Strava have recently added some new privacy settings to your profile, so now is a time to have another look at your current settings and maybe tighten up the security on your account.
You should already at a least be using the “Hide Your House” option to keep the start and finish points of your regular rides from showing up (ie: your house or even work). In the past there have been reports of clued up bike thieves using Strava data to target homes with expensive bikes. This privacy zone can be set from 200m up to a 1000m radius, which is good if you live in a more rural area.
The new settings can enhance your privacy further. Ever had loads of random kudos from Zwift riders or for a Sportive where Strava has shown you “rode with” a whole bunch of strangers? Well now you can also hide your activity from group rides, so it only shows to athletes you follow or that follow you. You can also remove an activity from Strava segment leader boards completely for added privacy.
Alongside the “Hide Your House” option, I have my Strava profile page and training log set to private, with my activities uploaded as private by default. So spend a minute or two now reviewing your settings to ensure you’re happy with your Strava privacy.
I’ve had a pretty good start to the cycling year and I hope you have too, no matter what season you’re currently in the middle of. I kicked off 2017 with a very warm and also very wet New Years Day ride in the Blue Mountains two hours west of Sydney. The owner of the AirBnB we were staying in left me his spare bike to ride. What a champ!
Matching bar tape, hubs and socks. So totally pro…
Yesterday I took to local roads for a a little Saturday spin, not pushing hard just using it as a bit of active recovery and tan line sharpening. Even so I managed to clock a PR around the TT loop and take 2nd on the leaderboard. All that Zwifting is paying off!
It was a fun ride. Well, it was until a bird flapped out of a roadside bush and collided with my chest! I must have grabbed too much front brake or turned abruptly as I was sent over the bars and hit the bitumen! Luckily nothing broken (on me, the bike or the bird) just a few grazes and some scuffed levers.
I’m a bit stiff today, but otherwise it’s business as usual. I opted for some easy time on the rollers listening to the Zwift Podcast to work out the stiffness and keep the legs turning.
Next job is to check over the bike to see if there’s any damage I may have missed, then off to the beach for a bit of lazy Sunday afternoon recovery time! #keepcycling
Cody Beales (he’s a triathlete, but we won’t hold that against him) has written a fantastic piece on how he used a turbo trainer almost exclusively over the winter to bring his bike strength up from being his weakest event to world class. Whether you’re new to indoor training or a seasoned year-round turbo veteran, his article is well worth a read. He explains how he “not only made indoor training tolerable, but preferable and extremely effective.”
Image Credit: Ruddock Visuals
So as you know, I’ve been making regular trips to my “Zwift Cave” to sneak in a quality early morning or evening session on the rollers. It has really got me motivated to train harder again in order to recover some of that lost fitness. Zwift has changed my entire mindset when it comes to how I view indoor training.
Zwift. I haven’t spent this much time playing video games since the days of Doom II.
Could I just go outside? Yeah of course. I just don’t really feel like risking the dusk/dawn gauntlet of errant Tasmanian wildlife. Colliding with a wallaby, possum, wombat, echidna, Tassie devil or six foot long tiger snake while bombing along would not make for a good end to a ride!
Tiger snake venom is neurotoxic, affecting the central nervous system. It also causes blood clotting and breakdown of muscle tissue which can lead to kidney failure. Death from a bite can occur within 30 minutes, but usually takes 6-24 hours.
Plus I’ve got to make good use of the Strava Premium bonus! I’ve got the CX bike on the rollers with my PowerTap hub. That bike hasn’t seen any use since my Sigma Sport commuting days and it’s great to be back using Di2 again, if only indoors. I already had the rollers so the only purchases I made to “get Zwifting” were an ANT+ dongle ($30 from eBay) and a USB extension cord ($10) to move the dongle closer to the wheel.
The virtual me is *almost* as stylish as the real me.
I can feel the positive effects already. Just that extra time in the saddle, even if it’s just unstructured riding around the Watopia or London courses, has already made a tangible difference to my fitness levels. I’ll still need to clock some road miles, including time aboard the TT bike and hitting some hills. It’s another string in the training bow that should see me making inroads back into good form.
But best of all, I no longer dread indoor training!!! #virtualmiles
Riding off into the warm Watopian sunset…
I’ve talked before about monitoring resting heart rate and how it can help identify when you’re getting fitter (or the opposite). I try and keep an eye on mine, tracking it using my FitBit Blaze watch.
Trying for a smile at the top of a local Cat 2 climb.
After a period of shall we say, less than ideal physical activity and eating patterns, my resting heart rate crept up to 62bpm. My on-the-bike fitness was suffering and I was most certainly getting lazy! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started to build the distance/intensity back up and it’s starting to take effect.
Since doing so I’ve seen my resting heart rate come back down to a much more reasonable 57bpm. It shows that my cardiac fitness is slowly returning. I’m starting to feel like a cyclist again and less like the guy who ate all the pies!
It’s famously well known that Lance Armstrong had a resting heart rate of 32 beats per minute. Miguel Indurian’s was reported as low as 28bpm (and he won five more Tours de France than Lance).
For the most part, your “natural” untrained resting heart rate is genetic. Some people have a naturally very low RHR while for others it’s higher. It’s the difference you make to it through endurance training that counts.
I’ve never had a particularly low resting hear rate, with my little “untrained” hamster heart beating at around 62-64bpm before I started cycling more seriously. Recently I’ve started measuring it again using a FitBit Blaze watch that I got suckered into buying Duty Free at Heathrow.
Although I was never overweight or overly unhealthy, I’m pretty much as fit as I’ve ever been in my entire life endurance wise thanks to slowly increasing the time and intensity of my cycling, although I need to step it up again very soon. Now my RHR sits around the 56-58bpm mark.
Oh my max measured heart rate while out cycling has been 196bpm, must have been a steep hill that one!