Running Log: Why I Don't Use Strava

Date Location Time Distance
12/17 Bluebonnet Trail ?? min 2 ish km

The semester is wrapping up, and after spending far too much time thinking about torus knots and loopspaces, I decided to go for a run (with my dog).

Usually when I run not much goes through my head, and today was no exception, aside from the occasional "I'm out of shape". I haven't been running too much this semester, which is a natural consequence of being enrolled too many math courses. As you can see, the stats are vague— this is because I ran without looking at the time or how far I ran. As a former user of Strava, I adopted the habit of running without my phone after becoming a digital hermit. Going out to run without Strava recording was kind of strange at first, I mean, did the run even happen if Strava didn't record it? I got used to it over time though.

I guess the reason why I stopped logging my runs is a mix of minimalism and privacy. I mean for privacy it's duh, a corporation (who has made questionable decisions) making a closed source "app" for your monitoring device that carefully tracks your location for several hours. Yippee, sign me up. But running without logging it may be beneficial even for the non privacy oriented. Before, when I wanted to go for a run, I would have to put on my flipbelt to hold my phone, fumble for a bit at the door to start recording, and then finally get to running. Now, I just lace up my shoes and head out— no having to bring unnecessary things or worrying about your splits. In a sense, running is the ultimate minimalist sport, because all you need are shoes and the great outdoors. Why ruin that with fancy equipment or tracking devices?

Another thing that bothered me about Strava was the social aspect, namely, how it hijacks our need for attention to maintain a userbase. I mean yeah, social media is a much worse offender of this. While the like (in this case, kudos) button is used to feed our need for dopamine and attention, drawing us into the service, I would much rather have companies use this to get people to exercise as opposed to internet domination (cough Google). The sneaky thing about Strava is though, you don't really think of it as a traditional social media, while having the same downsides. Thinking of witty captions is harmless and all, but at one point I realized I was only running so I could see my runs logged on Strava. At this point, there's a problem. Of course, I don't have anything against Strava users, I'm just saying why I personally don't use it. I do end up losing access to running data, which is somewhat annoying at times. Maybe I should just measure how long I run with measuring tape.