Improve with Stryd

I've had my Stryd for nearly 2 months now. I can't yet say that I understand it all but I really want to know if I can improve with Stryd. Can I get faster and can I get more efficient and reach my goal (under 4 hour marathon)?

When I first started running seriously about 6 years ago, I just donned my trainers and off I went. Understanding the philosophy of running then was simple. Just put one foot in front of the other and hey ho, you are a runner.

However being a nut case for numbers and research on 'stuff', I have found that there is a whole new world of terminology that some runners use and talk about. I have now become one of them!

Contrary to my initial beliefs, Stryd is not just about telling you at what power to run but on the Stryd Connect interface, there is also a very neat section called "IMPROVE".

After you have logged a certain number of runs, Stryd makes suggestions about where you can improve depending on the race distance that you are targeting. Obviously the more runs you do, the more that Stryd can suggest.

How to Improve with Stryd 

Here is a screen shot of my current Improve section. I am currently targeting a 10K race.

Improve with Stryd - Strenghen your skills
The triangle on the left compares me to all the other "similar" runners who are using Stryd and who are preparing for a 10K.  I am not sure what it means by "similar" runners. Age, sex or just runners doing a 10K? Also, I would have thought that the less "similar" runners that there are, the less the actual score number is meaningful.

What is more meaningful though, is that it tells me that my metabolic fitness and muscle power are better than my muscle endurance (compared to other runners). I get that as I haven't been able to do much in the way of long runs recently. I tend to max out at 16km as I have been doing some shortish races over the past few weekends.

To improve my muscle endurance, if I look at the training optimizer on the right, it gives me some suggestions. The orange bar shows the areas where I'll get the most improvement, so my aim is to work on those first.

I know that I could really do with focusing on more long runs especially since my marathon training starts at the end of this month. As a side note, there is not that much choice for power based training plans as running with power is pretty new, so I'll have to tell you next time what I have chosen.

Another cool section in the Improve with Stryd section is "Identify Your Trends". I am a sucker for graphs so this really appeals to me.

Improve with Stryd - Identify your Trends
There is no hiding when you see these graphs and I am a bit shocked at how my training has been pretty erratic over the past couple of months. I have done a few races and fund raiser runs and I have had a lower back problem which is getting sorted, so those are my excuses.

Anyway I am getting back on track and I'm going to cut back on some of the short races as my A race for this year is going to be the Amsterdam Marathon mid-October and I am going to break 4 hours - positivity Nicole!

Improve with Stryd - Training Strategy
This third graph in the Improve section has taken me a while to understand and I'm still not sure that I am getting the most out of it.

For now, what I do understand is that the red areas are where I do most of my running and the dark blue areas are where I do the least. I know that I tend to run mostly in my aerobic zone so this is very true.

My critical power is currently 165W so it seems that I do most of my running under that number and very little in the high anaerobic. Coming from MAF heart rate training, I am not surprised. I am wary about pushing myself too much in terms of intensity as for me that has lead to injuries in the past, so that is going to be something to consider when choosing a marathon training program.

Finally there is the Manage Training Load graph.

Improve with Stryd - Manage Training Load
This graph is useful so that you can plot your stress (ie are you overdoing it), distance and time in the different zones. I try and do 3 weeks of progression followed by 1 week of lower training, not that you'd guess that from this graph. Hahaha!.

So for now, I am still educating myself and I have a sort of idea of how I can improve with Stryd. I'm off now to check out possible power training plans and to see what my options are for the marathon.  See you next time :).

STRYD website