Previously been someone who has disliked / dismissed the idea of Strava (if you want to know how fast you are compared to others on the same stretch of road, do a TT etc etc ...) But felt I was judging it without trying it, so had been giving it a go for the last few months.
Quite a few unexpected benefits:
- easy to use (start phone, stick in pocket, ignore til back home, then easy to upload)
- great constant review of my riding, especially over the last 28 days. I ride a lot of hills, so keeping track of mileage and climbing has been really useful
- better understanding of the many different factors which affect my relative performance (comparing my performance of specific sections with other rides - eg does being tired have a great impact on my speed on the flat or on my climbing pace?)
- finally giving me a "virtual peer group" - I mostly ride with guys from my club, or solo, as the women I know ride at a steadier pace. So Strava has meant I can connect with the riding performance of other women, bearing in mind that we are obviously riding in different conditions
- positive feedback and friendly banter. Having a fair few QOMs has added some positive reinforcement, and gaining / loosing them with a couple of other female riders has led to supportive exchanges between us.
- it does sometimes make it hard to remember that now is my "steady pace / winter miles" season. Keeping the effort low means that your performance appears to have 'gone down' as you record slower times.
Overall, I've changed from being a sceptic to finding it useful. But I'm quite happy to keep it in perspective, and will save the real 'test' of performance to the hill climb Time Trials next season