The use of power measurements to guide training and improve performance has been around for decades among competitive cyclists—in large part because power meters have been around for years that enable them to measure the force they apply to the crank shaft.
Now that power meters are available for runners, too, people are seeking new ways to build more powerful strides.
If you’re confused about how becoming more powerful can make you a faster runner, let’s start with the difference between power and strength:
- Strength is the ability to move a load (e.g., your own body) from point A to point B. It could take 10 seconds or 1 second, but strength is not a question of time. It’s strictly about the amount of weight you’re able to move.
- Power, on the other hand, combines both strength and time. The more powerful your body becomes, the quicker you can move that same weight from point A to point B. It’s as simple as that, and that’s why one of the foundations of power running is strength training.