Running with Power
Train better and run faster with power
What is running power?
Running power meters (such as RunPowerModel) attempt to measure the mechanical effort during an activity (a workout session or a race) and display it on the runner's watch. This is typically done by combining complementary data, such as that of acceleration sensors or a barometric altimeter, and feeding them into an algorithm that outputs a single number: The runner's power, which is usually given in units of Watts (W) - just as for electrical devices!
With good data input, a decent running-power model works well under various conditions, allowing to assess the exertion equally well during training sessions as well as races.
In contrast to internal measurables such as your heart rate or rate of perceived exertion (RPE), running power is an external quantity - such as your pace, to give another example.
Why run with power?
For the ambitious athlete, using a running power meter such as RunPowerModel brings the following advantages:
The ability to properly adjust the training focus to the target race
Setting the correct intensity for demanding training runs, such as interval sessions
Racing at the proper intensity from the beginning until the end to exploit one's full potential
How you can do that? Have a look at "Power to Trail and Ultra Runners"!
What do you need to utilize running power?
Do you want to start running with power and wonder how to integrate this new measure into your training routine and benefit from it? Here's what you need:
A sports watch
A running power meter. If you have a Garmin watch, have a look at RunPowerModel. If not, there are many alternatives. Some watches (such as those from Coros or some from Polar) come with a watch-integrated power calculation. Another possibility is to go for an external solution, such as a stryd pod or RPM2.
A strategy on how to structure your training sessions or maybe even build a training plan using running power. Have a look at the Example Workouts page as well as the ebook "Power to Trail and Ultra Runners".
Learn how to develop a strategy for your target race based on power to unlock your full potential and perform at your best. That is also extensively described in "Power to Trail and Ultra Runners".
I am an ambitious trail runner and scientist and work as a physicist at the University of Innsbruck in the Austrian Alps. I successfully finished several alpine ultra-trail races and now regularly achieve good placements with my power-based training and racing strategy.
Knowing how easy it is to over-pace at a race because of excitement and a dysfunctional rate of perceived exertion, I'm convinced that power as an external quantity can help every runner perform at their very best.
Combining my passion for physics and running, I developed a running power meter in the form of a data field for Garmin watches (RunPowerModel). For that I developed an algorithm that is able to calculate a runner's power under a variety of conditions, including technical trails. It even quantifies how technical the trail was, for the first time ever in running allowing to get a grasp on this up to now subjective feeling.
Measuring running power is one thing, but utilising it to properly prepare and conduct a given race is another. My book "Power to Trail and Ultra Runners" focuses on these topics. It is the first book about running power with an emphasis on trail and ultra runners.