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Power Training

As mentioned a few days ago, I bought a Stryd running power meter. It is a foot pod, that can measure speed, power and other running metrics. It can even measure distance independent of GPS – without calibration. It is not a step counter. It uses multiple accelerators and I am not sure what else…

Besides measuring distance on a moving cruise ship, or inside a mall….. I am not sure exactly how to make best use of it yet…. I read a book, “Power Running” and it suggests not to do anything for awhile…. My first step is simply to wear it and let it start collecting data. After a month or so I am to start analyzing… So, perfect, I am about to go on vacation, so I will take it and get some runs in and figure out more when I get back….

Of course, I can’t help but dig into it some already.  I wore it at both 5k races a week ago. I wore it at the Tuesday speed workout…. I only did Elliptigo workouts later in the week, and to my horror, I forgot my Garmin on my long Saturday trail run. I used the Strava phone app, but it does not pair with the Stryd.  I ran with it again this morning – an easy 2 mile warm up…. I forgot and had it paused during some drills… and then back on for a lap of walking mixed in with strides.

( Side note: I rode my old Hybrid bike to/from practice. I did not want to lock up the GO and leave it at the park.)

Here are a few observations….

  • Average Power: 2 races and a track workout have average power readings of 288, 288, and 299 watts…. remarkably consistent…  The 3 warm ups – ALL 239 watts.
  • Efficiency Index:  Speed / Power..  All readings between .73 and .78…. The races and the easy work has the same efficiency….. hmmmm.
  • The lap of walking with 4 strides measured a much higher average power – 340 and higher efficiency of .83
  • Racing cadence was 182 – both races…. easy runs 166-171…
  • Ground Contact time 248 average at Marie Kerr Park Race compared to 258 average in Rosamond…. The power was the same, the cadence was the same… a 4% improvement in GC time….. compared with a 1% Efficiency improvement… and a 2% improvement in time….  Marie Kerr all dirt, Rosamond at least 2/3 paved, but the other 3rd rough and rocky….
  • Vertical Oscillation… 5.7 at Marie Kerr.. 5.4 at Rosamond (excluding the hill where vertical oscillation greatly increased…..

So, I am not sure what ANY of this means…. I have read that power for running is not as simple as for cycling. In cycling a certain unit of power is an input into the bike and it will result in a particular speed…. assuming grade and wind are constant, because the bike itself has a fixed efficiency.  A person does not have a fixed efficiency, so power is only part of the equation leading to speed leading to weather you do well in a race…

It will be used to dial in what things lead to efficiency (weight loss, cadence, etc), what things lead to increases in power, and to better monitor training stress levels.

The last is probably the main reason for the purchase. I have been running and counting on Elliptigo riding to supplement my training. I want the benefits of 2400 miles per year of running with the wear and tear of 1200.  I have also purchased a meter that will work on the Elliptigo as well, so I will be measuring the effects there as well…. stay tuned…


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June 2017


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