Archive for August, 2007

180 Strides Per Minute

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

In a previous post I was marveling at how my RS800sd displayed my running index and how it was giving me positive feedback. Efficiency, however, is only part of the equation when seeking to run fast times and compete well in running. The title of an email that I receive from Runner’s World caught my eye and it is a good opportunity to explain another facet of our running training - stride rate. After reading the article, I now know that elite and world class runners have a stride rate of about 180 strides a minute. This about twice my stride rate on my easy runs in base training and as I move into the speed phase of my training, I will focus more on what my cadence is when I look at the feedback that my Polar RS800sd gives me.

Ed Eyestone says that, “Once, after a less-than- memorable junior high race, my dad said, “It looked like you spent a little too much time in one place.” Dad hit the nail on the head: To run faster, you need to minimize your time in one place. That is, you need to move forward as effectively and efficiently as possible. And the two determining factors for forward momentum are running stride length and running stride rate.

When you go from jogging to race pace, your stride length naturally increases as you generate more power. Yet despite increasing your stride length nearly twofold, your stride rate–or how frequently you take each step–remains pretty constant. That’s because stride patterns are hardwired into your natural biomechanics.

But with the right training, you can develop a faster stride rate, which leads to faster times. Increasing your stride frequency will also lessen your vertical bounce, because the quicker steps force your body to stay closer to the ground. This lighter touchdown not only makes you faster but will also reduce impact, which is a major cause of running injuries.” Continued…

Polar Cycling Competition

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

This is now your last chance to take part in our competition and win great prizes! If you can predict which 3 of our sponsored teams will do best in the team classification of the Vuelta a España race, you could win a Time Pro-Bike or POLAR cycling gear.

Being Official Cycling Computer and technical partner of the 62nd la Vuelta a España, September 3 - 23, 2007, POLAR brings an extra dimension to this race with live telemetry data showing cyclists speed, altimeter and heart rates. You can follow the live race data of some top riders during the race and enter into our competition at

Eleven winning teams, One thing in common, They all listen to their bodies with POLAR.

6 Lucky Customers

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The Free IrDA USB 2.0 Offer that Polar ran in July is over and inventories with the offer are running low. Currently there is 1 RS400 with the free USB, 3 RS800 with free USB and 2 RS800sd with free USB. Please email to make sure that the item you want with the USB is still available.

WearLink Transmitter Maintenance

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Detach the transmitter connector from the strap and rinse both under running water after every use. Dry the connector with a soft towel. Never use alcohol or any abrasive material (steel, wool or cleaning chemicals).

Wash the strap regularly in a washing machine at 40ºC/104ºF or at lest after every fifth use. This ensures reliable measurement and maximizes the life span of the transmitter. Use a washing pouch. Do not soak, spin-dry, iron, dry clean or bleach the strap. Do not use detergent with bleach or fabric softener. Never put the transmitter connector in the washing machine or drier!

Dry and store the strap and the transmitter connector separately. Wash the strap in a washing machine before long-term storage, and always after use in pool water with high chlorine content.

Dirt impairs the elasticity and functioning of the transmitter.

Sweat and moisture may keep the electrodes wet and the transmitter activated. This will shorten the battery life.

If the snaps are often left moist, the resulting oxidation could hinder the functioning of the transmitter.

How to Utilize Polar Running Index in Your Training

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

I don’t often interject my own musings because most of you know by now that I have used a Polar heart rate monitor for over 20 years. Each model that I have used has been great in its own way and so it is with the RS800sd that is now my constant companion. At 56 and having run for 40 years, I won’t be setting any PR’s or breaking any records, but my RS800sd does give me some feedback that I will always cherish. That feedback is my running index, which averages about 65 and has been as high as 70 and what that tells me is that even though I am not fast, I am very efficient at running and that is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that I still love to run so much. In the following article, you will learn how using the Polar running index feature found on the RS400sd and RS800sd can guide you in your training, too.

Running Index offers an easy way to monitor performance changes. Performance (how fast/easily you run at a given pace) is directly influenced by aerobic fitness (VO 2max) and exercise economy (how efficient your body is at running), and Running Index is a measurement of this influence. By recording your Running Index over time, you can monitor progress. Improvement means that running at a given pace requires less of an effort, or that your pace is faster at a given level of exertion. The Running Index feature calculates such improvements. Running Index also gives you daily information on your running performance level which may vary from day to day. Continued…

Polar S725X New Version and Special Offer

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

As of today, the Polar S725X cycling and multisport heart rate monitor is being shipped with a free Polar Cadence Sensor. In addition, the Polar S725X cycling computer is now available in two versions, the original S725X and the S725X Pro Team Tour Edition. Both are priced at $349.95. The S725X Tour Edition has the same sleek carbon fiber look and the same training options. The S725X is the only complete cycling system that combines heart rate with speed, distance, altitude, ascent, cadence and optional power output. It also features mobile connectivity and Polar OwnOptimizer” recovery test. Cross-training athletes you can measure running speed and distance with the optional Polar S1″ Foot Pod. The S725X also lets you record personal performance, optional running and cycling data plus training conditions like altitude or temperature, then analyze your performance when you download via Infrared technology directly to your PC. The most complete cycling computer just got better.

Polar Launches Multisport Training System

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

RS800G3 System Now Available with GPS for Measuring Speed and Distance Across All Sports

Salt Lake City, UT. (August 08, 2007) – Polar, the leader in heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment technology, today announced at the Outdoor Retailer Show the nation-wide availability of the RS800G3 multisport training system, the most comprehensive planning and analysis tool for athletes who train across multiple disciplines.

The RS800G3 multisport training system’s integrated view helps athletes plan their training, measure their body’s response, and then analyze their performance against personal goals. By providing the data that helps athletes avoid over- and under-training, the system helps users train in the most efficient manner possible to achieve peak performance and fitness.

Polar’s RS800 training system was initially launched with the s3 stride sensor for runners in the fall of 2006. With the introduction of the G3 GPS (global positioning system) Sensor to the system, the new RS800G3 multisport training system enables athletes to measure speed and distance for a variety of outdoor sports including running, cycling, kayaking, hiking, canyoneering, in-line skating, cross-country and downhill skiing.

The RS800G3 multisport training system is comprised of the RS800 wrist unit, Wearlink® W.I.N.D. heart rate transmitter, ProTrainer 5™ software and the G3 GPS Sensor. Athletes who already own an RS800 Training system can purchase the G3 GPS Sensor separately as an accessory.

Incorporating the SiRFstarIII™ chipset, the G3 GPS Sensor talks wirelessly to the RS8000 providing excellent coverage and optimal power consumption. A single AA battery provides up to 15 hours continual use. The G3 GPS Sensor is also water resistant and weighs only 80 grams (including battery), making it compact and built to withstand training in the harshest conditions, typical of many extreme adventure sports.

“As cross-training and sports like adventure racing continue to grow, the RS800G3 training system gives multisport athletes the versatility and support they need to train in any environment or terrain – all while still getting speed, distance and the wealth of training intelligence Polar is known for,” said Jeff Padovan, President of Polar Americas. “The RS800G3 reflects our commitment to meeting the needs of every kind of athlete, regardless of how or where they train.”

Polar’s ProTrainer 5™ software, which is included in the complete multisport system allows an athlete to be involved in every step of the training process. This includes creating up to three weeks of workouts, to downloading insightful graphs to track performance and stay on-target with training goals. In addition, the RS800G3 multisport training system’s wrist unit serves as a digital personal trainer, guiding an athlete through detailed workouts.

How the G3 GPS Sensor differs from the s3 Stride Sensor™

The G3 GPS Sensor can be worn on the arm, attached to a belt, or even carried on top or inside a back pack. Movement in outdoor activities is tracked by GPS technology, which provides speed and distance data.

The s3 Stride Sensor, which can be used both outdoors and indoors, attaches to the shoe and uses sophisticated sensors to track the position of the foot, giving highly accurate speed, distance, leg cadence and stride length measurements.

Simple reasons to use a Polar heart rate monitor

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Effective training and exercise means knowing how often and how hard to train. In its most basic form, a heart rate monitor is like a rev counter for your body, giving you a precise measurement of your exercise intensity. Different intensities bring different benefits, and following a well balanced plan will result in greater improvements in a shorter time. Simply put, whether you are planning to compete in a world championship event or are just looking to maintain a basic level of health and fitness, the unique and personal information a heart rate monitor provides will help you get the most from your efforts, remain on track, and stay motivated.

The principles of heart rate-based training may not have changed since 1982 when Polar introduced the very first wireless heart rate monitor, but the technology has evolved in leaps and bounds. Measuring more than beats per minute, Polar products can now sense changes in the autonomic regulation of your heart beat (such as changes caused by a lack of sleep, post-training fatigue, jet lag, illness, etc) and will automatically guide you to exercise at the optimum intensity for your current physical condition.

Polar takes the complexities of exercise physiology and creates simple features that make safe and effective training possible for everyone. For coaches and serious athletes, complete training solutions incorporate heart rate and recovery, performance, technique and environmental measurements (e.g. speed, distance, cadence, power, altitude etc.) along with PC software to provide the precise planning and analysis needed to achieve top performance.

Got motivation?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Dean Karnazes says, “Comfort, convenience and quick gratification - the Big Three of the middle-class American lifestyle - are not making us happy and we should seek out more suffering. “Dostoyevsky had it right: ‘Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness,’ ” Is that a little extreme or is that observation right on the money? We are for the most part quite comfortable, everything is pretty convenient and we are always looking for quick gratification. Is that why we are the fattest country in the world and now rank 41st in longevity - our life spans having shortened considerably in the last 20 years.

Is that motivation to exercise and eat right? I don’t know. Does it take looking in the mirror every day or a nagging spouse or your doctor’s warnings to get you motivated? I don’t know. I don’t need motivation. I am motivated and always have been. As a runner for 40 years, I am still motivated to run fast times and long distances and I get plenty of positive feedback from my Polar heart rate monitor every time that I work out.

Polar makes getting motivation from positive feedback as simple as putting a Polar FS1 on your wrist and going out the door for your daily walk. In no time, you will determine whether you are walking in an effective heart rate training zone to make your walks worthwhile and in a matter of just a few weeks, you will see that your heart rate is lower on your walk showing you that your heart muscle is getting stronger.

Will losing weight motivate you to keep exercising? Weight loss isn’t rocket science and doesn’t require fad diets or pills. Weight loss is math - if you burn 3,500 calories more a week, eat 3,500 calories less a week or burn more calories and eat less calories in any combination that totals 3,500 calories, you will lose 1 pound. Make it 7,000 calories and you will lose 2 pounds. Put a Polar F4 or Polar F6 or any model of Polar heart rate monitor on your wrist that has the Polar OwnCal feature and you will know your calories burned in every activity that you do. Seeing your calories burned and losing weight would be motivating, wouldn’t it?

If you are satisfied with less than optimal health, poor quality of life and the prospect of a shorter lifespan, then you don’t need motivation to exercise and eat right. Comfort, convenience and quick gratification are all that you need. But if you strive for change in your life and want positive reinforcement that what you are doing is working as motivation, then buy a Polar heart rate monitor. It will be the most cost effective investment that you have ever made to motivate and guide you to optimum fitness and health

Where’s Rich?

Monday, August 13th, 2007
Or more precisely, where has Rich been? With only 24 posts, it is a sad commentary on how life’s struggles can overshadow life’s passions. As a Polar heart rate monitor user for over 20 years, I probably love the product and know the product better than just about anyone. But supporting your family selling even the best product has its challenges in the troubling times that we face.

Where’s Rich? Well you will soon be able to track his runs and see how he uses his Polar heart rate monitor to maximize the effective and enjoyment of every workout that he does.

Stay tuned - there is much, much more to come…

Route: – 4 shady loops Elev. Avg: 5,600 feet
Location: Albuquerque Academy, NM Elev. Gain: 75 feet
Date: 08/13/07 Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time: 04:45 PM Difficulty: 1.0
Distance: 5.00 miles
Time: 0:45:48
Speed: 6.5 mph
Pace: 9:09 /mi Heart Rate: 120 bpm (Avg)
Calories: 387 132 bpm (Peak)
The temperature at the start was 98 and 96 at the finish, so I chose a shady route. My average cadence was 84, my stride length was 3 feet 5 inches and my running index was 64

Elevation (ft.)