Polar Vantage V Power vs RunScribe Plus vs STRYD vs Garmin Running Power

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This is one of those ‘YAY days’. I tried something a bit techy & convoluted and it all worked out.

What I tried to do

It was my first run for a while to check out my Achilles (mostly OK, thank you for asking). Also with RunScribe Plus now going LIVE with their “Sensor Fusion” pace algorithm, it seemed a sensible time to properly upgrade that AND to the assume that the RunScribe running power data field would be as accurate as it could be for now. My Forerunner 235 was already set up for power from RunScribe Plus so …why not use that?

Then why not compare that to the Polar Vantage V’s own version of running power?

And you can guess the rest: Garmin Running Power came from the Forerunner 935 and STRYD was conveniently recorded onto the Polar Vantage  M.

What I did

I was running with a friend and a bit rushed. I pressed ‘Go’ four times and hoped for the best without testing any of them were paired properly and working (they are usually not paired with the right device and usually don’t work)

It was an easy 50 minute run with a couple of notably increased efforts of about a minute, just so that the numbers varied from steady-state.

I then combined the numbers in SportTracks (please don’t ask how as it is complicated) and then I eventually got this

click to enlarge

They seemed to trend broadly similarly. Kinda.

Here is a second run of a similar type. There were two stops and one tunnel. I tried to keep a steady easy pace. The Polar Vantage V power data dropped to zero in the long tunnel which is highlighted at 26:00 (I was at one point looking at the watch and holding the arm it was on still).


And here is yet another easy run. I would say it was a pretty constant effort with only mild gradients. RunScribe and STRYD reflect possibly the constant effort I felt in executing this. What has changed on this one compared to the previous two is that I fiddled with the RunScribe on-lace position and I also calibrated the RunScribe distance in the online dashboard to correct what I think was a falsely reported asymmetry. It’s still not quite right but before it was probably overestimating distance and, perhaps, also power as a result. Having said that there is still not much difference now between RS and STRYD, below.


What to conclude

This post is really a cry for help. What do you guys/girls actually want me to do with ‘user testing‘ this running power data? It clearly is not easily comparable across the 4 technologies.It probably NEVER will be. Sure I could smooth the curves further and look at comparing averages over 1km intervals with scaling factors.

But that just seems like it will be a waste of time as no-one will truly believe the raw data. The recommendation will always be ‘don’t change or mix running power technologies’…at least for the foreseeable future.

I don’t have a running lab in my back garden either. Although I do have a very nice park and a running track.

Please also bear in mind that I have a life and a real job and not THAT many of you have taken up the option to be a supporter to this blog so I really, really need to do that other job 😉

I went through a similar critical look at Garmin’s Running Power when it first came out and those posts are referenced through this link if you are interested:

RunScribe Plus Review – Footpod & Running Power Meter


ESSENTIAL READING: STRYD Review – In Detail, Every Aspect

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Rarely on Amazon and usually over $/£/Eu200. Buying from my partners supports this site

Price, Availability & Discount

The Polar Vantage M retails at $260/GBP250/Eur280,

The Polar Vantage V retails at $499/GBP439/Eur499

The Polar Vantage now has general availability. There do not seem to be widespread discount yet in the EU. I’ve included the Amazon international link below but you will find a better deal at New Running Gear and Power Meter City. New Running Gear (NRG), below, were also bundling in GBP50 of running freebies. Help support this blog with the great deals below:

Click to buy in UK/Eu/USA
Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.
Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from my partners supports this site.
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