Stryd Power Meter Review | Measure Wattage Whilst Running
Stryde is a footpod that clips to your shoe and measures power. Which is essentially the amount of effort you are making at anyone time. It can work independently and record your power for you to view later on your laptop or phone or you can link it to your running GPS watch (see Stryde.com for details on which watches are compatible. All the Coros watches we sell except the Pace 1 are compatible). Unlike heart rate the minute you start to run your power goes up. If you stop your power goes to zero. So, it gives you an instant way of accessing how hard you are working. Whereas heart rate takes a while to rise when you start to run and a while to fall back down when you stop. If you use pace then the issue you have is that you don’t know how much effort you are putting in to run at a certain speed. If you run up a slight rise it takes more effort to run at a certain pace than on the flat or downhill.
The Stryde power meter will work out your critical power for you after a few runs. This then enables Stryde to calculate training zones. These are similar to heart rate zones. So, Zone 1 is for easy runs, Zone 3 for threshold sessions etc.
These zones are far more accurate than heart rate as you can instantly see that you are running at the right intensity. If your run takes you up a gradual incline then you can adjust your effort to stay in the zone you are training in. Rather than find that half way up the hill your heart rates rises out of your zone because you have been working too hard.
Stryde also adjusts itself for wind. So, if you run out and back you can adjust your pace so that you are running at the same intensity. This is very useful if you are doing intervals on an out and back course on a windy day. As even though the time it takes to do the interval into the wind will be slower you will be confident that you are running at the right intensity and therefore getting the training affect that you are looking for.
As you get fitter Stryde detects that you are able to produce more power and adjusts your critical power. This changes the power zones. So, you then know that you are fit enough to run a little quicker in each zone.
The other key aspect of Stryde is that it measures the accumulated stress. When you start to run downhill your heart rate drops as you are doing less work to run down the hill. However, the stress on your body does not reduce. The forces that your body has to deal with are still there and the power readings will show this stress. This allows Stryde to work out accumulated fatigue and tell you when you are training too hard and need to ease up a bit. This figure is based on what you have done previously and recorded within Stryde so it’s a bit inaccurate for the first month but, after that it is a very useful guide.
I have found running with Stryde has really helped improve my running. It’s quite hilly where I live and I run a lot off road so the effort on my easy runs was varying a lot. Stryde has helped me make my easy runs easy. When I hit a hill I no longer run up it to get over the top as this was pushing me above threshold in the middle of my easy runs. I now just take it easy and trot up the hills. The same was true when I came off the muddy fields. I was hitting firm ground and ‘getting into my running’ which again raising the effort to above my easy was run zone. The result is that now I get to my faster running days and there is a lot more bounce and zip in my legs. This has made running quicker more enjoyable.
The other key area that Stryde has improved for me is hill reps. When running repetitions on the flat the best way of doing these is to run each effort at an even pace and in the same time. So, your body get used to that effort without over stressing it. So, you can recover and gradually progress your fitness. Rather than having stiff heavy legs for the next few days as you struggle to recover from your hill reps. I noticed in hill reps that I had a tendency to produce a lot of power initially and then work hard for the rest of the hill rep. With Stryde I was able to make sure I was running at the same intensity at the start and end of the hill. I found I was running the hill in the same times but, with less fatigue. This has made hill sessions easier to recover from. It will also give me a better training effect as I am working in the zone I want to improve.
Pacing in races is another key element of running with Stryde. Stryde can tell you how much power you can hold for a length of time. You can log into the Stryde Power Centre which hold your personal profile and put in the distance and terrain you are running on and Stryde will give you the power level you can maintain for that event. You can then use this to pace your race. Due to Covid I haven’t been able to test this aspect of Stryde yet but, the reviews online suggest that is a far more accurate way of getting the best out of yourself than estimating your effort or using heart rate or pace as a guide.
If you want more information about running with power then I would suggest reading Run with Power by Jim Vance. This explains all about Power and how to use it to improve your running.
In summary I think that every runner from the beginner to the seasoned runner would benefit from running with a Stryde footpod. Even if all you do is make sure your running in the right zone and that your training is making you fitter then you will not only get more out of your training but, you will also feel better and enjoy your running more. This is because most runners put far too much effort into their easy runs. Which doesn’t give you an increased level of fitness but, just makes you tired.