Recently I’ve changed how I train ever so slightly. From being focused on intervals, distances, and training times I’ve started to focus on variation in terms of where and how I train. Just yesterday it really hit me how phenomenal the Strava Segments are at enabling this. With this my 5 reasons I train better with Strava Segments – and why you could too:
1. Trying out New Routes
Human beings are generally creatures of habit. By following segments, you get to know parts of your local area where you might never have gone otherwise. This works particularly well for densely populated areas and in countries where Strava has a strong user base. For instance it might not work so well in Endomondo-stronghold of Denmark. Strava, slightly more popular than Endomondo, judging by this Google Trend, is way behind the same competitor in Denmark, according to this trend.
2. Attempting Your Best at Very Different Distances
Segments come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I have tested myself on segments ranging from just a very short sprint to long distance endurance segments. By competing on different distances your body becomes more versatile, and you essentially race yourself fit against the often overwhelming amount of other users of the Strava service.
3. Keeps You Coming Back
If you’re even the slightest competitive, the natural reaction to a Strava notification that says “Uh oh! <Athlete Name> just stole your CR” is to want to go out and reclaim what is rightfully yours – to take back YOUR segment by setting a new Course Record.
4. Find the Locals’ Secret Routes
Yesterday while spending time in Luxembourg, I wanted to find a route in the area of Ettelbruck, where I was staying. Looked up the segments in the area using the Strava app and found a route just a 5-minute run from my location. The segment was BEAUTIFUL and I would have never found it on my own. Created by local triathlete Tom Peiffer the segment took me from Ettelbruck to Colmar on a narrow country road with nearly no traffic, along a river, through snow-covered fields, passing castles, with a view to the nearby picturesque villages which are so typical for Luxembourg. This would have been a great run just for the location.
Actually I was just lucky in Luxembourg, as Garmin Connect seems to dominate there.