Tracking exercise continues to be quite a hit in the technology world. I’ve got two apps on my phone as well as a fitness tracker on my wrist. It counts my steps and tracks the calories I’ve used. At the end of the day I get to see how many points – out of 1000- I’ve achieved. I haven’t a clue what the points represent or how they translate to my workouts.
Exercise and running can be quite tough. Although running seems instinctive, a surprising number of us just don’t do it well. We know how to put one leg in front of the other at a quick speed but beyond that it’s all a mystery. The creators of Stryd want the world to know running is a science and you can always improve by reviewing metrics and data. By making small adjustments in your routine, such as relaxing your shoulders, you can save energy and increase your efficiency.
Like a personal trainer, Stryd has four objectives: simplify training, improve efficiency and form, track progress to achieve goals, and perfect the routine for races. It takes the guesswork out of your improvement by collecting and tracking data regarding the power that you use. It’s a true mechanical representation, as the creators say, which gauges training intensity. Unlike most trackers that use just heart rate or pace (which can be affected environmentally), Stryd’s tracking of power allows for an objective overview.
As the creators explain, power has been used for ages by cyclists to track their progress. The running world expressed a need and Stryd is the first device to deliver. The technology is based around a three dimensional view of motion to include cadence, pace, and more. Most fitness trackers tend to stick to one metric, like mine with the ever-elusive step counter. With this 3D view, Stryd leaves you with an overview of how efficiently you run.
Stryd is just as easy to use as, well… moving. The egg-shaped device is always on and requires no buttons to be pushed. You simply clip it to your clothing and carry on with your workout. It has a coin cell battery that will last you about a year so there’s no worry about Stryd draining. Even better, Stryd syncs automatically to just about anything: smart watches (Garmin XT, Magellan Switch, Suunto Ambit), your computer, and iOS and Android. Like most devices nowadays, you can share your results with your friends as well.
Stryd will be tested by professional trainers, coaches, and athletes in a trial run before being sent out to the public. During this time, the team will be focusing on how to improve Stryd and capture more metrics. In addition, they will have created a platform of support to coach the more recreational users of Stryd.
It’s hard to determine if Stryd will be too complex for the average runner. Most of us are relatively satisfied with our current apps (and the oversharing of our mileage on Facebook). Our apps are mostly concerned with mileage and weight loss but, beyond that, they don’t provide useable metrics. Perhaps Stryd can influence runners to become more aware of their exercise and, in turn, become masters of running.
Stryd is about to complete a campaign on Kickstarter with a bang. The original goal of $50,000 has been outdone; Stryd has currently earned over $210,000 (and going up). Due to a stretch goal of 1000 backers, Stryd have added training programmes to their running solution. You can get feedback from qualified trainers, stick to a training plan, and more. Stryd will sell for $149 (~£100) and will ship in September 2016.