We are very pleased to announce a partnership with Stryd, a Boulder-based company, producing one of the first, and best, power meters for running.
What are power meters? Well that’ll be the topic of the first article in a new series we’ll publish about this. While you wait for that: it’s a unit measuring the actual real workload (essentially mechanical energy) being produced while you run. Stryd is a so-called ‘3-dimensional’ power meter – which means it measures the work you create in all 3 (known!) dimensions – in layman’s terms: up and down movement (vertical), back and forth (horizontal) and rotational movements (transverse). It then returns a number back in the universal measure of energy: Watts. Cyclists will already be familiar with this although running power metres capture much more interesting and complex data due to the more dynamic nature of running.
After completing initial testing all our training plans were updated to feature Power Zones along with the traditional Heart Rate, Pace and Effort zones. You will also receive a full Power Zone chart, based on the work of Jim Vance, Steve Palladino and Hans van Dijk, and our new e-Book (Fitness, Fatigue, Freshness and Stress) as a companion material.
During our initial testing we were very impressed not just with the technology, durability, and design of the Stryd units but also the professionalism of the Stryd staff, quick delivery system and the best online support system for units we have seen so far. Over the years we have tested many new technologies and been part of backing several running-related ‘Kickstarter’ projects. A constant weakness of some projects has been difficulty of setting up the units and lack of compatibility with mainstream watches (such as Garmin) – or in other words – many new technologies are cumbersome to adopt. So, it’s an understatement to say we were relieved when Stryd proved us wrong on all these accounts.
A few quick steps and our own Garmin’s were fully up and running with the new Power statistics – our first batch of clients have already purchased units and have been given training plans featuring not just the traditional pace, Heart Rate, and Rate of Perceived Exertion targets but also Watts.
We also analyse your strengths and weaknesses using our version of a methodology developed by Peak Centre Canada based on your Power output in a number of tests to further improve the focus of your training with us to overcome the main bottlenecks holding you back from further progress.
Do I need it?
Two bigger questions we know our customers and readers will have are: 1) but is it useful and 2) does this data really mean anything for running? These questions are great, and we will dedicate the first few posts of an extensive article series on the topic of ‘Running with Power’ (to borrow the title of Jim Vance’s recent book) and using power metres for running to these topics. Then we’ll dig deeper – there are many posts and books out there about the science, so we do not want to spend too much time rehashing what others have already well described. Instead, we wish to go deep into the day to day practical analysis and use of these units.
Power meters provide valuable information but because it is new to most of us in the running community, it needs interpretation and as a running population we need education. We have invested our time in learning about this subject and testing what it can tell you. We have drawn on the few books written on the subject so far and heartily recommend you purchase the below two if you wish to dig deep yourself:
Please note you can get either book as a free eBook with your first Stryd purchase – financially it’ll work out best for you to order Van Dijk’s book with your Stryd. While we don’t have room for a full review here: Van Dijk’s goes deeper into the numbers and highlights an array of interesting formulas related to power and running in general. Vance’s digs deeper into the day to day practical use of Power metres and what measures you should use and how.
Any runner who is currently active on one of our ‘fully coached’ training plans will qualify for a 15% discount off Stryd Power Meters bought from the Stryd homepage. If you have been thinking about getting one for a while, we suggest you sign up for our coached plans and you’ll receive your discount code by email shortly after (note this requires a minimum purchase of 6-weeks coached training plan). This will allow you to not just get the new unit but also a plan to go with it and the expertise to get the most out of it quickly.
Look out for our tags ‘Run with Power’ and ‘Power meters’ as well as #runwithpower and #powermeters’ on our Social Media for future instalments in this series.