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1 Prospect Court
The Broadway
Farnham Common
Bucks SL2 3QQ
01753 647339
Unit 1, Prospect Court, The Broadway, Farnham Common, Bucks SL2 3QQ - Telephone: 01753 647339

Stryd Power Meter - first look

The guys at Apex Sports have given me one of these brand new Stryd Power Monitors to test and I'm planning on using it through to the Boston Marathon next April. I want to see if measuring these new metrics results in any actionable data that will improve training.

I've got a GPS watch - a Suunto Ambit 2s - and while I love it, I'm not convinced GPS training alone is that much use if you're serious about improving your times. The reason is that I believe the most effective training is 1) the long run and 2) the quality sessions. I don't think that's controversial! But because GPS devices are inherently inaccurate I don't think they're good enough to use for the quality side of training if you're working off their assessment of distance travelled. Even a few meters out over a half mile rep will skew results and affect your consistency.

So I believe your best option is a simple stopwatch over a consistent route /track.

This Stryd device measures a different metric - Power. This is more familiar to cyclists but they have developed a device that makes this available to runners as well. It's simply a measure of how much power you are generating while running. The general idea being to generate the maximum amount of power for the minimum amount of effort.

I have yet to dive into the related book (sold separately to the gadget) to work out how best to use this information so that's my homework before I start training properly in January.

There are another couple of numbers available to the mobile version of the tracking app that comes with this - a measure of how long your foot is planted on the floor and the amount that it's raised off the ground during a pace. I can see both are potentially useful as ideally you'd want to minimise the time your foot is in contact with the floor, and, all other things being equal, minimise wasted energy lifting your foot too far off it.

So what do you get? It's basically a charging unit that works simply by placing the Stryd on top of it, and the Stryd monitor itself which is a foot pod in this new version (formerly a chest strap).

The Stryd is about the size of a plectrum and weighs little more - about 7 grams. There are no connectors, changeable batteries or wires so it really is a minimal unit. There are two u-shaped clips supplied which attach the unit to your shoe (one's a spare) and they snap onto the top and bottom of the Stryd and several holes-worth of laces.

Here's one installed on my somewhat lived-in pair of Saucony Kinvaras

Setting it up is quite easy - it charges very quickly, then install the necessary app on the mainstream watch platform you already use. In my case Movescount (otherwise Garmin connect etc) and/or you can install the mobile app which will track you live.

There is also a web-based service logging all your runs etc. This looks unfinished as there are a couple of 'coming soon' menu options but it's functional.

I found it quite straightforward to add the device to Movescount - Set it to search for the footpod but that's a one-time job and from then on you will see Power as one of the graph traces.

Movescount doesn't record the additional metrics of time the foot's on the floor or height your foot rises from the floor at this stage - I'm not sure if this will be added - but these are available on the mobile app.

So far it looks potentially useful. If I can find a way of reducing the effort to power ratio that's got to help performance.

I'll update every few weeks with (hopefully!) insights and any tangible benefits I've found using it.

If you want to try it out, it's handily almost Christmas and it's not vastly expensive and makes a good gift. Links to both the watch and a associated book follow and Apex will ship it out to you forthwith.

Andrew Cooney (Twitter, Blog)

16th January 2019  Sable
Are there races in November or December 2019 in Europe?
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