Garmin Running Power & Wind

Garmin’s recent Running Power app/data field threw a bit of a curve ball…it included WIND in the calculation. STRYD and RunScribe don’t do that. Well, at least not yet.

STRYD apparently have had a plan to include it for a while.

Let’s put to one side that Garmin are using a dated, offline weather forecast to generate the wind component of their live power calculation and let’s put buildings to one side too. Garmin’s wind value might have some value on open land in relatively constant wind conditions over an extended duration.

Running Power AppsAnecdotally I know that my running pace drops when I run into the wind. I really don’t like it. There is that pesky, physical effect of the wind thrown in my face by physics and, in my case, there’s also a demotivating psychological effect from the conditions. I’m not quite sure how I ‘d quantify the latter but Mr Daniel’s had a go at quantifying the former:

Wind Calculator for running: http://runsmartproject.com/calculator/

So my first strategy is to run behind someone else. Drafting. When in a large race with lots of people or when running round a track in a confined space close to a few other runners then I’m not quite sure how the generic effect from a weather forecast’s wind would handle that.

As the wind speed increases, might the effect of drag from my clothes or drag from me being taller than you play a factor? Drag. Cyclists know that the drag effect gets worse the faster you go. The same principle applies for strong winds I would have thought – there will be another one of those pesky physics formulae there for that too somewhere.

Have a think about these points raised elsewhere by Coggan.

  1. The wind speed in the weather report is NOT measured at ground level and will be lower in reality than from the weather record.
  2. The actual energy required to overcome wind at the speed RUNNERS move is relatively small. There was a 1970s wind-tunnel/treadmill study done on this, no doubt wind has changed significantly since then in this digital age. 😉

Coggan (who comments further below) says we are talking about less than 5% impact on pace/energy cost, even for fairly strong winds. That’s a relatively small amount but it IS noticable…for you cyclists (or existing power runners!) then 250w would need to become over 260w to make similar progress in windier conditions (don’t forget drag and psychology)

 

Garmin Running Power Comparison – VO, GCT, Hills, Track, Snow, Dark, Stupidity

To be frank. I don’t really care about the details of the science behind it all. I just want to know what to do with the numbers.

My rule of thumb is to scientifically up the power ‘a bit‘. Up the power a bit when going uphill and, if I can, up the power a bit when going into the wind. In cycling an acceptable measure of variability, if trained for, might see your Normalized Power not exceed 5% of your average power.

You can use STRYD or RunScribe or Garmin Running Power and a bit of ‘paying attention’ to keep to that extra 5%ish. For extended periods of running into a headwind you might also, shock horror, use your heart rate too as a means of moderating effort.

It’s Here => Garmin Running Power – Is it any good?

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24 Comments on "Garmin Running Power & Wind"

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Will
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Efficiency also changes with temperature and air density, so there’s more data and ambiguity to come with this running power journey we’re going through.

Ray Maker
Member

Ignoring the fact that Coggan switches sides the second he’s paid by a given company…

5% cost is actually a crap-ton in a marathon scenario, and if we look at most numbers putting it closer to 10%, that’s huge too.

A 5% increase in HR for example, at say a typical marathon HR for me of 160ish, would mean a bump to 167.5 – which is a totally different realm. A 10% increase in HR (effort) would be some 16bpm, up to 176, which is in 10K pacing territory (for me).

For me, that’s the challenge I have with all these units: The one scenario where running power would be most useful is the one scenario it doesn’t work on: head winds.

Andrew Coggan
Guest

You should be careful there, Ray, or you might find yourself on the receiving end of a libel suit.

Ray Maker
Member

The above is quite factual. You were against Stryd and running power meters. Then you started consulting for them. Then you were for them.

Ray Maker
Member

And just to be helpful to others, and because I’m sure you’ll find ways to try and twist this 18 different ways as you always do, I’ll leave folks with this long thread that over the course of a couple years details your apparent change of heart:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/DCRainmaker_preview_of_Stryd_running_power_meter_P5421037-2/

“I can’t see a running power meter having a significant impact on how people actually train and perform.”

The5KRunner helpfully already quoted links above as to when you were for them. It’s unclear that you’re no longer paid by Stryd, if you’re now against them again.

Andrew Coggan
Guest

Yup, and I still stand by everything I said in that thread, with one exception: I underestimated the utility of real-time power data as a pacing tool (probably in part because I started in endurance sports when I was young, and have always had a well-honed effort sense). Outside of that, as I have said elsewhere I think the other metrics Stryd provides are really more interesting.

Andrew Coggan
Guest

BTW, although I no longer receive compensation from Stryd, I continue to consult with them periodically. I do it for the same reason that I initially approached them, i.e., for the intellectual stimulation provided by learning exploring new ideas and attempting to make them approachable by coaches and athletes. Given that my day job pays me quite handsomely and demands most of my time, it certainly isn’t because I am trying to make a living selling half-baked opinions to others.

Andrew Coggan
Guest

“I think the other metrics Stryd provides are really more interesting.”

Well will you looking there: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/?post=5807195#p5807195

(For those who haven’t been paying attention: Stryd began providing values for leg spring stiffness after the calculation was first implemented in WKO4.)

Andrew Coggan
Guest

Last comment: you haven’t addressed my comments about the magnitude of the effects of wind on runners, and how this enters in the question of attempting to measure power. Yet, that is what this blog entry is about…

Ray Maker
Member

I did above, you didn’t read it:

“5% cost is actually a crap-ton in a marathon scenario, and if we look at most numbers putting it closer to 10%, that’s huge too.

A 5% increase in HR for example, at say a typical marathon HR for me of 160ish, would mean a bump to 167.5 – which is a totally different realm. A 10% increase in HR (effort) would be some 16bpm, up to 176, which is in 10K pacing territory (for me).”

Boris
Guest

Great read. Amazing.

Boris
Member

@t5kr: Both together… gave great insight in depths of human nature. #oohhhboy ?

JT
Guest

Thanks, those links were entertaining. Coggan you’re a puzzle to figure out. Leave alone having confused people world over with your first defintiion of FTP. Even reputed coaches if asked today have little clue what an FTP time duration really is. You’ve since backtracked on these definitions and still confuse more people. Repercussion? Scientifically minded people now refused to even address FTP because of the uncertainty around what it represents. The present Stryd loyalty mimics the FTP backtracking. One of the reasons I stayed away from buying the Stryd was after noting your rather disproportionate influence over what you think is running power. I People have been investigating this stuff since the 1930’s mate, we don’t need you as the patron saint of running power.

Will
Guest

Will temperature and altitude also be taken into account in the future?

JT
Guest

5KRunner ,

Why does everything a certain ‘Coggan’ say suddenly have to be the only truth? I’d stay far from this guy. He’s a bully online , on several forums he trolls on, which tells me far more about his reputation that anything else. That he was against running power meters, got ‘bought’ over by Stryd and now consults for them tells me where his loyalty stands. Wind affects mechanical and physiological cost. Proven in the best papers and running books. Period. That Garmin is trying a fresh approach to account for a slice of the pie is not welcomed by Stryd. Coggan has been released into the wild to go bite at fresh thinking.