I can’t be the only one out there who loves to run, but struggles to find compadres to do it with. So I decided that if I couldn’t find a club to be part of without the ability to show up at X place at X time on X day of the week, I may as well create a virtual run club of my own.
Welcome to the AthletiKaty Run Crew.
Maybe you smash a BQ with regularity, but maybe completing 2 miles with no walk breaks is a huge accomplishment for you. It’s likely your goals fall somewhere in between, but nevertheless, your miles matter.
AthletiKaty Run Crew is a virtual run club on Strava, and the whole point of aKRC is to foster a fun community for runners of all paces to feel like they’re not alone. My goal is to provide a lighthearted, fun, yet informative virtual run club for AthletiKaty readers. Oh, and we’ve got GIFs for the ‘gram.
You are! You’re invited. Whatever this little crew starts as and whatever it will evolve into is open to all fitness levels that want to give running a try or have some sort of accountability built in to keep it fun.
THIS IS NOT A TRAINING OR COACHING PROGRAM. I’m happy to give advice as a random internet friend, but please keep in mind that I am exactly that. I am a random person on the internet with ZERO coaching certification, who simply has anecdotal advice and personal experiences to draw off of.
How to Join the Crew
The Easy Way: CLICK HERE to be taken straight to the akRC’s home page.
The Long Way: once you’re logged into Strava, choose Explore > Clubs
In the Club Name field, type “AthletiKaty” and choose the radio button next to Running.
Still pretty easy. Anyone is able to join, both the app and the ability to join are free. BOOM. Look at total, the lonely member as I type this. Join me! 🙂
I’m in. Now what?
I’ve been brainstorming this for a bit of time now, and I’ve got ideas.
My biggest sticking point in choosing between Garmin and Strava was the ability to host challenges for club members. Garmin allows you to host your own challenges, and unfortunately Strava likes to reserve that right for companies with the big bucks (think: Lululemon, Brooks, Gatorade). BUT, your girl here has figured out a way to get around it.
Every month, Strava issues generic challenges for the month for the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon distances. Within those challenges I’m able to view filtered leaderboards by the run clubs I am member of.
When there’s a challenge announced in the club, you’ll have to quickly add yourself to the overall Strava challenge to make sure your stats count, and I will do my best to be annoying about this fact. This is how I will track them, and it will be on you to make sure you include whatever hashtag or keywords are relevant to the challenge in your workout title, just like lululemon required any virtual SeaWheezers to make sure they had “Seawheeze” in the activity’s name and had the workout type tagged as a Run.
I’m all about the race-cation, so if there’s enough interest, I’d love to host shakeout runs or pre/post race meetups whenever I’m able to participate in a big race. Think: SeaWheeze (if I get in! 🤞🏼), the Lululemon San Diego 10K, or the Disney Wine & Dine 10K/Half Marathon.
Run Crew Reviews
My coach, Joanna, deserves the credit for this idea. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it’s because you appreciate a quality piece of gear. I’d love to be able to announce a category of gear (think sports bra, shoes, socks), and everyone goes and runs in their favorite piece of gear, and shares on the club feed what their favorites are and why they love them.
Never given Feetures socks a try? Maybe you’re an Asics girl who’s curious about Hokas. I want this club to be more than just thumbs ups and high fives, but a helpful community where you can discuss your favorites and maybe get a few helpful pieces of advice and recommendations along the way.
Q) Does it cost any money to join?
A) No. The nicey nice part of this all is that it’s absolutely free to be part of the group. All you need is an account on Strava.
Q) Do I need a fancy watch to participate?
A) No. I’m not going to lie, though… a GPS watch is helpful. If you own a smartphone, the free Strava mobile app uses the Location Services installed on the device to provide tracking data, but phones rely on nearby wifi & cellular to estimate your location, as opposed to using GPS systems to pinpoint you. My iPhone hosed me on my first two half marathons, so a GPS watch was a no-brainer investment when I started training more intentionally.
If you prefer to run 100% analog, Strava does allow you to manually enter your workout.
Q) Is my device compatible with Strava?
A) It’s likely. If you recall about a month back, I put out polls on my social channels asking which fitness trackers are the most popular among AthletiKaty readers. (Thank you to the 100+ people who answered – now I know the data’s a pretty good representation of the group!)
While Garmin devices made up the majority, it was only 51%. With 49% of you out there using Apple Watches, FitBits or simply carrying your phones, I wanted to start the group on a platform that plays nicely with more than one device manufacturer. While Garmin Connect is easier for creating challenges, Strava is the most inclusive.
Creating a Strava account is free, and chances are you’ve got a smartphone. The Strava app is available on both iOS and Android, and supports data imports from the following devices/platforms:
- Apple Watch
- … you get the idea. Click here for a full list.
Q) I’m wary of making my GPS data public. Is it possible to hide my location and still participate?
A) Yes, as long as you take a few steps in your Privacy settings on Strava. If you choose not to share your activities with anyone, they won’t appear on any leaderboards, and it will be like running alone. Whomp.
There is a way to share your activities with Everyone/Connections without giving away your home and/or office address. While the Crew is on Strava, I’m also including instructions on how to do so in Garmin Connect, just in case your information pushes there first.
Both apps include the ability to create privacy zones with a max radius of 1km (5/8mi) around any given address. You may create multiple overlapping zones.
Creating a Privacy Zone: Strava
Settings > Privacy Controls > Privacy Zones – Strava will not center the zone exactly on the address entered in, so that your home or office still remains a mystery.
Creating a Privacy Zone: Garmin Connect
Profile > Account Settings > Privacy Settings > Privacy Zones – Garmin does NOT offset the center of the zone, it’s up to you to do it yourself. They advise the following:
- Do not place a privacy zone centered on your private location.
- Cover your private location with multiple privacy zones of various sizes.
Q) You really couldn’t have come up with a more original name?
A) Nope. I’m busy. 😂 If I (or you) come up with something better, maybe we change it down the road. (No pun intended!)