Last week elite running coach Jim Vance wrote about why running power is a useful addition to your running data mix. The next step is to look at how to measure and analyze running power, particularly with the combination of Polar V800 and Stryd.
The point in measuring running power is that it’s a quicker way to detect changes in intensity than heart rate is. Heart rate is much slower to react than power: if you stop running, power will be down to zero immediately, whereas heart rate takes a while to slow down.
And vice versa: if you accelerate to your maximum speed, power will follow your acceleration right away, while heart rate will take a while to catch up. That’s the main reason why power is important when you want to see what’s happening, for example during short sprint exercises.
Running power is not the only metric you need to look at if you want to get the full picture of your running performance.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that running power is the only metric you need to look at if you want to get the full picture of your running performance. The best way to get the most out of your running power data is to combine it with other metrics, such as heart rate data. By combining the two, you get a wider view of your running performance – the more effort you can produce with your legs with less effort from your heart, the better your performance is.
Just like in most situations in life and sports, the best possible outcome requires a team effort.
Just like in most situations in life and sports, the best possible outcome requires a team effort – even the most talented individual can’t achieve the same alone as a team can together.
V800 and Stryd bring running power and heart rate data together
In this case, the team is the Polar V800 running GPS watch and Stryd, one of the most used running power sensors.
There was a time when power was only available for cyclists. But the running world is catching up and the Polar V800 has power metrics and data field options available in the running mode, too. This allows you to easily track running power (together with GPS, heart rate, speed, distance and cadence) and view your post-workout data, without the need to add any special applications to the watch.
Together the Polar V800 and Stryd allow you to monitor the relationship between heart rate and power.
Together the Polar V800 and Stryd allow you to monitor the relationship between heart rate and power. By monitoring and analyzing both of these metrics, you can assess how your running has improved. When you can put more power into your running while maintaining the same heart rate, you’ll know you have improved your running performance.
For example, you track your run today and notice that a section of your running route was particularly intense, which caused you to put more power in while your heart rate went up. If you run the same route a few weeks later and notice that now, for that particularly tough section, you used the same amount of power, but your heart rate was much lower, you’ll know your running has improved.
Also pace plays a role here. If you can keep up the same pace as earlier with lower power, it means your legs muscles can provide more. If, at the same time, your heart rate is lower, it means your overall running performance has improved as such.
How to start measuring running power
Step 1: Pair the Stryd unit with your Polar V800
These step-by-step instructions on our support pages will tell you how to pair Stryd with Polar V800 and how to start training with this combination.
Step 2: Set the data fields most relevant for you
You can set multiple different screens and fields using the Polar Flow service or Polar Flow application. Fields that can be customized are, for example, duration, pace, power and distance.
Step 3: Use power zones for your running
In addition to analyzing power zones, you can use Polar Flow to check, for example, your recovery time and calories burned during your workout sessions calculated based on your heart rate. Polar Flow offers a variety of metrics and insights that aren’t available on most platforms, like stride length and percentage of calories from fat burned in the session.
Connect with Polar Flow’s training buddies, like Strava and TrainingPeaks
If you use other training analysis apps, like TrainingPeaks and Strava, you can connect your Polar to them and the workouts you track with Polar V800 will be automatically uploaded to those platforms.
Depending on what your goals are and how deep you want to track and go into individual analysis, other effective platforms for analyzing running power data include SportTracks.mobi, FinalSurge.com, and Stryd.com/PowerCenter.
We hope this takes you a few steps further in taking full advantage of your running data and analyzing your training to the full. May the power be with you on your runs!
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.