Polar s810 Protects You From Overtraining

Polar s-810 heart rate monitor

Polar s810 can measure your heartbeat intervals. The differences in these periods reflect your autonomic nervous system when it regulates your heartbeat. This measurement is most useful at rest or at low intensities, because we are talking about very small differences (msecs.) Your relaxation rate indicates the state of your physical recovery. If you are overtrained, it might very well be reflected on the Polar s810 monitor. 

Polar s810 agrees with clinical ECG

In a clinical perspective you will normally use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the differences in length between each heart beat. This is called the R-R interval, referring to the time between two R waves in the ECG. You don’t have to understand what these waves mean, but if you have a special interest in this topic, there is an explanation here: electrocardiogram.

Heart rate monitors can protect you from overtraining

Polar s810 provides a valid measurement of the R-R intervals and calculation of the heart rate variability compared to ECG. This variability can be used as a sign of health and recovery level. I think it is interesting that a heart rate monitor can provide so precise info because it gives you the possibility to notice when you need more rest before the next training schedule. Thus, it can protect you from overtraining. In theory there should be a correlation between the state of physical recovery and your heart rate variability, and it is also concluded to be true in a couple of scientific studies.

If we take a look back at the last decades there has not been much progress in heart rate monitors: They showed the heart rate and stored some data in files (and not much compared to other digital things these days). Introducing precise details like Polar s810 is interesting and hopefully Polar watches will get competition from other products, so there will come more useful info that will make our bike training more scientific.     

10 comments… add one
  • Paul Skiba

    Trying to understand: To utilize this feature of the Polar 810 I would need to wear the monitor while resting?

  • Correct. But you don’t have to wear it all the time. Only when you’re testing… 🙂

  • srm

    Does anyone know how the recovery function in the s810 works – for example when you select View and Selection Info… from the menu a window opens and under “Recovery” it gives a value for # of beats.

    Some times this number is negative sometimes it’s positive – what is the significance?

  • Frank Bongiorno

    Can I use the Polar S810 for measuring HRV during sleep, then in the morning download the HRV measurement to software for analysis?

    Kind regards

    Frank Bongiorno

  • Jason

    I have the RS800sd and it has the same feature. The test takes about 6 minutes. The first half is resting (sitting or lying down) and the second half is standing. When the test is finished, the watch reports resting heart rate, standing heart rate, maximum heart rate (during the test), and a number from 1 to 9 that indicates your state of recovery/overtraining.

    srm – that recovery number is the difference between your heart rate at the beginning and end of the selection. I don’t think it has anything to do with physical recovery, although there is probably some correlation between your state of recovery and how quickly your heart rate can change.

  • srm

    Thanks Jason – appreciate the feedback!

  • Michael

    I have the Polar CS600 pro edition, and the test takes 6 min. as Jason explains. Tuesday the 22 sept. 2009, I took the test in the morning showing me recovery 2, and a max HR at 184. But 3 hours later the same day I took a cycling-test (incl. Wingate, FTH etc.) by a professional, and at that test my max HR got all the way up to 191. So the watch have a litle error-margin there at 3-4%. It is always a little bit lower than my actual, but then again, it is a fantastic feature and I use it a lot…. 🙂

    Kind Regards
    Michael

  • Jason

    The RS800 puts my max HR at 188-190 depending on how much training I’ve been doing and that seems to be about right as I’ve had my HR at 183-185 during some intense, but not all out climbs. I guess my max HR could be even higher, but 189 seems to be accurate enough for me.

Leave a Comment