Technology & Triathlon – digital footprints

STRAVA has launched a new format offering a more visual & social media style way to “Put the Word Out On Your Workout” where you can post your next activity, invite others to join you, add notes, photos as well as sharing activities to gather KUDOS or comment.

Strava-Logo

This seems to have mixed reactions – the Marmite effect – Love it or Hate it.

Seems more like a combined activity version of Facebook &  Instagram,  but with all the activity data – time, distance, pace, reps, weights, map, heart rate, power etc

You can now post pre workouts, pictures, notes, group activities on STRAVA.

On one level it offers a more visual ways to connect with other like minded people as well as STRAVA support with KUDOS & COMMENTS.

Workouts still uploaded by GARMIN ( and other GPS or HR devices) then pictures and notes can be added to bring all activities to life whether it be a ride, run, swim, weights session, Pilates, PiYo, Insanity, circuit training or kick boxing. So allows you to share your journey in more detail – real stories – real people.

But do I need another training log, workout planner, race report, platform, data gathering, social media outlet ?

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We all have a Digital footprint

Looking through my training digital footprint I already have Garmin Connect, Training Peaks, STRAVA &  Fitbit, WATTBIKE which are linked to my Facebook, Instagram & Twitter accounts, if I so wish to share.

My triathlon training session are planned and logged on Training Peaks which pulls in swim, bike, run, strength data from my Garmin. This is where the analysis occurs using heart rate zones, power, fatigue, fitness & health metrics. So the Garmin & Training Peaks partnership is my base.

Fitbit is used more for daily health monitoring of Heart Rate and sleep. My steps can vary from 7,000 which a day at home and walking the dog to 20,000+ when out on a long run, so not a major data collection I follow.

WATTBIKE will help my winter training and asthma as I can sweat away indoors while recording power, distance HR, leg balance, pedal stroke efficiency, and so much more that I don’t even understand yet.

My workouts are automatically uploaded to  STRAVA from Garmin but by default are kept private. I only tend to make public races, new rides, events, rides or run with friends where we have taken some pictures or if  I have pictures from the activity that I want share. So I doubt how I use STRAVA will change much – I will add pictures post activity if I want to and share activities if I want to. Swimming in a pool for example isn’t a spectator sport either pool side or on a digital app so I tend to leave private. Open Water swimming however can be quite cool when you see different locations, the zig zag of poor sighting or the affect of wind, waves & tide.

Facebook & Instagram are more to celebrate, laugh &  share pictures and memories of my activities.

Many of my friends, contacts, connections, followers are the same across all my digital platforms / APPs and therefore only likely to interact with one, maybe two channels on the same activity.

Its not long ago that I did all my races with a basic TIMEX digital watch, just so I have a rough idea of time of day and time in swim, bike & run sections of a triathlon race.

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My first digital footprint was NIKE +, the little lozenge that went in your shoe. This wasn’t the most accurate and treadmill, road & trail run distances varied wildly. It was best on road running and I used it for my first London marathon.

I then upgraded to a basic Garmin watch for running – distance, time & pace so training could be more structured and not all plod pace ! Then a Garmin bike computer was added to my collection so I could upload, plot and plan routes of set miles.

It wasn’t until my second ironman distance race I had a SWIM/BIKE/RUN Garmin multisport to train & race with.

My Garmin 920XT has now been with me for two ironman races, travelled overseas  recording new training routes and races, has PADDLE added for paddle boarding & kayaking plus STRENGTH for strength & conditioning workouts.

After many years of being scared of my HR monitor as I ofter peaked at 200bpm thinking I should be dead ! So had Dr check me out, full works with  ECG based on family history and all fine, its just I rev high but then have a resting HR in 40’s. My heart rate strap is used on majority of activities now.

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Dead or alive  – my digital gadgets over the years 

Really there is no where to hide in this digital age ! Coaches can see how hard you’ve worked, if you’ve shortened or extended workouts or even got lost ! I can look back and compare routes, look for new & old cycle routes to do, simulate race courses, ride virtually with friends, plan group rides and so much more.  You can share your activities, pictures, feelings and frustrations online without having to lift a finger – bluetooth technology does that for you.

But there are days when you just want to go ‘digitally naked’ and remember to go out and run or ride for fun.

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8 comments

  1. I do love a gadget.. I must confess. But I’m in the “hate” camp in terms of the changes that Strava have made. I’ll still use it because I’m a bit “married” to it, now, but I’ll certainly not post non-activities a-la-Facebook or Twitter. (I have Facebook and Twitter for that!)

    • Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the TIMEX But now enjoy seeing the data and where I have improved by getting fitter faster or more power out put.
      Probably 80:20 in favour of new technology 😀

      • My clubs running coach hates all new tech. Bless him he’s 70. Still fitter and quicker than me but he generally says none of this new tech makes you any quicker and people are more likely to quit when their watch tells him to than without. I’m a tech man myself. More stats the better

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