Please see our previous article about running efficiency to get a detailed introduction to power measurement.
What is power?
Power is a force multiplied by a velocity. It is expressed in Watts (W). Power measures how much effort you apply on the ground with your feet to make your run. It measures the mechanical energy used in real time and does not depend on other factors.
The science behind power
There is almost no scientific articles on power in running, mainly because there was no tool to measure power, until now.
However, power has been used for decades in cycling. It has revolutionised the way professional cyclist train. Most interpretation of power in running is therefore based on the knowledge developed on cycling.
How should I use it?
We can break down power in two main components: vertical and horizontal power. Vertical power is the energy you spend to make you move vertically, whereas horizontal power moves your body forward.
To be as synthetic as possible, you want to decrease your vertical power to improve your running efficiency (just like vertical oscillation).
Horizontal power can be used in two ways:
- If you keep the same speed, you want to decrease your horizontal power. It means that you are using less energy and keep the same speed: you will be able to run longer!
- You can also try to increase your speed keeping the same horizontal power. It means your are going faster while using the same energy: you will run faster without getting exhausted!
How can I measure it?
There is currently no validated tool to measure power in running. At FeetMe, we are validating our measurements to make sure we bring to runners a device that can accurately measure power consumption.
To start training with power, get FeetMe Sport, your personal running coach!