How does using a running power meter improve your run?

James Witts explains the benefits of using a running power meter, and how they can improve your run

s it worth me training with a run power meter in 202

Running power meters are a relatively new tool in your training armoury. They’ve transformed the way serious triathletes run, delivering an objective, repeatable measure of fitness.

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The aim of running power meters like Stryd, and data from multisport watches like Garmin and Suunto, is to achieve similar. Which is all well and good but what are the specific benefits?

  • More precise workouts.
    Like cycling, you can set power zones to stimulate certain physiological and performance adaptations, whether it’s raising aerobic capacity to boost stamina or anaerobic threshold to boost speed-endurance. Zones are based on your run FTP (functional threshold power), which you can base on a hard 10-15km run.
  • Better technique.
    Running power meters are a good way to see how running form correlates to energy cost. As an example, if you’re looking to improve run cadence, you can see how increasing from, say, 130 strides per minute (spm) to 150spm affects power output.

  • Improve your pacing strategy.
    Whether it’s hilly, on a trail or on the flat, pacing by power means you’ll be in the optimal zone for every scenario. Hitting the same power numbers, for instance, might see you run slower uphill and faster downhill, saving energy and increasing overall speed. 
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