When the Stryd running meter was released, the only company to support it straight out of the box was Suunto. The Stryd team have used the Garmin Connect IQ platform to build a Stryd app for several Garmin watches. With the Stryd Garmin Connect IQ app finally Garmin watches can access, easily, the full suit of Stryd running data.
Stryd Garmin Connect IQ app testing
In my original Stryd device review, in order to display the running power, you had to use the Cycling app on Garmin devices, it worked, but it was a little bit of a fudge, as most of the data screens are customised for my cycling not running. Running power is available on Suunto watches, but is a little… clunky. So I’ve been waiting with baited breathe, either for running power to be added to Garmin’s run app, or more likely a Stryd IQ app – and now we have the app!
The Stryd Garmin Connect IQ app is NOT finished yet. This is a quick look at an alpha build of the software, but even though it’s only an alpha, the app seems very robust, and gives a very clear idea of what the end result will look like. The Stryd team are clearly determined to make Stryd and running with power a major metric in the running field, and building Stryd functionality into existing devices such as this can only help to grow the user base.
Whilst Garmin Connect IQ is available on the majority of the Garmin’s new devices, the Stryd Connect IQ app isn’t. If you are thinking of giving the alpha build a go, it is currently only supported on the following devices:
- Fenix 3
- Fenix 3 HR
- Forerunner 230
- Forerunner 235
- Forerunner 735XT
- Forerunner 630
- 920XT and Vivoactive integration are still pending
Currently getting the Stryd Connect IQ app, onto your device does take a little bit of effort. You have to manually download a small firmware update, and the actual Connect IQ app itself, and side load both onto your device. Not actually rocket science, especially as the hardest part was getting my Fenix3 to actually go into USB mode! Still, this approach will pass away when the app is finally released to the Connect IQ App Store
Updates such enabling you to go for a run, sans phone or other devices, and with the Stryd HRM recording the run to internal memory, so you can still analyse the crucial bits of your run when you return.
Another development which Stryd has been through, and frankly causes the genesis of, has been the evolution of running power data. Work by Dr Steve McGregor of Eastern Michigan University, in collaboration with Dr Andrew Coggan, who just about all cyclists know from his Training and Racing with Power Meter t allowed Stryd to develop a critical power test which allows runners to determine their fitness level, and find the power zones they need to use for training when using the using the Stryd device.
With the purchase of each Stryd device now, there is the inclusion of a text by Jim Vance Run with Power: The Complete Guide to Power Meters for Running, looking at how a power meter can be applied runners – although it is important to state this text wasnt involved in the critical power test developement process
The critical power tests utilises another new function which has come to Stryd via firmware updates – “tap to start, and tap to stop’ function. Enabling you to interact with the Stryd device without getting your phone out of your pocket. As great as this is, I do wish they could extend this functionality so that a tap could also be used to skip tracks as well, just like the Wahoo TICKR X
However, those new features are quite separate from the Styrd Garmin Connect IQ app, which we’ll take a look at now
Using the App
Once the Stryd has the latest firmware, and the Garmin device has the Stryd Connect IQ app side-loaded, you are ready to start using the app. To load the Stryd app, you merely select it from the bottom of the activities menu, as you would for a normal run.
I’ll be honest, I was expecting the normal sort of data field app to pop up, showing power, and heart rate. Boy was I wrong! The Stryd Garmin Connect IQ app is a properly slick affair!
Once you have loaded the app, it confirms the Garmin has a GPS lock and verifies the pairing has been successful with the Stryd HRM. Then you are good to go!
When you hit for your run, the initial screen shows the core metrics of running – power, pace, time and distance. There are additional data fields, such as cadence you can scroll through
Currently, the reconfigurability is somewhat limited, but the Stryd IQ app is a very nicely focuses programme. One of the data screens is given over purely to a power screen. Across the top of the screen are five blocks, the colours of which correspond to your training zones which you can set, by doing specific runs, as highlighted earlier.
The same power zone colours are seen on the other data screens, at the top, and works to given you a quick and easy way of targeting your power zone, which still feels slightly alien to me.
At the end of the run, you stop the activity as your would normally on your device.
At the end of the run, you get a few screens of post-run analysis. They are informative, but a little heavy on the data. It might be beneficial if Stryd could incorporate a Polar style comment about how that activity will have benefitted your training
Whilst the Stryd Garmin Connect IQ app allows you to run, and view your power using a running-specific app, Strava as yet still does not support power data for anything other than cycling. As a result, you still end up uploading a Strava cycle log from your Stryd run.
You can check out the Strava activity from this run below. The activity is only half through my 6km jog, but as the Stryd app happened to freeze on reaching my halfway point, I had to restart the app and hence a second log. But an alpha build piece of software freezing isn’t really unexpected!
For an alpha build, the Stryd Garmin Connect IQ is excellent. I think it will make the use of the Stryd device much more accessible to owners of Garmin devices, which in turn may spur greater integration of running with power. The app itself is very well designed and continues to improve with each build. Even at this point, there are many other companies which would do well to take note with regard to how integration with Garmin Connect IQ apps appears to greatly improve the user experience with existing, non-Garmin products.
Lok for the Stryd Garmin Connect IQ to be released in the next few months