Our work on Stryd Pioneer dates back to late 2014, when we were inspired by the cycling power meter — In cycling, power is the definitive measure of training intensity regardless of external environmental conditions. Runners who has experience with cycling power meters, including luminaries like Joe Friel, told us that its absence from running was sorely missed. So, we created the Stryd Pioneer with the goal of helping runners train consistently and effectively, and get better race-day results, by controlling their training intensity and pacing.
Since the birth of Stryd Pioneer last year, we have been working with many of you, athletes, coaches, and exercise physiologists, to develop ways of training with power. We soon realized that power can potentially offer unique values going beyond training intensity management, more specifically, running efficiency.
Exercise physiology research has demonstrated that improving running efficiency (economy) enables faster and longer running by allowing higher speed with the same power. For instance, studies have found that 8% improvement in efficiency can cut 5k time by almost half a minute. However, measuring running efficiency is challenging. For 50 years, scientists measured running efficiency using medical-grade equipment in controlled laboratory environments. Measuring running efficiency in-the-field has remained elusive.
Power is the foundation of running efficiency. However, improving efficiency by looking at power, alone, is challenging. Running power is influenced by your internal efficiency, but also by a variety of external factors, such as pace and terrain. Isolating the effects of these internal factors on power makes it much easier to understand which specific changes to form and conditioning are improving efficiency.
We decided to take this challenge — Leading to the birth of new Stryd.
Compared to Stryd Pioneer, the new Stryd is equipped with over 10 times more sensing and computing power. The new Stryd can, for the first time, isolate the power due to external factors, such as pace and terrain, from internal factors, such as run form as well as muscle and tendon condition. This enables Stryd to provide simple, direct feedback on running efficiency, and guide you through personalized form and conditioning drills to improve efficiency and performance.
There are two ways to improve running performance via efficiency, and Stryd’s power meter supports both.
First, running-specific strength and conditioning training can be used to strengthen muscles and tendons, improve muscle control, and allow runners to recycle more power. Each of these changes increases the runner’s leg spring stiffness, allowing more efficient running. Stryd monitors muscle condition and control, recommends personalized drills, and tracks the resulting pace improvements.
Second, conscious adjustments to form can let a runner increase pace and reduce exertion. Faster pace and lower power imply better form. Stryd monitors the runner’s form and efficiency, recommends personalized form adjustments, and tracks the resulting efficiency and pace improvements.
In addition to running efficiency, the new Stryd also provides the power-based training intensity control and race-day pacing you have come to expect from Stryd.
Thanks again for your support from the very beginning, which makes our work of brining power to running fun.
-The Stryd Team