Goals matter. At least they do to me!
We’re half way through 2015. I have the data to prove it. With an ever-present computer not far from our reach, it is relatively easy to get numbers. For me, numbers count.
As of today, 2015s first 182 days, or 6 months and 0 days have passed. At the half-year mark I’ve put in 200 hours of biking, backpacking, walking, or even jogging some 144 times, where I’ve covered 820.4 miles.
What’s up with that?
Strava has been extremely motivating to me just through tracking my exercise. For those of you that don’t know about Strava, it is a social network that allows smartphone and GPS users to map their rides, hikes, walks, and swims and compete against themselves and others.
I have been using the free version but for 2015, I ponied up for to Premium (at $59/year) in order to access the additional perks-like setting time or distance goals, and to be able to track my progress week over week.
Here’s just one of their graphics:
For 2015, I took the suggestion of my son Lincoln, and set myself a goal of moderately exercising, at an average of an hour a day. As useful as this app is, it still has it’s limiting quirks. For example, it took me months to realize that Strava only aggregates cycling or running activities. Walking, or backpacking are not activities that are collected and analyzed (yet). I learned to lump all footwork as runs.
I continue to be surprised to see that even at my age, I continue to improve my fitness. I have been able to reduce the times that travel over “segments”, or sections of trail that other riders or runners have identified as places where they would like to have their own data accumulated, as well as seeing what others have accomplished on those same segments. For example, I’ve set 56 personal records since January 1.
As if all this data weren’t enough, I just ran up another $16 per year to access the benefits of Veloviewer, another program that takes Strava data and adds additional analysis. For example, Veoloviewer reached way back to 2011 and brought in ALL the data from every ride or hike that i’ve ever recorded and analyzed that in ways that I never even imagined, like this 3D graphic of this past Tuesday’s Rockland Bog Ride.
In another hour I’m headed out for a couple of hours with Craig to ride the trails around the Snow Bowl. You can bet that I’ll be bringing along my trusty Garmin eTrex30 GPS unit, and strapping on a heart rate monitor so that I can obtain Strava’s special “ Suffer Score” for this ride.
Did I mention that it’s another beautiful day here in Maine ?
Setting a time goal has resulted in me being active and outside for an hour a day every day.