Stryd power meter footpod (view on Amazon) is benefiting from a software update for Android users that slaps on a Running Stress Balance feature. This helps you find the training sweet spot and avoid overdoing it.
Essential reading: Review, Stryd – using power as a way of gauging your run
This is a feature that some smartwatches in the Polar and Garmin range already have in the form of a Training Status and Training Load. It helps you improve your fitness by looking at whether you are resting enough between runs. Stryd measures this with Watts, whereas others evaluate the heart rate to get an indication of load.
Running Stress Balance info is subdivided into several categories as shown in the infographic below. This includes the Overreaching, Productive, Maintenance and Performance category.
You want to spend most of your time in the Maintenance or Performance categories. This is where the sweet spot is as it combines fitness gains with adequate rest. The latter of these is where you want to be for race day as your running stress is low. Stryd says it’s best to shift between the two categories as it establishes “a rhythm of steady improvement”.
You’ve probably guessed that danger zones are the Cautionary and Overreaching categories. This is where your training volume is ramping up more than usual. While it’s ok to be in these zones from time to time, you want to avoid them so as not to risk injury from overtraining. Not only that, you are also likely to see diminishing returns from your efforts as your body does not have enough time to recover.
There’s also an additional N/A category. This is when you are detraining or when your daily sessions are not enough to contribute to bettering your fitness.
It’s worth noting, iPhone users have had this feature for a while so the Android app is catching up. To access the new feature you will need to download the latest version of software. This can be found on the Play Store.
Stryd comes in the form of a lightweight shoe-clip. Attach it and it will account for terrain, form, and fatigue to tell you how hard to move. Simply set a power target and run to see results. Think of it as a running pod on steroids.
In our review we found it works well and adds a whole new dimension to your training. We particularly enjoyed the fact that rather than overloading you with stats, it provides visually attractive, actionable information you can use to tweak your training or know here you are currently at.
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