I was excited to be invited along to the launch of the Polar M430 at The Hub in Regents Park. We were given a gift bag upon arrival including a Polar M430 already loaded with our personal information. We were given a short presentation before heading out with the Polar expert coaches and our new watches. We did a fun warm up session with some various drills before heading out on our run. We would be running for 24 minutes, the idea was to run in HR zone 2 for the 1st 8 minutes, 3 for the 2nd & 4 for the last 8. This was fun but tough to keep it low enough so had to walk at times to get it back down. It did mean we spent a lot of the run looking at our watches. I enjoyed it as I’m not used to HR training.
After the run we settled in for a presentation. And I can tell you I was impressed and couldn’t wait to get using the watch in training. There are several different displays that you can choose for regular wear and whilst you train. The battery life can last an amazing 30 hours! This is simply brilliant as a lot of high end watches have no where near that battery life.
The watch features include:
- Heart Rate
- Calories burned
- Vibration alert
- Sleep analysis
- Smart coaching
The only other sports watch I have had is a TomTom which I got because it had a built in HR monitor. I think this is a great feature for a watch without needing external chest straps etc that can be uncomfortable and chafe. The coaches told us that now a wrist HR monitor is just as accurate as a chest strap. I did have a problem with my TomTom battery not lasting long enough and sometimes not lasting more than 3/4 hours even with the HR turned off to conserve battery so this Polar battery is a huge improvement upon that.
Some of the watch features I was most excited about was the training plans on the Polar Flow site that is paired with the watch. You can sign yourself up for a training plan (a free feature!). The plan includes non-running workouts, and they include videos! Now this excites me, I love a video. I just find that when it’s written down its harder to keep a flow with what your doing as I have to check whats written down & you can’t properly see the correct form etc. But these video aids are fab, I tried some out the very next morning and they were great.
This leads me to another great feature of the watch. You can track lots of different types of workouts and new types of workouts appear as options on your watch once you have a plan in your diary on Polar Flow. I love that I can record Indoor (other) too as I regularly do a workout at home (Davina workouts are great for cross training lol). You can manually adjust the training plan and add your own too.
The watch is very comfortable and easy to wear and use. You can wear it all day to record your activity. I use a fitbit so have decided not to wear my Polar all the time but I definitely use it whenever I workout. I don’t think it’s the prettiest watch to wear all the time, there are other colour choices so I am sure if you are looking for a watch to wear all the time you can customise this to suit you with strap colour and screen choices.
I am told it is easy to pair with your mobile via the app but I haven’t used that. I have done it all through my laptop. I know a lot of you love your stats and here you have it in abundance with graphs and stats. Here are some examples from todays run:
If you look on the top right of the second picture you’ll see the relive button- this is a great feature to watch a video back of your route with some google street pics thrown in. It’s a fun feature which you can share on Facebook.
In the presentation the coach said that the biggest changes over the years (other than the obvious technology) is that now tracking recovery has become more important. This is where the sleep analysis can help, for example discovering a pattern that an athlete he trained slept better in winter because the earlier daylight hours meant she didn’t sleep as well in the summer and knowing this allows them to adjust the plans accordingly. For me, I think I’d only turn to the sleep tracking if I felt I really needed it. i have heard on TV that as long as you feel rested that is what is important and I tend to agree. I think if you are a professional athlete or take the training very seriously then this could be a key feature for you.
When running with the watch I did find myself looking at the watch as we were HR training but I have since discovered you can lock in your HR zone so the watch will vibrate if you fall out of the target zone meaning you don’t have to constantly look at your wrist- brilliant!
Another feature is fitness tests so you can test your V02Max & current fitness level (I haven’t played with this one yet but I’m looking forward to).
The watch tracks other exercises, as a runner I focus on that but you can track cycling and swimming too, as it is waterproof to WR30 (although it won’t track your distance in the pool it will record everything else- you can add distance in after).
I would definitely recommend this watch. I think it’s features are brilliant. Most runners need a training plan sometime and here are lots of easy access plans which you can easily track. I am a big fan of the Polar Flow website and think most runners would love it too. The price is reasonable at just under £200. You are getting so much for your money I would definitely say it’s worth it. A watch, a tracker and a coach all on your wrist.