I ordered a Stryd footpod, whose purchase terms require a 6 month subscription to the Stryd service.
I’m now interested in getting and using the additional stats these sorts of accelerometer running pods provide: Running power, ground contact, etc. I’m now at a point in training where I may have a use for that data, and it could better inform my training going forward.
I previously considered ordering a Garmin Running Dynamics pod to pair with my Forerunner, but balked at doing it (I even had a Dynamics pod ordered, but thanks to ongoing general shipping delays it hadn’t shipped for a few days, giving me time to reconsider and cancel), and now am glad I went with Stryd instead.
First of all, Garmin’s support history for their pricey accessories is a bit spotty. They previously sold a footpod that has now been discontinued and decommissioned. I didn’t want to spend $70 on a running pod that would eventually become obsolete and useless.
Also, while I like the functionality of my Forerunner 245, some of the pod stats I’d want aren’t available for the 245. I’d have to upgrade to a new watch, and while I can afford that I don’t want to decommission this watch after only a year of use.
Also, others reported that the Running Dynamics pod, designed to clip to your waistband, had fallen off and been lost during runs for some people. Again, I don’t want to spend $70 on something and then lose it, especially if it’s that easy to lose (it’s a small, less than a walnut sized device). While I have solid running form with minimal bounce, I have had clips and other similar devices fall off my body or otherwise get lost during and after runs. I can see myself easily losing that pod during a run and not knowing until too far after the fact.
The Stryd pod, meanwhile, is a standard footpod clipped to your shoelaces, and in my experience those stay on solidly with no issues. Worst case scenario, I forget to transfer the pod to my current pair of shoes, and it sits at home.
The Stryd is also intended for use with their 3rd party Garmin Connect IQ app, which provides full functionality through any compatible Garmin watch (and my Forerunner 245 is one of them). I don’t need to change my watch to use it, and it shouldn’t compromise the regular Garmin data from my workouts (including maps, which for me are fairly important).
So that’s why I went with the Stryd instead of the Running Dynamics pod. Now what exactly am I looking to get out of a Stryd versus the regular data from my Forerunner?
Stryd, instead of focusing on pace and other standard running metrics, focuses instead on running power. Pace is subject to a variety of variables beyond your control, e.g. inclines and declines, temperature, humidity, wind, your ability to handle altitude, etc. Most devices spit out just your pace, and what metrics they have evaluate your pace in a vacuum, as if all runs were in equal conditions. That’s not totally accurate.
Meanwhile, your running power measures the force you produce per step, and can be measured regardless of pace or conditions. It can give you a much more accurate, objective idea of how hard you’re running and how hard or easy to run. This pod uses an accelerometer rather than your GPS, so readings are dead-on accurate no matter where you are.
Stryd’s metrics can objectively determine what you’re capable of doing in any time trial from a second to 90 minutes, and can give a more accurate estimate of your current and potential performance all the way up to a marathon.
For me, the difficulty with conventional metrics (mileage, pace, heart rate) was that changes in my pace or heart rate didn’t necessarily tie back to my current fitness or performance. Temperature, high winds, and substantial differences in altitude between locations in the Las Vegas Valley can make workouts of the same intensity and effort look completely different, and make algorithmic judgments of my fitness based on those subjective results.
So, presuming it gets here in one piece this next week, I’ll begin using a Stryd for runs and look forward to what it shows me during runs.