I have actively steered clear of Strava for over two years, despite being told repeatedly “if it’s not on Strava, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.” However, I recently succumbed and have been using Strava for the past couple of months (I knowwwww I’m VERY late to the game!)
There were a few reasons that I avoided Strava, the main one being that I knew I would compare myself to other runners. This is obviously a ridiculous thing to do – comparison is a recipe for disaster, although this is probably more to do with my mindset than Strava itself.
There is also the matter of social support (‘kudos’ in Strava’s case), which can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. This is a much-debated topic across all social media platforms and is undoubtedly not a new phenomenon; ‘is social media good for your mental health’ is too broad a topic to cover here. However, this is something that I find particularly prevalent with Strava.
I personally think Strava is great as a social network, and I do find that encouragement and feedback from others has a positive impact on my level of motivation. Strava is unquestionably a fantastic tool for runners (and cyclists and swimmers and allllll the other athletes) in terms of monitoring progress, goal setting, creating a supportive community, discovering new routes and races etc. Running is often described as being a lonely sport, and I can appreciate how Strava has revolutionised this to an extent.
I think it is all dependent on what motivates you as an individual and therefore my views remain unchanged; I don’t think Strava was right for me when I first started out running as I would have found it a little overwhelming.
This is of course my personal view, and from speaking to other runners (both new and experienced), I know a lot of people strongly disagree with this!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this (do you find Strava a useful tool for motivation?) whether you are a runner/cyclist/swimmer/all of the above/none of the above!