I hope you were able to get a good workout in yesterday! I personally got out and did a 1.5 hour spin on the bike (210 watts) and a 40-minute moderate run (278 watts) on Zwift. Based off of all the goals many of you sent me, I'm sure you guys did more than me. What was your workout yesterday? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you had an awesome session.
There are two ways I like to keep my training simple. I make sure I stay in one zone during my steady state workouts, and I check my power trends daily to ensure I am improving.
Pace Steady-State Workouts/Races
Pacing properly in workouts and races is hard, even for veteran athletes. Many athletes go out much too fast at the start and pay the price in the second half of the race by having to significantly slow down. We see this over and over again. Consistent pacing is they key to hitting a PR.
But proper pacing goes well beyond the common problem of going out too quickly at the start. It also eliminates the guesswork of pacing on hills, descents, and HR fluctuations. Pacing with power eliminates all of these and thus gives confidence to the runner. Personally, I am super confident training and racing with Stryd because I know it is a precise measurement of my running output.
In a steady state workout, you need to stay in the right power zone; this is critical to getting the optimal training benefit from the workout. With other pacing methods, you can start shifting between training zones without even knowing it. For example, you may start running in zone 2 even though your heart rate says you are in zone 3. This defeats the purpose of your steady state workout. Running with power guarantees you stay in your target zone and get the full training benefits of your workout.
Check out this longer run I did last weekend. Notice how my heart rate drifted up into a different zone, but my power did not. I was able to stay in my target zone for the duration of the workout.
Measuring fitness changes/performance progress
There is one question every athlete asks everyday: “Am I becoming fitter and faster?” I ask myself that question all the time. With power, I can answer this question and fully understand the actual effectiveness of my training. I can easily monitor changes in threshold power, power-to-weight ratio, power at specific durations, and efficiency. Check out my data in PowerCenter below. I have steadily been increasing fitness since I started my training regiment last fall. I keep an eye on my chart (and juxtapose the data with how I feel) to ensure I am getting fitter and not taking steps backwards.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of these topics; I'd be happy to expand on them in my next post. I use this technology to simplify running, and I encourage you to do the same!
P.S. I just launched my Twitter @NickatStryd, where I will be writing and sharing all things related to Stryd, Zwift, Running, and Triathlon.