Reviewed: 08 March 2006
A GOOD TOOL FOR THE SERIOUS RUNNER, IF A LITTLE QUIREY IN US
Integrates speed and distance with a HRM, long battery life from the foot pod, useful additional features in the watch to measure Polar's view of VO2Max and level of training/over training and a review of each run stored in the watch, along with accumulating total distance, calories and time since these counters were re-set.
The user can set heart rate zones (5 of) ranging from HRmax to a resting rate and then train for a specific session within a target heart rate, for example, setting lactate threshold rate at 85% and running under that for a long run.
The key feature I regularly use is defining a specific running sessions, you can pre-define up to five of these, each can be configured with (1) a user definable warm up period, (2) the actual training session, for example, running 10 X 40 seconds (for my level of fitness this equates to a 200m fast run equivalent to a track session), you can also define a recovery period between each lap and finally (3) a cool down sessions. I also use this feature to define tempo runs (4 x 1 mile) and longer track like sessions, 6 X 800m (again based on time). This enables you to run “track type” sessions virtually anywhere.
You can also set up a running diary on your PC desktop, which provides the ability to analyses each run for heart rate, run speed, lap times, average speed, max speed etc. The watch also creates a file for each run which can be accumulated before uploading to your PC.
the foot pod, useful additional features in the watch to measure Polar's view of VO2Max. Good desk top software, which creates a running diary and the ability to analyise each run for heart rate, run speed etc.
Calibration of distance can be difficult, also, you need to set the recording intervals to 5 Seconds to ensure the data from the HRM and foot pod are accurate. While you can set a lower recording rate, what you will note is a variance from the actual distance run on your watch to that shown in the uploaded desktop file, for example, the watch could show 10.1 miles at the end of a run and on the desktop file, only show 9.7 miles. In addition, much of the data on the watch is interpreted by the PC software, leading to other variances and slight inaccuracies in the data on the desktop.
At the end of a run, the watch will give an average speed for a run, for example, after a tempo run, the watch can show an average pace of 6.55 for say five miles. However, when you analysis the actual split times on your PC and total all the splits in excel, the average split time is actually 2-4 seconds faster.
Despite the glitches in Software and some quirkness in the watch, I would recommed it again. The record rate should not be in a minimum of 5 second intervals, but in real time (as Nike do), this would remove the variances.
I also previousley used a Timex GPSA watch and found the GPS unit heavy and a pain to attach to your arm, however, the new Garmin 305, which intergrates the GPS reciever into the wrist unit, makes this watch a very interesting possible replacemnet for teh Polar 625X.