Strava: Running in the UK 2015


Strava has become the biggest site for runners and Cyclists in the world and sporty bods in the UK have been quick to crunch the stats …

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here is an article from a running site …

Strava, the social network for runners and cyclists, has published its annual End of Year Insights for 2015. Comprising of millions of individual runs and rides, the data offers unique insight into the habits and behaviour of Britain’s runners.

The data reveals that in 2015 a staggering 5.3 activities were uploaded and shared on the social network every second. Such an immense depth of data allows documentation and analysis of the UK’s growth in the world of running and cycling, while also providing direct comparison with the Strava community on a global scale.

Global Running

Runners around the world clocked up 52,006,574 runs on Strava, recording the equivalent of 275,648 marathons along the way, as they reached an impressive running total of 434,262,247 km. Runners looked to the tail end of the year in order to stretch their legs and marked Sunday 13th September as the most active day for a run. Global elevation gain was one of the most astounding statistics for Strava runners, reaching the dizzying heights of 3,810,420,727 meters in total.

UK Running

The UK contributed 10,879,161 runs and 86,760,994 km to the global figures. Men recorded an average pace of 5:17/km for their average running distance of 8.4 km, while women recorded a pace of 6:13 over their 7 km runs.

During the year, men and women spent a similar amount of time pounding the roads, parks and countryside of Britain; finishing only 36 minutes apart as men totalled 14hr 38min to women’s 14hr 02min over the course of the year. London and West Yorkshire once again locked horns for most active location, with the capital’s runners completing 1,350,078 activities to its northern rival’s 416,215.

Wales proved a similarly lumpy affair for runners as it did cyclists, charting 177m of elevation on average, while also seeing Powys secure top spot in both longest average distance 9.8 km run and longest average moving time 1hr 07min.

Run Commuting

Tuesday 14th April had the most people digging out their running shoes and commuting into work, encouraging 5,751 to swap their usual mode of transport to work up a sweat instead. Commuters heading in on foot spent a minute less travelling than their cycling counterparts (38 min v 39 min) and uploaded 19,137 runs to Strava each week.

Simon Klima, UK Country Manager for Strava, commented; “This latest release of Strava’s data demonstrates once again the great depth of insight which is available when collating the activities of the world’s cyclists and runners.”

He continued: “The UK’s Strava story offers us an unprecedented opportunity to analyse and interpret a broad spectrum of data, helping to understand behaviour and habits; as well as providing real world feedback on how people utilise their local roads for both exercise and commuting.”

Robert Millar blogs about Contador the Giro and ahead …


Great read as always from this man

STAGE TWENTY OF THE 2011 GIRO D'ITALIA
STAGE TWENTY OF THE 2011 GIRO D’ITALIA

Let’s start with something there’s a bit of an argument over. How many Giro d’Italia has Alberto Contador won? He clearly thinks it’s three but the UCI records says it’s only two as he was disqualified from the 2011 results.

The way I look at it, Contador rode that race, was tested if and when the controllers thought fit and he had the pink jersey at the end of it. So he won the 2011 edition and if he shouldn’t have been there because of the previous Tour de France clenbuterol affair then that ought to have been decided quickly. Not a year and a half later.

As in 2008, this year saw him with no individual stage success, which is kind of annoying but hardly devastating in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure Astana would gladly swap all their stage wins for the final top step of the podium if they were given the choice.

It’s too late, though, because Contador’s individual strengths proved greater than the Kazakh team’s numerical superiority despite the shoulder injury, his lack of teammates in the finale of the uphill finishes and rivals willing to exploit mechanical mishaps. After all the Giro wouldn’t be properly Italian without a bit of treachery and drama.

So when things got dirty for the race leader on the Colle delle Finestre it was entirely fitting that Astana took advantage and put Contador in trouble. Or was he?

Contador certainly didn’t like the road surface on the way up to the Cima Coppi, the highest point of the whole race. He appeared to be struggling as he couldn’t climb out of the saddle as much as he likes to because of the poor traction on the loose gravel and he didn’t help himself by choosing some really bad lines on the inside of the bends where the cars had cut up the surface even more.

He was suffering, of that there’s no doubt, but I don’t think he cracked in any significant way. I think he recognised he was about to go too deep into the red to keep following all the accelerations and he decided to let the others go and then manage the situation.

He lost 50 seconds by the summit but then held that gap for all of the descent and most of the valley towards Sestriere. You can’t do that if you’ve cracked, not with a slight headwind, slightly uphill and the other GC guys still riding strongly.

It would have been fatal for Contador if he was in a bad way. I think he bluffed a bit, let Astana and Nibali think he’s more vulnerable than he really is. Tour de France mind games start way before the prologue and that, with a temporary moment of difficulty, is what we might have seen on stage 20.

It would have been more worrying for Tinkoff if Astana had told Mikel Landa to wait for Fabio Aru sooner, or Aru had ridden with Hesjedal and Kruisjwijk straight away, but neither did what they had to do soon enough and the chance was lost. They missed a slim opening to really pressure Contador and win the race so that was another error they, the Astana collective, have to learn from.

It’s often said it’s not how good you are on your good days which matters but how good you are on your bad ones, and that was never more true for this Giro’s GC hopefuls.

Aru had his bad spell after around the second rest day, Landa’s time trial let him down and Hesjedal and Kruisjwijk came out of the first week way behind/Kudos to them although they all recovered remarkably.

Fabio Aru is progressing very well, third last year , second this and still only 24. He has a very bright future as does Mikel Landa, who surely won’t be on the market for long if he doesn’t stay at Astana . Is he the successor to Contador? Well that’s hard to tell, but he looks a solid athlete who, with some work on his time trial, will be a real threat.

With the Tour de France on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see if the French Tour can be as exciting and dramatic as the Giro has been. Of course every team will field their A team for the most important race on the calendar, but if there are lessons to be taken from what we’ve just seen from the boys in blue at Astana, the other GC teams like Tinkoff, Movistar and Sky will have to be at the top of their game.

With so little individual time trialling, the climbing aspects of each team leader will take on a decisive role so getting those guys to the mountains safely and still in decent shape will be vital.

Anybody else wondering what will happen to Oleg Tinkov’s pink hair if Alberto Contador also wins the Tour? My Photoshop skills aren’t good enough but I’m sure there’s someone out there who can put together a little montage of our favourite Russian team boss sporting a suitable design on his head. #battenberg

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Richie Porte interview from the Rapha blog


playing virtual giro on velogames and he is my main hope – this article is quite cool.

RAPHA.CC

Team Sky go into battle in Italy this month with Richie Porte a contender for the pink jersey. Chris Froome’s most trusted lieutenant has turned general this year, leading Team Sky from the front to take several stage race wins since the start of the season. Rapha sat down with the Australian to talk leadership, the sweet taste of victory and war stories from the road.

Hi Richie. You’ve had a brilliant start to the season, how does it feel?

It’s been more than I’d hoped for, especially after last season – the disaster that that was. To be honest, it’s quite surreal how well this season has gone so far. It’s always nice to win races like Paris-Nice, Catalunya and the Willunga stage of the Tour Down Under, but to be honest that all counts for nothing. The Giro is my big goal and that’s where I want to be at my best.

You have been in superb form since January. Is there ever a worry that you may have peaked early? 

It’s not really difficult for me and that’s because we’ve got guys like Tim Kerrison and the [Team Sky] Performance Team behind us. I think Tim’s been fantastic with Brad [Wiggins] and Chris [Froome] over the years regarding when they’ve peaked and so I take confidence from that. I’m much more motivated this season than I have been in the past, and the Giro is my big opportunity to lead a team. I’m going to take that opportunity with both hands.

Why are you more motivated this year?

After you have a bad season, you look back on that and then think about how good it feels to win a race. It’s just an unbelievable feeling – for me that’s my motivation. To win any race is hard, but to have eight or nine victories like I have so far… it’s contagious.

After winning the Volta a Catalunya in March, you spoke about it giving you greater belief in yourself. Has confidence ever been a problem for you? 

Confidence is a massive part of professional cycling. I’m confident in my ability, but to go to a race like Catalunya, which on paper wasn’t that great for me, up against someone in form like [Alejandro] Valverde, isn’t easy. And to win there, where I’ve only really got bad memories, it is a massive bonus for the morale.

How do you find being the team leader at races?

I wouldn’t say it is something that comes naturally to me but I’d say that over the years I’ve worked with some fantastic leaders, from Alberto [Contador] and the Schleck brothers when I was with Saxo, to Bradley in 2012 and Chris in 2013. I’m more used to riding for somebody, but with the steps I’ve taken this year I’ve embraced having those seven or eight guys commit to me.

How would you describe yourself as a leader?

Probably a little bit more stressed than Chris! Obviously he is very laid back, and so was Brad. I’m not sure what the other guys would say but I don’t think I’m that hard to work for! I like to hit the front and race from there. At the end of the day, in any team it’s easier to work for a guy who is finishing it off and winning. My big goal going into the Giro is obviously to go for as high a GC as I can get.

The 2010 edition of the race, when you wore the pink jersey for three days, must hold fond memories for you? 

To grow up watching the Giro and then to be in that massive break where for 200km I realised that I was going to be in the pink jersey as long as I kept it upright and not get dropped – it still gives me goose bumps to think about it. Other than the yellow jersey I think the pink jersey is probably the most beautiful one to wear in professional cycling.

Do you enjoy riding in Italy?

Italy is where I did my amateur days – I moved there from Australia in 2007. I like the way the Italians do it. When we stay in Italy for races, at the hotels they take such pride in their food and their coffee and that mixes so well with cycling. Even though I live in Monaco I find I often ride into Italy for the coffee, the piadini and the focaccias. I just love it – it’s so simple, but it works.

Are there any Italian riders, past or present, that you particularly enjoy watching?

You’d probably look back to Basso in the CSC days, with the class he used to ride with. Either that or Paolo Savoldelli – I used to love watching him, the way he used to go down the descents like a lead balloon. Someone who I also loved watching, although he’s not Italian, is Michael Wilson. He was the first Aussie winner of a stage of the Giro – a real trailblazer – and he had a massive influence on me. I saw Rapha did a film about him in my hometown of Launceston and it was almost emotional to watch because from where I’m from, almost nobody knows who Michael is and what he’s done. He’s such a humble champ.

Who do you think will be your main rivals this year?

I think it’s Contador’s race to lose. He’s the guy that has won the race before and I think he’s motivated. There are other guys like [Fabio] Aru or Rigoberto [Uran], my old team mate. He’s been second two years in a row so he knows what he’s doing. He’s such a cool champion too – I respect him and look forward to racing against him.

How will you unwind post-stage to take your mind off the racing? 

I love it on the bus afterwards. That’s your mental break: you get on the bus, have your shower, eat and talk to your teammates. Somebody has always got a story, a near miss, or an argument they had with another rider – I love it. Then obviously at the dinner table it’s good to hear some of the war stories. I love listening to Bernie (Eisel), Brad (Wiggins) and Mick Rogers when he was on our team, talking about the days of suffering they’ve had at the grand tours.

If you win, how much celebrating will you do before thoughts turn to July? 

I’ve got a good mate and his wife coming to stay with me and my fiancée for a few days so I’m sure there would be some pretty big celebrations. After the Giro I’m off to Manchester for ten days because that’s where my fiancée is from and I’m really looking forward to using that as my recovery period. Then it’s all eyes on the Tour!

porte-holding

the eTape Caledonia 2015


What a day – the forecast was grim but the weather was grimmer. Registered the day before Saturday and it was pretty niceetape 2015 -2 Went to friends 40min away to stay the night, had a nice meal a glass or two of red and then bed by 10:30am. Alarm at 4:40am shower quick bite then drive back to Pitlochry and the start. etape 2015 -5 a train of cars arriving with bikes to park and this was at 5:45am – the last starts were at 8am. On the bike £2 in my hand to buy a quick coffee. Bumped into 2 friends as my wave was called – they were also starting but are so quick I knew i wouldn’t see them again – and I didn’t until after the finish. Boom off went – the weather was grim and I think that after 10 miles my hands and feet were frozen – and least I wouldn’t feel their complaints of ache although it made trying to drink water or eat quite difficult. Screenshot 2015-05-11 10.14.33 I worked in with a large group and it all went well – the KOM climb split the group and I found myself at the top of the mountain cycling into a 20knot head wind and rain by myself unable to catch the faster group in front.

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a photo of some grimness

Eventually 6 of us got together and worked until we caught back up at the bottom of the climb. (the sticky out bit bottom left on map) then the turn home. 2 abreast down single track roads and everyone cautious in the wet and rain. I had to stow the glasses as I couldn’t see through them which meant that my face was showered by rain spray and grit from the road. Road widen and group relaxes and Bammm the crunch of carbon as 5 or 6 riders fall. I get hemmed in behind – everyone alright apart form bruised egos … but the group is gone and again there are 8 of us playing catch up although the others are bust so just 3 of us taking turns to drag. Get to the last wee hill and kick and look at my time 3h45min – I could break 4 hours I reckon. So pedal harder and realise my right shifter has actually worked loose but my hands have been so cold I hadn’t realised it … this last section has a lot of wee rises so working the gears more with loose shifter …. last corner and finish line in sight. Over the line celebrate ease forward and realise my gps still running 4H01 but did I take it. Get back to car and official eTap text arrives congrats 2015-05-11 10.30.32 Hooray only 1min 40sec slower than last year and that was in good weather. etape 2015 -7the Bike as ever was flawless

A pile of bling
A pile of bling