Strava Makes Me Look Lousy

I’ve never really been that competitive, and if I’ve ever been comparably fit enough to keep up with a high level athlete, it has been entirely a coincidence.

The result is that my style of exercise is to loaf along and enjoy myself, raising a sweat and burning muscles and fat at a slow rate, but at least I am exercising.

So why on earth would I join Strava?

Strava’s big selling point is that you can compare yourself with other people over segments of a ride/run and perhaps use the comparison as motivation for self-improvement.

I have a few friends and work colleagues who use Strava and have been egging me to get on board for a while, so recently I joined.

Having not ridden much at all in the past few months, I promptly set out on a mountain bike ride, at a slow pace, knowing from previous experience that if I over-exert myself on my first few re-entry rides I always get attacks of cramps somewhere between 30-50km into the ride.

The good news is that my pace meant that I did not cramp. The bad news is that I logged the ride on Strava. I was consistently bad on all the segments I passed through, even last on one reasonable climb.


I know I will improve, but I also know that I’ll rarely ever be in the top 1/4 of riders, especially on highly popular segments.

For those of us who end up last or near last on the leaderboard, is Strava actually a tool for encouragement or a tool of self-flagellation?

I haven’t made up my mind yet.


Before you put me down as a lazy, whining loser, I have been pushing myself harder as a result of being on Strava and I will certainly get fitter because of it.

So for now, Strava makes me look lousy, and I may always look lousy, but I’m gonna have fun looking lousy and maybe one far distant morning I’ll track a ride and I won’t look so lousy anymore.

Keep riding!


2 thoughts on “Strava Makes Me Look Lousy

  1. People on Strava are so competitive. I just joined the app myself and it’s kind of nice to see your progress and compare it with other cyclist. Not a lot of female riders on strava in my city, btw. So strava doesn’t make me look lousy. I seldom use the app though cause it eats up my batt life so fast.

  2. I think Strava is great for comparing yourself over time, seeing the PR’s over certain segments is a good motivator! I’ll never be near the top on any serious segments, but that doesn’t matter as I’m only “racing” myself (and my club mates of course, hehe). Plus many of the flat/fast segment top times are tailwind, group ride or race assisted anyway!

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