What had started as an obsession with cycling has transformed into an obsession with triathlon. And while I’ve been running along time, it’s time to step up my game and increase not only distance, but speed. As a techno junkie, when I first heard about the Stryd power meter there was not question, I knew it was something I had to get.
They had a Kickstarter campaign going and I signed up and became a supporter. I have to say they did a very good job with the campaign. They communicated well and and kept all the supporters up to date with the progress. Once major design change occurred durning the campaign. What was originally a pod that strapped onto the back of your shorts, transformed into a heart rate monitor. This change is somewhat disappointing. While having a single device is convenient, we also loose some data from other heart rate monitors, such as running dynamics and cadence. Also I’ll have to sacrifice running power during triathlons unless I want to switch from the Garmin HRM-TRI to Stryd in transition.
I was excited to finally receive my Stryd and had done a lot of research and even attended one of Stryd’s online seminars in preparation. I had created all my accounts, downloaded the app and was ready to go.
My first chance to use the device was for the Creepy Crawl 5K run that I was doing with my sister. I was a little nervous about using a new device durning a race, but it was the perfect time to test it out. Stryd has both Bluetooth and ANT+ which is really nice. So I could run using my phone, but I still prefer to use the Garmin. Using the phone I could set up Stryd with the Wahoo Fitness app and get all of the data as expected. But with the Garmin there are some limitations. The running app on my Fenix 3 does not support power currently. So I had to create a cycling profile to use for the run. While it’s not that big of a deal its a pain when syncing to tother services because it shows up as a ride rather than a run. This can be changed, but it’s not ideal. On the other hand you are able to get live power.
Since the 5K was my first Stryd run, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the power. I have to say it was pretty cool to see though. I was easy able to spot the change in power based on my effort. I didn’t pay a lot off attention to the power during the race and I was trying to get a good time, but couldn’t help glancing down every so often.
Once I finished the race and uploaded everything, I was able to sort through the data. I had some issue converting the ride to a run, some data was lost on Strava, but for the most part I could see power!
To be honest I was more than a little frustrated with having to use cycling mode. While it’s not the end of the world, it just was more trouble than it’s worth for a metric that I wasn’t even sure how to use yet. But I decided to give Stryd another try on a long run.
This time I found out that you can use the run mode on the Garmin and Stryd will display live power in the cadence field. This is very convenient, however the metic is recorded as cadence and not power. So while having the power data their party software will not see it as such. But the Stryd Power Center does, so I think until Garmin adds power to the run app, this is the configuration that I’ll use with Stryd. One downside is that you’ll loose cadence with this setting. Although I’m okay giving that metric up for a while.
I also tried my first run on a treadmill and was very disappointed by the results. I’ve been dong interval training, which would be a great way to examine power. So the Stryd unit broadcasts three different sensors. Heart Rate, a Foot Pod and a Power Meter. Traditionally on the treadmill the foot pod would be used to measure the speed and distance, however during this run that did not seem to be working.
I think over all Stryd has been doing an outstanding job with this new technology. This is a first generation device that has to talk to lots of different manufactures. There is a lot to sort out to get everyone to play nicely together. Right now I feel like it’s all a mess, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are work arounds and it feels like it’s only a temporary hurtle to overcome. Once everything plays nicely together I think running power will be a great metric to have.