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November 14th, 2008

New Heart Rate Monitor @ 11:52 pm

Current Location: Green Chair
Current Mood: determined determined

Yesterday, I got my new Heart Rate Monitor. I am just getting started.

My new Heart Rate Monitor is the Polar RS800 CX RUN which includes the HRM, a stride sensor, and training software, Polar ProTrainer 5. The particular package I got also included a USB IrDA dongle for data transfer from the HRM. This HRM can also interface with a bike sensors and a GPS sensor, all through a digital wireless protocol Polar calls W.I.N.D. The chest strap also uses this protocol to connect to the HRM on the wrist.

The stride sensor connects to the laces of the shoe and is used to determine stride length and rate (strides/minute). I have been able to associate the stride sensor with the HRM wrist unit, but it didn't activate for the first session. I will have to check on this closer when I do my long, slow run tomorrow. As the reason I purchased this specific HRM package was it ability to log and report on the stride length, this is a critical feature to make work.

The RS800CX is targeted at the "elite" runner/multisportsman. I'm by no means "elite", but I'd like to move in that direction. The RS800 series can record the data related with every heartbeat during an exercise session. It can use analysis of this data to evaluate fitness and training effectiveness. It can, over time, report on over- and under-training. All of this data can also be downloaded to the computer where additional analysis can be accomplished by the training software.

I've just scratched the surface of the training software, but it supports planning exercises and evaluating exercise sessions against the plan. You can set target on calories burned, intensity, and duration. You can track the effort expended and match that with the appropriate recovery time. We'll see how it plays.

Polar also has a website that provides a web-based interface to similar data and services, as well as an online community. Most of the same data can be, separately, uploaded to the website. Near as I can tell, the website and the PC software are completely unaware of each other. Of course, there is no support from Polar for users of any OS other than Windows. I am investigating other software and options for loading under Linux. Again, of course, there is no online documentation for the method of data transfer from the HRM to the computer beyond a link to discuss a NDA needed if you want to develop your own software.

Now I can tell just how out of shape I am and bury you under the data that proves it. :-)

BTW, I've created a feed, runtravellerrun , for my running log.

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Date:November 15th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Wowie! All the data a geek would want. :-)
Date:November 17th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
You will love the RS800cx! It is a great monitor. Please let us know if you have any questions at any point!

Welcome to the training revolution!

Chris @ Polar USA