Polar Blog Tips, tricks and information about training, fitness, activity, meals, sleep and healthy living 2018-09-18T08:15:04Z https://www.polar.com/blog/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.polar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cropped-polar-symbol-640x640-32x32.png Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Meet Polar Vantage V – the premium multisport watch for pro-level athletes]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8255 2018-09-17T09:47:33Z 2018-09-17T06:15:03Z Not just a running watch, more than a sports watch... This premium multisport watch is building on the heritage of Polar V800 but takes giant leaps longer.

The post Meet Polar Vantage V – the premium multisport watch for pro-level athletes appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Not just a running watch, more than a sports watch – it’s the premium multisport and triathlon watch for ambitious athletes: Polar Vantage V.

Building on the heritage of the Polar V800, which still today is the work horse for many elite athletes around the world, Polar Vantage V offers a pro-level, personalized multisport experience with the most accurate optical heart rate technology, running power from the wrist and new training load and recovery features.

Polar Vantage V

A premium multisport watch designed for pro athletes – and for anyone who trains like a pro.

Starting from $499.00 / €499.00

Read more

If you’re thinking to update your Polar V800 and wondering how Polar Vantage V compares to its predecessor, see our quick comparison list of the key features at the end of this article.

But, let’s first explore the new Polar Vantage V in more detail and find out what exactly makes it the perfect training partner for athletes who are serious about achieving their goals.

(Text continues below the video.)

If we had to name one key benefit…

When you fall in love with someone, it’s hard to pinpoint just one specific reason why – it’s the whole package that makes you fall and stay in love.

There isn’t only one feature or design detail that would fully explain why the Polar Vantage V is unique.

In the same way, there isn’t only one feature or design detail that would fully explain why Polar Vantage V is unique. It’s all the smart stuff inside the beautiful package (and, yes, also the actual package with robust design and premium materials).

New features for pro-level athletes to track their performance even in the most demanding conditions and better balance training and recovery.

If we had to name one benefit that all new features and improvements have in common is they make it easier for pro-level athletes to track their performance even in the most demanding conditions and use more holistic data to balance training and recovery.

That’s the big picture but the package is filled with goodies for pro-level athletes so let’s crack it open and take a closer look.

Wrist-based, chest-based… heart rate in every situation

Now, let’s start with heart rate measurement, which has been at the core of Polar’s solutions since the 1970s. For the athletes who have been struggling with tracking their heart rate data with a chest strap when racing, we have great news!

The most accurate alternative for chest straps: Polar Precision Prime™, a cutting-edge wrist-based heart rate measurement.

With the new Polar Vantage series, we’ve taken our extensive knowledge and experience from heart rate technology and used it to create the most accurate alternative for chest straps: Polar Precision Prime™, a cutting-edge wrist-based heart rate measurement.

This is the only heart rate technology that uses three methods to provide accurate heart rate: nine optical channels using several colors and wavelengths of light, 3D acceleration and an electrical sensor that measures the quality of sensor-skin contact.

Athletes can now monitor their heart rate reliably without a chest strap and track their heart rate accurately straight from the wrist.

This means that athletes can now monitor their heart rate reliably straight from the wrist with a faster response time, more sensitivity for readings, and much higher accuracy and reliability for wrist-based heart rate.

But, the Polar Precision Prime technology doesn’t make chest-based heart rate measurement redundant because the Polar H10 heart rate sensor still provides the best heart rate accuracy, for example, for sprints, strength training and measuring recovery with the new Recovery Pro™ feature on Vantage V.

Train and recover like a pro

The key to balancing training and rest is learning to listen to your body and to combine your subjective feeling with data. With the Polar Vantage V you can optimize your training and recovery on a whole new pro level.

Recognize your personal limits and get personalized feedback.

 

The new Training Load Pro™ and Recovery Pro™ features will help you to recognize your personal limits by giving you personalized feedback and telling you whether you’ve been training too much, too little or just right.

The new Training Load Pro™ feature doesn’t measure just one system of your body but three!

The new Training Load Pro™ feature doesn’t measure just one system of your body but three: Cardio, Muscle and Perceived Load. Combining all three loads will give you the best understanding of your total training load and how demanding each training session is for different systems of your body.

The new Recovery Pro™ feature measures your daily recovery level with the Orthostatic Test, tracks your long-term recovery and gives you feedback on how recovered you are and recommendations on when you can train again.

The recovery measurement takes into account all stress factors in your life, not only stress from training.

The recovery measurement is based on your heart rate and your heart rate variability, and takes into account all stress factors in your life, including stress from training and stress caused by other aspects of your life, such as poor sleep or work pressure.

This is what you’ll get:

  • A personalized training recommendation for each day
  • Warning when you’re at risk of overtraining, injury or illness
  • Feedback when you have too much stress from something else than training
  • Motivation to keep training if you start to lose your momentum

A package full of power

Polar Vantage V has over 130 different sports profiles to choose from and a multisport mode to track several sports in one training session (ahoy triathletes!).

As the first sports watch to measure running power from the wrist, the Polar Vantage V  paves the way into the future of running.

Obviously, it’s a lot more than just a running watch, but paves the way into the future of running, being the first sports watch to measure Running Power from the wrist, calculated with Polar’s proprietary algorithm and based on your GPS and barometer data.

Running Power is relatively new but it is a great tool to measure the external load of your running. It reacts faster than heart rate so it’s ideal for measuring your load for uphill running and interval sessions. You can also use it to maintain a steady effort level during your run even in varying terrain.

Running Power complements heart rate measurement: when you measure both you can detect changes in your running performance. If after weeks of training you can produce the same power with lower heart rate, your running performance has improved.

Polar Vantage V uses Running Power to calculate your Muscle Load, the load that your training session puts on your joints and your muscular and skeletal systems.

What about the package?

Polar Vantage V is lightweight (66g), compact in size (46 x 46 x 13 mm) and fits perfectly on your wrist – it’s ergonomically optimized for sports and allows your wrist to move naturally.

To make the product work ideally in training as well as in daily use, the user interface has both a color touch display and buttons. The touch screen is handy, but with the buttons you can use the watch without watching (pun intended) and focus on your training.

It’s as tough as they come.

With a stainless steel front case and Gorilla Glass lens, Polar Vantage V is as tough as they come. To make sure, we put it through the toughest tests and tried every possible way to break it so that you wouldn’t be able to – it’s designed to last.

Polar Vantage V vs. Polar V800

Polar Vantage V builds on the success of the Polar V800, but takes giant leaps longer. Here’s how the two Polar products compare. (You can also use our comparison tool to compare Polar Vantage V with other Polar products.)

Polar Vantage VPolar V800
Polar Precision Prime™, wrist-based heart rate measurementX
Speed and distance from the wristXX
Training Load Pro™X
Recovery Pro™X
Running powerFrom the wristVia third-party sensor
Running ProgramXX
Running IndexXX
Sleep Plus™X(detects sleep duration and quality)
Multisport modeXX
Swimming metricsXX
Water resistanceWaterproofWR30
GPSXX
GLONASSXX
BarometerXX
Battery life with GPS40 hours in training mode13h of training with GPS and sensors/50h in low-power GPS mode
DisplayAlways-on color touch display, 240 x 240 pxBlack-and-white display, 128×128 px
Weight66g79g

HOW CAN I GET MY HANDS ON Polar Vantage V?

You can preorder the Polar Vantage V now and get it soon.

The post Meet Polar Vantage V – the premium multisport watch for pro-level athletes appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Polar Vantage V vs. Polar Vantage M | Which is right for you?]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8284 2018-09-18T08:15:04Z 2018-09-14T06:15:30Z Alike but unique. Both new Vantage series multisport watches are designed for ambitious goal-oriented athletes but here are the differences to help you choose.

The post Polar Vantage V vs. Polar Vantage M | Which is right for you? appeared first on Polar Blog.

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When you choose the best sports watch for you where should you start?

Your personal goals and needs as an athlete.

If you don’t need everything, maybe focus on the essentials? If you don’t need all the pro-level goodies, but you want them and having them gives you joy and pleasure… well, we totally get it!

Luckily, both new Vantage series multisport watches are designed with ambitious goal-oriented athletes in mind so whichever you choose, you will have the most reliable optical heart rate measurement, accurate data and advanced training features.

Both Polar Vantage M and Polar Vantage V come with cutting-edge Polar Precision Prime™ sensor fusion technology and a new approach to measuring your Cardio, Muscle and Perceived Training Load as a whole. They offer a true multisport experience with more than 130 sports profiles and a multisport mode to track different sports in the same session.

The difference between the two is that with Polar Vantage V, you can take your training and performance even deeper into the pro level (with longer battery life, recovery measurement, running power from the wrist and a barometer).

TL;DR – Quick comparison chart

If you want to cut straight to the chase, here’s a shortcut to comparing the features between Polar Vantage V and Polar Vantage M. Or use the comparison tool for a more detailed list.

Polar Vantage VPolar Vantage M
Polar Precision Prime™, wrist-based heart rate measurementXX
Speed and distance from the wristXX
Training Load Pro™XX
(Muscle Load via third-party sensor)
Recovery Pro™X
Running powerFrom the wristVia third-party sensor
Running ProgramXX
Running IndexXX
Sleep Plus™XX
+130 sport profilesXX
Multisport modeXX
Swimming metricsXX
WaterproofXX
GPSXX
GLONASSXX
BarometerX
Battery life with GPS40 hours in training mode30 hours in training mode
DisplayAlways-on color touch display, resolution 240 x 240Color display, resolution 240 x 240
Measurements46 x 46 x 13 mm 46 x 46 x 12.5 mm
Weight66 g45 g
Changeable wristbandX

The key differences between Polar Vantage V and Vantage M

Running power from the wrist

With Polar Vantage V you can measure running power from the wrist without any additional sensors or pods. Measuring running power is possible with Polar Vantage M, too, but you need to pair it with a third-party running power meter, like Stryd.

Polar Vantage V

A premium multisport watch designed for pro athletes – and for anyone who trains like a pro.

Starting from $499.00 / €499.00

Read more

Muscle Load

Both new Vantage products come with the new Training Load Pro feature that measures your Cardio Load and Muscle Load and combines the data with your Perceived Load. This way you get an accurate and holistic understanding of how strained your body is.

The difference is that Polar Vantage V automatically measures your Muscle Load from running (and even from cycling if you use a cycling power meter). If you opt for Polar Vantage M, you can measure your Running power and Muscle Load with a third-party sensor.

Recovery

To help you find the perfect balance with different types of training and rest, Polar Vantage V not only measures your training load as a whole but also your daily and long-term recovery levels with the Recovery Pro feature.

To provide even more in-depth pro-level guidance, Polar Vantage V combines your Training Load and Recovery Status to give you a personalized daily training recommendation and warn you when you’re at risk of overtraining, injury or illness. It also recognizes if you have too much stress from something else than training and will motivate you to keep training if you start to lose your momentum.

Look and feel

The design of Polar Vantage V is a more robust and it has a stainless steel front case. It’s lightweight (66g), but slightly heavier than the super lightweight Polar Vantage M (45g).

Polar Vantage M

An all-round multisport GPS watch for anyone who loves setting new records.

Starting from $279.90 / €279.90

Read more

Both Polar Vantage products come with a color display and buttons but as a bonus, Polar Vantage V has a color touch display with Gorilla Glass. Buttons are in both multisport watches so that you can focus on your training to the full and use the watch without looking at the screen. Buttons minimize any accidental presses (e.g. pausing/stopping exercise, changing to another training view, taking accidental lap, etc.) when you’re training and that’s why the touch screen on Polar Vantage is disabled in training mode.

Battery life

The battery life for Polar Vantage V is 40 hours of continuous training with GPS and optical heart rate measurement as opposed to the battery life of 30 hours of continuous training with GPS and optical heart rate measurement for Polar Vantage M.

Both batteries last up until around one week of daily use, meaning ca. one hour of training per day with 24/7 heart rate tracking on and mobile notifications off.

Still not sure which is right for you?

WHAT’s your answer to these questionS?

  • Are you a pro or do you train like a pro and need a premium multisport watch with all pro-level goodies?
  • Do you want to measure your Training Load as a whole, including Muscle Load, without additional sensors or pods?
  • Do you wish to get feedback on your recovery level and personalized training guidance?
  • Have you been hoping that you could measure Running Power straight from the wrist without third-party sensors?
  • Do you need accurate altitude information via barometer when you train?

If your answer is “yes”, Polar Vantage V is the sports watch you need.

DO you agree with these statements?

  • “I’m an ambitious athlete and need an all-in-one multisport watch – without breaking the bank.”
  • “I want to measure Running Power and Muscle Load but I’m fine with using a third-party sensor to do it.”
  • “I want a multisport watch that is light as a feather and fits perfectly on my wrist.”
  • “Style is important! My sports watch should be customizable to match my style.”
  • “I need the essentials, like accurate optical heart rate measurement, holistic training load, swimming metrics, multisport mode and ultra-long battery life.”

Sounds about right? In that case, Polar Vantage M is the best choice for you.

When you’ve made your choice, you can preorder Polar Vantage V or Polar Vantage M and get it soon.

The post Polar Vantage V vs. Polar Vantage M | Which is right for you? appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Introducing the new Polar Vantage series – the next-generation multisport watches]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8263 2018-09-14T06:47:07Z 2018-09-13T10:02:17Z They are here! The new Polar Vantage pro-level multisport watches are designed to help ambitious athletes reach their full potential.

The post Introducing the new Polar Vantage series – the next-generation multisport watches appeared first on Polar Blog.

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The rumors are true: They are here!

We introduce to you: the new Polar Vantage series, the pro-level multisport watches designed to help ambitious, goal-oriented athletes reach their full potential.

Building on Polar legacy, these advanced multisport watches go way beyond the earlier Polar products and are unique in their accuracy, design and technology.

No matter what your sport is, the new Polar Vantage products will guide you on your way and provide the most accurate data so that you can focus on what’s important: the sport itself.

Shaping the future based on strong LEGACY

Since creating the first heart rate tracking solution more than 40 years ago, it has been our mission to help athletes of all levels to achieve their goals by providing them the most reliable smart heart rate technology and services.

“Given our long track record and continuous innovation, we consider it justified to say that we are the pioneers of sports wearable technology and heart rate measurement,” says Marco Suvilaakso, Chief Strategy Officer at Polar.

Based on decades of experience, Polar Vantage multisport watches lead the way to the future of sports technology.

Now, we’ve taken all that experience and the lessons we’ve learned and used them to create the Polar Vantage multisport watches that lead the way to the future of sports technology.

As a result of decades of experience and research, we know athletes better than anyone and developed these next-generation products based on the fundamental needs of pro-level athletes.

Vantage series – All-in-one multisport watches

Polar Vantage V and Polar Vantage M both come with next-generation technology and all the essentials for athletes who take sports seriously:

Both Polar Vantage series multisport watches come with next-generation technology and features for athletes who take sports seriously.

  • Cutting-edge optical heart rate technology
  • A completely new approach to measuring training load
  • More than 130 sports profiles to choose from
  • A multisport mode to track several different sports in one session (ahoy triathletes!)
  • Support for swimming metrics and cycling sensors
  • Ultra-long battery life

 

To understand what Polar Vantage series is all about, let’s first take a look at the new features they have in common. 

Cutting-edge optical heart rate technology

As said, heart rate is at the core of our solutions so let’s start there.

Because one size never fit anyone and you need alternative solutions to serve different needs, after developing the category-defining H10 heart rate sensor and OH1 optical heart rate sensor, we’re now introducing the next generation heart rate measurement:

Polar Precision Prime™, sensor fusion technology.

Polar Precision Prime™, sensor fusion technology sets a new standard for wrist-based accuracy.

This unique sensor fusion technology with Polar’s customized smart algorithm sets a new standard for wrist-based accuracy. Polar Precision Prime measures your heart rate from the wrist with two LED colors and skin contact measurement, ruling out any disturbances to the heart rate signal. It is accurate, always on and tracks your heart rate without a chest strap, even in the most demanding conditions and training sessions.

This accurate optical heart rate technology allows you to track heart rate in situations where using a chest strap isn’t convenient.

Polar Precision Prime allows you to track heart rate from the wrist in situations where using a chest strap isn’t convenient, but it doesn’t replace existing heart rate technology completely.

Even though Polar Vantage multisport watches take optical heart rate measurement to a whole new level, the H10 heart rate sensor is still the best match, for example, for strength training, sprints and measuring recovery.

The recommended approach is to use chest-based and wrist-based heart rate solutions as complementary and choose the best method case by case.

New approach to training load

Another next-generation feature in the Polar Vantage series is the new Training Load Pro™ that doesn’t measure just one but three aspects of training load! In addition to Cardio Load, you can measure Muscle Load and combine these measurements with your subjective feeling (Perceived Load).

This way you’ll know how strained each system of your body is and you can optimize your training by working the right system at the right time. You get a numerical value, verbal feedback and a visual bullet scale for each training load (Cardio Load, Muscle Load, Perceived Load).

In addition to the training load from individual training sessions, you can monitor how Cardio Load builds up over time, which allows you to keep the total training volume in control, optimize the timing of training at different intensities and know whether your training has been progressive.

(Polar Vantage V measures your entire training load, including Muscle Load from running, without any additional sensors or pods. With Polar Vantage M, you can measure Muscle Load by pairing it with a third-party power meter.)

True multisport watches, but more than sports watches

The Vantage series products are true multisport watches with more than 130 sports profiles to choose from and a multisport mode that allows you to include several sports into one training session.

You not only get a sports watch, but also an access to the ultimate training platform for data-loving athletes (and their coaches).

What’s more, you not only get a sports watch, but also access to the ultimate training platform for data-loving athletes.

Polar Vantage products works seamlessly with Polar Flow, the online window to your training, sleep and activity. With extensive training planning and analysis tools, an automatic training diary, progress reports and much more, Polar Flow will help you achieve all your training goals.

With the free Polar Flow for Coach service your coach can access and analyze your training data and develop training plans that sync with your Flow account and Polar Vantage product. You can also sync your data to other online sports communities, such as Strava or TrainingPeaks.

Alike but unique

So, if they both have all this, what’s the difference?

Polar Vantage V – Pro-style recovery and running power

Polar Vantage V is a premium multisport watch, designed specifically for pro-level athletes.

It comes with all the goodies a pro athlete needs – such as ultra-long battery life up to 40h in training mode, stainless steel front case and Gorilla Glass lens – with a special focus on optimizing training and recovery.

Polar Vantage V

A premium multisport watch designed for pro athletes – and for anyone who trains like a pro.

Starting from $499.00 / €499.00

Read more

Polar Vantage V combines the data from the new 3-layer Training Load Pro™ (Cardio, Muscle and Perceived) with your daily and long-term recovery levels (Recovery Pro™). This allows you to monitor the balance between training and recovery and recognize your personal limits.

The best part is that you won’t be overwhelmed just with a bunch of data and numbers: Polar Vantage V is like an assistant coach on your wrist, making sure you don’t train too much or too little, but just right, and giving you a personalized daily training recommendation.

Polar Vantage V is the first multisport watch to measure Running Power from the wrist.

Polar Vantage V is also the first multisport watch to measure running power from the wrist without any additional foot pods or sensors. Running Power measures your external training load, not replacing but complementing heart rate monitoring as it responds to changes in intensity faster than heart rate.

Get to know Polar Vantage V.

Polar Vantage M – All-in-one package with style

Polar Vantage M is not for goofing around either – it has all the essentials you need to challenge yourself and improve your performance in all your favorite sports.

Polar Vantage M

An all-round multisport GPS watch for anyone who loves setting new records.

Starting from $279.90 / €279.90

Read more

It’s packed with tools that help you break your records and reach your goals: avoid overtraining with the holistic Training Load Pro feature and monitor your running progress with the extensive advanced running features, such as Running Index and free Running Programs.

With changeable wristbands you can personalize your Polar Vantage M to match every situation and style so you can wear it all the time and make the best use of the 24/7 activity tracking, continuous heart rate measurement and sleep tracking.

Polar Vantage M is perfect for daily use but also the ideal training companion thanks to its compact size (46 x 46 x 12.5 mm), lightweight design (45 g) and ultra-long battery life (up to 30h in training mode).

Read more about Polar Vantage M.

Where to buy the new Polar Vantage multisport watches?

You can now preorder Polar Vantage V or Polar Vantage M.

Nobody is born a winner but with the right tools and putting in the hours and sweat, anybody can become one. Polar Vantage multisport watches will provide you with everything you need to go all the way. We bring the data – the rest is up to you!

The post Introducing the new Polar Vantage series – the next-generation multisport watches appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[How to balance training and recovery I Sebastian Kienle ]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8307 2018-09-14T06:46:25Z 2018-09-11T05:56:45Z Do you recognize the fine line between pushing yourself and harming yourself? Here's how Sebastian Kienle knows how much is too much.

The post How to balance training and recovery I Sebastian Kienle  appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Triathlon can be bittersweet – and one of the reasons triathletes push themselves beyond their limits and through the pain is that it makes the reward taste only that much sweeter.   

But, it’s sometimes hard to recognize the fine line between pushing yourself and harming yourself, so how do you know how much is too much?   

Listen to your body 

Polar athlete Sebastian Kienle balances his training and recovery by listening to his body and using reliable data. It’s never one single thing that makes him do something or take a decision, it’s the combination of data and his subjective feeling that guides him on the quest towards balance. 

After being a professional athlete for 20 years, Sebastian Kienle is experienced in listening to his body but he understands that not everybody is.

In our sport, you learn to ignore all the signs your body is giving you.

“Many non-professional triathletes try to go really hard and think that’s always the best way. In our sport, you learn to ignore all the signs your body is giving you because to succeed, you have to accept that a certain amount of pain comes with the job.”  

So, you learn to push through it up to the point that it’s easy to lose sight of how much is too much. 

“When you get injured, overtrained or burned out, you lose the fun and may lose your passion for the sport altogether. That’s why it’s important to react before it’s too late,” says Kienle.  

Sometimes the problem is not doing too much but not doing enough.

Sometimes the problem is not doing too much but not doing enough. It’s an ongoing challenge: when to listen to your body and when it’s just your body trying to avoid the discomfort?   

It’s a continuous walk on a thin rope that requires constant effort: on one hand, you have to ignore the signals your body is giving you, and on the other, you have to listen to what your body is telling you.   

monitor your recovery

Experience is valuable in understanding your body and mind but still, your subjective feeling can be misleading on its own. That’s why reliable data plays a key role in stopping you from straying  and if you do, steers you back to the right path.   

Data helps me to avoid mistakes and look for warning signs.

“Data helps me to avoid mistakes and look for warning signs. When my heart rate and the orthostatic test shows I’m fine, I know I’m good to go. Sometimes my own feeling weighs more and reigns over numbers: even if data suggests I’m not recovered, but I feel fine, I don’t skip a session. If both my data and feeling are off, I’ll take 3-4 rest days,” Kienle says.  

So, what kind of recovery data helps Sebastian Kienle on his way to the podium?   

The orthostatic test indicates how fresh my system is and tells me if I should do more or ease up a little bit.

“I monitor my recovery by doing the orthostatic test regularly: it indicates how fresh my system is and tells me if I should do more or ease up a little bit. I also monitor my resting heart rate and measure my heart rate variability (HRV) every second day.”    

In addition to the physical training load, there are other stress factors that affect recovery.

“Before big races I monitor my overall activity and track my sleep to get a holistic view of my recovery level, including stress from other than training. The stress levels get really high before big races like Kona when you have to do press conferences and give interviews. If you don’t pay attention, you can be quite worn out way before you’re anywhere near the start line. “ 

Keeping track of all this data allows Kienle to take shortcuts and get to where he wants to go faster. Experience serves the same purpose but learning by trial and error is a slower path. 

“Simply put, I check my data before I make a mistake,” he summarizes.  

Reward yourself  

Balance is also about getting in and out of your comfort zone. Sebastian Kienle pushes himself out of his comfort zone but makes sure he rewards himself afterwards. Winning a podium is not the only occasion that calls for well-deserved self-pampering – even the smallest accomplishments matter.  

Even the smallest accomplishments matter.  

“After an 8-hour bike ride in the rain and freezing cold, nothing tastes as sweet as a candy bar on the couch after a hot shower. I do this all the time: reward myself with small treats. This is key in order to maintain an intense triathlon training routine all year long. It’s about balance.”   

People who never leave their comfort zone miss out on those micro moments of happiness that come with winning yourself.  To help you achieve those moments while maintaining balance, we bring you the data – the rest is up to you.  

 

The post How to balance training and recovery I Sebastian Kienle  appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Trail running 101 | The trail runner’s checklist]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8113 2018-09-07T06:20:17Z 2018-09-07T06:20:17Z If you're new to trail running, check out this list of seven "must knows" before you head for the trails.

The post Trail running 101 | The trail runner’s checklist appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Trail running offers some obvious (and surprising) benefits but is it all fun and games?

For the most part, yes! But, there are some special considerations worth noting before you start trail running.

1. Do some detective work before heading out

Familiarize yourself with the trails close to you.

Look at not only mileage, but elevation and overall terrain. Read other runners’ reviews: is the trail hard to find and navigate, and did they find it physically challenging? Is it easy to find parking? What are the rules of the trail: can you bring a dog, is it single-track or double, do bikers yield to hikers or vice versa, are there bathrooms along the way etc.?

Get acquainted with the trail you choose, and look for landmarks to remember.

Get acquainted with the trail you choose, and look for landmarks to remember: make a mental note that encountering a creek crossing around mile one or a steep uphill at mile three mean you are on the right path. Look for crossroads and learn which way you need to turn, in case the signs are poor.

2. Be realistic when choosing the route

Six miles on a treadmill can be a lot easier than six on the trail, where there are all sorts of natural obstacles like tree roots you have to hop over and hills you have to climb that make the workout harder.

Six miles on a treadmill can be a lot easier than six on the trail.

An unexpected change in weather like a sudden downpour or quickly rising temperature can make the run significantly more challenging.

When starting out trail running or when trying out a new trail, always play it safe when estimating the distance.

3. Bring essentials

Carry a map, water, and a snack like an energy bar, gel, or a bag of trail mix. If you choose not to take your phone with you (and let’s face it: one of the best things about hitting the trails is being out of reach), make sure someone knows where you are and also when you expect to be back.

Let’s face it: one of the best things about hitting the trails is being out of reach.

4. Run during daylight

Very few trails are lit by anything other than natural light, and being stranded in the woods in the dark can be both scary and dangerous. In hot weather, kick yourself out of bed early enough to get going as soon as the sun is up, rather than wait for late evening for the temperatures to drop.

5. Choose your shoes wisely

The main difference between a typical road running shoe and one designed for trails is that the latter is heavier and stiffer. Trail shoes act as a buffer between the bottom of your foot and things like sharp rocks, twigs and pine cones often found on the trail.

Trail shoes act as a buffer between the bottom of your foot and things like sharp rocks.

The wide and low sole of the trail running shoe has an important function, too: it prevents your ankle from twisting easily.

6. Respect the trails

Shove the empty gel or bar wrapper in your shorts pocket and only leave your footsteps and sweatdrops in the nature. Be mindful of the animals you encounter. Some of them have become so used to trail users that they will allow you to come quite close.

Take a break and marvel at the beauty of a young doe, the slow trudging of a turtle crossing the path, or the wild turkey peeking at you behind a tree.

7. Improve your trail running skills

Make strength training a regular part of your training in the form of bodyweight training like push-ups and sit-ups, or squat and lunge with light weights – and don’t forget to strengthen your core. Incorporate balance workouts to the routine and try single-leg moves or using BOSU balls and wobble boards.

Add plyometric exercises to your weekly workouts and try squat jumps, tuck jumps, alternate leg bounding and lunge jumps. And on the days when the weather doesn’t favor training outdoors, be sure to dial up the incline on that treadmill.

Here are more tips for working on your strength:

Hips don’t lie | Strengthen your hips for running

How to run better | 5 + 2 exercises to build strength and speed

The post Trail running 101 | The trail runner’s checklist appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Integrated training plans for runners by LES MILLS™]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8242 2018-09-10T05:12:09Z 2018-09-04T10:49:06Z If you're struggling with getting strength and mobility exercises done, check out these LES MILLS training plans for runners and do it in a group!

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If you have a training plan for running – great! If your plan doesn’t include anything but running – not so great. To become a better runner, you need to run – a lot (duh!) – but running will only get you so far. To really work on your strength and speed, you’ll need to do more than run.

Most likely you already know why you should do more than run but, for one reason or another, you find yourself struggling with actually getting those supporting exercises done.

What if you tried doing your strength and mobility workouts in a group?

If that is the case, what if you tried doing your strength and mobility workouts in a group where someone else plans and tells you what to do and you just follow their lead?

If this sounds like something that could work for you, check out these integrated training plans for runners by LES MILLS.

Just choose your distance and stick with the program. Easy? No. Simple? Yes.

Training plans for 5K, 10K and half marathon runners

Ideally, your training plan includes variation, which is necessary to improve your fitness and helps you to stay motivated. Only running, running, running day in, day out is too monotonous and can get boring fast!

According to Dr. Jinger Gottschall, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Penn State and certified LES MILLS instructor, an integrated training plan can improve your commitment, fitness and health (staying injury-free):

  • Incorporating low weight, high repetition full body weight training (like BODYPUMP) is an ideal way to strengthen the muscles around the joints. Even exercises like biceps curls and deadrows are helpful because your elbows are flexed during running and strong upper body posture is helpful for endurance events.
  • Integrated core training (like CXWORX) can be extremely beneficial in terms of single leg strength for symmetry, deep hip muscle training for knee alignment, and abdominal training for efficient force transmission.
  • A combination of strengthening and flexibility training (like BODYBALANCE) will reduce injury risk with exercises that will train the core and stretch the working leg muscles.

For example, the 10K training plan for advanced runners offers you a detailed 8-week plan to improve your running performance with tips for scheduling and safe training. The plan will help you to:

  • Spend less time thinking about what to do next and more time actually getting your workouts done
  • Feel confident that you are prepared for the race distance
  • Reduce injury risk with well-planned increases in distance/intensity
  • Stay motivated knowing that you are able to successfully complete each week
10K training plan for runners
An 8-week training plan for 10K by Les Mills

Before you start your running plan…

If and when you get started with any of these training plans for runners, keep in mind that they are general guidelines and not tailored for you personally. To make sure that the plan best serves your individual needs, you should monitor the intensity of your training.

To monitor if you’re exercising at the right intensity, you can use the Polar M430 running watch or the Polar A370 fitness tracker. Both of these products support the workout-specific LES MILLS sports profiles that you can use to track your LES MILLS workouts and get customized feedback and the optimal training benefit from your workouts.

You can also use the Polar Running Program to get personalized guidance towards your running goals and integrate group fitness into your running program: When it’s time to do strength training, head to BODYMPUMP; if your program says it’s time to do mobility, you can opt for BODYBALANCE instead.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Heart rate data from LES MILLS™ workouts | Infographic]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8183 2018-09-10T05:13:31Z 2018-08-30T08:03:31Z We crunched the numbers to find out how intense LES MILLS workouts are based on heart rate data.

The post Heart rate data from LES MILLS™ workouts | Infographic appeared first on Polar Blog.

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What’s the first class that comes to mind when you think of Les Mills?

BODYPUMP, right? If so, that’s no surprise – after all, it’s by far the most popular LES MILLS workout.

That’s one fun fact we found out when we took a look at anonymized data from Polar LES MILLS sports profiles (okay, we weren’t exactly surprised by BODYPUMP’s popularity, but now our strong hunch is backed up by data). We crunched the numbers to find out what are the most popular LES MILLS workouts among Polar users and how diverse the classes are based on heart rate data, like average heart rates, max heart rates and time spent on different heart rate zones during LES MILLS workouts.

(This overview doesn’t describe what happens within an individual. The best way to evaluate the intensity of different workouts for you personally is to monitor your heart rate.)

 

You can monitor the intensity of your group fitness workouts (or any other workout, of course!) and set your personal goals with the Polar A370 fitness tracker. If you want to get an even deeper understanding of LES MILLS workouts specifically, check out the LES MILLS sport profiles available for Polar products. 

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Why start trail running | 5 reasons, no excuses!]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8112 2018-09-07T07:22:28Z 2018-08-28T14:38:02Z Ditch the treadmill! There are some real and researched benefits of taking your run out into the wilderness. Here are five to start with.

The post Why start trail running | 5 reasons, no excuses! appeared first on Polar Blog.

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You know when you’re having one of those days.. the days when you drag yourself to the gym after a long day in the office, feeling lethargic, but you remind yourself that the endorphins will reward you in the end – just keep going.

The treadmill swiftly finds the pace, the belt begins its merciless roll and you put one foot in front of the other, trying not to feel like a hamster on a wheel. When you’ve done your time, you wobble to your car and driving home, you look at the sky and the trees and feel a little left out, but you don’t quite know why.

While the treadmill is an irreplaceable assistant when exercising outdoors just isn’t an option, it offers little in terms of any other kind of enjoyment than the feel-good hormone flush after the workout is over.

Taking your jog to the streets is a step up for the senses.

Taking your jog to the streets is a step up for the senses: the scenery changes and the terrain varies. Yet when it comes to the runners who want truly stimulating surroundings as well as diverse physical challenges and increased calorie consumption, nothing beats hitting the trails.

Trail running is often understood as running on trails specifically built and intended for the purpose, but many find this definition of trail running to be too limiting. Runners who steer clear from tracks, streets, and treadmills and instead head for the woods – be it on paths created for running or ones that just happen to suit the purpose – could all well be called trail runners. The quickly growing popularity of the sport has initiated both repair work of existing trails as well as the creation of entirely new trail systems.

Whether you run deep in the woods, creating your path as you go, or on a trail created specifically for running, the same benefits for taking your run out in the wilderness apply.

5 reasons to head for the trails

  1. Connect with nature – and yourself!

Although running on streets may offer visual pleasure in the form of urban landscape, well-designed buildings and people watching, there is nothing quite like stepping into the woods.

Leave the music at home and instead take in the varied sounds of nature: the branches cracking under your feet, the notes from trees and the terrain around you, the steady, soft stomp of your own feet, and the most beautiful sound of all: that of silence.

  1. Be kind to your body

Running isn’t exactly known for being a joint-friendly form of exercise. Pounding the pavement takes its toll on the body and many runners have at some point experienced some form of a running-related injury, often one in their knees, shins, hamstrings, or achilles tendonds.

Compared to asphalt or most treadmills, trails offer a softer surface and thus less impact, absorbing some of the harsh shock the body has to deal with on harder surfaces. The changing terrain and its requirements also develop qualities like agility and strength, making the body more versatile and more capable.

  1. Let your brain unwind

The theories of all who roam forests have been scientifically proven: moments in nature do boost creativity and enhance cognitive functions. Study after study finds outdoor workouts to be more effective in increasing people’s energy levels and adding to positive engagement, as well as in lowering levels of tension, confusion, depression and anger than getting your sweat on indoors does.

  1. Enjoy natural interval training

Unless the path you run is a completely flat one with a well-groomed running surface and few turns, chances are you will be going both uphill and down, swerving around trees, hopping over roots and leaping over creek crossings – and without noticing it, giving yourself a fantastic interval workout.

The comforting fact is that all uphill struggles will be compensated in the form of downhill cruising – eventually.

  1. Give in to the task ahead

The best part, and quite possibly the worst part of trail running, too, is that once you start running, your only real option is to keep going.

The trails are often one-way, so when fatigue hits all you can do you to ease the load is to slow down to a walking pace. There is no off-switch on this mode of exercise, and no Uber to take you home. The good thing about it? Giving in the first time you are so inclined isn’t likely to happen. The bad? Well… the obvious.

 

Ready to give the trails a chance? Before you go, take a look at the trail runner’s checklist.

The post Why start trail running | 5 reasons, no excuses! appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[Is your training data reliable? Ask for evidence]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8116 2018-09-14T06:47:36Z 2018-08-24T07:17:18Z What does it take to develop sports technology with reliable data?

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When you track your training session, you do it because you want to see how you did and analyze what you should do differently. The more accurate and reliable the data is, the better it will help you to reach your goals. The more science has to do with it, the more accurate the data is.

So, let’s take a look at what research and scientific evidence have got to do with becoming a better athlete.

The evolution of sports technology and data

To understand the fundamental role of scientific research in the evolution of sports technology, we have to go back to the beginning of Polar’s story.

Over 40 years ago, on a ski track in Northern Finland, a cross-country skiing coach was struck by genius – to help his athletes reach their full potential, he would need to find a way to measure their heart rate. The only problem was that such a solution didn’t exist.

Over 40 years ago, on a ski track in Northern Finland, a cross-country skiing coach was struck by genius.

Luckily, the skiing coach shared his idea with a university professor of electronics and they developed the very first Polar solution to measure the heart rate of athletes non-invasively.

University research, innovation and patenting didn’t stop there as Polar continued to develop new science-based technology.

As a result of ongoing research, the first solution to record heart rate with a chest strap (based on RR interval detection from ECG signal) has evolved. It is accompanied by wrist-based heart rate measurement and personalized solutions that combine heart rate data to sensor technology – for example, speed and heart rate combined to create an intelligent Running Index feature.

Sports technology has come a long way since the beginning and today, we can see the science-based intelligence come to play in accurate feedback, tools to analyze personal data from your training sessions and personalized guidance on how to train smarter, such as running performance tests, running power measurement and running programs.

Sweat will get you started – data will take you all the way

Despite the evolution of technology, there isn’t (yet) a gadget that would do the actual work for athletes. You still have to put in the sweat but without data you won’t know if you’re doing the right things to get to where you want to go.

To have truly actionable guidance towards your goals, raw data isn’t enough – you need smart, personalized solutions. Enter heart rate data, which is as personal as it gets.

You are an individual. Your body is an individual. That’s why the heart rate algorithms have to be individual, too.

When it comes to heart rate, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula that applies to everyone. It is always individual how your body reacts to exercise and how fast you recover.

That’s why the algorithms in heart rate measurement have to be individual, too, and take into account your demographics (gender, weight, height, resting heart rate, resting aerobic capacity). The algorithms we use calculate values, like calories and recovery time, for each person differently.

Your past training history helps you make improvements in the future.

What makes your workout data even more personal is that the more you use the product, the more the product learns from you and you learn from the product. This way your past training history helps you make improvements in the future.

Reliable data requires research

Just like over 40 years ago, the university professor listened to the need of the coach and developed a solution based on that need, that’s how we still do it today:

We seek to identify authentic customer needs and develop products and features to meet those needs.

The entire evolution of an initial idea to a final product on an athlete’s wrist.

Polar’s in-house research team of about 40 people is always on the lookout for innovation. Having research in our own hands means we can take a basic signal and develop algorithms into product features and personalized data for athletes and oversee the entire evolution of an initial idea to a final product on an athlete’s wrist.

Scientific evidence is a solid foundation for product development but the research work isn’t over after the product is done – developing new features and even better ways to use data is an ongoing process.

When Polar researchers find new physiological or technological phenomena, they first look into our own research and brainstorm with in-house experts and external researchers.

After that they develop algorithms and validate their findings in in-house studies.

Finally, they make sure that everything that was done in laboratory circumstances can be done with the wrist unit.

Finally, they make sure that everything that was done in laboratory circumstances can be done with the wrist unit. This means that the features developed are scientifically validated with objective research partners.

This final step is the final stamp and a way to show the scientific evidence behind our products and the value we offer our customers. It’s a way to objectively prove that our products are valid, reliable and credible.

The brand for research teams

As a result of consistent research behind our products, Polar has become a golden standard reference of heart rate measurement globally. Research teams all over the world use Polar heart rate technology as a reference for their research because the technology is precise, reliable and useful for a variety of purposes at rest and during exercise.

“The science community is eager to work with us because it’s a win-win situation for both parties. They learn about technology and we get to develop our coaching and research physiological and technical demands with the best experts in the world,” says Raija Laukkanen, Director of Science Collaboration at Polar, responsible for collaboration with research institutions and universities and science experts.

During about 40 years of existence of the company and 30 years of active business, we’ve collected all the research documents that use Polar.

Every year 800 scientific studies use Polar technology.

“To our astonishment, we’ve discovered that we’re the brand for research teams,” says Laukkanen. “We have altogether over 4,500 research documents in our research index database and the number is steadily growing.”

Every year 800 scientific studies use Polar technology globally – researchers approve it, athletes use it…

We can’t wait what the next 40 years will hold for sports technology but we hope we’ll continue to bring the data (and you bring the rest)!

The post Is your training data reliable? Ask for evidence appeared first on Polar Blog.

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Hanna Lemmetty <![CDATA[How to use a heart rate monitor in group fitness]]> https://www.polar.com/blog/?p=8080 2018-09-17T10:58:37Z 2018-08-21T12:26:45Z Here's how you can get the most out of group fitness with a heart rate monitor: plan, adjust, analyze, motivate and inspire!

The post How to use a heart rate monitor in group fitness appeared first on Polar Blog.

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One of the benefits of group fitness is that you don’t have to plan what to do during your workout, there’s an instructor for that, right?

Right… having someone who has already planned the workout and encourages you to get it done saves you time and energy to focus on the workout itself.

And wrong, if you think that means you can just do what your told without giving a single thought to what you’re doing and if it’s working for you.

Even when you workout in a group, led by an instructor, it’s still up to you to monitor if the classes are working for you as intended and if your workout schedule leaves you enough time for recovery.

Heart rate monitoring can help you get the most out of your group fitness experience – safely. Here’s how.

Do the right things – Plan your weekly workout routine

Isn’t the whole point in group fitness that someone else does the planning for you? Yeah, being carefree once you’re in class is one of the many benefits of group fitness – you don’t have to worry about what to do, the instructor will tell you.

If you always train with the same heart rate, your fitness won’t improve.

But, before the class, you have to decide which classes to take and plan your weekly workout routine so that it includes exercising on different intensity levels. Training always at the same intensity level is like indoor cycling – you can pedal like crazy but you won’t get anywhere. Meaning that if you always train with the same heart rate, your fitness won’t improve but you may put yourself at risk of injury or overtraining by doing too much.

Your body doesn’t always stick to the plan.

Sure, there are recommendations for planning your workout schedule, but that doesn’t mean your body will react as planned. That’s to say, even if the guy next to you in your BODYCOMBAT™ class is doing an all-in high intensity training, it’s possible that your heart rate doesn’t climb quite as high. It’s the same class but you’re working out on different intensity levels.

If you don’t track your workout, you may think you did a high intensity session, even though you didn’t. If you monitor your heart rate, you can check if you worked out at the intensity you intended to and use that data to plan your workout schedule more effectively.

Do the right things right –  ADJUST your workout

Most of us have been there: The exuberantly perky instructor keeps saying that this is the easy part before you reaaally start putting in the effort while you’re thinking “So, why am I huffing and puffing my lungs out and feel like my heart is jumping out of my chest?”. The workout is supposed to be easy, but if your heart rate is in the red zone, you need to take it even easier.

Your heart rate is the metric that will tell you reliably if you should push more or hit the brakes in a group fitness class.

So, even though group fitness classes are planned with certain goals in mind, we’re all individuals and our bodies don’t always react according to plan. How you feel is an important indicator of your exercise intensity but not always accurate. Your heart rate is the metric that will tell you reliably if you should push more or hit the brakes in a group fitness class.

If you take a BODYBALANCE™ class that’s supposed to be a low intensity workout, but your heart is pumping and muscles are working on overdrive, you should take it easier to get that exercise benefit you’re aiming for. The only reliable way to know this is to use a heart rate monitor to measure the intensity of your efforts.

If your heart rate monitor has continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking, it will tell you in real time how intense your workout is and you can adjust the intensity according to your heart rate right there in class.

See how you did – Analyze your heart rate data

Monitoring your heart rate while you’re exercising is one thing, but even better if you can look back at your stats afterwards and analyze your workouts to make necessary adjustments.

Your training data will tell you if your weekly workouts went according to plan. This is the way to separate what you think you did from what you actually did.

To get a long-term benefit from heart rate monitoring, it’s essential to have all your training data saved in an app like Polar Flow for later use. Your training data will tell you if your weekly workouts went according to plan. This is the way to separate what you think you did from what you actually did. Knowing beats assuming, right?

In Polar Flow, you can check if you’re doing too much or not enough in the Recovery Status view that shows your load from training, daily activity and past training and activity. This way you can make sure you have enough time to recover in between workouts and avoid overtraining (or underachieving).

Polar Flow Recovery status

Keep doing it – Motivate yourself with visual data

Nothing meaningful in life comes easy. We all know this and yet, we easily get frustrated when we don’t see fitness results fast enough. When you start to doubt if all that BODYPUMP™ is really worth your while, seeing the visual data from your training sessions can give you an instant motivation rush in and out of class.

Seeing the visual data from your training sessions can give you an instant motivation rush in and out of class.

Your efforts become tangible once you check your stats after the workout and see how you’re doing in the light of your entire training history.

If you’re using the Polar A370, you can see your weekly and monthly training summaries, daily activity goal and stats for each workout on Polar Flow (and if you’re a LES MILLS fan, you can add the LES MILLS sport profiles and check LES MILLS workout-specific stats):

  • Average heart rate
  • Time spent in different heart rate zones
  • Calories burned
  • How demanding the training was for you and the training benefit (e.g. recovery, steady state or tempo).

Show ‘em how it’s done – Share your workouts and inspire others

Once you’ve gotten the hang of your new fitness program or gotten comfortably back to your old routine (hopefully with some cool new stuff in there, right?), you can share your best workouts via Polar Flow.

Sharing your success to the world can motivate you and inspire others. And, since sharing is about caring (not bragging), why not share even the less successful ones and let others learn from your mistakes?

The post How to use a heart rate monitor in group fitness appeared first on Polar Blog.

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