Run Time Trial with the Stryd Power Meter

A run Time Trial is a great way to measure your current state of performance.

With the information provided by the Stryd Run Power Meter it opens up new ways for Coaches and Athletes to perform and then to assess and validate their results from the test.

Read the original article on the Foot Traffic Coaching Website or watch the video on YouTube

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The Time Trial

A group of Foot Traffic athletes recently performed an individual run Time Trial (TT) session. This was a 50 minute session which comprised of an easy 10 minute warm-up, a 30 minute interval at your best effort, followed by a 10 minute warm down.

The athletes ran the TT as 15 minutes out followed by 15 minutes back, preferably on a flat course and ideally in low to no wind conditions.

The athletes had a target power to run the first 15 minutes in and then they had the freedom of running as fast as they wanted for the second 15 minutes.

 

Current Form

Looking at one of the athletes who performed this TT, we can dive into their Stryd Power Center data.

The day before their TT their best effort for 30 minutes was 212 watts.  This was performed about six weeks prior to the TT.

The Stryd Power Center creates a modelled Power Duration Curve, which is the white line in the graph, sitting just above the actual Power Duration Curve.

The modelled curve is based on the information that inputed every time a run is completed and the data is uploaded.

 

 

According to the Modelled Curve, this athlete should actually be running 220 watts for their peak 30 minute effort, but they had only run 212 watts to date.  The idea of the TT is to take this Modelled number and see how close the athlete actually get to it?  I hadn’t told the athlete what their modelled ability was, the purpose of the TT was to see what they could achieve.

The only bit of guidance I gave them in terms of pacing was a target of 216w for the first 15 minutes.  I selected this amount because it was halfway between their actual Power and Modelled Power Duration Curves.  I also knew this value wasn’t too high that it would put the athlete off.  I wanted this to be a close to 100% effort, but I certainly didn’t want it to be a slow death if they had started out too fast.

The Session

For the first 15 minutes they ran at 218w (4:30/km) just slightly over the target of 216w.
For the second 15 minutes they ran at 222w (4:24/km).  A clear negative split
For the 30 minute TT they averaged at 220w (4:27/km).

The Analysis

You will recall that the 30 minute Modelled Power was 220w.  This athlete has run exactly to the number the Stryd Software had calculated for them.  

You can see in the image to the right, with the filter opened out to the last 90 days, that the 30 Minute Peak Power now lines up perfectly with the Modelled Peak Power at 220w.

From this it’s clear that the athlete ran exactly to their best effort for the TT.  Consequently they also received an increase in their Critical Power value, so we know the Training Zones that are generated off number are accurate.

 

Summary

As you can see, with the Stryd Run Power Meter it’s possible to make an accurate assumption of your current form, and then perform a TT to validate.  It’s a great confidence boost to the Athlete and Coach when they can physically and graphically see improvements from all the training.

Interestingly enough, of the 15 Foot Traffic athletes who performed the TT on the same day we saw about an 80% level of accuracy in reaching their Modelled Power during the test.  This is a good hit rate, and we will continue to use the 30 minute TT in future as a method of assessment for our athletes.

 

 

Racing on Zwift

To read the original article on the Foot Traffic Coaching website you find it here and you can watch the video on YouTube

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Why race on Zwift?

Racing online with Zwift has become the new hot thing in the world of Cycling.  Right now you can login, join a race against people from all over the world, and not have to leave the comfort and convenience of your own home.

But racing on Zwift isn’t like racing on the Road.  There are a few similarities, but there are also some tricks to the game play.  Quite often we see very accomplished and powerful road cyclists try to race on Zwift and get beaten quite significantly by less proficient cyclists IRL (In Real Life).

Knowing how the game works is vital to having a successful and fun racing experience

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Which race should I choose?

There are literally dozens of races every day on Zwift, so choosing the right race for you can be quite daunting and confusing.  Firstly you should know which grade you will be in based on your w/kg at FTP.  The grades range from A through to D, and if you race in a grade too low for your FTP setting you will be disqualified.

Look for races on the styles of course that suits you.  Are you more suited to a short sharp Criterium race, or are you better on a longer hilly or rolling course?  From here you can then decide which race to do.

Look for race series to enter.  There are plenty of events or tours on which make it fun as you will be racing the same people over and again.  Often National Federations have a race series on, such as Triathlon New Zealand, British Cycling or British Triathlon; and anyone from around the world can enter these races.

Race enough and you may even find yourself being recruited into a team to make it even more exciting.

But there’s a twist…

I was disqualified from this race on the Zwift Power website!  Zwift Power is a website seperate to the Zwift game site, but it takes race results and performs deeper analytics on the results.  It’s also basically the regulatory body for Zwift racing, and will police and deal to people racing out of their grades.

Because I usually race in A Grade, and I was treating this race less seriously, I entered B Grade.  Basically just to make it a bit easier for me so I could comment and talk tactics throughout.  B Grade is from 3.0-3.9w/kg, so if you record a power output higher than that you will be removed from the official results.

I rode this one at 4.5w/kg, and there were a few other riders in the race that were out of category (the winner and 4th place) so we were all disqualified, and I even got the UPG mark, which tells me it’s time to upgrade permanently.

So that’s a good thing really.  A few months ago I was a B Grade rider, but now with all the racing I’ve been doing I’m an A Grade rider.

Shit’s just got a lot more real though.

RIDE ON!