Forth day with Polar Vantage V

I started the training day with the following objectives:

  • maintain easy pace / low HR for 30 minutes (it’s hard for me to stay in Zone 1)
  • compare GPS tracks for Vantage V and Fenix 5X+ I used till now
  • I added as a secret ingredient the distance check with the Stryd that I usually pair with the current watch (today I paired with my iPhone and removed the pairing from both watches)
  • compare HR evolution for Polar H10 and Garmin HRM3

I had both watches on my left hand separated by a neck gaiter, let the GPS soak for 30 seconds (I know is not that much, but they had the same time to do it and cloudy sky), also started the session on the iPhone connected to the Stryd.

The results? Easy run, not unexpected results when measuring distance:

  • Polar Vantage V: 4.32km, 141bpm AVG HR (starting with 110 and with a maximum of 146 bpm)
  • Garmin Fenix 5X+: 4.30km, 144bpm AVG HR (starting with 92bpm but with a strange reading in the first 6 minutes and a maximum of 181bpm!)
  • Stryd: 4.24km

I knew from my previous experience with Fenix that Stryd is not that optimistic when measuring distance, usually Fenix (3, 5, 5x+) beep their 1km automatic lap earlier when relying only on GPS than when using the Stryd. Is Stryd correct? Actually I personally didn’t check, but a lot of people claim that Stryd is best with distance and pace, especially when not calibrated. (More on this here https://fellrnr.com/wiki/Stryd.) I should try a test on a track, just to understand how my particular Stryd device performs – I’ll do that in the next days.

The difference between Fenix5 and Vantage V is more than reasonable, if you take away the Stryd readings – the deviation is less than 0.7%. You can’t say the same when comparing with Stryd which goes up to 1.9% – but for that I’ll spend some other sessions testing.

HR readings comparison between H10 (purple) and HRM3 (orange)

I also knew that my HRM3 has this abnormal reading in the first 5-6 minutes of the workout, maybe it’s old or not properly moisturized, but both HR straps were used in similar conditions. That’s why at some moment I gave up on using the HRM3 in my sessions and rely on the oHR on the Fenix, which worked on low intensity workouts.

From the GPS accuracy and look of the route on the map, Polar Vantage V has a nicer looking route across all the workout – Fenix 5X+ suggests that I was a little drunk. For Fenix I only used GPS (no Galileo or Glonass), if I’ll have time I’ll do other tests with different settings.

Route is smoother with Vantage V (purple) then with Fenix 5x+ (brown)

I know that we are not comparing exactly apples with apples when looking at the power measurements from Vantage V and Stryd because of their different algorithms, but at least we should look if those are consistent in behaviour – which they are:

Power comparison between Stryd (blue) and Vantage V (purple)

This is not the most relevant test, you can’t see their sensitivity when changing the terrain or pace – I’ll do that in a later test and see how they respond to changes. At least for now, I’ll stay with the impression that Stryd is more responsive since I almost stopped at minute 31, Stryd has a drop to zero – Vantage shows some inertia (because is on my hand which is still moving).

I know I mentioned that when finishing a phased workout, Polar displays the information screen which doesn’t disappear if you don’t press the Menu/Back button twice (at least this is how I managed to get rid of the screens to get to the regular running screen). I see this a annoyance and a UX flaw which can be easily fixed with an automatic switch to the running screen after some seconds.

Annoying to confirm twice that the workout is finished, but you want to continue running

At the finish of the run, you can see the screens – it took me some seconds more to get to the Pause and Stop with Vantage, which requires closing the above notifications.

Watches end of the run screens

Regarding cadence, that looks weird at the Vantage V when compared with Stryd and what happened in real life – I see consistent variations which also affects the average (75spm Vantage V vs 85spm Stryd and Fenix)

Weird cadence drops with Vantage V

The elevation was different, but I didn’t bother so much .. Vantage started with an altitude of 80m, Fenix with 92m and they performed kind of the same during the workout. Stryd had some strange variations…but at the end of the workout comes closest to the real value (92m). It was a windy day, things are easily messed up – I’ll keep an eye on it.

Tools for today:
Polar Vantage V (FW 3.1.7)
Polar H10 (FW 2.1.9) linked to Vantage
Garmin Fenix 5x+ (FW 6.55)
Garmin HRM3 linked to Fenix
Stryd (FW 1.1.9) linked to iPhone
Mizuno Waveknit R2

Ok then .. see you tomorrow.

Author: Liviu Nastasa

Passionate about software development, sociology, running...definitely a geek.

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