Stryd – More Big Updates
Stryd has recently made some quite significant changes linked to its power calculations, coaching features and some of the features in the app.
Here are the summary points for what has changed and I’ll expand upon them in a minute
More: Detailed Stryd Review
- Single Athlete View – Coaches
- Adaptive 5k to marathon plans – All users
- Real-Time Environmental Power – Apple Watch, Stryd Members only, Open Beta
Single Athlete View – For Coaches
For coaches working with multiple athletes, PowerCenter now offers a single simple view of all athletes. Coaches can see when each athlete’s Critical Power was updated plus review the progress made in the last 3 workouts by looking at duration, intensity %CP and RSS. Finally, there is a new week-in-review chart as a widget that shows daily planned vs actual RSS.
Click images for more visual details
New Power Plans – free to all
All users get access to power-based training plans for the key race distances ie 5k, 10k, HM and marathon. These adaptive plans are personalised to your race day, your abilities and your progress. For 95% of runners, this is going to be all you need from a running plan.
There are more free plans than that to cater for some more advanced runners and for runners who simply want some general guidance without aiming for a specific race day. Like these…
- Build Plans: Specifically aimed to raise speed and volume capabilities, perhaps to improve your base-level abilities
- Maintenance Plans: do what they say on the tin.
- Testing Plans: These are designed to more precisely determine your current ability level as well as give concrete evidence that your abilities are progressing in the right direction
- Supplemental Training: covering non-running exercises to make you a more resilient all-around athlete.
Real-Time Environmental Power – Apple Watch, Stryd Members only, Open Beta
This initially seemed to be a weird change as, once again, Stryd has changed its algorithm. Cynics might quickly jump in and ask how a Very Accurate Pod can be improved but I’m not going to be cynical (comments below!).
To begin with, the regular running power remains unchanged. Essentially, Stryd is introducing a new ‘feels like’ power metric that shows a difference to your regular power if the current environmental conditions are atypical for you. Stryd accomplishes this by comparing the environments you have recently run in against today’s environment.
This new feature uses Stryd’s environmental sensors to record the conditions you’re running in. By analyzing your recent running history in your Stryd profile, it determines whether these conditions are typical for you and adjusts accordingly if they are not.
While the temperature and humidity both come from sensors in the latest-gen Stryd pod and are taken into account by the new metric, it is unclear what other factors, if any, are accounted for or how this works precisely. For instance, Stryd might be taking into account the science of temperature acclimation or just the fact that it gets harder for your body to function as the temperature rises (arguably, 16Celcius is optimal)
Resistance from air density is already considered by Stryd, but increased humidity could have an additional and negative impact on your body’s ability to work at normal power levels. An analogous example in cycling would be that 300w at sea level and 300w at 3000m a.s.l. are measured as the same power level, but the latter is more challenging – the Stryd has no way of internally knowing your absolute elevation so incorporating a similar factor for running will be trickier.
To reiterate, this new feature is Apple Watch for now and I know that some Garmin users will be chomping at the bit to get temperature and humidity. It IS planned…soon!
Recently, I thought that the Stryd ecosystem was almost complete and didn’t require much more development. Even though the latest Stryd device was launched with environmental sensors, I was surprised now to see Stryd embark on a slightly new direction with an additional ‘environmental power’ metric. On reflection, I understand the rationale behind this decision, but I wonder where it will end. In the future, including the limited effects of altitude on runners will be challenging and niche as it will need to integrate with the watch’s current altitude reading. As the run progresses, does Stryd use its barometer to track altitude changes or rely on the watch’s reported altitude?
Now that all major sports watch companies offer their own versions of running power derived from on-watch technology, I believe that Stryd needs to make significant and innovative changes to maintain its market position. Otherwise, for example, other Apple Watch running apps might usurp Stryd and leverage Apple Running Power, while Garmin could further enhance its own running power capabilities and integrations. Given the constraints of Garmin CIQ, it’s challenging to see how Stryd can improve significantly in that market. Therefore, the larger Apple iOS/watchOS runner’s market should be the focus. Stryd has an excellent app, and I think they should open it up to Apple Running Power for a small subscription fee in order to ‘own’ Running Power. This decision could undercut its own hardware sales but lead to more users in the short term. Awareness of Stryd could leverage sales of Stryd pod sales in the future on the basis of it providing “greater accuracy and more features” than the basic subscription.
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