A year with Strava

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Another fantastic year of running in the books, full of new friends, new trails, and most importantly, the arrival of Autumn Burrell, my beautiful 10 month daughter and occasional jogging buddy.  If there is one thing i’ve learned about being a father, it’s that it brings the most important things of life into focus.  For both Kristin and I, running is one of those things, and we’ve both enjoyed one of our most pleasurable years of running yet.

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2012 was also my first full year using Strava, the GPS tracking cum social fitness network. Strava scratches a lot of itches for me as an athlete, from the tangible to the intangible.   For the analytic nerd in me, It provides a framework for tracking performance over the duration of a training cycle and monitoring progress on key training runs/workouts (example).  And for the competitor in me, it injects an extra bit of motivation into a hard effort, with the knowledge that I am competing against both my own previous best times, and also everyone else on Strava who has ever run the trail.  In short, there is a life to the run beyond the pain of the workout.  For those of us that don’t train in a club or a group, that sort of virtual competition, even if it’s only with ourselves, is incredibly valuable (if used selectively).

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Using Strava for a full year also means that I have a whole slew of data to reflect back on at year’s end.  I’ll share a summary of these numbers below, not because i think they are so impressive, but to serve as a  benchmark to measure future years.    Many elite runners run nearly twice the volume that i do, but this is what works for me to maintain balance in my life.

So here’s my 2012 year in running by the numbers, with goals identified in parentheses (aimed primarily at being injured less)…Hopefully 2013 will be just as fun.

260 total runs

325 hours of running (2013 goal: 365)

2,260 total miles run (2013 goal: 3000)

337,000 total vertical ft  (2013 goal: 500,000)

1300 average vertical ft per run

49 consecutive days off due to Achilles tendonitis (2013 goal: 0)

11 races, 6 wins

187 miles raced

29  Mt Tam summits (2013 goal: 50)

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