Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Polar Running Index in practice

the topic might be interesting only for those using the Polar PPT SW...

I can draw a balance of my 2 years of use of the RS800sd and the related SW.
It is quite interesting to see that the Polar "Running Index" is actually a good predictor of the running shape
The chart maps 2 years of use of the watch and there is a clear relationship between my ups/down, the Running Index and the actual racing performance.
The red thick line is a 20 days moving average, to see better the overall trend rathe
r than the single workouts.
I must anyway remark that obviously also the external temperature has an influence: during the summer periods, the HR is usually higher at equal pace to, so the R.I. becomes unavoidably lower.
For myself, I could draw these references:
- R.I. around 77: means Marathon time around 2h42',
- R.I around 80: Marathon in around 2h38', HM around 1h15'
- R.I. around 84: Marathon likely in 2h33'-34' (that was the prediction based on workouts and 5k race time), HM around 1h13'

I would be very interested to compare data with other runners to see if these values have an "absolute" meaning (eg: 84 means 2h34' for everyone) or specific for each individual


7 comments:

Chris@Polar said...

Great post!

-Chris @ Polar

dmitry said...

Thanks for interesting info!

I also use RS800sd. About 1 year.
With short break...
My running index in the best form is ~65. I am quite slow runner compare to you. Only 1.22 for 20K and 3.20 for marathon.
I guess Running Index is higher when you do more speed work. At least you will see it in my graph.
September-October was my pre-race period with many spead works and tempos.
[url=http://jpe.ru/1/max/040109/0ooxbz3mzh.jpg][img]http://jpe.ru/1/sm/040109/0ooxbz3mzh.jpg[/img][/url]

But I like Polar very much and also interesting to see statistics R.I vs. marathon time...

Thanks and good luck!
Dmitry from St. Petersburg (Russia)

dmitry said...

Thanks for interesting info!

I also use RS800sd. About 1 year.
With short break...
My running index in the best form is ~65. I am quite slow runner compare to you. Only 1.22 for 20K and 3.20 for marathon.
I guess Running Index is higher when you do more speed work. At least you will see it in my graph.
September-October was my pre-race period with many spead works and tempos.
http://jpe.ru/1/max/040109/0ooxbz3mzh.jpg

But I like Polar very much and also interesting to see statistics R.I vs. marathon time...

Thanks and good luck!
Dmitry from St. Petersburg (Russia)

jp75018 said...

Hello,

Great data and perfs!

I'm 42 yo from Paris, France. I've also noticed strong correlation Polar running index and performance.

I'm not at your level! My PB was 3h02'30" nov 2008 in Nice/cannes marathon with index=67, I'll run Paris marathon in 10 days and I've improved (vs similar training sessions) my index by 3-4 (I'm now often at 70/72), so I hope to be sub 3H :)

During winter I was sick several times (stop.start training) and my index dropped to... 50.

I've also noticed that my index is higher during cool running, drop by 2-3 in long interval training (HM speed), and by 4-5 in short and fast interval training.

You may be interested to test training calendar I've developed for Polar HRM :
http://polartrainer.free.fr
(my own training: jp75018).
You can create your account or download (open source) from
http://www.php-endurance.org

I'll add Polar index grapgs soon + other indexes I'll compute (recovery index is interesting).

Jean-Philippe

jp75018 said...

Just forgot to say...

php-endurance only works in metric units (km, km/h, meters, celcius, ...) for the moment, but I plan to also use US units soon (miles, mph, feet, farenheit).

JP

Sean Walsh said...

Thanks for the great post. I have been using Polar 800SD for 16 months and getting ready to run my first marathon in Philadelphia on November 22 2009. I am around a 56 Polar Index which indicates a potential Marathon time of 3:32.

My current goals are more modest:

Finish the marathon and break 4 hours since its my first Marathon and I am 47. The predictive 3:32 has me contemplating how hard I push during the race and risk bonking/not finishing my first marathon.

Anyway, your blog and the subsequent posts give me food for thought since they all support the accuracy/correlation of the Polar RI and actual Marathon performance.

Thanks again.

Sean
St. Louis Missouri USA

by7 said...

to SEAN,

thank you for the comment and good luck for your marathon.
My recommendation would be to stick at around 80-82% of your HRmax and then just follow the HR, rather than a target speed, etc....