Polar S720i

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!Polar S720i. This has got to be the single most complicated piece of computer hardware I’ve even used. You actually need to read the manual about twenty times to program it. Makes me wonder if it wouldn’t be better just to give up and have a PC link to it and program it from there, there are so many variants of buttons clicks.
I’m mainly using it because it is a coded watch so in something like the STP, I won’t get interference. Otherwise, my super basic A1 is just about all that I need. One of the big issues is that that is it s a combination heart rate monitor and bicycle computer. I actually used it for while as a bike computer, but found it was just so nice to have integrated buttons on my Campagnolo Ergobrain I switched back even though the weight is higher with both a wristwatch HRM and a bike computer. Maybe someday Campy will make a computer that has an HRM in it? Not!
In any case, I didn’t use this for two years and dusted it off and completely forgot how to use it. Here are some notes in case I ever (or you) lose the manual:
* When you press the red button (this is the start button), the watch actually doesn’t record any of the heart rate information. You have to hit the red button twice for things to get recorded. When you hit it the second time, the stop watch goes on which is how you know it is recording.
* When you hit go, there are six exercise programs (more on that later). To set to a different exercise program press and hold the upper right button called the UP button in the manual. This flips you between Basic, E1, E2,… E5.
* If you have heart rate limits programed, you press and hold the upper left button to turn on the alarm. This will then beep at you if you go above or below your target rates. That button is called the Signal/Light button by the way in the manual. One quick hit gives you a kind of lousy backlight. I don’t know what signal means.
* You can actually program the thing to calculate how many calories you use. It has something called your OwnIndex that measures your resting pulse rate and along with a zillion other parameters you program in User settings, calculates your OwnIndex. Which is Polar measure of fitness.
* You can have five programs that have a warm up, a set of intervals with heart rate limites and then a cool down. That is kind of neat, so for instance for me a Tempo ride would be 60 minutes of warm up at below 151 bpm, then a series of 3 intervals of 20 minutes each at 140-148 bpm and then a 15 minute cooldown. Programming this is complicated but is in the Exercise Set menu.
* Altitude is also kept in this thing, you have to calibrate it though by going into hitting the UP arrow till you get to the Options menu. Then the Start button and get Function Set, then you go to the end where there is Altitude, press Start twice and buried there is the altitude calibration. Here its handy to have a GPS so you know the exact altitude where you are starting :0-)

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