Many runners believe that their primary challenge to getting faster is not working hard enough.
They have been conditioned to blame their work ethic for their failures and decide to double down their efforts.
This tactic pays off in the short term.
But, there is always a limit on how hard you can work.
Eventually, they reach a new limit that cannot be exceeded by simply working harder.
Runners are defined by their willingness to work hard and persist for hours and hours out on the road.
Work ethic surely cannot be the main impediment to improvement.
What if the real reason for the struggles was the opposite of hard work?
What if runners are working too hard?
Let's say that you push a single workout too hard.
For the next workout, you feel the need to match or exceed the speeds from that last workout to prove that you are just as fit as last time.
Now, you are pushing a few week's worth of workouts too hard.
The domino effect begins.
Fatigue and burnout starts to set in, but you continue to grit out workout after workout.
Your only choice is to begin to take workouts easy to recover.
Does this experience sound familiar?
All of a sudden you have completed a month's worth of workouts but they were all completed at the wrong intensity which means you are getting the wrong or incomplete adaptations from each session.
What can you do about this?
You need to know your capability before a workout begins.
A single "too-hard" workout can have a bad, cascading effect for the rest of your training.
If you had executed that first workout correctly, you would have gotten the intended benefit and been recovered for the next workout.
This problem is why we added the Model Curve to the new PowerCenter
How does this chart help solve our problem?
The Model Curve represents the theoretical best effort you can hold for different periods of time.
This info becomes tremendously useful when you are planning out a hard workout.
Let's say that are going to do mile repeats at near max effort today.
You know that a mile repeat takes around 7 minutes so you reference your Model Curve to determine the intensity you will run at.
The chart says that you can theoretically hold 370 watts for 7 minutes.
You take 95% of this value and decide that you will run at ~350 watts for each of your mile repeats.
Now, you can confidently run slightly under your ceiling for your next workout instead of blindly running at a near max intensity that may or may not be too hard.
The right intensity is easy to find with the Model Curve and you will be happy about this because you will find the right intensity is a lot easier to run at too.
On top of all the benefits listed above, this chart is also easy to establish and adapts to your changing fitness:
- It only takes three runs to establish a valid Model Curve. As long as you log quality efforts in the 10-30 second range, 10-20 minute range, and 50+ minute range, your chart will be accurate.
- The Model Curve adapts as your fitness increases or decreases. For example, if you have not been training long runs recently, the chart dips down in that region to reflect your new maximum capability.
Load up the new PowerCenter on your web browser and enjoy the Model Curve feature inside of the Power Duration Curve.
Instructions on how to access the new PowerCenter
- If you would like to access the new PowerCenter, please visit https://www.stryd.com/powercenter/ in your web browser. (The new PowerCenter even works on your mobile phone as compliment to the Stryd mobile app!)
- If you have a question about how to use the data, please access our knowledge base here: https://support.stryd.com/hc/en-us/categories/360002665393-PowerCenter-Tutorials-and-FAQ
- If you would like a deeper explanation on this specific feature, you should visit our knowledge base here: https://support.stryd.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041644594
- If your data looks wrong or if you cannot access the new PowerCenter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help!