zaterdag 2 augustus 2014

"to modify zones, delete program in service" on polar watch

In this post I'll explain how to setup your heart rate zones manually on a polar watch when you get the message "to modify zones, delete program in service". I have the polar rcx3 but probably for other polar watches the same logic will apply.

Personal introduction (can be skipped without a problem)

A few months ago I started running and to track my progress I want to monitor my heart rate. For this I bought the Polar RCX3 run watch which comes with heart rate monitor and stride sensor s3+. I wanted to configure my heart rate zones manually as I had a physical examination from a physician who determined my training zones. Since he also provided a training program based on my heart rate zones it seems most appropriate to use the zones that are mentioned in his program. The zones that were proposed by the watch are not completely different but there are some differences. When I wanted to change the heart rate I received the vague error message: "to modify zones, delete program in service". As it took a while to find the problem I'll put it here for other people their convenience.

Setting heart rate zones manually on polar rcx3

This can be done easily by going to.

 Settings -> Heart rate settings -> Sport zones 

There you can select any of the 5 zones and select its limits. In some cases however you can have an error. I have seen the following errors:

'To modify zones, first set ZoneOptimizer off'

This is a clear error message and can be easily solved. Just disable the Heart rate Zone optimizer of your polar watch. This can be done in the following menu entry:

 Settings -> Heart rate settings -> ZoneOptimizer 

Set it to 'OFF' and retry setting your heart rate zones manually.

'To modify zones, delete program in service'

This however is a rather cryptic error message imho. Google is your friend but this time I only found the advise to reset the watch by pressing all the buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds. Don't do this as it will just reset your watch settings but won't fix the problem! This error is shown because you cannot change your heart rate zones as long as you have training programs from www.polarpersonaltrainer.com on your watch. As I already uploaded some training plans to my watch my heart rate zones were blocked. I guess the training program calculates heartrate zones based on your maximal heart rate and than locks the heart rate zones so that changing them doesn't modify the training program completely.

Unfortunately this means that the only solution I know is to go to www.polarpersonaltrainer.com, delete your trainingsprogram and then sync with your watch. Then you can again try to set your heart rate zones manually.

Personal Conclusion/remark

It is not to hard to set your manual heart rate zones as long as you know to remove training programs but it is a pitty that they need to be removed. I guess it is necessary due to to the implementation of heart rate zone programs but it is a pity. Since I only wanted to start the program from polarpersonaltrainer in a few months I'll first continue with my tailored training programs and then I might switch back to the calculated heart rate zones.