Strava Art Elephant
[Strava Art Elephant – photo by Runiversity of life]

Strava Art – the GPS art form!

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I have been meaning to get round to writing some new posts, I had written this some time ago but forgot to post. As some of you know, to remain motivated while in lockdown and the COVID pandemic, I been keeping busy with multiple running challenges. Earlier in the year in April, I took to using the activity tracker Strava (the no.1 app for runners and cyclists – review coming soon) in a slightly different way – drawing some Strava Art from my runs!

The app and software is an exercise activity tracker, a training diary to track progress. You can also connect with other fellow runners, cyclists doing the same. There’s also monthly challenges, clubs, and more to join! Its a great platform and probably the most popular app used for logging your runs.

So what is Strava art?

Rather than focussing on pace for getting a PR for a particular route segment, why not attempt some Strava art, for some added fun!

Strava Art Tortoise
[Strava Art Tortoise – photo by Runiversity of life]
Draw a shape from your route instead, perhaps write a word, draw an object or even an animal. All you have to do is use roads and paths to run or cycle and make a line drawing. With some planning and remembering the route to walk, run or ride, everything will be ready to draw that first piece of GPS art.

Sounds simple, it’s trickier than you think. You find yourself looking at a map, staring at the roads and paths in the hope of making a picture or find a vaguely recognisable shape.

For cyclists, it may be a little easier as they can make larger/longer routes/shapes. However, they do need to consider one-way streets when planning their GPS art.

For us runners, routes tend to be shorter. We only need to check if there is a pavement or the road is safe to run along. Once you have formalised your plan, off you go and conquer. When completed, there you have it, a lovely piece of Strava art!

My Strava art theme

Strava Art Dog
[Strava Art Dog – photo by Runiversity of life]
For my Strava Art challenge, I decided to go with the theme of animals. I printed a few maps and poured over them to find or pick out a shape vaguely resembling an animal from the various wiggly roads and paths. With my trusty biro in hand, I started marking the route. After a tweak or two here and there I managed to form a Dog, Elephant and Tortoise! :-)

If you share your GPS art run or ride on social media, you might be lucky enough to make the Strava art wall of fame. Check out the website Stravart is an online gallery of peoples GPS art, a growing collection from around the world. You might even see my GPS art (top left in each of the images), Dog, Elephant, and Tortoise there! ;-)

I am not the only one who has taken to Strava art in the coronavirus lockdown. BBC News published an article stating ‘Strava art’ keeps parkrunners motivated amid the coronavirus pandemic in the absence of parkrun.

On one of your next runs, why not try to draw some Strava art! :-)

#stravaart #gpsart

@runiversitylife #runiversityoflife #runiversitylife

Strava Art – the GPS art form!
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