I began writing this blog with the intention for it to be quite health and fitness based. For this reason, I want to bring about an entirely running-focused series of posts to talk a lot about running and my experiences with my favourite form of exercise. And I shall kick this series off with a post about the one thing that is with me on any run: rain or shine; motivated or unmotivated. Strava. The brilliant exercise app that records my distance and pace, and is the one cheerleader that is always with me.
I have been running consistently in my spare time since I went to sixth form five years ago. A few years on from then and I was running long distances frequently, running around the route I knew to be a mile long for five or six laps. When I got to uni I started running super long distances. I would run around my local park for about two hours, estimating the distance. After my brother recommending to do so, I downloaded Strava at some point during my first year at uni and I’m not sure how I went so long without it. Strava is an app where exercise such as running or cycling can be tracked. It has been described as a social media app due to its “following” function and easy ways to interact with other exercisers.
I can’t say I’m particularly adventurous with Strava; I only see it through a runner’s perspective despite it catering for other forms of exercise. Its simplicity is what makes me click on the app every time I head outside for a run. I click the app, press the record button before the circular button and I’m on my way. My runs save to my homepage, whilst uploading for my (2!) followers to see. I just think it’s a brilliant log of progress and even, lack of progress. It’s all helpful for a runner who is trying to improve distance and speed- and for all of the runners in between!
I use the app while I run at events too! I need (although fellow runners look at me weirdly) to have my phone in my hand while I’m running (although I’ve had to awkwardly put a sleeve over it when raining- not so fun). Maybe not the safest option, but I have to check my pace and the distance covered every now and then (as I do on every day jogs) or I can run far too slowly or quickly. Strava is my cheerleader because it lets me know when I should continue as I am, when I need to speed up and when I can slow down if it’s best in the long run (waheey) (this is my favourite thing Strava has to tell me).
Yesterday I watched the London Marathon coverage and, as per usual, I teared up, felt proud of people I didn’t know and was reminded, again, why I adore running so much. I will be signing up for the ballot for the second time this year. I really want it to be my first marathon but I am aware of how long it can take to be accepted. I’m going to wait this one more time (although I will apply every year) and if I don’t get in, I will be searching for another special marathon to take part in in the next year/year and a half. Because of this, I am upping my running game. I want to get used to running distances I haven’t even run yet and I’m feeling very, very pumped about it. There’s no better app I’d like to help me along the way than Strava.
~ Kat ~