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As wearable technology takes the fitness community by storm, one small startup from Colorado is offering something revolutionary. At a modest product launch in Boulder, Colo. on Thursday, Stryd (Stryd.com) introduced the world’s first wearable power meter for runners.
Founders Li Shang Ph.D. of the University of Colorado and Robert Dick Ph.D. of the University of Michigan didn’t necessarily set out to change the running world through wearable research. However, with the help of elite coaches, athletes and physiologists, the Stryd power meter is paving the way in new running technology.
At the Boulder launch party, athletes, coaches and running enthusiasts had the chance to hop on a treadmill and give the Stryd power meter a try. Professional triathlete Mary Beth Ellis was also on hand to share her experience testing and training with the device on a daily basis.
“Training with power has been the key to my cycling success. To have that in running is a total game changer.”
– Mary Beth Ellis, Eight-time Ironman champion
The small pod-shaped sensor easily clips to the waistband of running shorts and sits gently against the lower back. With the sensor at the runner’s center of mass—lower back area—the power readings are more accurate than if placed on the extremities—on the shoe or wrist.
The Stryd sensor detects both the runner’s force and velocity then uses this data to produce an instantaneous power reading. Force is measured from the impact forces created as the runner’s foot hits the ground with each step. Velocity is measured using high-resolution motion sensors that calculate how the runner’s body is moving through 3D space. Together, these two measurements are run through a complex algorithm, resulting in the runner’s power.
Power = Force x Velocity
Training with Power
The technology developed by Stryd engineers unlocks new opportunities in coaching and training that will help runners improve efficiency through better form. The goal is to use the smallest amount of energy—lowest power number—for a given running pace. With the Stryd device, runners can experiment with their running techniques to establish the most efficient form at any speed.
“It looks like the future has arrived. A power meter for runners will advance training methods by decades.”
– Dirk Friel, Co-founder of TrainingPeaks
With Bluetooth and Ant+ capabilities, the Stryd device works with most existing watches and training devices. Current smartwatches typically come with a power protocol already built in and will easily pair with the Stryd device.
Run with a phone instead of a watch? Stryd has you covered. The wearable sensor is also compatible with Bluetooth capable smartphones. Just download the Stryd app and you’ll have instant access to your running power.
Coaches will also be relieved to know that power data generated from the Stryd device can be seamlessly uploaded to existing training platforms for easy viewing and power analysis.
Judging by the excitement and interest seen at the launch party, demand will be high with the Stryd presale launch beginning late February. This will be a limited sale through a crowdsourcing Kickstarter campaign that will go live Feb. 25. Limiting this initial sale to 1,500 customers, Stryd is looking to engage a broader test population before the full public launch this summer.
Want to know more about the Stryd development process, metrics, measurements, and what we have to say after a long-term test? Watch for our upcoming in-depth review in a future issue of Triathlete magazine.