HEALTH & WELLBEING
March Strava Club initiatives and Route planning
With days getting longer and better weather already with us, the RGU Strava Club is launching a ‘Weekly Extra Mile’ initiative for the month of March, to get our community to be more active and for longer, be it by walking, running or cycling.
With the initiative, the club will aim to increase its collective distance by 10, 20, 30 and 40% respectively in the four weeks of March, up from the distance recorded in the last week of February. The last three days left will be used to either catch up on our target or to add even more kms to our tally. The target for week 1 is 961.9 km, which we can achieve if all current members accumulate 16.9km each, an additional 1.53km from the previous week, on average. The total distance we hope to have by the end of the month is 4,372.3km!
In addition, given most of us are still working and studying from home for the time being, and based on Sustrans’ initiative, help the club become an #ActiveCommuteClub, by spending the time that used to be your rush hour commute to enjoy some physical activity in your local area. This will also help you get in the right frame of mind for work, improve your mental health and engage with peers. A series of events will be set up on the Club for weekday mornings and afternoon, as well as for the weekend. You can adapt the event times to base them on your commute pattern, but feel free to click on the “I’m In” button for the most relevant times, even if just to remind yourself to head out for some physical activity in the morning and/or afternoon. When commuting becomes part of our daily lives again, hopefully more of us will be able to turn to active travel as their main mode of transport to campus.
Each week we’ll release updates and new blog posts with tips and resources available for walking, running and cycling.
In the spirit of being more active and exploring our local area further, we thought it might be good to provide some suggestions for platforms and apps to use to figure out where your next workout could take you.
As the platform for our club, Strava could not be left out! Use it to directly record your workouts or link it with fitness trackers to gather all your workouts in one place. You can also use the platform to see how active your friends have been, create and explore routes, compare your efforts with the local community thanks to clubs and ‘segments’, and more.
Perhaps a more ‘standard’ choice, Google Maps can still provide you with plenty of information that you might find useful, including journey planning, turn-by-turn directions, satellite and Street View imagery. As a car-centred service (at least, originally), be aware that some suggested routes might not be the best ones for walking, running or cycling.
An all-rounder platform, Komoot can offers suggested routes/trails and journey planning for walking, running, hiking and various types of cycling. You can also filter suggested routes based on your sport or mode of commuting, level of fitness and route type; you will also be presented information on the path types and surfaces you will encounter.
A platform dedicated to cycling, Cycle Streets can provide you with plenty of information and alternatives for going from point A to point B, including routes based on your level of cycling experience, distance covered, calories consumed, CO2 emissions avoided and road quietness. Having used it a few times, it can still suggest routes that require you to dismount from you bike (look out for dotted lines, which usually means that). Even though there are mobile apps available for the platform, accessing it through your phone browser will open up the more recent and better mobile version.
Another cycling platform, BikeMap offers fewer options and insight than Cycle Streets, but the journey planning seems to work better, as routes suggested don’t include ‘cyclists dismount’ areas and usually follow more cycling-friendly roads and paths. Routes tried and tested by other users for fitness are also suggested (similarly to Strava and Komoot). The mobile apps in this case are better than the browser version.
Ever the geeks, some of us enjoy studying our local area for unexplored paths and plan ahead for weekend excursions. Open Street Maps is a good tool that you can use beforehand to see trails and infrastructure in place by selecting the various map layers. Open Cycle Map and CyclOSM, specific to cycling, are available within Open Street Map, but they are also visible at their separate websites, with the added benefit of being able to see map keys and more information. CyclOSM seems to provide more up-to-date and clearer information, at least in the Aberdeen area.
We hope this is useful information and if you have any suggestions for other platforms, feel free to drop a comment in the Strava Club to let us know about them. We hope you’ll join us for our March initiatives and stay active with the RGU community!
Written by Nicolò Silvani
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