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Running Index

Running Index offers an easy way to monitor running performance changes. The Running index score is an estimate of your maximal aerobic running performance (VO2max). By recording your Running Index over time, you see how efficient your running is and how you improve your running performance. Improvement means that running at a given pace requires less of an effort, or that your pace is faster at a given level of exertion.

To receive the most accurate information on your performance, make sure you have set your HRmax value.

Running Index is calculated during every training session when heart rate is measured and the GPS function is on/Stride Sensor is in use, and when the following requirements apply:

  • Sport profile used is a running type sport (Running, Road Running, Trail running etc.)
  • Speed should be 6 km/h / 3,75 mi/h or faster and duration 12 minutes minimum

Calculation begins when you start recording the session. During a session, you may stop twice, for example, at traffic lights without interrupting the calculation.

You can view your Running Index in the summary of your training session on your watch. Follow your progress and see race time estimations in the Polar Flow web service.

Compare your result to the table below.

Short-term analysis

Men

Age/Years Very low Low Fair Moderate Good Very good Elite
20-24 < 32 32-37 38-43 44-50 51-56 57-62 > 62
25-29 < 31 31-35 36-42 43-48 49-53 54-59 > 59
30-34 < 29 29-34 35-40 41-45 46-51 52-56 > 56
35-39 < 28 28-32 33-38 39-43 44-48 49-54 > 54
40-44 < 26 26-31 32-35 36-41 42-46 47-51 > 51
45-49 < 25 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-43 44-48 > 48
50-54 < 24 24-27 28-32 33-36 37-41 42-46 > 46
55-59 < 22 22-26 27-30 31-34 35-39 40-43 > 43
60-65 < 21 21-24 25-28 29-32 33-36 37-40 > 40

Women

Age/Years Very low Low Fair Moderate Good Very good Elite
20-24 < 27 27-31 32-36 37-41 42-46 47-51 > 51
25-29 < 26 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-44 45-49 > 49
30-34 < 25 25-29 30-33 34-37 38-42 43-46 > 46
35-39 < 24 24-27 28-31 32-35 36-40 41-44 > 44
40-44 < 22 22-25 26-29 30-33 34-37 38-41 > 41
45-49 < 21 21-23 24-27 28-31 32-35 36-38 > 38
50-54 < 19 19-22 23-25 26-29 30-32 33-36 > 36
55-59 < 18 18-20 21-23 24-27 28-30 31-33 > 33
60-65 < 16 16-18 19-21 22-24 25-27 28-30 > 30

The classification is based on a literature review of 62 studies where VO2max was measured directly in healthy adult subjects in the USA, Canada and 7 European countries. Reference: Shvartz E, Reibold RC. Aerobic fitness norms for males and females aged 6 to 75 years: a review. Aviat Space Environ Med; 61:3-11, 1990.

There may be some daily variation in the Running Indexes. Many factors influence Running Index. The value you receive on a given day is affected by changes in running circumstances, for example different surface, wind or temperature, in addition to other factors.

Long-term analysis

The single Running Index values form a trend that predicts your success in running certain distances. You can find your Running Index report in the Polar Flow web service under the PROGRESS tab. The report shows you how your running performance has improved over a longer time period. If you're using the Polar Running program to train for a running event, you can follow your Running Index progress to see how your running is improving towards the goal.

The following chart estimates the duration that a runner can achieve in certain distances when performing maximally. Use your long-term Running Index average in the interpretation of the chart. The prediction is best for those Running Index values that have been received at speed and running circumstances similar to the target performance.

Running Index Cooper test (m) 5 km (h:mm:ss) 10 km (h:mm:ss) 21.098 km (h:mm:ss) 42.195 km (h:mm:ss)
36 1800 0:36:20 1:15:10 2:48:00 5:43:00
38 1900 0:34:20 1:10:50 2:38:00 5:24:00
40 2000 0:32:20 1:07:00 2:29:30 5:06:00
42 2100 0:30:40 1:03:30 2:21:30 4:51:00
44 2200 0:29:10 1:00:20 2:14:30 4:37:00
46 2300 0:27:50 0:57:30 2:08:00 4:24:00
48 2400 0:26:30 0:55:00 2:02:00 4:12:00
50 2500 0:25:20 0:52:40 1:57:00 4:02:00
52 2600 0:24:20 0:50:30 1:52:00 3:52:00
54 2700 0:23:20 0:48:30 1:47:30 3:43:00
56 2800 0:22:30 0:46:40 1:43:30 3:35:00
58 2900 0:21:40 0:45:00 1:39:30 3:27:00
60 3000 0:20:50 0:43:20 1:36:00 3:20:00
62 3100 0:20:10 0:41:50 1:32:30 3:13:00
64 3200 0:19:30 0:40:30 1:29:30 3:07:00
66 3300 0:18:50 0:39:10 1:26:30 3:01:00
68 3350 0:18:20 0:38:00 1:24:00 2:55:00
70 3450 0:17:50 0:36:50 1:21:30 2:50:00
72 3550 0:17:10 0:35:50 1:19:00 2:45:00
74 3650 0:16:40 0:34:50 1:17:00 2:40:00
76 3750 0:16:20 0:33:50 1:14:30 2:36:00
78 3850 0:15:50 0:33:00 1:12:30 2:32:00