Running power training – is it magic?

After I admitted that I’m not able (or persverent enough) to continue with the Polar Half Marathon Running Plan, using fully the capabilities offered by Polar Flow and Vantage V2 (more details here and here), I switched to a Stryd powered plan which looks very appealing in terms of training sessions (6/week) and duration (the long runs go up to 2:30h, which I see as a benefit compared with the 1:50h in Polar plan).

To properly use the Stryd training plans, you are better positioned if you have either an Apple Watch or a Garmin watch, both of them using an app developed by Stryd to “collect and execute” the workouts planned by Stryd.

The Stryd Workout App (more details here) is nice and intuitive and works fine with my Fenix 6X. It looks like it still needs a sync to get/update the workouts, that’s not done seamlessly like with the Garmin Connect workouts, but that’s not that much of an issue. I had 1 or 2 situations when the Stryd Workout App instructed me to open the Garmin App on my phone to do the sync, but other than that, it worked fine.

Nice and intuitive interface – Stryd Workout App (Garmin)

Today I had a Easy run (50 mins, 65-75%CP) and I was curious to understand how was from Heart Rate point of view this “easy”. And … it was easy, not only that was Zone 1, but it was close to what I was forcing myself to do in the early days of the Polar plan.

Easy is easy – 128 bpm average for a Zone 1 Power zone

But during the run, I didn’t feel like it was very difficult to keep the power down, like I felt with the heart rate and that’s because the pace was an acceptable 7:35 min/km instead of 8:25 min/km two weeks ago with Polar.

The easy run with Polar (HR driven) – 12th of Feb
The easy run with Stryd (Running Power driven) – 25th of Feb

Some may say that I got more efficient during the recent two weeks and I won’t deny that constant training improves fitness and efficiency, but 50 seconds/km is still a lot in two weeks in my mind. Also, what helps as well is the fact that Garmin (and the Stryd app) are more flexible with keeping you in the zones .. I mean if you go over/under your recommended training zone they give you 1-2-3 notifications and after that they let you be .. whereas Polar is very keen on keeping you in the target zones with alerts .. and keeps on beeping/vibrating until you comply or throw the watch away.

Anyway, all in all, I’m very happy with the current Stryd half marathon plan. The best next thing would be – either Garmin supports native running power or Polar learns to connect to other platforms and have a better integration (Stryd, Final Surge and Training Peaks are waiting).

Be safe and happy running!

Author: Liviu Nastasa

Passionate about software development, sociology, running...definitely a geek.

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