Polar M600 – Tempo Run

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After yesterday’s relative walk-in-the-park, today was a chance for a run-in-the-park. I took the M600 out for a demanding threshold run of about 90 minutes with 10 minutes warmup.

You can see the HR performance against a STRYD HRM pod (Red) on a Garmin HRM4 strap (recorded by a 920XT). Bizarrely the optical M600 (Blue) would be considered to have performed better overall as the STRYD had a wobbly at the start – it could be the well-used Garmin strap that caused the wobbly. I think we can put that to one side though and say that both probably performed very well once the going got tough. And the tough-going was what this test was looking at.

Looking at the watch as I ran, I would have said that the Polar was generally 1bpm higher than the STRYD. However the stats don’t back that up.

Autolaps were out of sync as I inadvertently pressed ‘lap’ on the Garmin somewhere where I didn’t mean to. With my V800 the autolap and manual laps don’t work how a Garmin-owner would expect so I didn’t bother to try to get them in sync (plus I forgot 🙂 ).

The tiny blue spike from the M600 was when I stopped to have a drink from a water fountain.

The scientists amongst you will, no doubt, correctly point out that two devices are not enough to do a proper ‘scientific’ comparison. In response I would say that I do appreciate that and then ask you to run hard for 100 minutes wearing two chest straps and 3 watches on your forearm (other positions introduce other errors). Also, I would venture to suggest, when the two tracks follow each other so closely it is not unreasonable to assume that they are both ‘nearly right’, rather than both ‘probably wrong’. Also I’d have to repeat the test several times to be scientific and that is not going to happen! Yes I do have a SCOSCHE arm-based optical HRM!

– Green shows GPS-corrected elevation

A quick finish with elevation. This course started and finished in the same place. So it would not be unreasonable for the elevation to reflect that – ESPECIALLY the GPS-corrected elevation – by this term I mean software-corrected elevation after the workout has finished where the known elevation of a GPS point is used eg from SRTM. Corrected elevation is in green and this SHOULD be ‘correct’.

The changing weather may well have affected the barometric altitude readings en-route. You should also note that the Polar data here has been re-exported out from Polar Flow. I could be wrong but I have a dim and distant memory that Polar Flow automatically applies GPS-based elevation correction – this looks unlikely as the start and end points have different elevations.

Clearly the chart shows that the blue Polar M600 curve better reflects ascent/descent changes when compared to the corrected elevation profile (green).

Note that the M600 does  not properly show the elevation at the start (flat-line).



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4 thoughts on “Polar M600 – Tempo Run

  1. the results look promising, very accurate oHR sensor!
    i think the challenge for oHR are HIIT, did you try very short intervals, 30 sec at max pace or something?

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