Is there a Strava segment that always seems to elude you? We know the feeling. Despite training harder and longer, you can’t top the segment leaderboard. Here are six hacks to help you take down your local KOM on Strava:
1) Do your research
Make sure you know where the Strava segment begins and ends. You can do this by using Segment Explore on Strava. But don’t just note the start and end points, make sure you pick up on the changes in elevation, turns and any potential hazards leading into, or on the segment.
Related: How to be a triathlete on Strava
Next, do your research on the previous best times in the top ten. What time of day were they set? When (season)? With who (did they have a lead-out)? All of these questions are important factors to consider before you make your KOM attempt.
2) Recon ride
Get to know the segment. Whether you’ve ridden it 100 times or 10 times, do a few recon rides to strategize when you’ll make your surge and take the crown.
Related: Canadian pro triathletes on Strava
Get to know the area. You’ll want to be aware of any changes in the asphalt, wind direction, changes in elevation and local traffic.
3) Test efforts
You can do this a few ways. One, you can do an interval session on the segment. This will give you several passes over the same road at a high-intensity. Or two, on your next long ride, make sure you do a sub-maximal effort. Somewhere between 75 and 85 per cent should be sufficient. Then you can see where that effort stacks up to the rest.
4) Rest up and schedule date
Leading into the effort, make sure you avoid doing any hard sessions before your attempt. Now is the time to sit back, enjoy your coffee and pick the perfect day.
5) Tailwinds are allowed
A tailwind is not cheating, so make sure you plan accordingly. If you get a KOM while going into a headwind, then your just a beast.
6) Make sure you have speed coming into the segment
You’ll want to hit the start of the segment at a pace you can hold throughout the effort, although this is dependent on the conditions. If you discover that the record used a lead-out, make sure you recruit a team of riders that’ll line you up for the win.
If you don’t achieve glory – try, try again. And it that still isn’t enough, it’s time to move onto another one. Who knows, maybe when you return you’ll be crowned KOM.