What is running with power? Why would you want to?

Power is a measure of intensity – how much effort you’re expending to run.

It’s another way to target your training and race-day intensity, similar to using pace (your speed), heart rate (HR) or Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) – your internal feeling of effort.

The benefits of power:

  • Unlike heart rate, power responds immediately to changes in effort and to changes in gradient, and power numbers aren’t affected by stress, lack of sleep, “drift” during long workouts or other influences that can impact HR.
  • Unlike pace, power can be maintained uphill and downhill – it means you’ll run slower uphill and faster downhill, but as power targets are usually set as an average over a workout or race, this is as intended.
  • Unlike RPE, power is a quantity rather than a feeling and it’s not impacted by accumulated fatigue (whereas your perception may be). It’s also a number that can be used without training, while RPE takes time to fully develop.

The drawbacks of power:

  • There’re a lot of new concepts to learn and implement to get the full benefit of power. But then the same is true for other measures of intensity …
  • Power meters can be expensive, and it’s another piece of kit to maintain and manage.

What's in the 5-minute guide?

The guide is a “quick reference” to Running with Power, formatted as a series of questions and answers with links to other sources of information.

The document is deliberately short – with the intent that you should be able to understand the basics of running with power in around 5 minutes.

The following topics are covered in the guide:
  1. What is Power?
  2. Why Run with Power?
  3. How is Power measured when running?
  4. How do I use the Power numbers?
  5. Is there a relationship between Power and Duration?
  6. How can I set training goals?
  7. What are CP and FTP?
  8. How can I discover my CP/FTP?
  9. Is my running CP/FTP related to my cycling or swimming FTP?
  10. How do I use power when planning training?
  11. Can I use power to monitor training load?
  12. How do I use power to set race goals?
  13. Power doesn’t tell me how fast I run or what time I might achieve – what does?
  14. Can I use Power on a treadmill?
  15. Why NOT Run with Power?
  16. How can I keep track of all this “stuff”?

The 5-minute guide

Feedback? Questions?

Join the discussion in the from1runner2another Facebook group.

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