With the recent release of our new Stryd power meter, we are more excited than ever about the possibilities of helping people run faster. Our recently released white paper (download it here) discusses running economy – a measure of the metabolic cost of running – how it impacts performance and how you can use Stryd to help you run faster.
Last week, we talked about using Leg Spring Stiffness and Form Power as indicators of running economy. Here, we focus on how to improve LSS over time.
One of the most underutilized types of training by the majority of the running world is simply running fast. Incorporating short, fast runs of 100-600m in length are a great way to hone in on one’s form, decrease ground contact time, and improve LSS. This type of training causes your body to recruit a greater number of fast twitch muscle fibers which can sometimes be neglected by distance runners.
Specifically, research shows that completing short hill sprints at the intensity associated with mile pace improves both LSS and running economy. This type of workout requires the athlete to run up a steep grade (15-20%) for 8-12 seconds at a time with long recoveries (1-3 minutes) between each repetition. Since this workout focuses on the recruitment of fast twitch fibers, the rest time between repetitions should be as long as needed for full recovery.
STRYD measures LSS on every step of every run. After completing a few weeks of this faster training, one may see increases in LSS. This would be an indication that your body is now recycling more energy thus needing smaller amounts of oxygen to maintain a specific pace.
Run training isn’t the only way to increase LSS and improve running economy. Our final installment of this series will focus on Supplemental Training to help improve your running economy.
To learn more about about using Stryd and power to run faster. Read Run with Power by Jim Vance. You should also check out the Run with Power Panel Discussion for an in-depth discussion about training with power.