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Strava Link-Up and Training Competition

Posted on January 27th, 2021 by

I’ve hooked up the Chasers website to Strava so we can download your training data and use it for club competitions without you having to lift a finger. This has allowed me to put together a leaderboard of the best training sessions this week.


This screenshot (taken at an opportune moment when I happened to be at the top of the leaderboard) shows you what to expect.

Every run has been given a percentage ranking. A score of 100% means that it matches the handicap we have computed for you (which in turn depends upon your recent best age graded performance and the time elapsed since you achieved it). To be precise, we take the time and distance for your run, use our calculator to compute the equivalent time for a 5K and then take the ratio between this and the 5K time predicted from your handicap as an age graded percentage.

So the ranking shows who has made the best training effort this week taking into account your ability, and how far you ran.

Each run is categorised either as “with recoveries” or a “continuous run”. If the time you spend running is more than 90% of the elapsed time, then it counts as a continuous run. I’ve allowed 10% so that you can cross roads safely, stop for water and so forth without worrying about your ranking.

When computing your performance, it ignores any laps where your pace drops significantly below your fastest pace. This means you can use the interval setting on a Garmin watch, press the lap button at the end of each fast interval, and then use your watch to time your recovery. This gets rid of the annoying problem that you can’t time your recovery laps if you press the stop button. However, if you are doing jog recoveries rather than timed recoveries you should press stop.

As well as the leaderboard, you can view all your recent runs together with their scores. Because of the way we calculate your pace for interval sessions, this is probably more useful information than that displayed by Strava (though I say so myself). You can click through to the full Strava data.

You don’t need a GPS watch to be on Strava. In principle you can enter your own training runs manually. So if you want to take part in the leaderboard and don’t have GPS you can.

This is all part of an evil long term plan of mine to capture all of your data and perform loads of analysis. For example, I hope that in the future we will be able to kick people out of the club who achieve better times than me without even trying. It is possible that we may even be able to do this automatically. For this reason, you can expect more analysis of your data will turn up – this is very much a first draft. Similarly the handicapping system will probably be refined to punish anyone who ever does particularly well and to make sure everyone has a decent chance of topping the leaderboard if they are willing to run till they puke.

Anyway, this brings me to the competition for this week (week ending 31 Jan 2021). This week’s key session is 10-12 times 300m with 100m walk recoveries (at least 50% of the time should be spent recovering so walk slowly). The competition is: who can get the best score for this session. The top 10 will be posted in next week’s newsletter. Note that it doesn’t matter to your score whether it is exactly 300m or whether you do 10-12 reps, so do the number of reps that’s right for you in terms of your training.