Set a goal to keep running, Strava data shows

Great news for those who have signed up for #Run1000Miles in 2019

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Setting a distance goal goal is a great way to stay motivated to keep running, new data from Strava indicates.

Those who set a distance goal were 88% more likely to be still running after six months, according to just-published data from the world’s most popular training log website. It’s great news for those planning to attempt Trail Running’s #Run1000Miles in 2019.

Targeting distance proved to be better than time when it came to setting goals, though. Those who set time goals were 73% more likely to be still running after six months.

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Training with others is another great way to stay motivated, the Strava data also showed. The average distance of runs went up by 25% in group activities compared to solo run.

Notably, the speed of the average run increases quite markedly in groups compared to solo too. The average speed for group runs was 9:50 per mile - as against 11:55 for solo runs.

The average time for group runs was 59 minutes compared to 57 minutes for solo, with distance being 6 miles versus 4.8.

The benefits of being social were also shown in that those who were members of a club uploaded, on average, three times as many activities as those who weren’t - although this was over all activities rather than just running.

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The Strava report also revealed that running was most popular in the 40-49 age group. Forty-somethings are in fact twice as likely to be runners than those in the 18-29 demographic. Not surprisingly, given stories of runners switching to biking, cycling was most popular with those in the 50-59 age group.

The most active day of the year for running in the UK this year was January 13. This is hardly a shock given the large number of people who take up running in January. Mid-January is also perhaps a peak time for starting training for spring marathons. Also, January 13 was a Saturday - and notably two days before “Blue Monday” - said to be the most depressing day of the year. It seems running may have been a way of lifting people’s moods.

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Another stat is that “beer” was the most popular food or drink mentioned in the titles that runners gave to their activities. That surely refers to what runners did afterwards rather than during. Cyclists are apparently more often opting for coffee, though, as it is this that topped the food chart for them. For runners, coffee came in second, followed by cake.

Over the past year, Strava members from all over the world uploaded more than 624 million activities, collectively covering more than 10.7 billion km. December 2018 has also seen the 2 billionth activity upload, with the community’s increasingly rapid growth credited to three groups on the platform: women, runners, and athletes located outside Strava’s original home in the United States.