Firstbeat & Suunto team up

I’ve been thinking for a few weeks (dangerous, I know) that Firstbeat should come up with some sort of advanced, online, physiological, analytics platform, a bit like the Firstbeat ATHLETE software of old but on the net and still geared at the consumer athlete. My subsequent thought-train petered out when it came to figuring out how best to monetise that in a way that would be better than licensing algorithms to Garmin!

I’ve also been thinking about some better applications for Suunto’s MOVESENSE product and, indeed, wrote about some that already exist a while ago.

Spotlight: Suunto MOVESENSE

Back to today’s news

Firstbeat and Suunto seem to have put 2+2 together to make 4, whereas I was struggling a bit with the maths 😉

Anyway, what they’ve done is to embed some new Firstbeat stuff and some old Firstbeat stuff into a movesense pod (a clever Suunto HR pod) and then put a ‘team sports’ software interface onto that just for coaches.

Clearly this is not the first time that a ‘team sports solution’ has been invented. Polar have one (link to, there is the Catapult sustem for Rugby (link to and, no doubt, many more exist too.

The Movesense/Suunto-Firstbeat Solution is a little different to what has gone before and here are some key highlights which should be of interest, even if this news is not triathlon-sports related as such.

Here’s What It looks Like

No prizes here for guessing what a multi-player HR-based dashboard would look like on an iPAD and the Firstbeat HR strap just had to be red! And you can guess what a Suunto HR pod looks like when branded with the Firstbeat logo. So far, so good.


Here’s How I Think It Works, Based On Info I’ve Seen Plus Some Key Features

Source: Firstbeat with interpretation

The basic data collection and viewing goes something like this

  • Training loads are calculated and stored in the pod, most probably based just on HR but possibly adjusted with accelerometer info as well.
  • Player stats can be viewed at the touchline in pseudo real-time (if in range and/or if cached data is received)
  • Player stats can be viewed post-workout.

I expect there will be the basic HR data available to coaches, but Firstbeat have added two of their existing metrics and one totally new one in to the mix. These metrics can be used to guide coaches in managing the intensities their players are training at in relation to match-levels of intensity.

  • REAL-TIME Aerobic Training Effect – essentially this is using relatively simple maths to produce an index based on the time the player’s HR is working at aerobic levels
  • REAL-TIME Anaerobic Training Effect (AnTE) – this is NOT just the amount of time spent at anaerobic work efforts. We’ve seen from Firstbeat’s work with Garmin GPS watches (2017) that the ANaerobic TE is affected by sustained bursts of intense effort interspersed with lower intensity efforts that give the athlete’s body a chance to recover. The equivalent gym, running or cycling session that best boosts AnTE would be HIIT, especially when the intervals performed focus on efforts in excess of the athlete’s VO2max.
  • REAL-TIME TRIMP/min – This would equate to something like %VO2max but the reason it is used here is for historic reasons that many team caoches like workign with TRIMP!

Whilst this sounds a relatively straightforward solution, numerous complexities would have had to have been overcome such as, how data is retrieved at the touchline and what each athlete’s individual VO2max values are. As well as, of course, practical matters like ensuring the right athlete is assigned with the right pods that have their baseline stats in them (VO2max, HR Zones, etc)

It’s all very clever stuff.


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4 thoughts on “Firstbeat & Suunto team up

  1. You mean Firstbeat athlete of old (sport was the high end software that was expensive)

  2. I’m looking forward to trying it out once Firstbeat do allow end users to purchase the Movesense Sensor HR+ (I assume that is what is being used) and see how it ties into the Firstbeat Sports Cloud application.

  3. Btw, the new Movesense based sensor has started to be shipped… Now waiting for the iOS app to be made available.

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