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.
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.
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.
I’ve blogged a couple of times before about the Veloviewer leaderboards (read about it here and here). I remember stating that there was a possibility that I could reach an Eddington score for swimming of 90 minutes by Easter this year. I was a little optimistic, but I have now reach 91 minutes. This means that on 91 occasions I have swum for at least 91 minutes.
Amazingly the top score of 90 minutes hasn’t increased for almost a year. Either they are no longer on Veloviewer or just haven’t uploaded for a while. Either way I don’t expect to remain at the top spot for very long. It’s nice while it lasts though, especially as I’m a very long way from the top twenty for all of the other leaderboards.
Back in January I blogged about my maximum explorer square on Veloviewer (read about it here). To recap, a map can be split into squares or tiles, if you cycle or run into or through a square then it is highlighted or ‘ticked off’ on Veloviewer. If you can visit a whole load of them together you can create what is known as a ‘maximum square’. In January I was pleased that I had managed to expand my max square up to 16 x 16. I also mentioned that without swimming across the Ribble it would be difficult to expand my max square.
I’m sure that you can guess that I have managed to increase my max square. Not by swimming across the Ribble, but by cycling and running around Blackburn. By the middle of the year I had increased it to 18 x 18.
In the north west it isn’t always easy to increase your max square, which is why I prefer to chase my max cluster score (read about my latest update here). The largest max squares are almost into three figures with the largest being 97 x 97. If you live in the middle of your max square it obviously makes it easier to expand it. To reach the nearest point of mine it is a 10 mile ride, and nearly 50 miles to the far point, including plenty of hills and built up areas, which isn’t the most pleasant of rides.
But, my job has moved office, allowing me to be able to go for a run in the morning before work, ticking off a few squares that are inaccessible by bike. A 70 mile ride from Horwich ticked off a few more, and now my max square is up to 23 x 23.
23 x 23 isn’t very large and only takes me up 245th on the Veloviewer leaderboard, but as I said earlier, the north west isn’t the easiest area. There is still potential to increase this further, although I will be focusing on my max cluster.
Back in July I blogged about the Bearded Tile Hounds (It’s a Strava group) and how I had managed to link up my Veloviewer maximum cluster all the way to Hull (read about it here). I’ve been slowly adding to my cluster, although it’s hard work as I don’t always have access to the car. September was a bad month for my cluster as I didn’t add a single tile, but I’ve been trying to make amends in October. I’ve done a couple of runs before work near Horwich which has added a few tiles and last Friday I took the train to Wigan for a 70 mile ride across to Formby and back. The route was a bit all over the place as I tried to obtain as many squares as possible, and included quite a few sections of farmtracks and bridleways, although it was fairly flat.
This was my cluster before the ride.
And this was my cluster after.
Annoyingly I missed a couple of easy tiles with poor route planning. However, I did get all of the more difficult ones, and I have also collected all of the tiles around Skelmersdale, which is a truly awful place to cycle around. When it was built it was designed to be a cycling utopia, much like Milton Kenyes, but the cycle paths go off in random directions, suddenly end and are in a really poor state of repair. The roads also feel too dangerous to cycle on. On the whole, not a great place to cycle.
Fridays ride did add 33 tiles and 54 tiles to my cluster, moving me from 38th to 35th on the Veloviewer leaderboard. A long way to go to catch either my old friend The Prof, or to make the top twenty, but I’ll keep on plugging away at those pesky tiles.
Back in January I blogged about the Veloviewer leaderboards, and how I was pleased to have made the top twenty on one list, notably swimming distance so far in 2018. Not particularly impressive, but you can read about it here. I’m pleased to say that I’m still in the top twenty for swimming distance so far in 2018, but only just. I’m also near the top for swimming Eddington time, with 58 minutes. That means in 2018 I have swimmed for 58 minutes at least 58 times. I’m not going to go through every leaderboard for 2018, as there are quite a few.
The reason that I’ve revisited this topic is because I have made the leaderboard for all years. Swimming only, but Eddington scores for km, miles and time.
When you look at the overall leaderboards for Eddington Miles, you need to have cycled 120 miles 120 times, but swimming it’s only 5 miles. If you’re not a swimmer you might not realise just how tough a 5 mile swim is. It would take a great dea of swimming for me to get any higher on those leaderboards, but Eddington time, I think by the end of the year I could get up to 80 minutes. 1st place for swimming Eddington time is only 90 minutes. I say only, because a 90 minute swim doesn’t half take it out of you. Hopefully by Easter next year I might have reached 90 minutes, although by then 1st place will probably be over 100 minutes.
As for other leaderboards, my old friend The Prof is into the top ten for his Maximum Cluster, although I am up to 33rd. Still a long way to go.
The Prof set up a group on Strava called The Beards of Bowland. I’ve blogged about them a few times (here, here and here). Recently The Prof has become a bit obsessed with tile hunting and expanding his maximum cluster and re-named the Beards of Bowland as The Tilehunters. As I’m an admin in the group I promptly re-named it as The Bearded Tilehounds.
I don’t have the time or the opportunity to expand my cluster as often as The Prof, but over the last couple of months I have added almost 1,000 tiles to my max cluster. The image below is from the middle of May this year.
In the last couple of months I’ve had an overnight trip to Liverpool, a weekend away with my beautiful wife in the south lakes, three days cycling to and from York, and yesterday an off-road foray around Shap. This has resulted in my cluster now being 2,444 tiles and I’m up to 28th on the Veloviewer leaderboard (still some way to go to make the top 20). My revised max cluster can be seen below.
My cluster now stretches from Penrith in the north down to Liverpool at it’s southern most point, and from Grizebeck in the west all the way to Hull and Scunthorpe in the east, via Skipton, Wetherby and York.
I lived in Hull for over a year a couple of years ago, so I’m pleased to have linked my cluster across the country. Of course I was living in Hull before the great Squarepocalypse (read about it here), so there are plenty of missing tiles.
What’s next for my max cluster? Tomorrow I’m supporting friends from COLT at IMUK, and I plan on a short ride around Bolton, an hour at the most, and probably only adding a dozen tiles. After that I should be able to link up Penrith to Carlisle, and across from Penrith to Appleby and Kirkby Stephen. It’s not always as easy to add tiles up in the north of England as there are fells and moorland with no easy access, but I will keep on plugging away.
My regular readers will know that I’m a fan of Veloviewer and all of it’s extra stats. Read about all of my Veloviewer posts here. A few years ago Veloviewer introduced leaderboards, but only the top 20, and I was amazed to find that for overall Eddington score (miles) I was in 19th place. Recently Veloviewer has introduced placing for everyone, although only the top 20 make it to the list. I’m now down to 87th for my Eddington score.
My good friend The Prof has made it up to 18th for the maximum cluster score, while I’m still languishing in 50th place, but I have made the top ten on one list.
Swimming distance so far in 2018.
That’s me in 8th place, having swam 32km so far this year. I’ve entered a 10km swim later in the year, and in June I’m doing Isoman which is a triathlon with a 7 mile swim (read about my races for this year here). I have therefore increased my swimming, helped with the terrible weather, and this morning I managed my second 5km swim of the year. I couldn’t stop eating all morning.
Let’s be fair though, this leaderboard isn’t too impressive after just one month, and I have no doubt whatsoever that I will soon drop down the list, but it’s nice while it lasts.