I’ve been doing run gait (or run form) analysis on people for a few years now. I have seen pretty good success with the athletes I’ve worked with in the past by just recording them before and after some drills and form work and comparing the videos side-by-side. Recently, while on my own run, I had the idea of seeing what the Stryd Power meter could do for my athletes that I do run gait analysis on by having them wear the device on the same stretch of road before and after working on their form to see objective numbers to show improvement as well. I did a little bit of research on the product and had read the book running with power last summer while on vacation with my in-laws and decided it would be worth trying out. On February 18th, I did a run gait on 4 athletes and was able to use the power meter to get some numbers on them to really hit home in their minds the improvements we achieved in the 90 minutes of working with them. Of course, those 90 minutes aren’t going to fix all their problems with their form, but with some practice and diligence, I hope they continue to work on the new techniques we practiced and make them habit. But before I show the video, I want to go over a few terms to make sure people know what I’m referring to in the video.
Horizontal power – the amount of power produced that actually pushes you forward.
Form Power – the amount of power produced that makes the athlete go up and down (there will always be some degree of form power since running involved getting both feet of the ground at points during the stride)
Pace – the amount of time to go a specific distance. In this case, I will be using minutes/mile
Vertical Oscillation – the distance your body travels upward during your stride measured in centimeters. There will always be some vertical oscillation since we are running, but we want to minimize it to avoid extra pounding on the joints when body gets pulled back to the ground by gravity. Reducing vertical oscillation will also delay fatigue.
Stride length – the distance between one foot pushing off and the other foot landing on the ground measured in meters.
Running effectiveness = (meters/second)/(watts/kilogram). This is basically measuring how efficient the runner is in taking the total wattage produced into forward motion.
There are several other things the power meter can measure (of which I’m admittedly still learning), but I wanted to focus on these for now. As you can see, it is a little more complicated than looking at power data from a bike since not all power is moving you forward. It is possible to produce less watts and go faster while running if you run more efficient by reducing vertical oscillation, side-to-side motion, etc. It would be similar to pushing 300 watts on your bike while sitting upright vs pushing 300 watts in the TT position. Riding in the TT position will obviously be more efficient.
I strapped the running power meter on the shoes of each athlete without doing these before on anyone to practice, or see the results I would get. I was confident that what I have been doing in the past has helped people run faster with less effort (power) but never had a way to measure it until now. I was super happy with the results that came through today and look forward to using it more in the future. If you’re interested in doing a run gait analysis with me in the future, please fill out the “Let’s Get Started” form on the home page or contact Mike via the coaches page.