OK, this is really cool. Strava is probably the niftiest GPS enabled running app there is. Here are some reasons:
- It maps all your runs, bike rides etc, working with a wide range of Garmin GPS devices and smartphones.
- It is really easy to use and has a very pleasing aesthetic.
- It automatically compares your routes with everyone else and, best of all …
- … it picks up on sections of your routes and allows you to see how you’re doing compared to other people.
So, particular stretches of hill, like Jacobs Wells Road, or maybe a path up from the Avon through Leigh Woods, and iconic sections of flat like The Chocolate Path have had hundreds of runs recorded. And you can see how you’ve done compared to everyone else! Don’t worry, it is possible to cut it by age and weight (although you do have to pay a bit for this level of geekery) and you can easily hide your start and end points too, so no one can see where you live. Check out this map of Bristol.
But the best bit of all is that we can all join the Bristol Running Resource Strava Club, and then we can see how many miles we’re doing collectively, and find people who share our passions even more easily. C’mon - all you need is a smartphone and Bristol can run together!
Did Lycra ever flatter you? Does it make you think of hot chocolate? Does it feel good on your skin? Do you seek out opportunities to wear it even when there is no need? Are you overcome by an irresistible desire to cuddle people in Lycra, or any shiny back or fluorescent clothing for that matter?
If your answer to any of those questions is in the affirmative then read no further.
Alternatively, find your way to Wild Stripes, the home of Bristol designer Claire Templar, who has put together a fantastic range of yummy thermal base layers that bring out the human being in any athlete (or would be athlete, or fireside hot chocolate lover). You’d be in good company, as they’ve been named-checked in The Guardian.
Wild Stripes is a really wide range of colourful base layers made from soft, durable and highly sweat-wicking polypropylene. Claire brings the vision, and has the garments made ethically in New Zealand by the same company that made the high performance Ice Breaker merino thermals - a family company founded in the 1920s.
I tried a zippy with thumb loops on in the gents of the Tobacco Factory - a cold harsh environment immediately made cosy as I slipped the snug fitting garment over my shivering frame. Favourite things about this top - soft and warm, thumb loops (no wind up the cuffs), high neck, and nice and long (no wind up the back).
Being a practical kinda guy, I eschewed a perfectly nice beanie for a sleek little pink skull cap that I could wear under my woolly hat, or under my cycle helmet, as well as being more appropriate for a cold morning run.
So, cosiness and fit - tick. But the colours and stripes are great too.
After a long hiatus, we seem to be getting going again. I’ve just posted next week’s races in the weekly race feed.
In case you’re not familiar with things here, our monthy listings are the most reliable source of information on races within about 30 miles of Bristol - that’s more than enough. I also post to another feed that gives a summary of what is coming up in the next week or so, which updates to Twitter and Facebook.
Our list of clubs has been recently updated with a few new groups, and out list of therapists is also growing, although I only list thoe that give a reciprocal link unless they are “non-profit”, such as the University clinic.
Pretty good, eh?