Run with POWER vs. PACE

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    Currently I am training with Pace, but I am thinking about exploring run with POWER, Stryd ofcourse in this case.

    Just got me thinking…
    PACE zones = keep constant speed/pace for some amount of time, but with POWER … keepeing constant Power is not equal to keeping constand pace as this can vary depending on terain. In other words holding POWER zone eg Z2 may change speed +/- by some amount.

    Is this change so small that is negligible, as this on the other hand influence HR :/

    so what is the best way:
    1. Power
    2. Pace
    3. HR

    David Warden


    Very observant of you! You’ve identified the advantages and disadvantages of Power, Pace and HR. We recommend Power first, then Pace, then HR. HR is sometimes superior to Pace in hills, but Power is considered the most accurate measure of intensity.

    Perhaps you have seen this analogy in our document before, but it’s worth repeating to demonstrate why. From our document Intensity Guidelines for Running (also in Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon):

    There are four ways to measure intensity: pace, heart rate, power, and perceived effort. The testing protocols for all four types are listed below. Each metric has different applications among the three triathlon disciplines. Each metric also has certain advantages and disadvantages. Power is an output, pace is an outcome, and heart rate is an indicator. Let’s use an automobile as an example. Horsepower (power) is the output, and represents actual work performed regardless of terrain, grade, or environmental factors. Your speedometer (pace) indicates the speed, or outcome. Your engine temperature (heart rate) represents how the car is responding to the output and environment. During a hilly ascent, the output (power) might be high, but the outcome (speed) might be low. On a hot day, the engine temperature (heart rate) might be very high even when stopped at a light with almost no output and zero outcome. For this reason, power is considered superior to pace, and pace superior to heart rate to measure intensity. There are some exceptions, such as hills, where HR can be superior to Pace to measure intensity. The recommended best-practice is to use Power or Pace as your primary measure, with HR as a secondary measure.



    Thank You David…

    I reviewed some data from different Stryde runs, and decided to give it a GO… ordered and starting to build my PDC over next 90 days. 🙂


    Hi David,

    I know you’ve said it countless times but I can’t get my head around one thing.

    That is:
    Pace and Power does not know how I really feel when I think HR does. Why would I keep pushing my overheated motor even sitting at traffic lights idle just because I got to hit a pace or power? You pull over and wait for the engine to cool don’t you? Also why would I push myself downhill to hit a power or HR. I’ve injured myself once doing that.

    Saying that I use Pace most of the time but back off on some hills because HR tells me or too steep to hit the pace and keep my pace constant down hill even if HR does drop. I believe power is the same down hill.


    David Warden

    Uhhhhh, that’s actually a very good point, Alan. You’ve turned my popular automobile example against me.

    I’m not ready to edit the documentation further, as we do specify in the section above that HR is an excellent secondary measure and better in hills than Pace. I will concede (as I have before) that HR should not necessarily be eliminated, we just feel Pace and Power are more useful overall. There is certainly a point where HR (engine temperature) is outside of normal range and should not be ignored.



    to add to this…

    i typically run pace. i run with a stryd pod for pace. i have yet to fully adopt the idea of power in my running but i will say this regarding HR versus pace.

    i live in texas, south east texas. where i live in the summers its 100 degrees and 100% humidity. its friggen hot. on my watch i have my HR and pace up all the time when im running outside.

    i run the prescribed pace all the time UNLESS i FEEL my hr creeping up and interfering with my run. i typically run the same roads / routes so i know what i feel where i feel them (if that makes sense). in the heat i will run WELL on the high side of my zone, but ill run it till i feel its actually impeding my run, then ill back it off. its the only way ive felt that ive been able to actually really been able to balance the HR versus pace balance.

    my pace will sometimes dictate something but my HR is in the 150s (with a max hr of mid 170s) and ill truck along till i start feeling the ill effects. its def a balance but one you have to find for yourself.

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Krzysztof Szabłowski

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