Exercise and Fitness

An Expert Review of the Montblanc Summit 2’s Exclusive Running Coach App

Herman BonnerCommunications Specialist, Firstbeat

Successful performances demand attention to detail. Sometimes that detail is you. A respect for what makes your body unique and a commitment to personalization underpins the science and philosophy behind Montblanc’s exclusive Firstbeat powered Running Coach app onboard the Summit 2 smartwatch.

Elegance makes life easier. An elegant solution is one that takes a complex problem and solves it in the simplest and most effective way possible. The challenge of achieving your personal fitness and performance goals is untangled with scientific analysis and guidance from the exclusive Firstbeat powered Running Coach app featured on the new Summit 2 smartwatch from Montblanc.

The exclusive Running Coach app is designed to help you enjoy a better training experience, empowered by scientifically personalized insight, bespoke training advice, and real-time guidance. These lofty ambitions are achieved through the integrated Firstbeat analytics engine, which utilizes physiological modeling techniques to transform data collected along the way into practical information you can use. Based in Finland, Firstbeat brings a rich legacy of physiological research and analytics and a sports pedigree burnished in the arenas and fields of professional and elite international competition.

Over a thousand sports teams competing in the NHL, NBA, NFL, NCAA, UEFA Champions League, and the Olympic games rely on Firstbeat to optimize performance, reduce injuries and to fast track athlete development. These same professional-grade performance analytics are at work within the exclusive Montblanc Running Coach app to ensure you have the insight you need to be your best.

Fitness Score

Fitness Score delivers scientifically validated, personally meaningful insight into your cardiorespiratory fitness level.  Each time you record a run with the exclusive Running Coach app, a combination of internal and external performance data is analyzed and interpreted to reveal the fitness of your cardiorespiratory system.

The higher your Fitness Score – the better your heart, lungs, circulatory systems and muscles are at importing, transporting, and utilizing oxygen to transform nutrients into energy aerobically. A reliable indicator of endurance performance, the value of this insight carries over as a predictor of good health, well-being, and longevity. The reference metric behind Fitness Score is VO2max, but Fitness Score goes a step further by placing the raw data into the context of global recommendation for age and gender.

In addition to providing insight into your health and aerobic performance capacity, Fitness Score also holds the key to unlocking the power of personalized training prescription. It becomes possible to accurately predict how hard you need to work to maintain your current level and what kinds of efforts will help you improve.

Training Load

The personal and dynamic nature of our physiology means similar routines can produce a variety of results. An offseason workout designed to keep a top Nordic skier fit during the summer might be overwhelming for a less seasoned athlete. On the other side, a workout that stimulated improvement at the start of your training program might be too easy to have an impact after a few months of regular training.

The Training Load screen in the Running Coach app tallies the combined impact of your recorded activities over the past seven-day period. Beyond that, it places your efforts into the context of how hard you need to work to maintain or improve your Fitness Score.

An optimal Training Load means that you are active enough to support and gradually improve your Fitness Score over time. A low Training Load lets you know that you need to challenge yourself more. When you are so active that your Training Load enters the high range, it serves as a warning that you may be overdoing it and potentially facing increased risk of burnout, overtraining syndrome or injury.

The science behind Training Load relies on the utilization of machine learning techniques borrowed from the world of artificial intelligence. Heartbeat data recorded during your workout is analyzed and used to predict the amount of restorative and adaptive work your body will perform in response to your efforts.

Over the course of each workout, the rate at which Training Load accumulates varies dynamically based on changes in the intensity of your training session. When your intensity level is low, Training Load accrues slowly. During vigorous efforts, Training Load accrues at an exponentially higher rate.

Training Effect

While Training Load portrays the big picture and answers questions like whether your training routines are challenging enough to achieve your health, fitness, and performance goals, Training Effect delves in to reveal the specific impact of each individual workout and predicts how that workout will affect the development of your capacity for aerobic performance.

The feedback you get from Training Effect is made personally meaningful by placing the Training Load accumulated during your workout into the context of your current fitness level and training history. The fitter you are, the harder you will need to work to improve. This reality is reflected in your Training Effect score (0.0-5.0).

The ability to see and understand the impact workouts have on your fitness removes the guesswork from training programing and unlocks some truly exciting possibilities. It gives you the power to see how your activities match up with your expectations. Was that aerobics class challenging enough to make a difference? Was that last run so challenging that I need a couple of days to recover?

Elite athletes familiar with this kind of feedback often learn to predict their own Training Effect scores with reasonable accuracy. When this happens, it is a signal that you have begun to internalize and sense how your body responds to various workouts. Developing this level of body awareness speeds up the process of truly mastering your own health and fitness.

Bespoke Training Guidance

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says the old proverb. When it comes to achieving your health, fitness, and performance goals, it is the journey of a lifetime. The motivation you need to keep going grows with the confidence you gain knowing each step takes you in the right direction.

Evidence from the world of elite sport is clear. A personalized approach to training boosts the effectiveness of each workout and helps forge a competitive advantage. Daily workout recommendations from the exclusive Running Coach app ensure that you can always dial up the workout best suited to your personal ambitions and abilities.

During the initial setup, you can choose whether you want to maintain your current Fitness Score, improve your fitness, or step up your efforts to boost your fitness in a hurry. The workout recommendations you receive will pave a safe and physiologically customized path towards your goal.

The right workout for you is determined using a combination of your current Fitness Score, insight gathered from your recent training history, and an estimation of how well your body has recovered since your last workout. The goal is to create the right, personal balance between exertions and recovery to maximize the training benefit of your efforts.

Prescribed workouts range from light workouts designed to enhance recovery, to fitness maintenance efforts and challenging workouts capable of significantly improving your fitness level. There will even be days when rest is prescribed based on your personal needs.

Each prescribed workout features a target duration, HR-based intensity levels, and an anticipated Training Effect score. The inclusion of a Training Effect score helps you understand the role that workout plays in the development of your cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic performance capacity.

Once you start a workout, the Running Coach app delivers real-time feedback to keep your effort on track and ensure you achieve your goals. You will be notified along the way when you should slow down or when it’s time to pick up the pace.

Naturally, there will be times when you want to do your own thing, days when the workout or sports activity you want to do doesn’t match up with the recommended workout you get from the Running Coach app. It might even be the case that you need to skip one or more workouts. When these situations arise, the Firstbeat analytics engine simply re-evaluates your personal training and recovery needs and tailors the next recommended workout based on your current situation.

  • Training Load

    Keep track of the physiological impact of all your training activities over time.

    Read more
  • VO2max Fitness Level

    Your true fitness level and key to personalized training guidance.

    Read more
  • Training Effect: Aerobic

    Reveal the physiological impact of your activities to find the perfect training for you.

    Read more

Herman Bonner

Communications Specialist, Firstbeat

Herman is a former U.S. World Cup fencer, coach and high-performance manager. Keen to explore how people make sense of the world around them, Herman currently thrives at the bustling intersection of technology and everyday life. His educational interests include mechanical engineering, economics, ethnomethodology, and sports management with a focus on marketing and communications.

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