A couple of days ago I got a press release from the STRYD company who are releasing a new Stryd device (officially announced today 24Aug).
Rather than the original HRM version (STRYD Pioneer) this one is a tiny wearable power meter that clips on your shoe and introduces some new efficiency/form metrics which, possibly, might be able to pinpoint specific weaknesses in your run technique (read below)
I don’t know much more about it than that. I guess it will do footpod-esque things like cadence and be a source for footpod derived pace.
OPINION: a LOT of improvements have been continually made to the original product. I confess to not be fully up to speed with them all. But I do know that there is now a Connect IQ app (NOT data field) from Garmin that writes power data directly into the FIT device (similar to muscle oxygen data from BSX/MOXY via the MOXY data field) and I do know that the new Suunto Spartan ULTRA (as well as the AMBIT3) already have built in ‘proper’ support for running power. Wind is still not taken into account, STRYD claim a minimal effect from ‘normal’ wind strengths.
A great thing with the original STRYD HRM was that it was dual-band. So if you occasionally run with two watches (me, sigh, sad) then this can make it easier to adopt into your current gadget regime. Much easier. It has also introduced HRV support since my review too.
One thing that lacks is the writing of the Running Dynamics data to a Garmin FIT file – but that is a peripheral need at best. STRYD’s ‘Power Centre’ dashboard is pretty good on the whole (avoid IE) and shows that info anyway but I suspect most people want a simple device that just pipes in correct power (cadence) data to a Garmin/Polar/TomTom/Suunto watch. On the whole STRYD does that.
HOWEVER the manufacturers seem to be claiming to be able to measure new running form metrics (below) such as LEG SPRING STIFFNESS. *IF* much more biomechanical information can be CORRECTLY obtained from what seems to be a relatively simple device then this COULD revolutionise ‘run-technique coaching for the masses’. Let’s face it: the existing ground contact time, vertical oscillation and related metrics do not add THAT much to the coaching mix.
Having a new shoe-based STRYD could well be a good idea. Let’s see the price point (US$200) AND if it delivers anything new to the mix.
—- Press Release follows in full —————
August 24, Rio: Stryd to announce performance-enhancing power meter used by Olympic athletes to run more efficiently
Exercise physiology research demonstrates that running 10% more efficiently (economically) can cut 5k time by almost half a minute. Until now, efficiency couldn’t be measured outside the laboratory, so runners trying to improve it were flying blind. Stryd changes this with a tiny wearable power meter that clips on your shoe.
Stryd will be in Rio and learning from Olympic runners and triathletes using Stryd technology to enhance their performance. On August 24 Stryd will announce an unprecedented product that measures the power runners produce and knows how efficiently they use it. It guides runners to personalized performance- enhancing training and form changes.
Here’s how it works. Stryd measures more than twelve metrics quantifying athletic performance, technique, muscle strength and condition, as well as external running environment, and encapsulates these metrics into a single number, power. Power is the key to monitoring training intensity (exertion) and efficiency. Power has given the cyclists who use it a tremendous competitive advantage for years. Now Stryd brings this revolutionary technology to running.
Using power, you can see how efficiently you recycle energy from stride to stride instead of wasting it through poor form. You can pinpoint the biggest opportunities for improving performance. Then training plans prepared by world-class coaches and physiologists guide you through personalized drills and exercises to strengthen your body so you can maintain good form, and Stryd shows you which specific form changes make you more efficient so you can go faster with the same effort.
Going deeper, leg spring stiffness is a measure of efficiency. If you model your legs and body with springs and masses, the mechanical stiffness of the springs determines whether your form and conditioning are wasteful or efficient. You can increase leg spring stiffness with conscious form changes and by conditioning your muscles and tendons to supports good form. Leg spring stiffness has never been available from a wearable during running before. Now it is one of the many metrics Stryd uses as a foundation for power.