A Guide to using Strava for the Rapha Women’s 100

The Rapha Women’s 100 is fast approaching. More than 5,000 women around the world have committed to riding 100km on 20 July.

On the blog there’s advice on preparation and motivation as well as a page to help you find a group ride to join on the day itself, but here’s a guide to getting the best out of Strava, the social network and training tool for runners and cyclists.

Strava has been immensely popular for participants in our Festive 500 Challenge, but it’s not all about segments and smashing Queen of the Mountains times. Used right, it can be a fun way of helping you achieve your goals.

First and foremost, don’t forget to join the Women’s 100 Strava Challenge! All riders that complete the Challenge will receive a woven badge to commemorate their achievement.

Join the Women’s 100 on Strava »

Aside from that, here are the Strava and Rapha Women’s 100 Dos and Don’ts.

DO follow all your friends on Strava. You’ll find a ready-made pool of people to share your achievements with, ideas for new routes and motivation. And if a little friendly competition develops, all the better.

DO find famous riders to follow. Yes, they’ll put your achievements into perspective, but the pros are a great source of inspiration. Why not check out some of the riders from the recent Women’s Tour of Britain who log their rides on Strava.

DO name your rides to make it more interesting. Let people know what happened, what you saw and who you were with. Telling the story in the title makes the rides more memorable and will give your followers something to engage with.

DO connect your Instagram to Strava. It’s a great way of sharing with your followers the things you saw on your ride. Here’s some instructions on how to do it »

DO set up a privacy zone around your house. It’ll keep you and your bike safe. Again it’s easy to do – from the Privacy tab on the Strava Settings page.

DON’T get stuck on the same old training loops from your front door. Use the Strava routing feature to explore your local area and keep your motivation up. Another good idea is to make a route then take the train or drive out of your usual area. The ‘Heatmap’ toggle in the controls shows you which roads are popular with local cyclists, and with a pre-planned route you can be sure you won’t get lost.

DO join some Strava clubs. They’re forums for making friends, planning rides and sharing tips. The Rapha Cycle Clubs in London, San Francisco, New York, Sydney all are there – they’re a good place to start.

DO test yourself on segments you ride regularly. As you build up a bank of rides and try to beat your times on roads you ride all the time, you’ll get a good idea of how you’re progressing.

DO switch your default display to women only if you prefer – edit your display preferences.

DON’T feel like every ride is a race. It’s good to test yourself, but you’ll only burn out if you go full gas on every ride.

Remember at all times: this is meant to be fun! Good luck and ride strong.

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