Then I try to take the bike test. Since I’m a gear editor, I have an exercise bike in my basement.However, I can’t use it to take the bike fitness test because I don’t have 3rd party power meter. It’s okay, I think. I can’t leave the house because I’m at home with the kids, but I’ll move straight to the treadmill for the walking fitness test because — again — I’m a gear editor and also have a treadmill.
That doesn’t work either, because the walk test needs to be drawn outside. Well, I think. I waited until my sweetheart got home, changed clothes again, and went out to start a run test. I ran three blocks down the street, keeping my heart rate within the Polar Pro’s meticulously prescribed warm-up parameters, until I hit a stoplight. The watch told me that I failed the run test because I had to stop.
I started asking myself: Who is this for? What kind of watch allows you to travel, not just outdoors, but to closed outdoor tracks, and Got a somewhat obscure third-party sensor just for baseline testing? I finally took the test, it took about 40 minutes and gave me a VO2 The maximum score is 30 points. Of these, the only test whose operation and results made sense to me was the one I lay on the floor.
None of the features Polar offers on this watch is particularly new. We’ve seen software like FitSpark on previous Polar watches that will recommend different workouts, FuelWise will tell you when to eat and drink, and Training Load Pro works like Garmin Coach to tell you if your workout is working or excessive.
For me, the latest aspect of the Pacer Pro is that its recommendations are baffling, even compared to previous Polar watches I’ve tried. For weeks now, my watch had been telling me every day that I would be fatally injured if I continued to exercise. Every other fitness tracker, even Whoop, rates me as a very fit person. Polar explains that Training Load Pro only considers training sessions from the past 28 days, so discrepancies may cause it to be ignored; but my workouts are pretty consistent. I guess those baseline tests are just for fun.
Inexplicably, these metrics are comparable to my Apple Watch and Garmin measurements. The Pacer Pro uses three separate satellite positioning systems, and I didn’t notice any differences in the routes I had drawn earlier. Tracking activity twice a day for a month, my battery life is still below the advertised 7 days.