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I have been in retreat. Not a monasterial one with white cells and silence, but one in my head. I haven't wanted to write much, not even the running blog which is my usual refuge. Yet I've done plenty of running. I hope this lassitude will pass soon; I've started, finally, taking an SSRI as there is some evidence that if HRT provides enough oestrogen, it can help with reproductive depression. Anyway, I say all that because it partly explains why it has taken me two years to write a piece that should have taken me two weeks, because it is about Strava, which I use avidly and love, and about running, which I do avidly and love. I am extremely grateful to Clare Longrigg, deputy editor of Guardian Longreads, who commissioned this all those months ago and has been endlessly patient. My apologies to all interviewees at Strava and elsewhere that I took so long to write it. But here, finally, is me on Strava and why people love it so much and why that may not always be a good thing (but it usually is).

Image by Stephen Smith Photography.

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