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First look at the Polar M430 watch

by Paul Hayward
Friday 16th June 2017
Tags  Polar   |   Polar M430
Polar launched their new M430 watch this week, the upgrade to the popular M400. With so many sports watches on the market at the moment, just recording distance or heart rates is now considered the ‘norm’ and with people asking for a lot more from their device, Polar has their work cut out.
Enter the M430 that offers (in addition to distance recording): 
  • The end of the use of a heart rate strap across your chest (how many times have you forgotten this?) with your heart rate instead being measured through your wrist ‘easily, accurately and reliably. 
  • A ‘run wherever’ feature whereby your running is not only recorded outside, but also inside through your wrist movement. 
  • Instant fitness tests through the ‘Polar Fitness Test’, ensuring your results are accurate.
  • ‘Sleep Plus’ whereby your sleep and recovery is monitored (through wearing your watch at night) and data is provided for you. 
  • Help and support with your running through personal running plans via Polar Flow. 
First impressions: 
The M430 feels sleek and light, despite looking like a large watch, and is comfortable to wear. So much so to the extent that wearing it at night (to monitor your sleeping patterns) is not uncomfortable. The buttons (5 in total) are easy-to-use and are not ‘plasticky’ like other watches and in line with the sophisticated design. 

Polar collage

I have taken the M430 on an initial run and I must say I have been really impressed by the data communicated to you, even whilst out running. For example the M430 uses a ‘heart range graph’ while you are running and places your heart rate within it. This is much easier than noting your heart rate and then in your brain thinking “what zone am I in?” and working out if you have to adjust. By seeing where you fit in at all times, it makes heart rate zone running much more manageable. 
The M430 is supported through the ‘Polar Flow’, which is similar to Garmin Connect in that you can download your data through this, through either your computer or an app on your Smartphone (via Bluetooth). The navigation of Polar Flow seems easy and does not come across as confusing or clunky. 
Polar Flow allows you not only to see an abundance of data and feedback once connected, such as what heart rate zones you have been running or the distance covered, but also a breakdown of fat burn and an analysis of your workout with feedback (such as the endurance benefits etc). It also allows you to modify your programmes (such as sports modes other than running or cycling) easily, modify your heart zones or even connect to other training programmes such as Training Peaks or Strava (which is hugely important). 
I will report back in a few weeks on running and training with the M430, however, as first impressions go I am converted already. The watch is easy to use (almost liberating without the heart rate strap) and provides intelligent communication throughout your workout and after. 
More information on the Polar M430 (and colour options) can be found here

About The Author

Paul Hayward

I am 33 years old and spend the majority of my life within an office environment. Whilst I played football, I never really took an interest in sport let alone athletics. In 2011 I joined a gym as I was slightly concerned about my weight. However I was, like an awful lot of my colleagues, coasting and I considered spinning three times a week a workout.
This changed when I took up a circuits class and found myself entering Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest London in November 2011. I was assured by my friends that this was a good idea and would be a “challenge”.
I had never entered any form of competitive event before and training for this run changed me. I listened to my personal trainer, who assured me that if I quit drink I could be dangerous, and sorted out my diet, stopped drinking so much and focussed my training. I completed the race in just over an hour and I was instantly bitten by the racing bug, I loved the challenge the event offered. 
Nearly two years on I have completed a half marathon in 1hour 49 minutes, came 6th in the Rat Race Horseplay 5k event and usually come within the top 30% at Obstacle Course races. I am also a part time triathlete and I am lucky to find myself in a running club where we have a great coach and the focus is on members. If I am honest - I came to running through these events and I am not alone.
My aim through Run 247 is to promote, discuss and publicise Obstacle Course racing. It is becoming huge and over the coming months we will cover all of the major races and the new competitors entering the scene. 

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