might also contact Strava once again, just on the off chance that 500 challenges brings out their inner Santa, and sacks full of goodies will be winging their way to my front door.

I would like to see a Swim Challenge, especially know that so many people have swim watches. Maybe a 1 mile or 1km challenge and a distance challenge for every month.

It would also be interesting to know if anyone else is sad enough to have completed that many challenges. I’m not as obsessed as I used to be as I often miss a few challenges every month, but I’m still not the sanest bearded triathlete out there.

Here’s to the next 500.

The Rapha Festive 500 – 2018

At this time of year Rapha sponsor a Strava challenge, the Festive 500. The aim being to cycle 500km in the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Read about the 2017 edition here and the 2016 edition here.

I have completed this challenge every year since 2012, so I was looking forward to this again. Over the years I’ve encountered the usual and expected problems, including very bad weather and having to work. This year though, I was attempting to run every day in December (read about it here), which when time is limited meant that the Festive 500 was put on the back burner. I managed three rides and a total of 219km. I don’t mind because I got to spend time with my parents, who came up from Salisbury, and then quality time with my wife. I also ran the Lancaster parkrun on Christmas day and the following Saturday, which was a great deal more fun than a three hour slog on the bike in the cold and the rain.

I did also manage to run on 30 of the days in December, only missing the 16th due to running a very tough half marathon in the Forest of Bowland the previous day (read about it here).

Next year who knows? Currently I’m enjoying riding a bit less, but riding more with my wife, as well as running with our silly pointer.

Wishing you all a happy new year.

I love Strava

I love Strava. There, I’ve said it. Just over two years ago I did some overtime and with the money I bought myself a Garmin 500. I immediately loved how easy it was to swap between bikes and being able to upload rides to Google Earth or to the Geographical software that I use at work. A couple of weeks later I was on a Sunday ride with COLT when John asked me if I was on Strava. I’m not sure if it was John Bertram or John Sutton, but I replied, “What’s Strava?” Of course today everyone know what Strava is, but two years ago there was hardly anyone using it from Lancaster. There were fewer segments, but I could manage top ten placings on nearly every ride. I even managed a few KOM’s.


One particularly epic day where I rode to Scotland and back. A total of 255 km and hillier than I had originally thought.

Funnily enough it wasn’t segment hunting that got me hooked, it was the challenges. The first one that I completed was Rapha Rising during the Tour De France in 2012. That challenge involved climbing almost 7,000m in eight days. More than I would usually do, but I managed it with a day to spare. I began to then check every couple of days to see when the next challenge would start.


Some of the Strava challenges that I have completed in the last two years.

So apart from the challenges, what else do I love about Strava? I love being able to track my progress to see how many PR’s I have managed on each ride. Unfortunately with the amount of cycling that I do these are getting harder and harder to obtain. Generally it’s either when I do a route that I’ve only done once or twice, or there’s a big tailwind.

Strava playback is a recent addition, where you can upload a ride and then see everyone that you rode with, rode past, or who passed you in the other direction.

I have also made some great new friends from Strava, so for me if you have a Garmin there really is no excuse for not uploading every ride and run. My training doubled from about 5,000 miles a year to 12,500 miles last year. Quantity not quality, but without Strava I would never have managed to complete a double Ironman.