I have a new fitness coach – The Polar RS 800

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The Polar RS 800

I bought a new Heart Rate Monitor the other day, the Polar RS 800 Training Computer. It is touted as the top of the line by Polar and it doesn’t disappoint. You can see the spec at Polar’s website on the RS 800. Athlete’s Circle was doing a promo on the watch. Pay for the RS 800 SD and get a free GPS sensor thrown in. I’ve been eyeing the RS 800 for the longest time. I already have a heat rate monitor, the FT60  which has been faithfully helping me train at the proper heart rate.

Why the fuss over heart rate monitors. See my earlier posts on it here and here.

There are a few things that I want to do with the heart rate monitor which I cant with my current FT 60.

The RS 800 has a 3 line display whilst the FT 60 only has 1. I’ve always been kind of annoyed that I have to start pushing buttons on the watch whenever I run and I want to see what’s going on. Now I can just select the display I want and see exactly what I want to see. The other that I always fuss about is the lack of a stopwatch and lap functions. I’ve been using my iPhone stopwatch functions to record my laps. Now I can just push a button and the lap times and data is automatically recorded.

But these 2 things in itself doesn’t make me train better. It’s a chore but still doable. What makes the RS 800 soooooo brilliant is it’s ability to do multi sports.

Along with the usual strap for the monitor itself, the RS 800 comes with a stride sensor for running, a cadence sensor for cyclinga speed sensor for cycling as well as a GPS Sensor.

All this makes for a very powerful training tool which will help me understand better how I am doing. The stride sensor is especially important for running as it will be able to tell me both my running cadence (the number of steps per minute) as well as my running length (the distance I cover in 1 step). 10 steps a minute and 5 cms of running stride makes a lot of difference, at least to me.

I’ve taken it out for running once and I now know my running cadence as well as my stride length. I know where ti improve and by how much. Hopefully the investment will pay off and i can see myself running faster.

I’ll write more about the RS 800 as I begin to understand the functions and incorporate them into my training. The manual is rather long and complicated so it’ll take me a few days (or maybe weeks) before I really get the hang of it.

The Polar S3 stride sensor
The Polar CS Cadence Sensor
The Polar G3 GPS Sensor
Polar Speed Sensor


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