Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stryd - updated

Quite a bit has happened since the last Stryd post.  Ultimately the Pioneer is getting better and better every day, and the team of brilliant minds behind the product keeps impressing us.

Since my last post the mobile app has advanced quite a bit.  There's now the ability to use the app as a standalone head unit for the stryd - indoors or out. (Parents I'm looking at you now.)  Stryd figured out how to make the device work for the treadmill.  They built functionality into the app so that you can change the speed/incline as you do the treadmill.  What does this mean?

It means you can run whenever, wherever you want. (Dear stormy weather - YOU'RE FIRED). I'm no longer forced to rearrange my training in order to be able to use the stryd.  Treadmill training has taken on a new dimension - one I'm sure it always belonged in, but we could never use it with the tools possible.  Cyclists and triathletes will be most familiar with training by power for race day simulation, but now, for the first time, we can do it on a treadmill. The only thing missing right now is a lap button, options for auto lap, and a workout mode.

Racing is a new experience all together.  In running the Houston Marathon a few days ago, I was able to put to use some things I learned while training with the Pioneer over the winter - better form for speed.  I learned how to lean to drop my force production while actually increasing my speed without increasing heart rate.  Result?  A perfect race day.  I'm not sure it gets better than that. I paced by power - numbers I trained with and expected to see, and had near perfect mile splits.  Heart rate drift was minimized, and as a result, I never hit the wall

Recording data is a bit frustrating though.  I'm a Garmin girl, have been for years.  I'm not looking to switch.  But without the ability to record power data in run mode, I'm left looking at other options for race day.  For Houston, I used a samsung s5 active - a phone that couldn't keep up with phone demands, but served my purposes quite nicely as a head unit for the Pioneer.  Between loading four hours of mood boosting, high tempo music onto it, and using the Stryd app to record data, it worked pretty well.  Some kinks to work out - the data file from stryd came in as four separate files. (Dear Stryd - can we have a gps watch that records data from the pioneer, stores music for listening and has bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones and syncing data to the web via smartphone?) 

In addition to the app improvements, we're getting more data (OOOOH DATA!!!!).  The run dynamics that garmin introduced some time back is available by using the phone app or one of the suunto compatible watches.  Since I'm not leaving my garmin, I'm stuck using the phone app until (rumor has it that garmin will be updating the connect iq sdk to allow apps to be fully compatible with the stryd pioneer) something changes.

I do have a few more questions though. As triathlon season fades into the winter running season, my weight goes up.  When I updated the stryd to reflect increased weight, I noticed my average power go up as well. Now, I can't tell for sure if this is something that resulted from the weight increase or that I have more available force production than before.  We'll  have to wait and see what happens when spring comes and my weight goes back down.  As far as consistency in training, I could forsee a few problems if power shifts with weight. Using watts/kg (also the standard in cycling) can help avoid issues like this.

I do want to revisit the issue of running surface force absorption. My thoughts are that this is still a valid issue - and does need revisiting. It's possible that profiling running surfaces needs to be in the hands of the individual athletes. Similar to the way heat maps are developed in strava, athletes should be familiar with the their favorite running haunts, and know which surfaces are softer (i.e. sand, grass, possibly tracks). Comparing individual runs would be more effective than indivually profiling running surfaces.

What would make the stryd pioneer perfect? An accompanying wearable that is gps capable, bluetooth enabled, and can store enough music via amazon or itunes to last an entire marathon. The device itself is pretty much already perfect.

Bottom line?  The Stryd Pioneer is the training and racing device of the future.

1 comment:

  1. Good post! I think the power meter is still coming along. But I know this...You've got to look at speed per watt. It doesn't matter if your power goes up if you are slower. How well you translate watts to speed is the key for running. My book will discuss this and a whole lot more. http://amzn.to/1SHDusv