Using Stryd to Run with Power – First Impressions

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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.19.19 AMMy 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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.16.42 AMI did my long run at MAF pace. Unfortunately, it turned into a very slow run, but I was able to get a good idea of what power was at the slow pace.

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.

 



About

Growing up in Colorado you can't help but love the outdoors. Something magical happens with 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains in your back yard. My athletic endeavors started on the bike, I would get out and ride whenever I could. In 2011 I moved to Oxford, England for work. I missed the sunshine and mountains, but discovered my passion for running. When I moved back to Colorado I started combining cycling and running, so it was only natural that I started competing in triathlons. I took second place at my first sprint, and caught the bug. Today I'm training for my first Ironman.


'Using Stryd to Run with Power – First Impressions' have 2 comments

  1. November 20, 2015 @ 12:33 pm Robert

    Full disclosure: I am with Stryd.

    Thanks for doing this review, and sticking with us on the bumpy road to the Stryd Pioneer.

    We are talking with watch manufacturers to see whether they will enable power in running mode on more watches. Until then, we are stuck with bike mode or using another fields, like cadence, in run mode.

    Regarding the treadmill, we could potentially estimate treadmill distance from Stryd and might support that in the future. However, the number the treadmill reports should be quite accurate. If there were an easy way to get that into the training center or smartphone app, would that make the experience better?

    Reply

    • November 20, 2015 @ 12:52 pm Jared

      I don’t think it’s that bumpy of a road, I’m thrilled to be involved with such cool project from the beginning. What’s great is that you guys are listening and working stuff out. There are many pieces to the puzzle, and sorting them all out is no easy task. I love technology and am excited too try out all sorts of different devices.

      I’m a data junkie so in addition to power I would love to have pace and distance on the treadmill. Although my experience with food pods have been less than accurate. But at the end of the day, if it’s in the ballpark I’m happy. And least with consistency I can track improvement, which is what I’m looking for. Ideally if Stryd could provide data similar to a foot pod that would be the dream. But until then, I’ll keep experimenting with different ways to record the data and see how thing work out.

      Reply


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