A long time ago in a episode long since recorded, I had mentioned this pretty cool feature that has recently been added to the Strava mobile app, Segments. As the days progress and the App stores fill with applications that will track everything from calories, steps taken and to how many times you used your middle finger to flip off that “d” bag driver who cut you off. Well not really on the last one, but what a wonderful idea for a new app.
No the folks at Strava, one of the largest social fitness software companies these days, have created applications for running and cycling. Their web based application has one of the largest audiences for consumer and professional athletes in the world. I am not raising the big S flag in this post but just showing off one of their cool new features I have just started seeing on my commutes to work.
The Segments feature inside of the iOS and Andriod versions of Strava Mobile will switch over the simple application screen that was showing time, speed and distance, to a grid with two large dots, a timer and bar graph. The dot on the left is you. The dot on the right is the KOM or fastest time for that segment of your ride and the race is on. The app will track how you are doing against yourself and against the KOM time. As you move into the segment, you will notice a timer under each dot. That will show how close you are to beating your own record as well as beating the KOM. Now in my case I am far off the pace to beat the KOM so that dot starts to move away up the screen mimicking a rider as they pull away. Your dot will stay in screen unless you are pedaling squares and suffering.
I really love how this application shows you how you are doing during your ride. It takes away that mental battle you go through when you are doing your favorite loop and wondering if you are beating your last time. For me my competitive streak kicks in and I start to race myself.
Either way it is just one more way to gauge your efforts and watch your fitness begin to kick in. And if this is not for you, no worries. Just get out, pedal your bikes and enjoy your day.