Stryd Critical Power Test

After my first race with Stryd 10 days ago, I decided that I really needed to do a Stryd Critical Power Test.

The Stryd guide gives you three main ways to do the Stryd critical power test:
  1. Current 5k or 10k time
  2. 3 mins/9 mins field test
  3. 3 lap/6 lap field test
Well I had already put in a recent 5k time from a Parkrun and my critical power number came up as 158w so I was interested to see if one of the other methods provided a different result.

I am lucky in that there is a stadium 10 mins walk down the road so I decided to do the lap field test. I normally run in the morning but if I want to use the stadium (not often as I hate it), I have to go at lunchtime so as to avoid the school kids. In France, "EVERYONE" goes to lunch at 12h00 so this was my opportunity.

Performing the Stryd Critical Power Test


D-day and the weather was on my side. No rain, no wind and slightly cool. Parfait.

I took the long route down to the stadium, gently jogging and wondering nervously how the test was going to go. Before I left the house I had created an activity on my Garmin (Fenix 5S) using the test steps below. 


Stryd Critical Power Test: 3 laps/9 laps

Arriving at the stadium I was alone. That was such a relief, as in the past it has often been me and some lightning fast athlete who double laps me continuously. Yes, a bit humiliating.

After my usual "stress pee", I then started the critical power test.

Step 1. Warm up and strides. Check.
Step 2. Run 800 meters, easy pace. Check. (Note to myself to run step 1 slower next time as step 1 and 2 seemed to be the same).
Step 3. Warm up. Check.
Step 4. 2400 meters . Now the fun begins. I am notorious for going too fast at the outset of a race or when doing intervals so I tried my damned hardest to get it right today. My trick was to smile as that relaxed my body and it made me run faster but at the same effort level. Check.
Step 5. Recovery 30 mins. This was the worst part. I alternated between walking and jogging but it was pretty boring. I used the time to envisage myself running the Amsterdam marathon in October. Anyway, check.
Step 6. 1200 meters max effort with a consistent pace from start to finish. I was a bit tired at the start and longing for a cup of coffee but I managed to run my 3 laps and found that I even had a wee kick at the end. Check.
Step 7. Walk home cool down. Total time = 1h36.

Analyzing my Stryd Critical Power Test


Below you can see what my Stryd Critical Power test looked like. I was pretty pleased I must say and my power throughout the fast segments was pretty steady. I think the only part where I could have done better was steps 1 and 2 where maybe I was running a bit too fast.

The orange line is my power and the purple is my heart rate.

Stryd Critical Power Test
A nice feature that I discovered in Stryd Power Center is that you can zoom in to segments on the graph using the slider underneath. The slider is quite sensitive so it takes a bit of getting used to.

Using the slider, I zoomed in to my Step 4. 2400 meters segment. It shows various metrics for that segment such as, that my average pace was 5:14/km with a max pace of 4:47/km, average heart rate was 163, plus a variety of other metrics like leg spring stiffness, vertical oscillation and form power.

Stryd Power Center - Zoomed in Section
The exciting news was to find out what my Stryd Critical Power number was and was it going to be the same as when I did the 5k Parkrun a couple of weeks earlier?

5km Parkrun (24.03.19)
Critical Power = 158w
Critical Pace = 5:11/km

3 lap / 9 lap Test (05.04.19)
Critical Power = 165w
Critical Pace = 5:16/km

So the Stryd Critical Power test numbers were pretty similar between the 2 different tests although I wonder if  the difference of 7w is noticeably harder when running. Anyway I am quite excited to have a critical power number as now I have something to work with.



Now I've done my first  Stryd critical power test, my next mission on my Stryd journey is to work out how to improve my running using the information from Stryd. I am going to spend the next few weeks in the "Improve" section to see what insights it might have. My school reports always used to say, "Could try harder"!!

STRYD Website

Speak soon




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