I pay for Strava Premium almost exclusively because of the Grade Adjusted Pace (GAP) feature. Before a few years ago, the GAP data used to be free. Then they rolled it into Premium and I tried some time without it, but found myself wanting that specific piece of information. Mostly because my normal running route is about 30-50 ft/mile gain in elevation. And if I'm scheduled for a 10 mile steady marathon tempo, it's not wise to try and nail every mile split at 7:02. Some miles need to be slower because they're uphill, and some miles need to be faster because they are downhill. So instead of trying to hammer 7:02 every mile, now I vary the pace based on the GAP of each mile. So that means sometimes I'm doing 7:27 and sometimes 6:47, and when adjusted for grade those come out to 7:02 "effort". It works well as a post-run analysis, and as an adjustment for the next time I do that particular route. It's also good practice because that's my current racing pace strategy.
The use of GAP for setting mile split pace goals for upcoming races however doesn't require that you yourself have Premium. Merely the person who previously ran the race that you're using as a means to capture the GAP splits. So I could be non-premium, do a previous race search of the Madison M on google, find someone who ran in 2018 on the same route who has premium on Strava, and then use the difference between their actual GPS split and their GAP split to determine what adjustments I should make to my own personal split goals. Also nice to find other runner's GPS data for that particular race to get an idea of what mileage value it comes out as. There can be a time difference between setting your pace goals for 26.22 GPS miles and 26.42 GPS miles. I walk through the process link and link.
Strava also captures fitness/freshness data (training load). I use it sparingly, but I don't make many adjustments to my training based on the values. But it is a nice confirmation that I'm in the optimal zone of training (current training is different enough from previous to make gains, but not too different that it puts me at a high risk for injury).
It's an easy place for me to check in on other runners for free. I can quick pop on to my news feed and see a bunch of other runners I'm following and keep up with their training as well. Makes it easy when someone wants me to look at something for them too. A system like Training Peaks would be nice, but I can't justify the price at this point.
Lastly, I bounce back and forth between Strava and Garmin for summarization data. I find Strava easier to quickly find a past workout, where as Garmin tends to be better for big picture summary stuff.
Got the official Boston email today congratulating me so I'm in.
I pay for Strava but really don't use it all that much. I sync to it and look at my fitness but my favorite feature is the route capabilities and heat maps. I have used Garmin for that in the past but the number of Strava users makes theirs a little better.
September 2022 totals
Distance: 238.7km (148mi)
Average pace: 6m36s/km (10:40/mi)
YTD: 1534km on 2022km
This pretty much concludes this training cycle, I will be running a Marathon on Sunday. September was by far my biggest running month this year. It equals August 2021 and those have only been surpassed once. That probably explains par of the fatigue I feel. I am curious to see how my race go.
I was also happy to have completed my first triathlon this month.
Total distance: 125.2 miles
Average pace: 11:04/mi
Taking all of this with a grain of salt as my Garmin has been all over the place for my center city miles. Out on the rail trail by my house I have landmarks for the mile splits on my regular route memorized. But in the city by my apartment I can hit that first GPS-measured mile at wildly different points on my route. When I have a 5 miler, I've decided to just pick a turnaround point that has historically most often measured 2.5 miles away, and turn around no matter what my watch says on a given day.
Before somebody else says it, yes I'm aware I can measure it out on Google maps so I'm sure, but so far I haven't thought about it until I am actually started out for my run. Maybe today is the day I measure to be sure!
I had to cut back the mileage a fair amount this month. Since the end of the July, my left Achilles has been acting up. It was just in the annoying phase for awhile and would go away after the first mile. The past month it's been more of a nuisance and anything past 6 miles starts to be more painful. I'm fairly certain it's tendinitis, I have a doctor's appointment on the 10th. I switched shoes to a style I've never ran in back in July, so I don't know if it coincided with that or just over doing it.
Stubborn (dumb is probably better) me keeps running on it and did a 10k race this past Sunday. Took it a bit easier on the downhills, since that is where I mainly feel it act up. Felt fine throughout it, managed to get a shade under 40 minutes and wouldn't have been that far off from if I had no issues.
I also managed three miles of tracked walks with my lab. We got a new puppy at the beginning of September (a wirehaired pointing griffon), and then my lab promptly got a huge hot spot on his neck from puppy teeth ripping into him, so we cut out walks for a while. He gets lots of exercise with the puppy and walking around the backyard taking the puppy out many, many, many times a day!
Overall, the first month of Dopey training went well - I pushed up my weekend long run to today so I could keep my 100+ mile months intact.
Though I had a dream last night that I ran a marathon and felt great and ran the whole time, and when I finished my watch said I finished in 6:01. I know I'm not fast, but come on, dream! I felt like I ran a 4-hour marathon!
I ran 41.7 miles this month. I did every workout in my marathon training plan except one 3 mile run. I am a little ashamed to admit this but I looked back at my Garmin data for as long as I have had it (so since 2015) and this is the most miles I have run in a single month… ever. And I didn’t even start running this month until September 5 because I took a week off after my triathlon. This obviously means I have never ever adequately trained for any race I have ever done lol. Which I knew. And this is still so low compared to y’all. But it is progress?
Very excited and happy to have a couple new pairs of Mizuno rotated in as I was running (pun intended) out of shoe life.
Not overly excited that Tuesday was run/walk at race pace and I hit 7:58 avg over a 5 mile run with today’s continuous 5 mile run hitting an avg of 7:54. Certainly I’m not upset with 8 minute miles but last years half was 7:36 and with consistent 100+ mile months all year I’m guessing my suspicions of plateauing are right and I need to change something if I want to pursue a BQ marathon.
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