Garmin Running Power vs. RunScribe vs. STRYD – Comparison Features

Running – – 3 Ways to Run with Power – – Garmin Running Power (GRP), STRYD, RunScribe

December 2017 sees Garmin’s Running Power app (GRP) go live for public consumption. RunScribe are still in beta with their running power algorithm as they fine-tune the PACE accuracy components. STRYD is there too as the incumbent.

RunPow STRYD RunScribe Comparison Review Features


To run with power you have 3 main choices.

  1. Buy RunScribe’s dual pods
  2. Buy STRYD’s single pod
  3. Upgrade your Garmin watch and buy a HRM-TRI (or HRM-RUN or RD-POD) and (optionally) a footpod.

If you’re lucky you will already own a Garmin Forerunner 935 (reviewed here) and there’s a good chance, if you are a triathlete, you’ll already have the HRM-TRI/RUN; in which case you have a freebie to look forward to with the Garmin Running Power CIQ 2.4+ app.

If you already have the necessary kit and are intrigued but not committed to running with power then, let’s face it, you’re going to have a play with GRP. But if you have to get Little Miss Visa off to work then you might be unsure about what to do next. Are the technologies proven? Which technology will work on your current device? Which technology might also fill other data needs you have like advanced, live gait metrics or accurate live pace?

This post is a ‘first thoughts’ or ‘musings’ type post. Further reviews will probably follow in Q1.2018.

Because each technology is estimating/calculating power rather than directly measuring it via a strain gauge (like on your bike’s PM) then it currently looks like the power data is not going to be comparable between the technologies any time soon. Meaning that your historical running power data will become redundant if you switch technologies down the line.

It’s a bit of a minefield. I’ll try to help.

Here are some of my weapons of choice for this little escapade.

RunPow STRYD RunScribe Comparison Review Features
Kit For Power Running



As you can see my Black Friday bargain £430.31 replacement Garmin 935 arrived from Ovis in Italy. I think I got through 5x 920XTs, let’s see how many more 935s I can break.

Your Current Watch

It’s all very simple really. Here are your choices!


Eesh. Clear as mud.

But you can see that RunScribe and STRYD have wide support for many sports watches whereas Garmin chose to only give support to selected high-end watches; for example, they could have made GRP work on the 920XT…but chose not to for ‘some reason’.

RunPow STRYD RunScribe Comparison Review Features
RunScribe Connecting Up

Go For Proven Tech?

I’ve heard the argument that we should only go for STRYD as it is the ‘only’ proven technology for those of us who want power. I think there is some truth in that but don’t forget that all of the required Garmin hardware for GRP is already proven ie the watches, the straps and the pods…it’s just the algorithm that isn’t proven and that, presumably, can be easily updated and a new version quickly rolled out.

RunScribe are building on the success of their previous pod so their gait metrics and hardware are proven in that sense. Similarly tweaks to their power algorithm can easily be rolled out through firmware.

What else do you want?

Other than ‘running power’ what else might you want from your new purchase? I would suggest that you might fall into one of these 3 camps

  • Running power – for an alternative training & racing method
  • Detailed ‘pro’ running gait metrics for improving efficiency/reducing injury
  • Accurate pace/distance for accurate pacing

All the 3 solutions will give you running power for training and racing. And it’s likely that 2018 will see improvements in the running power functionality offered by Polar, Garmin and Suunto – I’m thinking ‘proper’ native support for power zones and power alerts as well as metrics like NP, 3s averages and so on. Some of that already exists but it’s ‘patchy’ at best.

If  you want more detailed ‘pro’ gait metrics then RunScribe is the first one for you to look at but Garmin and STRYD also have some potentially useful metrics in that space too.

My personal ‘thing’ is the accurate pace and you will get that from STRYD. As of 1 Dec 2017 I know that RunScribe are working on fine-tuning their pace algorithms (meaning there is no point in comparing power or pace figures at the moment). Live pace from your existing Garmin watch won’t be great but if you go for the RD-POD you will likely get some improvement. You should also be able to use a properly calibrated footpod to improve the accuracy of GRP – ironically STRYD (even uncalibrated) would further improve the accuracy of the GRP if used as the source of pace/distance – ie it would/should produce a more accurate GRP power figure than one derived from any Garmin pod or your Garmin’s GPS.

The Awkward Squad

There are always people, like me, who have some really specific issue they need solving. This table looks at some of those other issues inherent to the 3 running with power solutions


There are some really cool things there from all the solutions. Let’s get the Apple Watch in on the game (more in-depth look at STRYD+Apple Watch here) and take running with power to a much wider audience. Let’s go Zwifting with RunScribe…Zwift running will be one of the bigger running trends of 2018/9 I reckon.Great stuff.

Intrinsically I’m drawn to the RunScribe solution. If I recommended a power meter to a cyclist I would definitely say, “Go for dual-sided power if you can afford it.” So it just seems more logical to apply the same argument to running with power.

Then again, sometimes I’m ‘a bit tight‘ so the freebie Garmin solution will always put a smile on my face.


Here is a link to the review of the previous RunScribe (without power and without Garmin CIQ)

RunScribe Pro Review – Old Model (v2)

And here is a detailed look through STRYD

STRYD Review, 10,000km Update – (Dual-) Running Power ⚡ Pod


Hopefully there is enough information in the tables above for you to make up your own mind about what is best for you.

  • As an existing STRYD user I’m somewhat biased and realise that my personal product choice of STRYD might indicate one particular solution being best for you. But: I’m definitely gong to keep STRYD for ‘me’ as a runner! It works!
  • But as ‘the5krunner’ I’m probably only going to use GRP for as long as it takes to get a good understanding of it in the recognition that it WILL be right for some people. If some nice extras come along to work ONLY with GRP then I guess I would consider switching further down the line.
  • Similarly, ‘the5krunner’ is in an unusual situation in that I will also be able to assess RunScribe in parallel to STRYD over a significantly extended period. To be honest I WILL probably keep that data set accumulating in parallel to STRYD as there is no extra work involved. The dual-sided collection offered by RunScribe just strikes a certain chord in my running psyche that possibly seems RIGHT for me in the long-term.

Price, Discounts & Availability



Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. $70/Eu65/£50 and might fall in 2018.

I partner directly with STRYD in the USA and their distributor New Running Gear in the EU. The images below take you through to whatever current deal on STRYD there is at any given time in the USA/Canada. Thank you!

stryd discount code coupon offer special price



Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. .


V3 PLUS Pricing: USA $250, UK/EU GBP250


If you want to get a pair of RunScribe pods now before my review (tut, tut) you can buy direct from RunScribe in the USA using the image links below or from NewRunningGear in the UK.


Runscribe Review Pro
USA:  0% off Runscribe – Discount automatically applied
runscribe plus newrunninggear review buy price sale discount
UK/EU distributor use 10% code SCtfk10 on checkout

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25 thoughts on “Garmin Running Power vs. RunScribe vs. STRYD – Comparison Features

  1. “As an existing STRYD user I’m somewhat biased and realise that my personal product choice of STRYD might indicate one particular solution being best for you.”

    I didn’t personally get vibe that from the article, but the facts at-hand kinda support a “bias.” Within the running power ecosystem STRYD has had more time out, more generational experience and was one of the first (if not the first) to offer a meaningful way to get those metrics to consumers. Personal take is RunScribe will gain traction solely on the double pods being the way it generates it’s information, but that’s just consumer surface optics.

    As for the Garmin Power……you haven’t enabled gif’s here so I cannot describe my laughter adequately.

    It’s going to break more things with the strap outside the running metrics than actually record/report power. This is Garmin we are talking about, I will bet people’s straps batteries get drained very quickly due to shoddy software or running metrics go bonkers….or HR data gets lost, or Training Effects don’t work…you see where i’m going. It’s Garmin, all that is feasible. I’ll be waiting until the spring to even attempt to get power from the strap. Long after all the bugs get worked out.

    1. Just from a purely technical standpoint – there’s nothing changing on the strap/pod side in Garmin’s situation. It’s transmitting the same thing it’s always transmitted (for 4 years now). All of Garmin’s running power stuff is within the app as software logic. If/when Wahoo ever turns on RD support for the TICKR, then you can use that instead of any Garmin hardware. Wahoo has said they’ll do that in Q1 2018.

      While we can debate who is more accurate, I will give Garmin credit in that the technical implementation they’re using actually leaves the door open to anyone leveraging it on their platform in more 3rd party ways – even at the cost of a cleaner/better implementation. Had Garmin wanted to put Stryd/RunScribe out of business, they could have easily done all the feature things missing from the charts above first party (i.e. power zones/etc…). But tying their own hands to do it via CIQ is somewhat of a nod at keeping 3rd parties in business (actually, it’s not somewhat of a nod, it’s incredibly overt statement).

      Of course, whether or not one wants to agree with these algorithms is the real question. For any of them. There’s virtually nothing any of us can do to validate these numbers against anything (somewhat indoors on super fancy treadmills, but that’s got questionable value in real-world outside). I or anyone else can show where the algorithms have inconsistencies (such as wind, stopping quickly, etc…). But to figure out which one is right? Nobody knows (and anyone who says they are is…).

      I think TFK’s tables are great though at outlining all the nuances features and pros/cons of each beyond the final power numbers. Though, I’d differ on some of the data points in the cells. But still, good stuff.

      1. yep I was trying to put a marker in the sand to make people think twice before comparing power numbers for the reasons you say and a few other reasons.

        yes i think some of the data points are not quite right (I was re-reading it half an hour ago and might update slightly tomorrow). Tim and Angus have OK’d them for runscribe and stryd tho 😉 the table took a LONG time to do as I kept changing my mind on what each line actually meant with, as you say, nuanced interpretations of similarly titled lines

      2. Totally, agree, I argue with myself on various line-items in my chart all the time. Totally get it’s not perfect.

        My two cents:

        Calibration-free: IMHO, this is yes for both Stryd/RunPow, but agree ‘sorta’ for RunScribe.
        Pace/Distance Accuracy: Rememer that RunPow uses WHR as well for stability (often overlooked).
        Single/Dual: This is tricky on the definition. Stryd is like Stages (left-only), Garmin is like Quarq (total only, estimated balance), and RunScribe is like Vector/Assioma/etc (dual sensing).
        Power Smoothing: I believe Garmin plans to offer this in-app like Stryd (I can’t see it on mine since it’s OOB if not internal).
        Treadmill capable: For Garmin, yes via either WHR or Footpod (so built-in yes)
        3rd Party Validation: This is really tricky, Stryd’s is only indoors, which doesn’t mean much outdoors. I’d honestly toss this line.
        Live support: Garmin will offer it via phone & chat actually.
        Zwift: Garmin works assuming you use ANT+ on desktop.
        Battery life: Maybe seperate out to just “Pod battery life” – which is a more even metric, since any would need a watch for real-time evaluation anyways.

        Ok, that ended up more than two cents. Sorry!

      3. defiantely worth at least $2 rather than 2c. Thank you. I owe you an energy drink.

        even the power smoothing is a bit of a nightmare to from memory STRYD is 3s, 10s,30s moving average, set in GE and of an inherent 5s moving average on the pod. something like that.
        estimated balance” – yes i hadn’t thought of that at all. (obvious/hindsight….make a sentence with your favourite words)

      4. I am buying myself something over the holidays for power. i hav followed this topic a bit over the last 3 months. i have a couple of points a) i have seen a stryd video where they test their model running alongside a car OUTSIDE b) runscribe i think have been quite open about their calculations and algorithms. c) garmin do not seem to have been open at all jsut giving special access to a select few people (you guys) for marketing d)i think as in the table none of them account for wind e) stopping quickly – i can’t see why that is important.

    1. would be interested to see if anyone does any comaprisons right now.
      my understanding that the runscribe algorithm on pace/distance is changing as we speak, so ….
      currently runscribe should be recalibrated based on completed runs of known distance. so do that and run it again and it will be 100% correct 😉
      i’m NOT going to go running around my local track (probably) so i’ll prob end up calibrating runscribe to stryd…i could compare it to a parkrun BUT I reckon i’d run 5020-5050m…so where is the point.
      maybe the track beckons after all.

      1. both of my Stryds are not as accurate as my V800. Unfortunately the factor changes by >5% (0.95 to 1.01) during a month for both units. I own an RunScribe V1, which was always around 5-10% off, even after correcting distances.

        If you don`t have accurate pace, the power data will be inaccurate as well.

  2. A few comments:

    No device – not even one with a strain Gage – measures power, or even force, directly.
    Runners can never be too asymmetrical, or they won’t be able to run in a straight line.
    Although there can be subtle biomechanical differences between running on a treadmill vs. overground, from a validation perspective this is a moot point.

    1. Rubbish. Ever heard about pelvic tilt? Over-pronation in one leg? Leg length differences? These transfer over to the kinematics. Even a small asymmetry means a significant thing in terms of cause and effect.

      Stick to cycling mate.

  3. instability of Garmin Run pow should be due to dependent of GPS based pace,actually Garmin does mention if footpod is used,pace from footpod is used for calculation of Run pow

    1. yes that is correct about the footpod. I have mentioned that elsewhere in posts similar to this

      as I have said elsewhere: if you use the most accurate footpod…STRYD…then Garmin Run Pow will be the most accurate it can be. But then…you’ve bought STRYD…so use that !

      1. yes, Stryd is said to be the most accurate but it is hardly available in certain region like my country. I just curious why there is still no big brand that actually respond to Stryd highly accurate calibrationless footpod even though many years have passed since the Stryd pod is introduced. And is it technically hard to make the calibrationless footpod? I just curious about it

      2. maybe 2019 will see that product 😉
        i think there is also the issue of the size of market and ability to turn a profit.
        is it technically hard to amke a calibrationless footpod: actually it must and does autocalibrate…i’m trying to find out exactly how at the moment….funnily enough.
        edit: added in, above. Its complicated

      3. wow,good to hear that small company has that kind of ability as I know normal footpod have to be calibrated when user change the shoe or running form as this is actually not convenient when a user has more shoe models in rotation. But in the same time it is quite sad that the distribution network or manufacturing scale of Stryd is still in smaller scale even though their product is relatively more mature than competitor (or the most mature), when ship to certain region,price of product will be 10-50% more than RRP after shipping fee+duty included and this is the reason why some ppl end up do not want to get Stryd even though power training sound promising. I think those small company may end up acquired by big brand if they cannot grow quickly enough. It is hard to turn power training to be the profitable market,but i think calibrationless footpod can generate enough profit as GPS watch is actually not able to provide instant pace and not accurate in certain area like city with lot of buildings

      4. STRYD have a VC injection of cash. they are growing quickly. Ultimately the VC will be looking for an exit by selling to a bigger company. STRYD is still unique, if Garmin cannot come out with a better product this year (aka soon) then I see a case for STRYD raising prices.

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