Koen de Jong ran a PB at the marathon of Den Bosch (the Netherlands) with the help of a Stryd running power meter. Shortly before that, we had explained the benefits of running on power in a joint webinar. That has inspired many Dutch runners to buy a Stryd.
Attaching such a Stryd to the shoelaces is a breeze. But then what?
The simplest answer is a reference to the website Stryd.com. There’s an incredible amount of information there. Another easy answer refers to our new book ‘Your easiest way to a PB: Running on Power’. As an e-book, this new book can be freely downloaded. The paperback version is for sale at cost price, also in the regular bookstore. The e-book as well as the paperback are in Dutch. Other languages will follow.
Free? ProRun offers the book as a service to its readers and all other running enthusiasts.
Hans van Dijk, Ron van Megen and Koen de Jong wrote this book because they believe in this revolutionary running development. The Stryd running power meter is part of an entire ecosystem of possibilities and insights to improve your running.
Nevertheless, the most frequently asked question via the websites of ProRun.nl and TheSecretofRunning.com was “Can I find out how to get started quickly?”. We address that question in this article.
Out of the box
The Stryd footpod comes together in a nice box with a USB charging cable and two clips to attach the footpod to the laces of your shoe. The footpod needs to be charged first. You repeat that every 2-3 weeks, depending on how much you run. In your mobile phone’s Stryd app, you can see how full your Stryd’s battery is (in “settings”).
Next, see if your Stryd has the latest firmware. For this you also go to “settings” in the Stryd app and then to “Stryd”. The current firmware version is 2.1.16. Stryd has announced a next firmware version. From then on, the Stryd measures the data hundreds of times per second and becomes even more accurate than it already is. Stryd is continuously working on the firmware so that it stays up to date , can work with the latest models of watches and offers new features.
With “settings” and “Stryd” you immediately enter your height and weight. This data needs the Stryd when calculating the air resistance (the cdA value, your personal resistance surface in m2) and of course for the calculation of the wattage with which you are running. The Stryd determines this in watts per kg (e.g. 3.1 watts/kg). By multiplying it with your body weight (e.g. 70 kg), you get to see the value 217 watts on the screen of your running watch (3.1*70 = 217).
Where did you get that Stryd app? It goes the usual way for your mobile phone. With iPhone, that’s the App store. You search for Stryd there and install the app.
Then you link the app to your Stryd. In settings you will see the serial number of your Stryd. This number can be useful if you want to pair your sports watch and at that moment also the Stryd of your partner or a running buddy is nearby. For example, you can connect the Stryd to a Garmin by going to “sensors and accessories” on your Garmin and having it search for the Stryd with “Add new”.
With the Stryd app you can also create your account with Stryd. All data will then end up in the
Stryd cloud environment and all uses will be at your disposal.
We recommend that you also use PowerCenter with the same login details. You can find this on the internet at Stryd.com. The information in PowerCenter is based on the same data already in the Stryd app. Both are linked to the Stryd cloud environment. We find PowerCenter useful because you see everything a little bigger on the screen of your PC. Because of the overview dragging a training from the schedule to a day that you can train, for example, is easier for us on a screen with a mouse. That’s probably up to us too, more than 70% of all Stryd users use the app on the phone.
You can attach the Stryd to the laces by sliding the clip at the nose of your shoe under the XI or XXI of your laces and clicking the footpod into the clip. Stryd explains this in a video.
It is important that the footpod is firmly fixed, does not move, with the small tip stuck forward, and the hole of the windport (for the measurement of wind resistance) remains free.
We sometimes get comments that the measured wind resistance is very low. That may have to do with the oblique lacing of the shoe, as is the case with the Nike Vaporfly 4% and Nike Next%. Stryd also has a video with a solution for this. In an occasional case, there is another cause associated with the design and material of the shoe. According to Stryd, the new firmware contains a solution for these rare situations.
Finally, pair your new Stryd with your running watch. There are many (and more and more) brands and models that are suitable for this. You can look this up on the Stryd website.
Coros watches have Stryd fully integrated. Garmin is a good second with IQ apps specific to Stryd. Polar and other watches can also handle it without any problems.
Ron makes use of Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect has paired it with the Stryd app and PowerCenter. All Stryd data will run automatically in Garmin Connect after saving to your watch and then in the Stryd cloud environment (Stryd app and PowerCenter).
With a number of watches there is a point of attention. Polar itself knows Polar Running Power. Wattage at running is therefore not a problem to pass on via Polar Flow to the Stryd cloud environment, but wind resistance, form power, leg spring stiffness do not come along. Polar Running Power does not know these concepts. This can be solved by going back to “settings”in the Stryd app on your phone, then to “Stryd” and then choosing “Sync Stryd”. Then all data directly from the Stryd footpod enters the Stryd cloud environment. You don’t have to worry about data being duplicated. It’s guarded for you.
The first beginning
The Stryd footpod should get to know you at first. That’s fast, but it’s not accurate in the first few days. As you have run more short and long distances at race pace, this is becoming more and more accurate.
Two concepts are of primary importance:
– critical power (CP)
– power duration curve
Briefly summarized, the critical power (CP) is the power with which you can run a 10K. If you keep that wattage, you’ll run the fastest time for a 10K.
Hans and Ron use in their book ‘The Secret of Running’ and articles the term Functional Threshold Power (FTP). This is the power you can sustain for an hour. That calculates more easily to the times for different distances. You can have your FTP determined during a test at a Sports Medical Advisory Centre. You can also just read from the power duration curve. This power curve shows which maximum wattages you have demonstrably run during the last 90 days (and therefore fairly current) during the duration indicated on the x-axis.
Stryd has a blog with some tips to quickly arrive at a first CP.
As time goes on, you’ll get notifications that your CP has been updated. This is because more and more data about you become available over time and the CP is therefore more accurately determined. Of course, it is also possible that your training will make you a better runner.
If you train less for a while, your performance will deteriorate. Your CP will drop. After 90 days, performance falls out of your power curve. And recent data count more heavily than older data. Stryd uses 1-30 days, 31-75 days and 76-90 days. If you want to know more about this, you can read it in a blog on Stryd.com.
Of course, you don’t have to have trained with the Stryd for 90 days to make use of the possibilities. You can do that almost immediately. Here are two interesting options:
– the race calculator
– power-based training schedules
In the race calculator you can indicate which distance you are going to run. There will then be a prognosis of your time and advice on the power to maintain in the race. This is based on your critical power (CP) and your power duration curve. In the race calculator you also indicate at what temperature you have trained and what the temperature is on the race day. The same goes for the humidity and elevation above sea level.
You can even load a .fit-file or .gpx file with the details of the race course. Some race organizations make them available on the website. And if you’ve run the race before, you can use last time’s file. In the example below Ron put the Zevenheuvelenloop in the race calculator. That 1:20:04 would definitely not produce a PR, but Ron is also not in great shape due to the corona pandemic.
The graph of the Seven Hills Run (Nijmegen, The Nethelands) shows that Ron can now run it with 270 watts (and then reach 1:20:04). The blue line shows that at a constant power (270 watts) the uphill pace is slower and downhill faster for the fastest end time.
In addition to being able to enter races yourself in the race calculator, a few major marathons, such as Berlin (September 26, 2021), are already pre-programmed. Nice to see what you could run there with your current shape.
If you put the Berlin marathon (as an example) in the calendar of your Stryd, with every change of your CP you will see the predicted finish time and the recommended power change. Inspiring to see if you train especially for a race and that training starts to bear fruit.
For Berlin (or any other race) you can choose a training schedule. You indicate which distance you will run, when the race day is, how many days in the week you can train, on which day you usually have time for a long endurance run, and how many hours you can train in the week. You will then be presented with a training schedule.
In the calendar of the Stryd app and in PowerCenter, a personal training is then specified from day to day. If you can’t do a day, you can drag the workout to another day. You can also exchange training sessions with each other. The training intensity is linked to your CP. If your CP improves, the wattages you need to train with automatically change with it. You can sync the workout with your Garmin. With beeps and countdowns you can finish your training without having to remember much.
You can read all about running on power and the effect of all factors on your performance in our book The Secret of Running.
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’