Strava | Slip on Your Running Shoes

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.

StravaI 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 ~

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