The world’s first wearable power meter, Stryd's latest gadget claims to help you improve your running form, economy and speed. A pretty big claim for such a small piece of kit, we were keen to test it out.
Small but mighty
The Stryd Power Meter may be small yet it’s a piece of kit that can benefit your running in numerous ways without the need for being a whizz with technology. The focus of the Power Meter is to give you real-time insight into your running form, make it more economical and give you more power. Power is one of the key factors in determining your running performance, and by increasing and managing it, can lead you to more beneficial training as well as getting that PB on race day.
Monitoring everything from your power to the pace of your run, the information gathered by this forward-thinking gadget promises to put every drop of energy to good use. If you consider the amount of steps taken during an hours’ worth of running, making slight improvements to each step with the right knowledge can make a huge difference to the energy that you put into the pavement.
Go beyond the stopwatch
How does this information improve our running? During every step, the Power Meter captures a wealth of information that can often be overlooked, going way further than a running watch. Leg-spring stiffness, cadence, fatigue, muscle strength, stress and recovery are just some of the nuggets of wisdom stored, ready for you to upload on the screen right in front of you.
On a higher level there are also insights into the causal factors of performance—such as lactate threshold, VO2 capacity and biomechanical efficiency. This can all be tracked on a daily basis, so that you know not only when to really push it in your training but also when you should be backing off the throttle.
This is an area of analysis we're new to. Yet with the easy option to compare both runs and metrics on clear graphs, together with the insight offered up on the Stryd website, we were able to apply this know-how to our future training runs, seeing where we can improve on conserving our energy consistently throughout a workout.
Start up with ease
Getting going with Stryd is pretty straight forward. First things first you need to charge the meter which is easy thanks to the wireless charger. Download the app on your smart phone to get the Power Meter synced up. As well as mobile, you can also view data instantly on your computer in the Power Center, logging everything from distance to average pace.
After downloading the app, turn on your Bluetooth, clip in and connect. The meter will flash when syncing and the app will give you the option to start your run. Another welcome discovery is the ability to use Stryd hands free. Stryd niftily upload the ‘offline’ data via Bluetooth when you’re finished running, so you can leave your phone at home and run free.
Track your progress instantly
The Power Meter also takes the stress out of measuring your training cycle progress with the accessibility and easy use of the Power Center. Not only can you keep track of the miles you've logged, but with clever insights into your runs you can see day by day or week by week how you're improving.
Clever technology aside, Stryd also provide specific training plans to coincide with your progress. Whether you’re working towards a speedy 5K or taking on a triathlon, you can follow a four-step training plan and see how your progress lines up. Taking you from base training, right through to the key sharpening phase a few weeks before race day. This ticks off yet another box when we have an endless list of things to consider before a race, with no additional cost.
If the rain hits, you needn’t worry about keeping your Power Meter in working nick. Stryd ensure water resistance of up to one metre for 30 minutes, so unless you’re wading through rivers you don't need to stress. It also has a charge that lasts for up to one month, which is a first for us in the technology stakes, as well as being able to sync up with a number of watches, from your Garmin, to the latest Suunto.
One of the biggest plus points about Stryd is having a wearable that does the job of your usual running watch, and then more. It provides the metrics you need to not only improve your running form, but become a more efficient runner without finding yourself in a complicated world of technology, numbers and data. So now you can clip in, connect up and work towards beating those personal bests.
Purchase your own Stryd for the road, or find out more here.