I don’t even have to open the email to know exactly what it says. “Uh Oh!” begins to subject line, “[Insert name of fast, competitive frenemy] just stole your CR!” I click on the link to her activity and find that not only did she run the segment three minutes faster than I did, but she did it while pushing a stroller. “Got what it takes to reclaim your crown?” the email teases. Time to lace up my shoes, sprint that segment and steal my CR back!
Sound familiar? I have a love/hate relationship with Strava, the social network app of choice for runners. I’m addicted to giving and receiving kudos, monitoring my splits and elevation gain, tracking my best efforts on familiar routes, and sharing photos of my runs with like-minded friends who don’t roll their eyes every time I utter the words “long run.”
But, like all social networks, it has a dark side, a breeding ground for FOMO, unhealthy competition and potential overuse injuries. In fact, Strava’s website has a “Stand With Us” page that reads like a list of safety disclaimers, with #2 stating, “We Rest. We listen to our bodies to avoid injury and we inspire in ways other than by being number one. We don’t burn ourselves out. We enjoy our recovery days because they too tell our story on Strava.”
Clearly, I’m not the only person who gets herself caught up in the wonderful world of Strava.