Feeling a bit sluggish?
Is the weather or off season getting to you?
We thought it would be nice to mix things up a little with some cross training. That’s why we partnered with our friends at FitStar to create a workout specifically designed to strengthen your core.
Whether you’re a climber or a sprinter, the Strava Core Challenge will get you ready to ride with a high intensity workout that’s all about explosiveness and power. From Tuck Jumps to Burpees to Star Skaters to Jump Lunges, the training session features some cardio and leg moves that will get your heart racing and legs burning.
Watch the preview and access the workout here.
It’s no secret that Strava athletes love a good challenge, and we also know that you love your sport. Why not spend February 14th working up a sweat with those who matter most to you.
Who’s Your Stravalentine?
Roses, candy hearts and chocolates are all nice, but we believe that nothing compares to a good adventure. Call it a date or call it an opportunity to invite a friend or loved one to go on a run or ride with you. Not on Strava? Take the chance to show them what it’s all about.
Prove Your Love.
Prove it by getting out for a run or ride of any distance this Valentine’s Day. We don’t have candy for you, but we do want to show you some love in return for all the hard work.
Join the Stravalentine’s Day Challenge and upload a run or a ride on February 14 to receive a 30-day Strava Premium trial for free. Premium members who participate will earn themselves a 14% discount at the Strava shop.
Share The Love.
Go out and create a visual love story. Share extraordinary images that reflect the people, places and activities you love. Upload them to Instagram and tag #stravalentine. Together we’ll create a photomontage with all the images collected.
Only one athlete on Strava finished all 23 of the goal-oriented Challenges in 2013. His name is Calum MacDonald.
Calum MacDonald does it all. He admits he may not be the most competitive cyclist or runner, but he’s certainly one of the most dedicated. Last year, 47,577 athletes completed at least one Strava Challenge. Calum was the only athlete to complete all 23. What did it take?
He ran 1,108 km, rode 11,831 km, completed 2 marathons, 2 half marathons, a 300-mile ride, and a Gran Fondo. He climbed over 7,000m in a week, rode 500 km in an 8-day period. In one calendar year, Calum put in over 100,000 meters of vertical on his bike and almost 10,000 meters on foot – that’s the equivalent of summiting Mount Everest 13 times. Calum logged most of his kilometers starting from his home in a small town on the Northern Coast of the United Kingdom. Like the rest of us, he struggled with time management, weather changes, injury and illness. We caught up with him to ask him about the highlights and obstacles along the way.
Calum MacDonald Athlete Journal: I’ve been into cycling for a few years but it was only really in 2012 that I began to take it seriously. I signed up for an organised event to ride from Lands to John O’groats (the length of Britain) in September 2012 and began training for it in May. I purchased a Garmin and was out on my second ride with it when I was caught by a couple of riders who invited me to join them. They started to talk about Strava; I created an account as soon as I got home and haven’t looked back!
One year later I went back and rode the same route I had on my very first upload. The difference was incredible and I attribute a lot of that to Strava itself. The social aspects of it, the leaderboards and viewing your own personal times on a segment board all contribute to making you a better athlete. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can improve again this year.
When you completed your first Challenge how did it feel?
The first challenge of the year was the Half Marathon. I felt great on completion, as you’ll see below I hadn’t run anything like that distance before. I knew I was on a very steep learning curve with the marathon series of challenges but I was confident after finishing the first one.
What was significant about the Festive 500 challenge in 2012?
Although I had already completed the BMC 79 Mile Challenge in November 2012, the Rapha Festive 500 was the first challenge that I really had to fight to finish. The weather in Scotland isn’t great in December and it was a particularly cold and windy week. I really felt I had to overcome some adversity to complete it and at that point I decided I wanted to push myself even further in 2013.
It was during the Festive 500 that I had the idea to do all the cycling challenges. Adding the running ones in too just kind of happened when the first marathon series of challenges was announced. Once I had started, I couldn’t stop!
You started the year in 2013 barely able to run a 10k, what did you do to improve your running?
In October of 2012 I decided that I would like to do a triathlon (I still can’t really swim so that hasn’t happened yet) so I started running a little. I ran one 10k that year and my time was just over an hour. I was delighted I managed it without stopping. In January 2013 I joined a local running club (Ayr Seaforth) and gradually began to chip away at my times.
“I set out to complete the half marathon challenge on the 2nd of February never having run more than 8 miles before.”
I picked a route, running from my house to my parents’ house, 14.5 miles away and just went for it. It wasn’t quick or pretty but I ran 13.2 miles to complete the challenge before I had to stop for a breather and then jogged the rest of the way.
Which challenge proved to be most difficult for you?
There were several challenges I found difficult for varying reasons but through the entire year I only twice doubted that I would finish them all. During (and after) the first 20 mile long run challenge and during Rapha Rising.
The March 20 mile run challenge was a disaster for me. The longest run I had done prior was the 14.5 miles for the February Half Marathon challenge and I was in no way ready to step up to 20 miles. Still I set off feeling pretty good until around the 15 mile mark, when I could feel my pace dying off. At 16 miles I had to stop to walk a little and at 17 I had to walk again, but for a bit longer this time. By the time I finally made it to 19 miles my knees were in agony and I was a shambling mess as I fought to finish the last mile. Those last four miles seemed to take forever and I thought I might never make it. Even when I did, I was already thinking ahead to the next challenge in the series, the April Marathon and was wondering how on earth I could ever complete it considering what the 20 miler did to me.
I doubted myself during Rapha Rising for an entirely different reason. I had a few days off work so headed to the North of Scotland, to stay at the foot of the biggest climb in the country, Bealach na Ba. I set off to conquer it the following in damp, foggy conditions and managed the 2,000ft climb in around 45 minutes. I then got a little carried away on the descent and came a cropper on a bend at 30+mph. I hit the road very hard, backside first and then the back of my head, splitting my helmet (thankfully I was wearing one!). I was very dazed but managed to pick myself up, remove the stone that was embedded in my ankle (the only scar I have as a result) and freewheel down the hill. That afternoon I stiffened up severely and became very concerned about the challenge. In fact I was feeling so sorry for myself I was ready to pack up my gear and head home the following morning.
When the next morning dawned however, I had a renewed sense of vigour. Even though I couldn’t lift my head up off the bed due to my stiff neck and was struggling to walk, I got up and drove 50 miles to the nearest bike shop to buy a new helmet and new tyres, as mine had been shredded. I managed to get back on my bike that afternoon and the following day I went back over the Bealach, staying upright this time.
If you were to talk to yourself a year ago, what would you say?
I would say improve your time management.
I look back at the year I had and wonder how I ever managed to finish some of these challenges. I turned up at a half marathon race in March, having cycled 80 miles the previous day in freezing temps and constant sleet/snow purely to finish the Train Like Taylor Challenge. I ran the April Marathon Challenge then had to get on my bike the next 3 days for 54, 38 and 70 miles to finish the Spring Classics Challenge. I rode back to back 100+ mile rides on the last weekend of the Eddy Merckx Challenge. I had to do hours of hill reps on the last afternoon of the Take it to the Trails Challenge (after a 62 mile morning ride). And in the last week of the Fall Forty I did back to back 100+ milers on the weekend, then went out every evening after work, in the dark and some of the worst weather of the year (high winds/sleet/snow). So yeah, better time management!
What did you learn over the last year about your athletic ability?
I learned about limitations and that if you train right and eat right, keep yourself hydrated, you can do anything you want to.
“When I was a young boy I set an ambition to one day run a marathon. Up until last year I never thought I would actually be able to do it.”
It still feels kind of surreal that I ran two last year. I also completed a 300 mile bike ride (with RideUK24) in less than 24 hours (fortunately that event fell within the CTS Bucket List Challenge timeframe so that was half finished in one ride). The key for me was discovering how strong I could be mentally and learning how far and how hard I can push myself when I want to achieve something.
How has Strava changed or impacted your training?
Strava has been awesome for my training. I would say that without it, I would be nowhere near the shape I am in now. I recommend it to every athlete I know.
If you could share one piece of advice with your peers, what would it be?
I’m just an average guy, I’m not supremely fit or fast. If I can do it anyone can. Set your goals a little higher, push yourself to your limits and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
What will you prove in 2014?
I want to improve my running times this year. It’s also maybe time to get those swimming lessons and start thinking triathlons.
Your Strava profile is your way to show the world who you are as an athlete. To help you showcase your athletic history, we’ve released an update to our logged-out athlete pages. We’ve cleaned up the design, made them mobile-friendly, and included more of your stats.
Now when you share your profile with friends they’ll be able to see more of your accomplishments and social connections on Strava. You can set up a custom URL for your profile in your Settings so it’s easier to share and remember.
As a reminder, we do have Privacy settings that let you choose how much personal information is shared to logged-in and logged-out visitors. If you’d prefer to keep your name anonymized and require that athletes request to follow you to see your activities and photos, you can turn on Enhanced Privacy Mode.
We have more great updates in store for profile pages and we’d love to hear more about what you’d like to show off, so please share your feedback with us.
Back in October, we announced that a new ride page was on the way. Since then, thousands of you have opted in to this new view, and we’ve been listening to your feedback and honing in on a great experience. We’re happy to announce that the new page is now public for all users.
Here are some of the highlights:
We threw out our old charts and paved the way for a brand new experience. Our new charts are easier to use, significantly more powerful, and just stunning to look at.
We’ve built an entirely new way to analyze your rides. You can zoom in on custom sections, laps, and Strava segments, and the map and elevation chart will follow your every move. Instant averages and maxes are displayed as you pan and zoom, giving you total freedom to obsess over your ride.
Top Notch Premium Analysis
We’ve revamped the Premium experience with bigger and better visuals. Our power analysis now includes map and elevation chart integration to show you exactly where on your ride you put out peak power.
We’ve made it easier to see how your effort stacked up against your past efforts and those of the entire Strava community. Mini leaderboards let you dive in and out of specific efforts on your ride. You can always click the “View Full Leaderboard” link to get the full-featured segment leaderboard.
Segment Comparison Feature
We’re currently working on a new version of this feature and will be launching it soon. In the meantime, we recommend that you check out RaceShape to compare segment efforts.
This page is core to the Strava experience and we will never stop improving it. Thanks for all your feedback in helping us turn it into something that cyclists love.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in Australia right now? While it’s the dead of winter in much of the northern hemisphere, the 10-day weather forecast in Adelaide calls for temps in the mid 80’s fahrenheit (30 celcius). Just about perfect for riding during the Tour Down Under on January 19-26th.
Since we can’t make it around the world to see the event first hand, we’ve allowed our friends at Manual for Speed to hijack our @stravacycling Instagram account to share the experience. Manual for Speed is a collection of photo essays, narratives, interviews and anecdotes, all of which, either directly or indirectly, illustrate the pursuit of speed.
Daniel Wakefield and Emiliano Granado will give us a taste for what it’s like to be on the ground at each stage of the race. Starting Sunday, they’ll be posting live from the first stop on the world cycling calendar.
If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Tim Johnson, you’d understand why he’s not just a phenomenal cyclist, but also a great advocate for the sport. An energetic character, he is constantly looking for ways to spread the love for cyclocross around the world. He’s also a proponent for People for Bikes and can play a darn good safety marshall (he kept our crew of sixty-plus riders in line on a group ride this summer.)
In anticipation of the USA Cycling Cyclocross Championships tomorrow, we caught up with the Cannondale Pro rider to hear who his biggest rivals are and what he does to shake those pre-race nerves.
Rider Journal: Tim Johnson, Nationals in Boulder will be a huge weekend for the sport and for me. We’ve been out in bend, Oregon and in outside of Madison, Wisconsin for a few years now. Heading to a bike and outdoors crazy city like Boulder will be incredible. And I want to win nationals again, wearing the champs jersey is an awesome feeling!
Who do you consider to be your biggest rival or threat?
Powers has shown himself to be the winningest rider in the states the last 18 months or so. Having come into that run of success after being teammates for so long makes it tough to take sometimes, ahem, but he’s ridden very well. Trebon has all kinds of power that no one else comes close to, but that doesn’t always means he wins. Ahem again!
Do you get pre-race nerves? What do you do to shake them?
I find that being a little nervous is a good thing. I take it as being focused on what’s coming up. While it’s useful at times, it’s really damaging when nervousness gets out of hand. I try and rely on the “known” to take the edge off of the “unknown”. If that’s a favorite undershirt when it’s really cold or having the goofy pre-race crash just to get it out of the way, that’s ok.
How relevant is this phrase to you: “dust yourself off and try again”?
It’s a consistent theme of my career, I think. Nothing ever goes the way you hope it will, and each of us deal with ups and downs. It’s how you respond to those tests that allow you salvage a race or turn things around. As my friend Richard Fries says “sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail”. I’ve been the nail more than a few times.
Last year, for the first time, the UCI Cyclocross World Championships were held in the US. Have you seen any change in domestic racing since then?
Louisville 2013 was incredible. America was strongest in the juniors, U23 and women’s fields and I think that bodes very well for the future. My fellow elite riders still need to develop the depth and skill level necessary to really battle for the front of a race as prestigious as the world championships.
How would you like to see cyclocross continue to evolve?
I’d like the participatory side of CX to keep things fun and inclusive. There are lots of things that people could be doing on any given weekend in the fall. When the positive experience stops, then the size and enthusiasm of races will deteriorate. As far as the “elite” side of things, I think we have a ton of potential. CX is great to watch in person and from afar. If we can amplify that in a consistent and easily accessible way – we’ll have a flourishing sport.
Probably a tie between riding around downtown Tokyo the day after a CX race and visiting Electronic City, a sumo training center and a bowl of the best noodles ever – and stopping off mid-ride and feeding a penguin a piece of PowerBar. But since that was back in 2005, it was before the advent of Strava, so it didn’t really happen. Or did it?
Do you have any mentors or role models, how do they influence you?
The reason that I’ve continued in cycling and have made it a career is largely due to the support of a few people throughout my early years. I had some talent, but I wasn’t the most-talented. Having the support of my mom, my friends Pooch, Bruce Fina and Stu Thorne made all the difference for me. As a young man, there are plenty of things to draw you away from cycling!
What aspect of the sport would you find most difficult to live without?
When I left the road racing scene I found that I missed the camaraderie of the team the most. Now that I’ve been part of America’s CX movement, I’d say that the overall enthusiasm of the racers and crowds would leave a big hole.
How have you used Strava in your training?
I’ve used Strava for a few different reasons. I’m a social rider and always have been – finding the motivation to train is always one or the hardest parts of the job for me. Strava keeps me connected to others and to myself. I analyze the power and HR of certain rides and more often than not, I’ll hide those two metrics during the CX season… just because I don’t want anyone to keep an eye on me and how I’m riding.
Do you cross-train with other sports?
I’ve got some running files on there! Lyne is a runner at heart so it’s good for me to get out and try to follow once in a while. Running with the dogs is always fun too.
What is your best piece of training advice?
Take it easy – being a professional trainer is no way to go through life. Save some of that motivation and mental/physical energy for your next race (if you do) or even the next time you organize a big ride with your friends. The ride “200on100” taught me that. And continues to teach me that, with “300noton100“.
If you could pass one thing on to the next generation of cyclists, what would it be?
Let’s all be aware of what it means to be a cyclist. We have responsibilities to each other – cycling on roads whether for training or transportation is dangerous. It’s largely up to us how safe we are and how we are viewed by the non-cycling public (and legislators). Get involved in local bike advocacy by being your best example of an aware cyclist. Be safe out there.
What is your go-to bike snack?
I’m a fan of SkratchLabs in my bottle and anything that we’ve made at home. Lyne can cook up a storm and if there is anything that can be shoved into my pockets, I’ll bring it.
What’s your secret talent?
Probably my rally car driving – just kidding. It’s pretty simple – I like to read. A lot.
Anything else you would like to share or think we should know?
I always want an excuse to ride – just ask me!
Check out Tim’s race results, follow his activity on Strava and comment on his rides, he’ll respond.
This month, we challenged every athlete on Strava to start the year off strong and let January set the tone for the rest of 2014. With the first week of our month long Prove It Challenges for both runners and cyclists completed, we thought you’d like to see your progress.
Runners, don’t stop. Cyclists, pick it up.
As you can see, participants in the Prove It – Run Challenge are well on their way to exceeding the previous Challenge record of 1,521,922 kilometers. Kudos, keep up the hard work.
Cyclists on the other hand, have some ground to make up if you hope to break the previous record of 46,453,244 kilometers. As far as we see it, you have two options: 1. ramp up your riding for the rest of the month, or 2. rally your friends to join the Challenge and contribute. At this point, we’d suggest both.
Battle of the Nations
We thought it would be fun to also compare Challenge participation by country. As it stands now, the podium looks to be a battle between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. The rest of the placings are far from decided, with plenty of other countries are currently in the running.
To keep the chart legible, we’ve shown the top 25 countries. If you don’t see your nation listed, get out there and rally your teammates and training partners to put some heat on the map. You’ve still got until the 31st to rack up the kilometers.
On the cycling side it’s a pretty close battle between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, though our athletes down south are substantially more active. Cyclists in Australia make 13% of total participants, but are contributing just over 20% of the total distance. For comparison, the United States and United Kingdom are right around 20% participants and 20% total distance.
Yes, we know it’s summer down in the southern hemisphere. But don’t forget the United Kingdom has ~3X the population and the United States has ~14X the populations. Cyclists up north might not be able to ride more per person, but you can certainly win with more bodies.
Prove Your Story, Win a Prove it Tee!
In addition to this month’s Challenge, we want to hear your stories. Prove you can run your first or fiftieth marathon. Prove you can climb a famous or familiar peak. Prove you beat your own PR or CR on a segment. Don’t be shy; tell people what you are out to prove. Share stories, take creative photos and prove your endeavors via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and blog using the hashtag #stravaproveit.
Last week’s winners are shown below.
Each day, throughout the month of January we’ll be giving away a Prove it tee to the athletes that send us proof. We will also be featuring the great stories, grand goals and best examples of what Strava athletes are out to prove in 2014. If you don’t have an idea today, you’ve got until the 31st to prove it.
Start the year off strong and let January set the tone for the rest of 2014.
Each time you step out the door you are proving something to yourself, to others. Through your activity, the photos you take, the people you workout with, the challenges and races you finish, the PR’s and CR’s you set, you prove your story. There is nothing more motivating than proving you can do something you set out to do.
What will you Prove?
In addition to this month’s Prove it challenge we want to hear your stories. We’re not only interested in how fast you go or how far you can push yourself. What we want to see is proof, creative ways of documenting your goals and a conscious display of style. Prove you can run your first or fiftieth marathon. Prove you can climb a famous or familiar peak. Prove you beat your own PR or CR on a segment. Don’t be shy; tell people what you are out to prove.
Share stories, take creative photos and prove your endeavors via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and blog using the hashtag #stravaproveit.
Each day, throughout the month of January we’ll be giving away a Prove it tee to the athletes that send us proof. We will also be featuring the great stories, grand goals and best examples of what Strava athletes are out to prove in 2014. If you don’t have an idea today, you’ve got 31 days to prove it.