Some great news for Suunto 9 owners. There should be a firmware release (v2.9.42) around about NOW which adds some sweet new features to the Suunto 9, I’m pretty certain it will be the same for BARO and non-BARO versions alike.
The Suunto 9 is, strangely, playing catch up with the Firstbeat features that are on the Suunto 3 Fitness and Suunto 5. Well…most of those Firstbeat features.
Bad News? The bad news is that you won’t get the Firstbeat adaptive training programme on the Suunto 9. That’s a slight shame but a) there could be licencing costs for Suunto and b) If you look at the details of the adaptive program then it’s not really suitable to the higher-level athletes that are probably the ones mostly buying the Suunto 9. Anyway, I digress. Here’s the good stuff.
Fitness Level & Fitness Age
The Suunto 9 now gives you a claimed >95% accurate take on your fitness level based on running and walking activities. It filters out “bad data” to give you an absolute VO2max level as well as stating what age your VO2max would be typical for.
- VO2max DOES take into account your weight
- But it doesn’t take into account the efficiency of your technique and some other factors. Just because my VO2max is higher than yours is no guarantee that I’ll beat you in a race, even if we are both equally rested.
- VO2max is a feature that LOTS of people like…I’m less convinced about its actionability.
- Firstbeat does use their VO2max calculation in some of their other Firstbeat metrics, so it’s a useful metric to produce from a sports watch design point-of-view.
- I sometimes train with a 60+-year-old, his Firstbeat Fitness Age is 21. He’s ‘fit’ but was never a professional athlete and so if these calculations are true it just shows what a life-changing difference exercise can make.
Sleep Quality Assessment
This uses heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep. Whilst it’s NOT possible yet to get accurate HRV during exercise from oHR it IS possible to get it at resting levels of HR.
Looking at the mathematical variability of the time from one beat to the next gives HRV (Google: RMSSD) and other mathematical methods can determine the activity of your nervous systems in relation to each other and from that, for example, can be deduced the restorative nature of your sleep. So there we are looking at sleep QUALITY rather than just DURATION.
You get a nice mark out of 100 too. Easy to understand
All Day Stress & Recovery
This comes from HRV data too and is presented as an hourly log of your body resources throughout the day (16 hours worth). You SHOULD experience some stress every day but the important thing is to balance that with periods of recovery.
I guess this is just a different take on the ‘all-day stress and recovery’ data. telling you the cumulative effect right now of negative stresses and positive recovery periods. The higher the percentage number is, the more ready you are to go for it.
A small new feature is the automatic adjustment of the time zone via the Suunto app and it looks like the GPS accuracy has been improved too.
Finally, Suunto describes the addition of “In watch guidance tips for altitude and first exercise to help get the best performance from your watch”
Suunto usually follows a staged rollout of new firmware. So yours might not be available at the same time as others. But v2.9.42 will be here soon!