Being on the bleeding edge is exciting. But you can also get cut deep (hints the “bleeding” part). Power meters were once bleeding edge technology, but today they are common sights. Ask experienced cyclist or triathlete the best upgrade they can make, and they will (should) tell you to get a power meter (If you don’t already have one). But running power meters? That’s bleeding edge!
There really are only a few names in the game right now as it comes to running power meters. The big name is Stryd, now on their second gen unit. The other is RPM2. A few others are out there, but they are more fringe and aren’t specifically power meters like Lumo run and SHFT. The biggest question hanging over running power meters is, are they worth it?
I just got my first power meter, a first gen Stryd Pioneer, and my first impression is… yes, Yes, YES! With only a few runs under my belt, I can tell this is going to be one of my best purchases ever! (And it was on Ebay no less!!)
I admittedly waited a bit to get in the game and see how things panned out. My biggest gripe was that Garmin didn’t let you display power numbers in the running profile on their watches. I was not going back to running with a phone. I absolutely hate that. That’s one of the reasons I won’t be getting either the Lumo or SHFT systems (unless someone wants to give it to me for free and I’ll review it for you guys!!). But now that there are Connect IQ data fields you can add to your watch, Stryd developed their data field and things are all hunky dory!
The biggest advantage most people point to in using a running power meter is consistent pacing in races and training, especially over hills. That, for me, it definitely a plus, but not the biggest one. My first run with Stryd was a 10 mile run doing 12 minute intervals. I noticed that as I got more tired, my pace was going down, but my power was going up! In essence, my form was going in the trash.
When that would normally happen, I’d try to push through and make myself go faster. normally I wouldn’t think about form and I would try to tough it out. This time, I recognized the form errors and I was able to bring my pace back close to the right place and I saw my power numbers go downa bit. I was still slower and less efficient, but I was able to make corrections that were needed.
My point here is not to go into all the ins and outs of a power meter for running (I’ll do that in a later post after I’ve learned a bit more myself), but I do want to say that It really has helped me. If you ar eon the fence, consider this a friendly nudge. Running power meters are a game changer! So… have you thought about it? What’s holding you back? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Twitter!