Polar RC3: The Ultimate Running Partner
Addiction or Distraction
One of my favorite sayings is “If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is”. Good examples are government run programs and budgets, mechanics fixing automobiles, computers and, yes, your health. Not just big things like unneeded prescription medications, but even in simple things like fancy running shoes, or a even unnecessarily changing your workout routine or diet. I’m all for finding a smart and easy way to increase an outcome, and push to a higher standard, but not at the expense of overcomplicating and impeding progress.
Steve, Meet Polar
As of late, Polar (the heart rate monitor company) has given me a chance to review a new product they have for athletes to help them track the efficacy of their activity and workout programs. It is the new RC3GPS heart rate monitor. If you know anything about me, it is that I am totally old school. If there are any links, pictures, or anything of the sort in this particular blog, you must know that my beautiful “techy-geeky”, yet very hot wife, Bonnie added them. We argued for 20 minutes about what hyperlink is – yes, just now. I lost…
a Caveman Steve Can Do It
I still keep my appointments in pencil in a handwritten day-timer. Yes, the way God intended it!!! “tangent”… sorry… My point? I don’t like gadgets that require to much thought. However, when it comes to exercise science.. I love looking at stats, and data – especially if that data can be used to help me or a client improve our performance or our physiques.
Needless to say, my excitement of receiving this fantastic piece of “lab equipment” was bittersweet. I would love a Hubble telescope as long as I have Bonnie, or her dad, to explain how the heck it works. BUT, I was determined to this all on my own. I strapped that puppy on and went for a run. Needless to say, I didn’t get far. Stupid toy, and I hate running anyway. What do you mean I have to charge it, and plug it into my computer? Just to go for a run? Jeeeeze.. I just want to sweat a little.. I hate running anyhow.
I Can Do This
Determined not to have Bonnie laugh at me, I regain my composure and decide to figure this thing out. I open the RC3GPS instruction book and, dernit, if it doesn’t have a quick-start manual. I bet this is going to take two or three hours. Pleasantly surprised, 5 minutes later I am hooked up with the unit charging and all my personal settings stored so it can track and train me for my training desires.
Still, unbelieving, I decide to look for a quick video tutorial online just to see if I am missing anything. After watching the video, I realize what a “tard” I really am. The RC3 does way more than I thought, and It was twice as easy to program it.
I am still working a few kinks out, like trying to turn off the sounds when I am shooting live on LiveExercise, and I am still trying to reverse my display so I can read it better, but after working with this gizmo for 3 short weeks I am completely addicted to the accountability and records it is keeping. (here’s the video I watched that helped me get it going)
I have since started a free online account at polarpersonaltrainer.com that allows me to track my running routes, calories burned, high/low/ave heart rate, pace, and so so much more. I like developing different interval workouts and seeing the fast and slow sections of my runs. (this is a screenshot of the map route I took last)
Note: See the Place Marker (above) at the bottom of the map? It matches the red vertical line on the graph (below), which was about to be my slowest pace as I was going up a steep bridge). Where ever I put my cursor on the graph, it shows me on the map where I was at that time, pace, heart rate, etc. (can you say COOL?!)
The RC3 has helped me want to improve each run, and each workout. Just seeing those numbers at the end of a run makes me want to come back for more – and improve my pace and my distance, increase my calories burned, and average (and high) heart rate. Just for fun, I also use the RC3 to chart my recovery heart rate after a fast interval.
It is interesting to me how fast I learned this great piece of equipment, but I had know Idea I could enjoy running merely by investing the time, and seeing the improvement. I think more people would invest in exercise and nutrition if they could just track and record data that shows improvement.
Ok, I’ll wrap this rant up. My point here is; we can often overcomplicate our workouts and our diets, but don’t discount trying new things. If you get an opportunity to try a new piece of gear, or a new recipe, or even a new gym… TAKE IT! Give it a good and honest try, if it excites you and its effective, add it to your arsenal of tools that push us to make more progress – but if you try something, really try, and it just distracts you from improving, perhaps your time would be better spent with the fundamental old school grind!
My Final Assessment of the Polar RC3: Addicted! LOVE IT!
If you’d like to buy this insane piece of running GPS awesomeness, CLICK HERE and use the discount code: “fitfluential” during checkout for a 25% discount! This discount is ONLY valid for the RC3 GPS (all colors/combinations of the RC3 GPS available) and will expire on 8/31/13. Here’s a cool video on the RC3!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted on August 12, 2013, in Product Review and tagged heart rate, interval trainer, Polar heart rate monitor, Polar RC3, run tracker, runkeeper, runner, running. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.