Change your training schedule from heart rate or pace to power. How do you do that?

Change your training schedule from heart rate or pace to power. How do you do that?

Last week we introduced the new Stryd Workout App. This makes it easy to load Stryd training schedules into your Garmin watch or Apple Watch. With the help of the beeps and vibrations of your watch, you can easily do your workout.

The Stryd Workout App also offers unexpected other possibilities. It’s just as easy to use training schedules that you already have, or have got from your trainer, into your Garmin or Apple Watch. To do this, you first need to convert a schedule based on heart rate or pace zones to power. That’s not very difficult. In this article we will help you on your way. At the same time, we give you an idea of the relationship between heart rate and power.

Critical Power and Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

In our articles and book The Secret of Running we use the concept of Functional Threshold Power, abbreviated as FTP. This is the power, the wattage, that you can maintain for exactly an hour. Your FTP forms the basis for your strategy for races and training plans.

Stryd uses the term Critical Power. That’s slightly differently defined as FTP, but in terms of numerical value for most runners it is more or less the same. Ron’s CP currently stands at 294 Watts.

Interestingly, the zone distribution in the Stryd Workout App is linked to your CP. If the CP improves (or deteriorates) towards the race day during the course of the training schedule, the system automatically adjusts the settings with which you have to run. You always train at the right level. And that’s certainly so useful in this Corona era where you can hardly train with others.

Stryd has a solution for runners that have not yet determined their CP: the ‘Introduction to Power Plan’. This is a training schedule  of 2 weeks that asks you to run a variety of training sessions. You can load your Garmin or Apple Watch from your mobile phone using the Stryd app. After these 2 weeks, the automatic adjustment of your own schedules works well. You don’t have to think about differences between CP and FTP. If you get better in the course of the training schedule, that goes for both concepts.

From heart rate scheme to power scheme

Training based on heart rate is quite tricky. Your heart rate slowly rises to your target during interval training. It takes a while to know if your training intensity is correct. Running uphill or with headwinds you can’t use heart rate as it just reacts too slowly. And then there’s the phenomenon of cardiac drift. This means that over time you can get a slightly higher heart rate without changing your pace. In the image this is illustrated for a track training 2×1000, 2×800, 4×600 meter with 400, 400, 200 meter rest.

With a power meter, you don’t suffer from these kinds of phenomena. Your Garmin with Stryd immediately indicates – without delay – your running power. A running power meter like Stryd – which is not based on GPS but on accelerators – is therefore also very suitable for very short intervals, for example for sprint training. In the table below we indicate what power you can maintain at which heart rate. We’ve shown that for Karvonen and for one of the opportunities to generate zones in TrainingPeaks. The basis of the table comes from our book The Secret of Running. Stryd uses our table too.

For the question of how to create a workout in TrainingPeaks to put in your Garmin’s Stryd Workout App, we’ll finish off easily: Stryd explains this to you on their website.

From pace scheme to power scheme

The translation of training based on pace to training on power is even simpler. Here ProRun has a handy calculator on the website: Calculate your power at interval training.

How you work this out in TrainingPeaks to a power scheme in your Garmin you can find again at Stryd.

For those who want to have a little more background on running paces and running with power, we have found a good English-language YouTube from triathlon coach Wayne: Running with power explained completely. Wayne also used our book The Secret of Running.


Stryd indicates that much more is under development. And all of that is free for everyone until mid-2021. Then, by analogy from Strava and TrainingPeaks, there will be a free and paid version of PowerCenter.

It is expected that the free version will have the functionality that Stryd has offered so far. We suspect that alle future new possibilities will come into the paid version. Maybe it makes sense. Stryd not only offers a running power meter but builds a complete running ecosystem with artificial intelligence around it.

Our book ‘The Secret of Running’ is for sale in our webshop. Also available in German as ‘Das Geheimnis des Laufens’, and in Italian as ‘Manuale completo della corsa’.