Comparisons With Others Can Obscure Our Own Goals

On and off over the years, I have used a training app called Strava. It allows you to keep track of your performance on different biking, running and skiing trails. You can even break down overall times into sections or compare your performance over the entire trail.

Last year, in an attempt to get back into shape for mountain biking, I started using Strava again. At first, I just tracked my training volume. How many miles did I ride? How long was I on my bike? Then I started competing against myself. How fast could I do a couple of my favorite trails?

Strava also has a feature that lets you compare your training results to times posted by other people. It didn’t take long for my competitive side to kick in. On days where I had already decided on an easy ride, I found myself racing through sections of trail to see if I could beat other people on Strava.

Read the rest of the article on The New York Times.