Looking at the mountain ahead

Now that I’ve spent a few days with my Polar Vantage V, the logical followup question is simple: what’s next? I’ve thought a lot about this question leading up to this year and even as the year has progressed. When I look at my purchase of the Vantage V, I think my future is very closely tied to it.

Let me explain.

The Path Toward Fitness

As mentioned prior, my greatest success in weight loss came when I owned Polar products. None of that is attributed to the products themselves, per se; but, there is something to be said about the mental space that comes when I’m using Polar products. I lost 40 pounds in six months before, and I know I can do it again. To put that in perspective, if I dropped 40 pounds from today, I would only be a few pounds off from reaching my goal weight.

So, that path and long road back to fitness, for me, begins where it started: with Polar. I’m back where I started, but this time I carry the years of lessons learned and a newfound determination to succeed in areas where I once failed.

When I lost the weight in 2014 I plateaued at 228 pounds and didn’t push past it to reach my goal. I didn’t finish. The difference between this time and last time is my commitment to a lifestyle change. Instead of solely focusing on weight loss, like I did before, this time I’m focusing on a holistic view of my health in mind, body, and soul.

My Immediate Goals

With that said, here are my immediate goals and how I plan to incorporate the Polar ecosystem into reaching those plans.

5k Running Program

First up is my 5k running program. A little over a month ago I started the 5k coaching program with Garmin. Since getting the Vantage V, I’ve jettisoned that plan and have migrated to Polar’s adaptive running program. I kept the same date for a July 4th 5k run, so that remains my training target.

My current plan in Polar has me doing the following: 3 weeks of base building, 7 weeks of build-up, and tapering for 2 weeks before the run.

Polar 5k Running Program
My Polar 5k Running Program

The main difference with this program over Garmin’s is that Polar’s program focuses specifically on heart rate training. Not only am I working my way toward running a 5k distance, but I am also doing it in a way that is respectful to not overtrain based on my heart rate, and will adjust my training as needed.

Once I finish the 5k training program, I hope to find an actual 5k race to enter, and then level up and begin training to run a 10k distance. The overall goal is to become a runner who gets out and pounds the pavement regularly.

Push Up Challenge

In conjunction to my 5k running program, I am also improving my upper body strength. I’m embarrassed to say that I can barely do 20 push-ups in one rep. So, with a plan that my friend Dawain used, I have challenged myself to complete this task. Given that running focuses primarily on the lower body, I figured some upper body strength training could be good.

Push Up Challenge
Push Up Challenge

How does Polar fit into this? Well, I had started this a few weeks ago and only made it to day 4 before stopping. It wasn’t for lack of trying, I simply forgot about it by time I went to bed. I could’ve used Garmin’s training calendar to schedule the workout, but I didn’t. This time around I got wise. Even though it was tedious, I put all 30 days of workouts onto my training calendar so I can be reminded that these workouts need to be done. Now they’re in my calendar with reminders, staring me in the face daily.

The goal here is to build a base of upper body strength that I can build on.

Weight Loss

In addition to the running, I am also focused on losing weight. My objective is to hit my goal weight by the end of the year, if at all possible.

Even though I already had a smart scale, I picked up the Polar Balance scale from eBay so I could keep everything within one ecosystem. The main benefit of the Balance scale is it keeps me from having to weigh myself and then manually enter that weight into Polar Flow each morning for accurate calorie tracking throughout the day. This is important because Polar’s algorithms for calorie burn take into account my individual measurements.

Polar Balance
Polar Balance

Through background syncing with Apple Health, my weight is automatically updated on MyFitnessPal, which also grabs my activities and steps from Polar throughout the day. In conjunction, these two platforms will make sure I’m not eating more than I should, and shame me when I do (like the other night when I ate way too much pizza).

Between regular exercise and keeping a better eye on what enters my body, the pounds should once again melt away.

To summarize, my short term goals are to: run more, increase my strength, and lose weight.

Long Term Plans

Now, as I think about my long term plans, this is where things get fun.

If I’m honest, most of my long term plans started coming together within the last week, particularly as I waited for my Vantage V to arrive. I dreamt about what I would do differently this time around and what the future could look like. This dreaming led to a couple goals: 1) planning my fitness long term, and 2) helping others.

Polar Season Planner

The first thing I want to do is learn how to plan my training for an extended period of time. It’s nice that Polar helps me with goals such as planning for a race, but I want a holistic view toward my training. Thankfully, Polar also has a season planner that can help me with this.

Polar Season Planner (Sample)
Polar Season Planner (Sample)

The key here is figuring out what my goals will be and how to plan them out. I want to work effectively so I don’t over or under train, or worse, fall off entirely with my fitness. As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is why I like the idea of a training plan and calendar. I plan on doing some reading and learning more about training. I’ll also look into the possibly of purchasing plans as well, with the end goal being to learn how to create my own.

Polar Coach & Personal Training

My goal when I wake up each morning is to add value to people’s lives. So, I began daydreaming about how my fitness journey and Polar could fit into this.

As I dreamt, I looked at all the functionality the Polar ecosystem and platform offers. One thing I found was Polar Flow for Coach. I wondered how I could incorporate this into my plans. Maybe I could hire a coach to train me using the platform. Then, I thought further. This brainstorming led me to the idea of becoming a certified personal trainer and running coach. With those certifications, I could use the platform to coach others.

When I picture my future, that is what I see. With my personal trainer and running coach certifications I can add value to people’s lives by helping them achieve their own fitness goals. This could make for a nice side hustle, while simultaneously maintaining my own fitness. As I achieve my own goals, I want to enable others to do the same, and Polar’s platform is one piece of kit I can use to achieve those ends.

The End Goal

The end goal is to keep growing, always moving forward. This is a lifestyle change. Short term goals lead to bigger goals, which lead to lifetime goals. And I will use Polar as a conduit to meet those ends.

I will change my life. I will help others change theirs.