Symptom Checker: Is Your Strava Addiction Unhealthy? - Total Women's Cycling

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Symptom Checker: Is Your Strava Addiction Unhealthy?

Settle down on the couch and tell us about your Strava usage...

The information age has provided us with brilliant tools and technology that has allowed us to communicate with the word, be entertained and enlighten our minds. One such piece of technology to come from the digital era is Strava.

Just in case you’ve been living under an actual rock for the last few years, Strava is a GPS based app which tracks, monitors and records your athletic performance – primarily cycling and running.

Since the launch in 2009 Strava’s popularity has skyrocketed and spread amongst the active community, both professional and amateur. Not only does it record your stats, but for many riders, it’s their primary form of competition, thanks to leaderboards which rank performances on pre-set segments.

Used liberally, Strava can be an excellent motivation and there are tonnes of useful tools available – but as with most good things, there is such a thing as ‘too much’.

Not sure if you’ve become overly dependant on the little orange universe in cyberspace? We’ve listed the symptoms of a ‘Healthy’ Stravaite, and a ‘Bordering on Obsessive’ Stravaite. So, settle down on the couch and tell us about your Strava usage…

Healthy Strava, Happy Strava 

  • You regularly upload your ride, long or short – it’s a great way to track your progress and push yourself harder next time
  • You review your stats and enjoy finding areas for improvements – it’s a great way to set new goals
  • Comparing with your friend’s stats helps to support and encourage each other
  • You use the tool to look for new areas to explore so you can cover as much new ground as possible
  • You’ve used Strava to compare your performance to another athlete in a race – did you lose more ground up or downhill, or into a headwind? 
  • You like to see how active you’ve been – so record a myriad of physical activities from running, swimming, climbing and even just walking to the shops!

With all the great features Strava has to offer, it’s hard not to become a little wrapped up in the Strava world. But how far is too far, when do you know if you have an unhealthy obsession, or are you just passionate about being active? Here are some Strava addiction symptoms to watch out for…

Unhealthy Obsession

  • You’re uploading your Strava stats before you’ve even stepped off the bike
  • You feel uncontrollable rage when you forget to turn your Strava on before setting off

  • The urge to beat your friends is more important than your friendships with them
  • The stranger on your Strava app, holding Queen of the Mountain on your trail or local climb is your sworn enemy

  • Determined to beat your friends, or the stranger QoM, causes you to overtrain and injure yourself
  • You skip social occasions because you want to cycle a segment at the optimum time – when there will be little traffic and the perfect wind direction
  • You’ve reported other riders because how they managed to beat you on a particular route baffles you (MUST have used a moped…)
  • It has crossed your mind that you could gain a couple more Queenies if you borrowed your friend’s moped
  • You know what ‘Data Doping’ / DigitalEPO is – and you’ve thought long and hard about trying it – or tried it…
  • You’ve driven to a segment and asked a friend to ‘marshal’ on the approaching corner so you can take it quickly and efficiently
  • You’ve made deals with faster friends to let you draft them, at least for most of the segment
  • Refreshing Strava is the first and last thing you do each day

Strava is a great tool for monitoring your cycling performance, setting goals, finding new areas to explore and even making friends. It’s easy to get caught up with the addiction to progress and the sense of accomplishment to follow, but don’t let take over your life!

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