It's a pretty interesting area for runners as the development of running power brings along a potential evolution in how individuals can pace and control their running tempo along with coaches providing a metric of prescription exercise that is relevant through a larger range of external factors.
"Stryd measures your body's 3-D motion patterns. This information, combined with your body mass, allows Stryd to determine how much power your own muscles are applying to your body. Stryd also measures characteristics of your running environment, such as incline."
Traditionally I've generally prescribed workouts based around pace although this has had limitations on individuals training on hilly or off road terrain especially when TSS (training stress scores) are based off the TH (threshold) run pace that is in place. An off road run or hilly run will have a low average pace but potentially a much higher demand on the body.
Using HR is another good option but again has limitations as it lags intensity which for many runners has a huge cost at the later stages of events, as some runners burn all their matches too early. I prefer to use HR as a cross check to pace and use this as a key monitor over hilly or off road terrain to ensure at individual is controlling the intensity.
Power brings in a new dynamic and while the technology and use of the data is still in it's infancy it's great for coaches and athletes to embrace these technologies. This will hopefully make it easier to learn about the information it provides and how to apply the data from a training prescription perspective - maybe as a secondary measure to start with as both athlete and coach gain confidence in the data it provides.
A simple pairing of the STRYD device with most watches is pretty straight forward. The limitation for someone using Garmin is the number of screens you have available. Garmin and Polar don't support POWER in the running settings so you need to use the BIKE mode. Garmin has four screens in bike settings so opting to utilize one of these to running is probably the easiest option. I am using the Polar V800 and this watch offers multiple sports so I chose the Mountain Biking Profile to create my running with power profile.
I wanted to be able to cross check my power with measurements that I was familiar with so set up a screen that included HR, Speed and Power. Again one of the limitation at this stage is that both Polar and Garmin don't offer Pace when in bike settings so you have to work off speed, which for me was like doing maths and running at the same time.
Another couple of option are
- if you have it available, wear two watches and get the pace measurement off the other watch.
- I simply set my watch to AUTO LAP every 1km so I had a measurement off at least the last 1km that I ran.
If you are able to/ or want to use your phone while running Stryd offer a good app that connects through bluetooth with your power meter and you can follow their Testing Protocol.
It is basically the same as option 2 below apart from the fact it uses distance instead of time.
For runners with a pace approximately 5min/km then the distance will work out fairly close to the time based testing.
Runners with a slower pace than this may prefer the time based option.
Learn about the APP and the Stryd testing on the video below.
I prefer not to run with my phone so while I could have completed their recommended training protocol I followed a combination of two different protocols suggested by two leaders in this field Jim Vance and Andrew Coggan. Read the article here
The adaption of Jim Vance suggested protocol was to adjust the 9min max effort run to a 12min max effort run. The reason for this was that the margin of error was +/- 1% vs +/-3% for the 9min run (listening to Andrew Coggan's blogs regarding this).
446 Watts Average
504 Watts Max
469 Watts Average
554 Watts Max
After I completed this test, I took the average power for the 3 minutes and the 12 minutes, and average the two values. 446 watts for the 3 minutes, and 469 for the 12 minutes which was 457.5 Watts.
Next, take 90 percent of that value. So the 457.5 average, would be an estimated rFTPw of 411.75 watts.
I did include a longer warm up than indicated above but reset the watch after that. I ran along Auckland's waterfront and there was a very strong head/ cross wind on the way out with more of a tail wind on the way back. Wind is one of the factors that will slow you down but I will slowly learn how to account for it from a power perspective (but as mentioned in the FACT sheet it currently isn't accounted for). Interesting to see the Max Power into the head wind was 504 watts vs a max power with a tail wind at 554 watts.
My own fitness is relatively low at the moment so there is again there is some limitations on the results achieved but would at least provide a base to start from.
If you are trialling running with power, then reading and following the blog on their website will really help as their is some valuable insights from leaders in the sports science field contributing to the questions and information.
I am looking forward to running more with power and comparing some of the workouts & courses I've done before but now to include power data.
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