336 Metric Centuries

A few days ago I wrote about how I had run a half marathon 71 times since I’d joined Strava (read about it here). This got me thinking about various other statistics. I have completed 100 miles on 113 occasions, although the most recent 100 miler was a couple of years ago, but I was completely gobsmacked when I saw how many 100 km days I’d had. The title of this blog post is correct, on 336 days I have completed 100 km. That is on average 38 times a year. Most of those have been cycling, although on a few times I might have been out and cycled slightly less and then added in a few extra km with a walk or a run. Sadly there isn’t a single day where the 100 km target has been passed with running only, maybe one day.

As for elevation, I have climbed at least 1000 m on 350 days, and on 272 days I have completed at least 5 hours of activities. I’ve also been given Kudos 100 times on 266 occasions, although that is slightly more arbitrary because if you want more Kudos just follow thousands of people and many of them will follow you back, giving you extra Kudos.

I have to be honest and say that I’m surprised by these figures and had probably forgotten just how much training I used to do. I think the mix is a little better now a days, as I enjoy going out with Helen and our silly pooch for long walk/runs, or cycle touring with just Helen. Cafe stops is something we are definitely looking forward to once lockdown 3.0 is over, as well as exploring new areas again.

What about swimming? Last year was a terrible year as I only went for a swim 30 times, and over half of those were before the first lockdown. Looking at my stats and I’ve swam 1 mile on 316 occasions, 2km 300 times and 1 hour 177 times.

71 Half Marathons

A bit of a random statistic for a sunny Tuesday afternoon. Since joining Strava I have run 71 half marathons, or to be more precise, according to Veloviewer, there have been 71 days where I have run at least 21km. I know that a half is 21.1km but knowing what I’m like if I made it to 21km I would definitely run that extra 100m. I’ve been a member of Strava for almost 9 years, so it works out at 8 half marathons a year, which isn’t too shabby.

Veloviewer also tells me that I’ve run 11 marathons and 456 10kms. That is one and a quarter marathons every year and a 10km every week. If I continue at my current rate then I will complete my 100th Strava half marathon approximately three years time.

I have also done a number of half marathons before I joined Strava, but my statistical record keeping does not allow me to know exactly how many I’ve completed, although I have done 8 half marathon races before Strava.

Anyway, I quite like 21.1km as a distance; long enough to be a challenge, but short enough that I am not in too much pain the next day.

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.

Running Report Card

One of the good things about Strava is that they like to share the data with third party apps. The most famous is obviously Veloviewer, but City Strides is another site that I like to use. An ultra-running Strava friend recently shared a link to the Running Report Card.

It’s all very easy, just follow the link and connect with Strava. You then get your own personalised report card with a whole load of interesting stats.

As you can see with all of the climbing, Lancaster is fairly hilly.

A fun filled five minutes, but if you run on Strava you should check it out.

Strava Anomaly

I upload pretty much everything to Strava, even two mile walks with my lovely wife and our silly pooch. I used to add walks as a ‘run’ but now that there is a separate walking challenge each month, walks are uploaded as a walk.

However, my Garmin 920 doesn’t have a walk function, so I use the run function, and then when it comes to uploading the walk I change the sport from run to walk. This is where the anomaly occurs. Strava thinks that as this activity is now a walk, it must remove this distance from the monthly running challenge total. As of yesterday I had run 14 miles so far in November, but when I uploaded last night’s 2 miles walk, this total dropped down to 12 miles.

Fortunately there is an easy fix. Leave the challenge and then rejoin and it will display the correct total.

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?

Strava Local Legends Challenge

The Strava Local Legends feature has been around for a couple of months, which is plenty of time for the excitement to have settled down and for people to have ‘found’ a few segments that they can or are Local Legends. (I first blogged about Local Legends here.) Currently I’m Local Legend on 12 cycling segments and 3 running segments, but that could all change each and every day.

To try and spice up the Local Legend I have come up with a trio of segment based challenges.

1000 Athletes.

Quite simply the challenge is to become the Local Legend on a segment that has been completed by at least 1,000 different athletes in the past 90 days. A couple of the segments where I am Local Legend have over 900 athletes, but they have been over 1,000 a few weeks ago. They probably will again if we have a week or two of nice weather.

100 Efforts

Sometimes it’s not enough to be just the Local Legend, you want to destroy everyone else. Therefore, the second challenge is to complete over 100 efforts of a segment in 90 days. One segment which I cycle along most days and I though that I might be close to the top, has been completed over 80 times by the leader. Breaking it down, you need to complete a segment every day for 80 days, and then twice a day on the other 10 days. Quite a challenge.

An Iconic Segment

Some segments are definitely more iconic than others. For me, this would be any hill segment from Simon Warren’s Toughest Hills books. We’re very lucky here in that climb 76, Jubilee Tower is only a couple of miles away. I’ve climbed it 52 times in the last 8 years. The Local Legend leader has climbed it 49 times in the last 90 days. It also looks like there is a bit of a rivalry, as the second place athlete is on 48. It’s a tough climb and I can’t imagine cycling it that many times, so this is probably the hardest of my three challenges.

Will you be able to manage any of them?

Strava Local Legends

Over the last month I had spotted a couple of friends in America becoming ‘local legends’, in that they had ridden or run a particular segment the most times in the last 90 days. This functionality has now been released in the UK, but only on the mobile App, and I think only to subscribers. If you go to your profile on the App, scroll down to Segments near to the bottom and you will find a tab with all of the segments where you are the local legend. Currently I am the local legend on one cycling segment and five running segments.

Over the last few years I’ve looked at segments less and less, as it has become almost impossible for me to reach the top ten. This function means that segment hunting rewards athletes of all abilities, as speed doesn’t factor into it. I also like how the graph illustrates how many different athletes have done each segment in the last 90 days. Yesterday I was the local legend on a segment that had over 900 athletes completing it. Alas someone else took my local legend status from me. I like how this encourages you to go out, but unlike KOMs, it doesn’t encourage reckless or dangerous cycling.

On the downside, I like to ride or run somewhere new. Whether this be tile hunting with Veloveiwer, or new streets with City Strides. Additionally, the segment above, ‘Bowerham work commute’ is one that once the University is fully open again I will lose. Commuters who ride the same route day in day out will obviously have an advantage for certain segments. You can also see that all of the running segments where I am the local legend I have only run once as they are fairly obscure. The local legend status also isn’t available for every segment; I’m not sure why.

Anyway, I think this is a brilliant addition to Strava as segments were definitely becoming a bit stale.

 

8 Year Strava Anniversary Ride

The first ride I ever uploaded to Strava was on 26th May 2012. Today I decided to cycle the exact same route. Well, almost the exact same route as I’ve moved house since then. It was a nice little route, 73km, 1000m of climbing and sunny weather. Flat roads to Garstang and up Butt Hill Lane towards Chipping. Great views of hills either side, before the flatter road towards Whitewell, keeping left to avoid Hall Hill, one of the toughest climbs in the area, and into Dunsop Bridge, only leaving the tough side of the Trough and the easy side of Jubilee Tower before rolling home. 8 years ago was the first time that I had cycled up the steep side of the Trough and it is still my second fastest time, even though today was my 28th occasion up that hill.

8year

8 years ago I managed the route in 2 hours and 37 minutes, however I was on my best bike, which unfortunately is waiting for a new bottom bracket. Today I was 15 minutes slower, but I wasn’t pushing it as the weather was so nice.

To give you an idea of how Strava has changed in those 8 years, I managed two top ten places. Today and I’m not in the top 300 in either of those leader boards. It was also approximately the 10 millionth Strava uploaded activity. Today’s ride was over 3 and a half billion.

Strava has definitely changed the world of training and racing, mostly for the better.

Strava Segments

One of the many things that I like about Veloviewer is the ability to have an indepth look at all of your Strava segments. I have now ridden, run, walked or swam over 18,000 different segments. 167 of them I have done at least 100 times. My most completed cycling segment is the ‘Dallas Road Pothole Dash’ which I have done 535 times. When I was doing my PhD at Lancaster Uni I used to cycle there, and this segment was on my route. Running wise and ‘I think I’m going to be sick’ in Fenham Carr has been run by me 554 times. It is on the route I nearly always take when I running with Nelly.

Veloviewer also allows you to look at which segments you’ve done have been completed by the most people. Cycling and the segment ‘Clappersgate to the bridge’ has been ridden by just over 29,000 different people. This segment is in the cycling hotspot of Ambleside, so lots of tourists. For running, the segment is ‘Have you ever said whoossshh, buuurrrrr, clonk?’ completed by 55,592 different runners. This is on The Embankment in London and while this road is part of the London marathon route, this particular segment goes in the other direction.

Amazingly I am in first place on 11 segments. One of them, ‘New Quay Road’ in Lancaster has been completed by almost 5,000 different people. It isn’t a good segment as half of it is on a shared use path, where you shouldn’t be hammering it. In my defense, it was very early in the morning one summer, before anyone else was awake, when I had my attempt. My second fastest time would be in third place overall. I haven’t got anywhere near the top of a leaderboard for many years.

Veloviewer Pro is only £10 a year, and I think it is probably better value than paying for Strava.