Polar Running Program FAQs

What is the Polar Running Program based on?

It is based on training in the right heart rate zone, and the science behind the Polar Heart Rate Zones is the cornerstone of the program. The program gives you a training plan for your target event based on your personal attributes, training background and preparation time. For a detailed description of the program see Polar Running Program.

Which products are compatible with the running program?

With these devices running session targets can be synced to your device, and you get real-time guidance during training.

  • Polar Grit X
  • Polar Grit X Pro
  • Polar Grit X2 Pro
  • Polar Pacer
  • Polar Pacer Pro
  • Polar Vantage M
  • Polar Vantage M2
  • Polar Vantage V
  • Polar Vantage V Titan
  • Polar Vantage V2
  • Polar Vantage V3
  • Polar Ignite
  • Polar Ignite 2
  • Polar Ignite 3
  • Polar M200
  • Polar M400
  • Polar M430

Is it possible to edit the program after creating it? Change the target distance manually for example?

It’s not possible to edit the program after creating it. If you want to change the target from 5k to 10k for example, naturally it means the whole program has to be changed accordingly. If you want to make changes you need to create a new program.

The program rewards me with stars – how are they calculated?

The program follows how much time you spend in each heart rate zone each training week, and rewards you with stars based on how well you’ve hit your targets.

  • 1 Star:  On average, you’ve met 75% of your target in each heart rate zone
  • 2 Stars: On average, you’ve met 90 % of your target in each heart rate zone
  • 3 Stars: On average, you’ve met 100 % of your target in each heart rate zone
  • No stars if you’ve trained too much (more than 200%) in the moderate zone (3)
  • No stars if you’ve trained too much (more than 150%) in high intensity training zones (4 and 5)

Program update – Why does the program recommend staying on the same level/going down a level/going up a level?

The recommendations are based on how well you’ve followed the program. It will suggest proceeding to the next level when you’ve trained so that it’s reasonable to do so. The suggestion is based on your heart rate zone target accumulation.

Are manually added training sessions included in the program calculation?

No, because the program requires heart rate measurement and information about the duration spent in each heart rate zone. This information is not available in manually added sessions.

Is it possible to set certain days to be rest days?

Yes, when creating a new program just tick the rest box on the day you want to set as a rest day. Depending on your program one or more days can be set as rest days at this point. After creating the program you can freely move training sessions in the same calendar week by dragging and dropping them from one day to another. This allows you to customize each training week to fit your schedule.

Can I do a session on another day than it was scheduled?

Yes, just go to the Running Program overview in the Flow web service by choosing Programs from the tab, and just drag and drop the training session you wish to move to another day in same calendar week, and sync the changes to your device.

Does the program take into account sessions that are not part of the program?

Yes, so if you do any other sessions with heart rate monitoring during the program they will also be added to the running program training totals.

Can I view programs I’ve done in the past?

Yes, but only if you haven’t started a new one. The previous program will be shown in the Program tab until a new one is started. However, your training sessions for past programs are visible in your Polar Flow diary even after starting a new program.

Can I do a session on my bike?

Yes, you can. Especially in the beginning of the program doing a session on your bike is fine, but towards the end of the program it’s a good idea to focus on running. When doing a session on your bike remember to follow the training guidance, and stay in the right heart rate zone.

Why are the programs just for running? What about other sports?

We’ve had the most requests for a running program, so we started with that. In the future training programs for other sports like cycling are possible.

Why are the programs just for events? What about other types of programs?

We started with an event program because we’ve had the most requests for one. In the future other kinds of programs like general fitness improvement programs are possible. Although the program is designed for events, you can still create a program if you don’t have a specific event in mind. Just set an imaginary date, and choose the target distance that fits your running development goal best.

My Recovery Status is strained/very strained but the program still tells me to train - Why is that?

The Polar Running program and Recovery Status are not directly linked to each other – this means that the program will not adapt if your Recovery Status is very strained/strained. When thinking about doing a session, it’s important to listen to your body. If your recovery status is very strained, and you feel too tired, it might be a good idea to skip a session. Another option is to do an easy running session in zones 1 and 2, as this can help you recover.

I find it difficult to stay in zones 1 and 2 when running? What should I do?

Switch to walking if it’s not otherwise possible to stay in the right zone. It’s important that you stay in the right zone, so it’s OK to walk especially during the beginning of the program. Do not change your heart rate zone limits by yourself if you aren’t sure what they really are. If you suspect some settings are not right, check that your maximum heart rate and other physical settings are correct in the Polar Flow settings. If you know your clinically measured maximum heart rate, or aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, use them.

I train a lot, and the training volume the program gives is just not enough. What should I do?

The program is based on heart rate guided training, so the intensity and duration of the sessions might differ from what you’re used to. Especially in the beginning of the program some sessions may seem light if you’re used to training a lot. The program is designed to gradually build up your fitness level, and if you decide to do the program it’s crucial that you follow the guidance to get the right effect.

I’m also using Polar Balance, and it tells me to jog for 2 hours but the Running program tells me to have an easy jog lasting 30 minutes. What should I do?

Polar Balance and the Polar Running Program have completely different goals, and there is no connection between the two. Polar Balance is for weight management, and the running program is for improving running performance. The daily activity guidance given by Balance is a suggestion on how to reach your daily activity goal, and for this reason it can differ significantly from your Polar Running Program training session.

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