How do you know when you’re getting fitter? Being able to run faster over a set distance is a reasonable time-based gauge of your cardiovascular fitness, but for the most accurate assessment of your training intensity and fitness level, your heart rate doesn’t lie.
Beginner runners with little experience would likely be familiar with the feeling of trying to run a few laps around a track, and then feel like collapsing from exhaustion after just 800m. The trouble is not because you’re not fit, but more likely, you’re running at an intensity that your body hasn’t adapted for.
It’s like poking around in a dark room and hoping that you’ll find what you want in there eventually. It’s time to turn on the lights.
In essence, you need to understand the zones that your heart needs to operate in for optimal training efficiency. Then rather than relying on speed as an intensity measurement, use your heart rate instead. You can then keep at a pace that isn’t too relaxed, but also doesn’t push your heart rate into an overly high intensity zone that you cannot hope to maintain.
For beginners and slow runners, it’s better for morale too when you can be paced and stay on the move for 30 minutes, rather than expanding all your energy in less than 10 minutes and then crawling home.
As you get fitter, you’ll notice that you will be running faster for the same heart rate level.
Finnish device maker Polar has been one of the few brands at the forefront of heart rate sensing technology since the commercial introduction of wearable heart rate monitors, and with the new Polar M600, aims to deliver a stylish waterproof sports watch that won’t feel out of its depth on a serious road race.
It’s easy for first time users to get to grips with too, and being powered by Android Wear, is a perfect match for current smartphone technologies.
The devices have evolved from the use of chest strap sensors in first-generation units to the current compact designs that read your heart rate right off your wrist, along with integrated GPS sensors that can track exactly how far and where you’ve run.
All the data is synced through Bluetooth and internet connections, so that you have a record of what you’ve been doing and the routes that you have explored.
The wrist sensor uses LEDs to shine through the skin surface, where the watch sensor picks up the pattern of blood flow to measure your heartbeat. To ensure accuracy, the Polar M600 uses a total of six LED elements to ensure accuracy under any weather and lighting condition.
Older devices that worked with less LEDs in the interests of saving battery power can sometimes track inaccurately or drop out, especially when under the bright daytime sun. The Polar M600 uses high efficiency LED modules that are low on power drain, so usage time is not compromised.
If you’re concerned about finding the correct heart rate zones to maintain, the watch, along with the Polar Flow app has it all figured out for you. Calculated based on your age, weight, sex and height, the device computes the recommended training zones for you. It’s fully customisable so as you come to understand more about training you can fine tune the training zones to your preference.
It’s also fully dynamic, so the zones are adjusted to take into account your age as you continue with it through the years.
Pairing Android Wear with Polar’s training expertise also gives users access to Polar’s unique sports offering including Smart Coaching features such as the Activity Guide. In addition to training and insight into daily activity and workouts, users can access the Android Wear’s voice control, customise watch faces, receive calendar notifications, read and reply to texts when using an Android phone, scroll through social media feeds and access more than 4,000 third party apps via Google Play.
While the detailed metrics allow you to track your fitness training regime as accurately as you wish, the device also has a 24/7 activity tracking function that is useful for broadly checking how much you’ve been up and about throughout the day.
The Polar M600 offers 4Gb of internal storage, allowing you to sync through Bluetooth headphones and listen away from the smartphone as well.
While it has all the conveniences of a new-gen smartwatch, the Polar M600 is a properly serious heart rate monitoring tool that can help you maintain your fitness level and reach that next level more efficiently.
Want to know more?
Coming to you on 11th February, Run Singapore and Polar are bringing you a heart rate monitoring training clinic!
Register your slot at https://www.runmagazine.asia/…/polar-heart-rate-training-a…/ before it runs out!