Strava’s growing up! We’re experiencing tremendous growth on Strava and we’re thrilled and delighted to report this news. This stupendous growth, however, has caused some discomfort as we bust out of our old spandex (ouch!).
Over the past couple of weeks, some of you may have had a slow experience on Strava.com, or had difficulty uploading a run or ride. We are sorry about this and understand your frustration. We are actively working to enhance the site’s performance to accommodate our avid athletes around the globe.
Within the next few weeks, you may notice more scheduled maintenance where Strava.com will be inaccessible for short periods. We will try our best to select times that will have the least amount of impact on you and communicate these outages on our alert system. Thank you for your patience and support as we grow big and strong!
Pascal Finette is a Strava runner and serious fan of footwear. He explains his thinking around finding that perfect pair of running shoes.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m obsessed with running; the science behind it and the way gear can enhance or hinder your performance. I’ve had my running form evaluated, attended running clinics, dabbled with barefoot running – all with the goal of becoming a better runner. And through this process I’ve learned to love and hate running shoes.
After pondering a footwear question from my newbie runner friend, I find that the confusion persists, even for more serious runners. There is a growing body of research which shows that a) all the high-tech in modern running shoes (especially all the pronation control) is not helping at all with injury rates and b) the high heel-to-toe drop design, which is common in a built-up stability shoe, isn’t helping you run healthier, or achieve better form. Physiotherapist Blaise Dubois goes into detail about this in this fantastic podcast courtesy of Runblogger.
So what to do? The best advice I can give you when purchasing a pair of running shoes is:
1. Go neutral (and avoid most of the tech that comes in the more built-up shoes these days)
2. Have a low(er) heel-to-toe drop (a lot of build-up shoes have a heel-to-toe drop in the 12-14mm range, which is a bit like running in high heels – not good!) I would shoot for something in the 4mm range
3. Get something light – I personally found that anything beyond 10 ounces (in a man’s size 9) feels heavy and impacts my form
4. Feels most comfortable on your foot when you run (that is the only reason why you would want to get on a treadmill in a store)
There is some interesting research which concludes that the shoes that *feel* best are the ones which work best for you – allow yourself to trust the feedback your body gives you. The Science of Running blog has some interesting insights into the topic if you’re interested in further reading. And if you’re truly obsessive, check out the fantastic article series on The Science of Sport blog.
It goes without saying, shoes are a very personal thing. For example, I don’t fit into any Nike shoes (as much as I like some of them). It’s best to go to a well stocked shop and simply try some out. You can do some good research at some of the better online retailers as well (my favorite running retailer lists heel-to-toe differentials for pretty much all their shoes). It also depends on where and what kind of running you want to do – road, trail, fast, lower or higher miles. I currently have four pairs of shoes that I use for different purposes. They all have a very low heel-to-toe drop in common and are decidedly low-tech (they fall squarely into the racing flats category).
Now comes the disclaimer: This is all based on my personal observation and experimentation with my own running and helping friends on their quest to running fun. If you have any doubts, have known health issues, or any issues with your feet/bio-mechanics (e.g. are the soles of your shoes significantly more worn off on one side?), please do yourself a favor and get a couple of opinions and be careful!
Hope some of this helps narrow down your search. Happy running!
Got something to say? Have you stumbled upon a favorite pair of running shoes? Gear you can’t live without? Comment below for your spot at a guest blog!
Strava headed to Austin, TX this past weekend to attend the Subaru of Georgetown Mellow Johnny’s Classic, the first PRO XCT and UCI Category 1 event of the year. The pro field was jacked with Olympic hopefuls battling it out on a new course at Flat Creek Crossing Ranch in an attempt to collect their first UCI points of 2012. The unfamiliar course made reconnaissance essential, and Jamis rider Jason Sager visited the site early and shared his Strava files so that we could begin setting up some new segments for our own unique competition.
The Strava KOM Hill and the MJ Classic Cat 1-3 Loop gave amateur riders an opportunity to compete among themselves and against the pros. While we ran into a hearty population of preexisting Strava users, we also recruited some new fans as they competed in age categories for the fastest lap. Early in the weekend the question that we heard again and again was, “So, what’s this Strava thing that I keep hearing about!?” and by the time things wrapped up we could easily describe Strava as “the fuel behind the fire.”
Pros and amateurs put down some impressive times on our KOM segment on Saturday and Sunday, but in the end it was local Cat 1 racer Joshua deBoisBlanc who edged out all of the pros by a mere two seconds! Joshua will receive a full Strava kit and one year of Strava Premium for his achievement. Winners in each of the Strava age groups for the Fastest Cat 1-3 Lap (excluding the pro field) will also receive a free year of Strava Premium in addition to a Strava Jersey. Congratulations to:
24 and under: Tyler Coplea
25 to 34: Tyruss Cramer, Sarah Ginsback
35 to 44: Manny Galegos, Jessica Hanover
45 to 54: Ty Kady
55 to 64: Jack Hicks, Janis Moreman
65 and over: Bill Moreman
All in all, our visit to Austin was a great success. The abundance of hard-core athletes, not to mention the incredible restaurants and authentic Texas BBQ, will certainly entice us to return. Special thanks to the wonderful folks at Mellow Johnny’s and Juan Pelota Cafe who kept us well fed and comfortably outfitted for the weekend. It’s not every day that sponsors are treated to smoked salmon, fresh-baked pastries and hand-filtered coffee at a mountain bike race. Luckily, we were also loaned an extra bike so that we could burn off some of those calories!
Challenge Details Are Here! Join the GU 100,000 Mile Challenge and A Classic Challenge from Specialized
Put your legs to the test with GU. From March 9 to April 9, rack up as many miles as you can. The more miles you run, the more awesome your prize will be.
Hit 100 miles: 8 pack of Peanut Butter GU Energy Gel
Hit 150 miles: 8 pack of Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel
Hit 200 Miles: Mixed box of 24 Energy Gels
Most importantly, if everybody in the challenge runs a combined 100,000 miles within the 31 day period, all participants will receive a special GU VIP card for discounts (up to 35% off) and special offers on GUENERGY.com so you can stock up for the season. Join the challenge today.
During the challenge, GU will randomly select 5 athletes who post inspiring photos and stories about their training to receive a special GU Gift Pack. All you have to do is post a photo or story about why you love running on the GU Facebook page.
A Classic Challenge from Specialized
Riders, do you think you can climb the cumulative elevation of five Spring Classics in 45 days? Do you think you can do it not just once, not twice, but three times? Now is your time to find out. Specialized and Strava challenge you to climb a grand total of 105,312 feet from March 15 to April 30. The Classic courses may be better known for their distances or questionable pavement, but here are the cold, hard, climbing facts:
Milan-San Remo – 6,260 feet
Tour of Flanders – 5,709 feet
Paris-Roubaix – 3,259 feet
Liège–Bastogne–Liège – 10,883 feet
Amstel Gold – 8,993 feet
A custom Specialized and Strava commemorative water bottle and surprise finisher gift is yours if you can climb this set of Spring Classics three times, not to mention the gargantuan bragging rights you’ll earn. This challenge is going to take some serious guts, but not without some serious glory. Good luck to all of you. Join the Challenge.
We know you’ve been waiting a long time, and we’re thrilled to finally deliver. Strava Run for Android is now available to download from Android Market! This free app makes it easy to kick your training up a notch with highlights including:
- FREE unlimited run uploads
- Detailed run stats including distance, pace, time, splits and full map view
- View of your recent activities from all devices in your Feed
- All time and year-to-date stats on your Profile
- Ability to change your activity type to ride, hike, ski and more to easily keep track of your cross-training
Need some coaching while you run? Strava Run for Android features audio updates on your pace, distance, and time. Make sure you’re staying on track without checking your phone.
COMPARE AND SHARE YOUR PERFORMANCE
Strava Run for Android features segment leaderboards so you can see how you stack up against others and set new Course Records. Track your best efforts on key distances, earn achievements for personal bests, and let your friends know what you’ve achieved by sharing your activities on Facebook and Twitter. There’s more to come – stay tuned and be sure to rate Strava Run for Android if you like what you see!
GU 100,000 MILE CHALLENGE
Put yourself and our app to the test next month in a new running challenge brought to you by GU. Get ready to rack up the miles and win some incredible prizes from March 9 to April 9. More details coming soon!
Thinking about what events to train for in 2012? Cyclists in NYC are already gearing up for the Gran Fondo NY and they’re using Strava to track their progress. Strava will be attending the race on May 20th, challenging riders to put up new KOMs on GFNY segments.
To enter to win a FREE ENTRY, comment on this post by February 28. We’ll share the news when we pick the winner’s name out of our lucky Italian helmet.
Date: May 20th
Distance: 104 miles/167k
Elevation Gain: 8,500 ft/2,800 m
Timed Climbs: 4
KOM/QOM Prize: Pinarello Dogma2s (provided by GFNY)
The desert sunset and sunrise made quite the backdrop behind our Strava segment flags in Old Pueblo this past weekend. The Strava Segment Challenge led to some fierce competition as mere seconds divided our top finishers.
This 24 hour race is the largest in the country (check out the video we took of the mass start), yet the friendly and laid back atmosphere will have you believe that you’re at a private party…and we’re really glad that we were invited.
Thank you to all participants and an extra special thanks to Epic Rides for inviting us to be involved. For those of you who are following Epic Rides to the Whiskey Off-Road in April, stay tuned for additional prizes at stake within the course segment near Prescott.
And finally, congrats to our Segment Challenge Winners! They will each receive a Strava Castelli Jersey and a year subscription to Strava Premium.
The Gasline Segment: Jason Tullous and Naomi Haverlick
The Grind Segment: Bryan Alders and Crystal Petrocelli
The Traditional Lap: Bryan Alders and Deirdre York
The Bypass Lap: Bryan Alders and Deirdre York
Check out some great photos from the event:
Follow the Strava competition here to see who is putting up the fastest times on our four segment challenges.
We welcome you to leave encouraging comments and kudos for your nocturnal friends.
Available Now: New & Improved Strava Cycling app for Android + Join the Specialized Classic Climbing Challenge
The latest version of Strava Cycling for Android is fast, fresh, fun and ready for you to download or update now. Strava Run for Android coming soon!
GET MORE OUT OF YOUR RIDES
This latest release of Strava Cycling for Android focused on improving performance, polishing the look and feel and adding more user controls. Features include:
- Monitor your performance, climb the leaderboards and earn achievements like Q/KOMs (Queen and King of the Mountain) and PRs (Personal Record).
- Enjoy more ride analysis and full map view from the Ride Detail page.
- See all time and year-to-date stats from the Profile page.
- Pause and resume rides with ease.
- Easily make edits to your Profile and Settings pages.
- Title your activity and change your activity type to run, hike, ski and more. Your changes will automatically sync to Strava.com.
- Ability to login via Facebook Connect.
- Faster location initialization and faster upload.
- See all of your recent activities from all devices – not just those recorded with your Android.
A Classic Challenge from Specialized
The Compete tab just got even more exciting. Riders, how much do you think you can climb in 45 days? It’s almost time to find out. Introducing A Classic Climbing Challenge, brought to you by Specialized. You’ll be tasked to attack an extreme climbing goal from March 15 to April 30 for your chance to earn a custom Specialized & Strava water bottle and surprise finisher gift, not to mention the gargantuan bragging rights. Join now and check back soon for more details. Runners, your next challenge is right around the corner. Stay tuned and get ready!
We’ve made some changes to the layout of our site. You can still access your profile in one quick step – just click your name in the top right corner.
Who is Matt Carnal? That was the question on many Strava minds after he finished the Ride Base Mile Blast with nearly 1000 miles separating him from the rest of the pack. Matt Carnal from Tulsa, Oklahoma was on a tear in January, riding an average of 133 miles per ride. Strava caught up with Matt to get the scoop on this extraordinary display of athleticism.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Occupation? What do you like to do in your free time?
I was born and raised in Kansas. Kansas will always be home to me! I love the wide open spaces that the open prairie brings me, and I find that freedom and openness when I ride.
I currently reside in Tulsa, OK where I work as an Endurance Coach (specializing in cycling and triathlon) with a biology, chemistry and economics background.
In my free time I like to, well ride my bike! On a serious note, I enjoy reading, playing with my dog AJ (Action Jackson), listening to live or new music, traveling and pretty much anything active when I’m not riding my bike.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding bikes since I was a kid. I can recall racing around on my paper route when I was 8 and have been riding ever since.
I really got into cycling after one of my 8 surgeries (knees, shoulders and elbows) in 2004, and started training in 2006 when I arrived in Tulsa.
How did you hear about Strava?
One of my athletes mentioned the Rapha Festive 500, so I decided to join Strava and give it a try. I started a few days late, but planned it out, worked hard and took 3rd place! I’m new to Strava and I plan on using Strava in the future for finding extra motivation.
You surpassed the Base Mile Blast pack by nearly 1,000 miles. How did you pull this off?
Time management and a lot of help from the following people: Jim Biega (Ventura, CA), Steve LeChaine (Atascadero, CA), my mom and my friends helped keep me motivated. The Base Mile Blast arrived just as I was starting my first block of training in preparation for Solo RAAM (Race Across America) 2013. When the Challenge was posted I thought: This is a great opportunity to see what I have for RAAM and build a huge base for upcoming training. I knew from the cyclists out there I was going to have to go big if I wanted to reach my goals, so I set two goals: 1) ride 100 miles per day and 2) finish #1. The first day I rode 212 miles and only had the second or third most distance logged. This motivated me even more because I know the journey ahead of me is going to be an extremely difficult one. Throughout this challenge, I paid attention to 1) sleep/recovery 2) nutrition and 3) training. I believe these things were able to keep me physically and mentally solid for the bigger challenge ahead, so I went for it.
Did you set any new personal records? Do you have a personal goal(s) set you’re trying to reach?
Yes. I did set a new personal record: I hit a new record of 3,347 miles in 25 days. In 2010 when I rode across the country towing a BOB trailer, I averaged 94 miles a day with 30-50lbs in tow. I covered 7,000 miles in 75 days over a time period of 101 days if you include recovery. My goal for 2012 on the bike is to try and cover 25,000-30,000 miles before December 31, 2012. In addition, I would like to qualify for RAAM, Race the Divide, local races, time trials and as many double century’s as possible. On top of mileage and races, I would like to finish the year at 5.0 w/kg at FTP.
What bike did you ride to compete in the Base Mile Blast?
My BMC (RaceMaster SLX0) cracked the last week of December as I was heading to California, leaving me without a bike. I will miss that bike. [See side photo of Matt and his BMC riding long in Colorado.] I rode a “rented” Specialized Tarmac from Open Air Bicycles out of Ventura, CA for rides from Jan 6-22. Once I was back in Tulsa I rode my Felt Fixie 48/16 gear ratio.
What’s the biggest motivational factor when your ride?
I have a lot of motivators when I ride — comments people have stated, such as ‘I’m just an average cyclist’ — fuel for the fire. Race goals and time trial goals also motivate me. However, right now the largest motivator is to bring the RAAM Champion back to the USA. An American has not won solo RAAM since 2003 and I would like to see that change. When I’m on rides I think about certain quotes, such as ‘victory loves preparation,’ and ‘doing something is much more fulfilling than talking about doing something.’ Sometimes in our life we need to find the time to think, do, or move. In January I chose to DO.