Strava is a wonderful tool. It’s a great way to share your training with friends as well as keep up with what your friends are doing. It’s loaded with great ways to challenge yourself and your friends. It also has kudos. Who doesn’t love getting that little virtual pat on the back for a run well done?
Garmin Connect and others also have great ways to challenge yourself and your friends, from pre-built challenges you can join to the ability to create challenges with friends.
However, there are things to be careful about with these tools.
Some runners these days are so focused on putting up great numbers in training that they sabotage their race results by trying to make the training look too impressive.
Whether it’s logging more miles than they are ready for or running faster paces than they should, they chase impressive numbers in order to win a challenge or get more kudos.
It’s an easy trap to fall into because there is a rush when you log on and see you’ve gotten a lot of kudos for your last workout or won that weekly mile challenge. However, sometimes the best thing you can do for your training is to actually hold back a bit, even if the training will look less impressive on a website.
Keep in mind what your primary goals are. Sometimes the training to get to a race goal isn’t pretty. You might not win all of your challenges as you prepare for your next race. If you hold back on today’s workout so you are ready for this weekend’s long run, you might get fewer kudos. But those things are important to do in order to be at your best on the day that matters most: race day.