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Key Performance Features Free For STRYD Users
STRYD’s continued investment in their training platform is paying off. There are already some great features on there like Critical Power Analyses but one of the missing things was race day planning. That omission is now addressed as STRYD adds a planner for your SPECIFIC EVENT-DAY conditions as well as a Race Calculator to enable you to model various outcomes.
Bear this in mind
- The broad assumption is that constant power is optimal for your race.
- The relationship between pace and power varies based on several factors such as SLOPE, thus to target a race time you need to understand the specific relationship between them all on race day
- Today’s maximum achievable power for you for any given duration can change based on environmental conditions such as altitude and temperature.
- STRYD’s race calculator works on your demonstrated power capability rather than the results of their CP model used elsewhere in Powercenter (I’m assuming the two are closely linked)
Cyclists who train with power will be familiar with Best Bike Split (BBS), MyWindSock and many other sites where similar kinds of modelling are available. Typically the likes of BBS will specify slightly higher power for uphill sections and slightly lower power for downhill (+/-5%), which seems different to STRYD approach from what I can see.
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The new features all work now on the STRYD app and online in Powercenter. As long as you have enough runs with STRYD for it to calculate your CP, all should be good. Ideally, you will also know your exact race date and location.
Choosing a Course
STRYD has a public library of verified marathon courses complete with the elevation profile. Not doing a marathon? No problems, you can upload a FIT file of your intended race-day course. The verified courses already have the ground conditions hard-coded in and for other courses, you will have to estimate these manually.
Modelling Race Day
STRYD PowerCenter lets you play with the race-day conditions, namely elevation, temperature and humidity, which will impact on your target power. Interestingly STRYD seems to account for the differential between your typical training conditions and the race day conditions, rather than just looking the race day conditions that other platforms only seem to consider.
It’s interesting to play with these inputs but, in normal, conditions they make little difference to the target power and were of the magnitude of +/-5w for some of the scenarios I tried. However, clearly, we all occasionally encounter adverse conditions such as a particularly hot, humid day – you can try entering 30Celcius and 95% humidity and you will see a more dramatic change to the target power of up to 8% or 10% depending on your historic training conditions.
Wind and Surface condition do not affect your target power but they will affect your race day time. Neither seems to be modelled at present but the video from STRYD, below, states that they are working on that.
The fairly long video discusses the kinds of modelling you can do in a little more detail.
Take Out: These kinds of tools have been available elsewhere for some time and it’s great they are now available for RUNNING WITH POWER.
Race Day Pace
In this example, over the Tokyo Marathon course, you can see that the (circled) course profile is downhill at the start. The power profile is CONSTANT throughout the race, however, for the downhill section, you can see the required pace increases.
STRYD seem to discuss PACE infrequently, perhaps deliberately they want to focus our minds on their power metric. However, if the race-day effort could be produced by STRYD as a FIT file then Garmin devices would be able to ‘race the FIT file’ for those of us who might also want to have a fallback on PACE as a sanity check against any power levels shown on our watch.
Of course, Garmin also has the PacePro feature for those of you who are interested in modelling your race splits by pace over undulating courses.
Take Out: A FIT file output of the race day plan might be of some additional benefit.
Progress Toward Race Day
STRYD users and bike power users will already be aware of their CP curve. A CP curve based on either actual efforts or modelled efforts will show your maximal power abilities for any time duration.
STRYD introduced their CP curve a while back and it auto-calculates your CP based on new results and adjusts itself as the effects of old results wear off. Part of this feature is that you are automatically notified when your CP changes and this also automatically updates your power zones. However, this notification will also mean that your race day forecast has changed too and this will be the time to pop over to the event planner/Race Calculator to see what impact this might have for you on race day.
Take Out: STRYD probably need to have a more formal process of calendarising an event. Once an event is calendarised the changed CP notification would also notify you with any updates to your race day power/time.
STRYD Race Calculator Overview
Here’s an overview of the screen on PowerCenter by STRYD
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