The new Polar Vantage M is a fully featured triathlon watch and the cheaper sibling of the Vantage V. Both of the Vantage models have many features in common including full, native support for running power from RunScribe (and STRYD).
REVIEW LINK TO : Polar Vantage M
Why RunScribe Plus?
We all know that we have to train harder and smarter to get faster. We often forget that part of that ‘smartness’ comes from improving our technique and, indeed, as we get older technique becomes ever more important as a means of improvement. Don’t take my word for it, read this interview with Mr parkrun – Mike Trees (link to interview on: the5krunner.com – he has a 95% age graded 5k time #awesome and, no, it’s not me, sadly).
RunScribe Plus is a great way of getting some of the most advanced gait statistics both to help you improve your technique and to help you prevent injury. Most of those gait metrics are available on RunScribe’s own platform but the beauty of using RunScribe in conjunction with the Polar Vantage M is that you also get running power and accurate running pace/cadence on the watch and in the FLOW ecosystem.
This post explains what you will experience on the Vantage M when using RunScribe Plus. If you want to know more about RunScribe Plus then here is a detailed review.
Getting Started with RunScribe Plus and the Polar Vantage M
RunScribe has two pods and both must be paired to the Vantage M. Once paired, they become the source of pace, power and cadence – the source of pace cannot be changed on the Vantage (yet).
Use Polar Flow
Next you would use Polar Flow to change one of your running sport profiles to include one or more of the running power data fields.
The Vantage supports up to 4 metrics per screen and in these normal types of screen you can select from of the following 7 power metrics ie you could have 4 on one screen if you really wanted to.
There is also a new and interesting second option for displaying running power data where you choose one of the Vantage M’s new FULLSCREEN data fields. You would choose the POWER full screen data field. (See image above and the next section)
At some point you might also set your own Running Power Zones in Polar FLOW and these are synchronized to the Vantage M.
Checking the Vantage M
The traditional data field requires little explanation. However the new ‘full screen’ data field, below, is a little unusual. It shows the MAX (446w) and AVERAGE (182w) as well as the central area of the screen which shows a vertical bar with the AVERAGE shown again to the left of that bar as a horizontal line and your CURRENT power (in this case 0w) shown as a dot to the right of the bar. As your power goes up so the dot would go up and the AVERAGE would change as appropriate. Interesting, I guess.
Running With RunScribe Plus and the Polar Vantage M
You should see much more stable and accurate PACE with RunScribe when compared to the default GPS+GLONASS derived pace.
Your power also has a short-term smoothing applied to it and so should also be fairly stable whilst also responsive to true changes to your running power (effort) ie actionable.
Note: Polar have specifically confirmed that, when using GPS, the PACE comes from GPS and not from the POD – I have to say I’m not convinced. The PACE with RunScribe/STRYD on the M is MUCH less variable when directly compared to the V using only GPS.
Finishing a Workout With RunScribe Plus and Polar Vantage M
You get a neat graphical workout summary, which existing Polar users will already be familiar with.The running power data is relatively new to Polar and looks like this
Your time-in-zone is obviously dependent upon your zones being set correctly (there ARE now free-form running zones for power on FLOW) and the bar chart is a neat representation of your kind of workout in those zones. Z3….eesh.
You will also see again the MAX and AVERAGE power value for your entire workout. Nothing too surprising there BUT you will also see a MUSCLE LOAD of 564.
This is where Polar get interesting.
Polar have used a well-proven method of determining TRAINING LOAD by time-in-HR zone based on TRIMP. However they have modified the standard model to take inputs from you on RPE as well as taking inputs from POWER DATA. Polar use the power data to estimate the component of MUSCLE LOAD (from the 564 value in the above image) which impacts on the TRUE overall training load. That full calculation is available on the Vantage M and the Vantage V takes it a step further factoring such things into your RECOVERY via their algorithms as well.
Synchronizing Power To Flow
All your workout’s power data is synchronised to FLOW on your app and/or online. The muscle load data is synchronised too.
Here are some example’s of what you will see in various parts of FLOW ie: power levels by time; time in zone; power averages; and muscle load as a component of total training load.
Exporting Running Power Data From Flow
You can export your data as a TCX file from FLOW and it does contain RUNNING POWER. Most systems like Training Peaks or Golden Cheetah ‘know’ it is power from running and not from cycling and hence they keep it separate from your cycling data.
Running power data does not appear in STRAVA.
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 details 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.