Strava Heat Maps – how is yours?

It started off with raceshape that did a heatmap of your rides or runs and linked into your strava details …. but now raceshape doesn’t work and instead it has either been bought in-house or they have replicated it ….

quite nice seeing your heatmap with higher occurrences burning brighter but a faint line for routes run just the once ….

Here is my heatmap for running all time (since joining strava 2012)

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 16.38.50

and my routes for 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 18.38.02

See the interesting blobs at the 5 a side pitch. (shame you cant filter those out but that is an issue when strava doesnt let you add sports (5 a side, sailing, and kitesurfing would do me)

i am also a creature of habit running down the river and around the park ….

Now they could do a lot with this showing the most popular routes as well as the hottest segments – you could then plan your run or ride for a bit of a trophy hunt …




Here is how you do it better ….

Strava is bad today

went for a run and this is the picture I see after putting it into Strava so I think the Strava gremlin is out trying to change from Ride (default) to run.

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 13.30.08


eventually i import it and Whoah something is wrong (besides my lack of pace which is expected) …. the gps track on the Fenix is way out.


bad gps track
bad gps track
Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 21.31.37
what the track should have looked like

So what could cause the track to be so bad on a cloud free day – was only wearing a vest so that can’t be to blame. So i googled the possible reasons.

Instead of the straight line, the satellites in the sky above you track your route through a series of plotted dots that’s typically within 10 feet of your GPS watch. But that 10-foot margin of error can add up over the course of 26.2 miles. Two dots could weave 10 feet inside and outside of that “straightest path possible” that the USATF certification ensured, which will add to the total distance on your watch.

Other factors can mess with your GPS, too, including:

  • The number of participants at big races often make going the “shortest path possible” impossible for most runners. Things like taking wide turns can add distance to your total.
  • Tree cover could disrupt the GPS readings and make it slightly less accurate.
  • Veering off for a water stop, bathroom break or to run over and high-five your kid will add distance to your total.
  • Starting the GPS in the corral rather than at the start line adds pre-start line distance to your total.


Snow, who doubles as a running coach, praises the usefulness of GPS watches in training. Few runners would disagree.


So no answer but changed software to latest version and there is a nice feature that will now read the ANT+ speed cadence sensor …… hooray.

Changes made from version 3.30 to 3.40:

  • Added full support for GSC 10 Speed/Cadence bike sensor to allow calibration and display speed (options found under Setup > ANT Sensor > Bike Spd/Cad, Setup > Fitness > Bike Speed)
  • Added ‘UTC (24 hr)’ option to alternate time zone list. This option displays UTC time in 24-hour format regardless of system settings
  • Added support for ‘Alt. Zones’ to become a data page option

So will see how good the new version is – off SUPing tomorrow so we will see.

The Geek in me like this: Social Running Geekiness

It’s one thing to look at your own personal-fitness data and identify trends and tendencies. But what about crunching the numbers of 1,000 New Yorkers over a nearly four-month period? That’s the kind of project that requires some serious know-how.

Graphic designer Nicholas Felton enlisted 14 of his students at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts to analyze the metadata aggregated by 1,000 Nike+ runs conducted from Sept. 7 to Dec. 21 of last year. The result is an incredibly detailed representation of New Yorkers’ running habits, where the most popular routes are, what time of day Nike+ runners are more likely to be outside, and more.

The above graphic (done by Cooper Smith) shows where the most popular running paths are in Central Park. The red lines indicate the highest trafficked areas, and as Smith notes on his blog, the lighter green and blue entrails extending from the east side of the park show that more people tend to enter the park from the Upper East Side. The same lines don’t show up nearly as often along the Upper West Side entrance points.

Felton’s team did more than just static graphical overlays. The video below (also done by Smith) puts the Nike+ into motion, illustrating where people are running during what time of day. (The actual date of the run is irrelevant in this analysis.)

Teammate Erin Moore opted for a more traditional day-by-day analysis of New Yorkers’ running habits.

In all, there were more than 500,000 data points to wade through, and you can see the rest of Felton’s students’ work at their SVA page. And although the visualizations end up highlighting shortcomings in the data collection, this effort and new fitness-tracking features being developed by the likes of Boston-based startup RunKeeper prove that the future of personal data tracking has never been more rife with potential.


—– even more info

check out his site here 

where you can find his London Nike+ stuff … was apparently in Wired UK

London pretty

GPS Running and Biking apps for the iPhone a recap

screen grab

I did a brief review of apps a while back – thought it was time that I reviewed the ones that still stay on my iPhone …


I paid for this app – it is a great sub for a dedicated gps unit. It is very quick to pick up signals and lock on to the satellite signal. If you are buying an app as a dedicated gps then this is the one. For purely cycling or running there may be better.


See here


A more basic gps application. Screen comes up horizontal layout which is a better use of space on the screen. The top shows duration – centre shows speed with odometer below. On the left there is an average speed display and a maximum speed display. On the right is a trip display and a large  Start button which once pressed turns into a STOP button. Ease of Use is the primary benefit. Tracks can be saved and also uploaded to everytrail



A good gps unit equally good for biking or running. I have done 2 screengrabs. It is a vertical display on black background that is easy to read.

Vitals shows Speed and Distance and Duration. Good for cycling.

Stats Screen

Stats shows avg pace / avg speed and odometer


Downloaded for trial. Not one I will describe and recommend here.


Another good vertical display. Again more for bikes. Display shows Elapsed Time / Distance / Average Speed and Current Speed. Bottom half of screen is map display. Again this can be uploaded to GPSies where there are tools and tracks to share. While app is quite basic the website is versatile.


map screen

As it says on the app – running is in the name itself. Two screen displays – a read out of time avg pace and calories at the top and a map below.

split screen

Second screen shows /min splits. I believe in the pro version you can change this to /km splits. A good running app which will serve most runners well.








A really nice running app – I like the display and the readouts on this app – think it is the nicest app for running.

Display shows Distance / Time / Pace / Calories

Below it shows splits showing altitude climbed and /km splits. You can them email your route – it attaches a gpx file and also allows you to see the route in Google Earth.










Not so much a gps tracker as a track finder – finding routes in an area that you are visiting or living. Can display in vertical or horizontal format.