Sometimes Competition And Happiness Go Hand In Hand


Women’s Adventure magazine isn’t exactly a race-oriented publication. We tend to encourage getting out in nature for the sake of being outdoors and stoking general health and happiness. But we also offer tips for athletes wanting to be competitive. And sometimes competition and happiness go hand in hand.

Competition doesn’t always come in the form of a timed event with packet pick-up, podium ceremonies, and prizes. Sometimes it occurs on group rides, during unsanctioned race-like events, and on busy trails. And sometimes it occurs in cyberspace.

Many people get especially competitive when they’re logging rides and runs on Strava, a popular social fitness tracker. I count myself as one of those Strava-addicted cyclists, even though I never raise my heart rate very high and mostly ride long slow distance, rarely (okay, never) riding tempo or sprint workouts.

strava girl

In the beginning, I avoided using Strava. The app was installed on my phone for at least a year but I never remembered (or cared enough) to turn it on before a run or a bike ride. Now, I like to come home from a couple hours of exercise and see if I felt so great because I was moving slowly or because I was riding fast without much struggle. It can go either way!

When I told my sister last week that I logged a ride with a Facebook-like fitness app called Strava, she exclaimed, “That sounds awful!”

It’s not awful. It’s fun. And I’m not the only woman who likes to set and realize goals using Strava. Thousands of passionate female runners and cyclists have joined this very social community.

It’s been interesting to ride in new places and see who’s been there before me and how my pace compares. And I enjoy the confidence boost that comes by riding the same routes routinely and watching my progress. Plus, connecting with friends who ride and run and seeing their routes and improvements is fun.

strava girl

Beating the guys uphill means getting to stop and take pictures!

To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8th), Strava highlighted a woman named Katya Crema who climbed the equivalent of Everest on her bike in one day last month, tracking it with Strava of course.

But the company also took a quick look at some of the women in the running and cycling communities who are leading the pack on the global scale.

  • Mary Foley of Township, NJ, has ridden the most miles, 51,709
  • Jodie Oborne of Brisbane, Australia, has run the most miles, 13,014
  • Amy Burton of San Jose, CA, has the highest number of running elevation under her belt with 462,889 meters
  • Deya Guerroro of El Cajon, CA, has highest cycling elevation on lockdown with 1,155,007 meters
  • Sarah Horrigan-Fullard of Nottingham, U.K., holds the longest run streak with 452 days in a row
  • Brazil is the country with the highest growth of female participation.
  • The average distance women in Brazil are running is 4.5 miles.

Who are the leaders in your Strava community? What’s your average ride or run distance? How much mileage have you logged this year so far? Have you been generous with the “Give Kudos” button? If not, go hit the thumbs-up icon and dole out some cyber encouragement for your girl friends who are pushing toward their goals. Every bit of uplifting praise counts.

Last modified: March 9, 2015

One Response to :
Sometimes Competition And Happiness Go Hand In Hand

  1. Cristina says:

    Thanks for this. Strava is often spoken about with disdain in my casual riding circles, but I enjoy the things you mentioned, plus logging all my rides and having a map of my routes to refer back to. I’m working a crushing desk job these days, but I walk every day at lunch and log around 15 miles a week on Strava (as “runs” since walks aren’t a category).

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