Polar Running Plan and me (3)

This post is meant to continue a thread related to Polar Running plans and how I feel about them. When, in late January, after a mild Covid-19 period, I (re)started to train myself, I decided to use my Polar Vantage V2 and the HM plan available in Polar Flow. More details here.

After trying it for several weeks (3), I concluded that I couldn’t continue it because of the heart rate zones that were forcing me to walk too much and I switched to running power training with Stryd (which worked fine). More details about my thoughts at that moment are available here and here.

My fitness level improved after a while and recently I switched from my Fenix 6X to the Vantage V2 again and took also the decision to start another HM plan with Polar. I reset my heart rate zones to “default” Polar, just to allow Polar to operate with the zones the way they designed the program. The difference now is that my Max HR is 194bpm instead of 186bpm in January, that changed a bit the values of the HR zones, but not dramatically, at least not for the zones 1-2-3.

Default Polar HR zones based on Max HR of 194bpm (instead of 186 in January)

With this new setup, I don’t feel like the HR zones are staying in the way of my training or don’t affect my motivation to run .. I can stay easily in zone 2, I can even go with less than 130bpm for long(er) distances – like more than 10km – without issues.

Second week of the training plan – 3 stars (with some cycling)
Week 5 of the training plan – 3 stars again (with walking and table tennis)

Does that say that Polar Running plans are great? Not yet and maybe I’m not the best example of that, I didn’t use all the opportunities of the running plan (the support exercises) to improve myself, but I like the feeling of the Vantage V2 and, even though the Fenix 6X is a superior devices in terms of features and battery life, I’ll continue using the Vantage V2 for a while.

Orthostatic tests are nice (one of the features available with Vantage V[2] but not Grit X or Vantage M[2]), but takes some discipline and time in the morning. Most of the time, but not always the nightly recharge is also a decent hint for your recovery status.

Orthostatic tests – good, but they require discipline and focus

I see from time to time people asking about making a choice between Polar Vantage and Garmin (FR 945/Fenix 6) – this is more about your personal priorities than actually the ability of Vantage V2 to deliver. Polar Vantage V2 is a good solution for managing and improving your fitness level. For other features (maps, payments, music and others) Fenix (or 945 maybe) could be a better option.

There will be other posts regarding my experience with Polar Running plans, hopefully this time I’ll be persistent and I’ll finish the program to see the results.

All the best and happy running!

Author: Liviu Nastasa

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

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