Stryd Blog: My Background

My first post as a Stryd Ambassador was meant to introduce myself to the rest of the early adopters:

Hello, follow Stryders! I'm Bryan Guido Hassin, a 37-year-old green tech startup entrepreneur based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.  I played [American] football through university (Go Rice Owls!) but now I run and play beach volleyball as more "life long" sports. Having spent the first half of my life never running more than 100 yards in one go, it's now a fun challenge to tackle (pun intended) longer distances, especially on trails and with obstacles. I'm primarily interested in short and middle distances, although I will run longer distances on occasion as a way to experience beautiful places.

Many moons ago I had the opportunity to work out with some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the NFL. They impressed upon me that their goal was to help their athletes achieve their maximum genetic potential - within the constraints of the enormous demands on their time and energy. Their athletes weren't working out all day every day; on the contrary, they were taking a surgical, "rifle shot" approach, using the minimum amount of training to achieve the maximum result. Their emphasis of recovery, mobility, and injury prevention over training stress was a real eye opener to me.

As a CEO, I also have enormous demands on my time and energy but I find that I am most effective when both my mind AND body are in peak condition. Motivated by what I learned from the NFL coaches, I am always searching for tools that will help me work smarter-not-harder to improve my physical conditioning. Every year I get older, this approach is increasingly important as I seek to prevent injuries as well - i just don't recover from them as quickly as I did when I was 18!

This quest for smarter training methods is what led me to Stryd. Cyclists have been using power meters for decades to optimize training so I was intrigued by the prospect of doing the same for running. I run a lot of interval and repetition workouts in which heart rate is all but useless as a metric - both for the interval and for the recovery period. Power offered me a much more instantaneous measurement of my output.

Training by power is especially interesting now that I live in a very hilly locale. We moved here from Houston, Texas, which is as flat as the day is long. Once we arrived in [aptly named] Chapel Hill, I quickly realized that training by pace was useless. Power seemed like an appropriate way to "normalize" pace based on the constantly change grade.

My hopes for Stryd extend beyond training too as I believe that it can be a powerful (again, pun intended) weapon in races, when emotions are tense, paces need to change based on grade, and heart rate is so laggy that, once you realize that it's too high, it may be too late.

Finally I'm hoping that Stryd can be an "always on" coach, of sorts, to help me improve my running form. I've been able to see power decrease while pace remains constant when I focus on certain running form cues so I'm hoping to integrate that type of feedback more tightly into my training.

As a trained scientist/engineer, I'm a natural experimenter. Over the course of this week I'll share with you all some of the experiments I've run with Stryd, some of what I've learned, and some of what I think is still out there to figure out. Thanks for joining me in this journey of discovery and may the Power be with you!

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