My first steps on STRAVA (include cycling)

Last December, I did it! No, no, I did not made any New Year’s resolutions. But I registered on Strava. This is a tracking system for running, cycling and other sports. It is quite sophisticated and I found myself struggling with all those options for planning, tracking and analysing my activities. You can set goals, track your runs and rides, studying profiles, speed, personal records for 400 meters, 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2 mile, 5 and 10 kilometers as well as your performance on Strava segments.


Yes. These are one of Strava’s most striking features. A segment is a route starting at one point in the landscape, running for some hundred meters or several kilometers and ending at a certain point. Everybody is free to run or ride segments either for fun or to compete for minimum times with all others, who finished a segment. There are overall rankings, year’s rankings, rankings for women only as well as rankings for the present day, week or month. The leader of the overall ranking is awarded – he/she can name himself/herself „King of Mountains“(KOM) or „Queen of mountains“ (QOM), respectively.


Be prepared!

Now, do not think that becoming KOM/QOM is a no-brainer. It is very though as I exeperienced in these first few month of running and riding with Strava. I quickly understood that there are very though, strong and motivated guys at the top of each segment ranking. Today for instance, I get to know that Vincenzo Nibali, a pro cyclist, became KOM on two segments in the region of Lugano (Switzerland) – see featured image. Congrats, Vincenzo!

This summer is gonna be great

For me, Strava is a great opportunity to add a competitive touch to my training routine. Chasing personal records, trying to progress in the rankings – this is what keeps me motivated, so that I stick to my sportive activity even if I am „a bit tired“ or have other poor excuses not to get myself out of the sofa.

And it is even better! I think, Strava offers the opportunity to become rewarded with a personal record or a new record on one of the segments while comuting. So even on my daily way to work and back home I get the chance to achieve results. Are you ready to join and experience a great, racy summer with Strava? No excuses. Here is the link to your summer challenge in 2018: Have fun 🙂


Of inches, feets and miles and their metric counterparts

I enjoy riding and running with Strava. But I am confused. Confused about the length of my favorite segments. For instance one of them is 0,15 miles long, starts at 1’418 ft and end at 1’424 ft. This makes an elevation of 6 ft. Simple maths. However, as I am used to measure distances in kilometers and meters, I always feel a bit fooled by the imperial system of measurement. And this makes me writing this short note, which should help me to cope with all these miles, feets and inches. The table below sets the stage.

Imperial system Metric system
1 inch 0,0254 m = 2,54 cm
1 foot = 12 inches 0,3048 m = 30,48 cm
1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches 0,9144 m = 91,44 cm
1 mile = 1760 yard = 5280 feet = 63360 inches 1,60934 km = 1609,34 m = 160934 cm

So, done. Now, I think I have got it. You too? An example to check what we have learnd form this little note:

The Strava-Segment which measures 0,15 miles is approximately 0,2414 kilometers long. Why? Because 0,15 miles divided by 1 mile times 1,60934 kilometers is 0,2414 kilometers.

Warum heisst der Kaiserschnitt Kaiserschnitt?

Der Legende nach geht die Bezeichnung «Kaiserschnitt» auf den römischen Kaiser Julius Cäsar zurück. Dieser sei auf diese Weise zur Welt gekommen. Diese Legende wird aber kaum der Wahrheit entsprechen. Denn zur Zeit Cäsars war ein Eingriff wie der Kaiserschnitt für die Mutter tödlich. Die Mutter Julius Cäsars lebte jedoch nach der Geburt noch rund 50 Jahre weiter, wie wir aus der Geschichtsschreibung wissen. Deshalb wird sich der Name «Kaiserschnitt» aus mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit von anderswo herrühren, nämlich vom lateinischen Wort «caedere», das «schneiden» bedeutet. Mittels Kaiserschnitt geborene Kinder hiessen daher «caesones» – «Schnittlinge». Der medizinische Fachausdruck für diese Operation heisst heute noch «sectio caesaria», also «kaiserlicher Schnitt» oder eben «Kaiserschnitt».

Quelle: Coopzeitung, Nr. 11/2018.


Ein Meteroit von der Grösse eines Personenwagens könnte einen 8 Kilometer hohen Tsunami auslösen, wenn er in einen irdischen Ozean einschlägt. Käme es zu einem solchen Ereignis, zeitigte dieses verherende Folgen für die Menschheit. Dies mitunter deshalb, weil ein Drittel der Weltbevölkerung höchstens 100 Kilometer von einer Küste entfernt lebt.

Quelle: WELT/N24Doku, Dokumentation «Geheimnisse der Tiefe: Riesenwellen» vom 23. Februar 2018

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12 things you should do in this life (bucket list!)

This year I will get 38 years old. OLD! This tough insight hit me as I was watching sports (soccer, cycling, hockey and others) these days. The commentators spoke of „old stagers“ when they talked about 32 years old players. OMG, I thought. This guy is six years younger than I am and is called an „old stager“. And all of sudden I got aware that time is ticking. So I decided to write a bucket list, i. e. a list of things I want to do in this life which hopefully lasts for another 50 years. Here it is:

  1. Running a mile (or two) with the Olympic torch
  2. Writing an important book (no scrap, no fiction)
  3. Finding my dream woman and make her happy (leave comment if you feel addressed)
  4. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Pressing 120 kg (264 pounds) on the bench
  6. Inventing something that makes other people’s life easier (and my banking account bursting 😉 )
  7. Visiting all continents (exept Antarctica)
  8. Reading the bible (yes, the whole bible from Genesis 1,1 to Revelation 22,21 including the apocrypha)
  9. Founding an enterprise (just a small one, because big firms would keep me too busy) – okay this not mandatory
  10. Eating a 1-pound-box of Beluga-Caviar (costs about  5’000 $)
  11. Winning the Nobel Prize in literature (very tough challenge, but fits with number two)
  12. Solving the (3n+1)-problem (also known as „Collatz problem“)

… time is running … 50 years left … so let’s start out, old stager!

Stop doing planking challenges

Let’s find an app to take a planking challenge. I tell you, there are dozens of apps in Google’s play store. Which one would you choose? My tip: Choose none of them. They all suffer from major shortcomings, and, hence, you won’t get stronger in the longrun. Here are two reasons, why taking planking challenges will disappoint you sooner than you might think.


Challenges keep you busy for only one month. When the challenge is over, you have no reason to keep your workout going, because you got your motivation from the app. It was fun, but it didn’t really hit you. So all the gains you achieved during the thirty days will be gone within a week or so.

Challenges set the wrong incentives. They want you to perform a particular exercise – the plank – for increasingly longer time. You start withe 20 seconds and end up with 3 minutes for example. This is good for the ego, but it makes you not stronger in the long run, because the resistance always remains the same. Therefore you are supposed to increase the resistance as soon you can hold the plank for 90 seconds. You can do this by practicing more difficult variants of the plank. So your core muscles get new incentives, which make them to adapt – i. e. getting stronger.



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Go for a hundred (caution: ultramarathon)

Yesterday, I was so comfortable. A documentary was telecasted. I sat on my couch jumping from one webpage to the next. An all of a sudden I hit To be honest, the website hit me and inspired me to participate in the 100 km run – an ultramarathon – in Biel (Switzerland) at the beginning of June.

Today I came back down to reality. No, no, not what you might think now. I still stick to the idea and still want to go for my hundred this year. But today I realised that a I need a plan or a training schedule. And this is what I was searching for in the web. Believe me, you can find serveral dozens of schedules to prepare for a 100 km run. So I arbitrarily picked up a couple of them and created a mashup schedule, which is now supposed to help me to finish the ultramarathon this summer.

As I read all these different plans I got aware of some remarkable facts. For instance, some professional runners say that you can finish an ultramarathon, if you can finish a classic marathon of 42.195 km. This also means that you won’t have to double or even triple your training effort in order to progress from 42.195 km to 100 km. And in a particular respect you will have to thighten you schedule, because you will have to perform a long run once a week. And this long run’s distance prolongs from under 20 km to 60 km or above. This in turn requires that you extend your recovery time, too. Overall you will end up with a training scope for an ultramarathon that is similar to a marathon preparation schedule. Good news? If you want get to know more details about my ultramarthon training plan, click the link below. It takes you to Google Docs where my schedule is hosted – feel free to use it!

Here you go for your hundred. There is a German and an English version.