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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Lure of Strava

So I had a 30 minute tempo run on the schedule yesterday, and my local running group had a 5+ mile run posted.  Naturally, I signed up for the afternoon run and notified the other runners that I might be taking off after a warmup.  Also knowing that there was a 2 mile loop on Strava around the Army War College Golf Course didn't hurt my motivation to give it a little go...and so I went, for around a 7min/mile tempo run for about two loops around the course.  I felt great, pulse was up, and the cinders beneath my feet had a great shuffling rhythm.  My lungs were working hard, just like a tempo run should warrant.

Glancing down at my watch every few minutes gave me the indication that I was actually running a solid 10-20 second under per-mile pace, but running by feel felt great so I wasn't worried.  Passing several men and women in grey and black cotton "army" t-shirts, I made my way to the second loop, and while the temp was way hotter than I'd been recently used to, the feeling was fantastic.

As you can imagine, I felt great after the run and as usual, uploaded the activity captured on my Garmin Fenix to   And....major buzzkill.  Even with a sub 7 minute mile pace, my rank on the loop is towards the bottom of the leaderboard....must be some serious athletes 'round here...

So...something I learned this week is: even with a fantastic tool like Strava to compare runs against others in your area, don't compare your runs against anyone but yourself.  Have fun out there and improve, but get better for your own sake.

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