Fitness age and VO2max - some questions - Page 2 — TomTom Community

Fitness age and VO2max - some questions

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  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,189
    Superusers
    old dog wrote:
    It would be great if Fitness Age could be disabled. I jog every day, 3 to 5 miles. Problem is I jog with my dog, and she's not all that fond of running fast unless chasing something (but really wants to go with me). That means a big chunk of my route is running in place. I'm in great shape, but the Fitness Age number is 3 years older than my actual age after almost a month with the Spark 3. I've also observed the heart rate reading while jogging is significantly higher than my real heart rate. Lower heart rates are fairly accurate. I like the device, and find some of the metrics and tracking very useful. A bad Fitness Age display is really annoying though.
    Just ignore it if it means nothing to you. It is not like it is shown on the watch itself and you need to go look for it on the website and app. I have not given it a bit of thought as I also agree it is meaningless (mine says I am 30 years younger than I am).

    By the way, spikes in HR are generally from poor blood flow producing weak pulse strength, so the watch reads cadence instead. This is most common in running and is particularly apparent early in a workout or during a non-intense workout when you are not warmed up. You have to think of the optical heart rate as an algorithm that is attempting to track a signal in a set frequency range (30-230 or whatever it uses). If the pulse signal is weak it latches onto the next strongest rhythmic signal, which is your cadence in running and the vibrations of the bike in cycling. For most people who experience this while running it spikes to around 180-200 bpm which is also the average cadence people run at. Additionally, each person has a different HR signal ‘strength’, depending on a range of factors, so some are prone to get it more than others. But usually their signal strength is lower for the first 5-10 minutes until they warm up properly. So in that time, it is prone to latching onto cadence, which is a common fault with all optical HRs, unfortunately. If you notice it while it happening you can try moving the watch a bit or briefly pausing your run so it loses the cadence reading and latches back onto HR, which I find usually corrects it. I generally pause the watch, stand still for 20-30 seconds and will see it immediately start to drop. Once it gets into a more reasonable range and the pulse reading stops dithering (dithering is when it is not getting a good signal and it is a lighter grey in color) I start up again and it stays true for the rest of the run. You can also try switching wrists and the position on the wrist. I find I got better readings on my right wrist over my left and some people find they get better readings if the watch is on the inside of the wrist rather than the outside. It also helps if you warm up a bit to get your blood moving and your HR up so it is producing a strong signal. Play around with it and see if any of this helps you. The challenge for the manufacturers of optical HRs (and this is a common issue with all brands, my Scosche also does it) is to figure out how to factor out the other "noise" that is overriding the pulse signal without also factoring out other important data.
  • old dogold dog Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Thanks! I'll try your suggestions on heart rate. I have indeed noticed a couple times when I drop off my dog at home and start again I get a more reasonable heart rate reading for the rest of the run.
  • Traveller 13Traveller 13 Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    I agree that fitness age is a lot of BS. The more I work out an fitter I get the higher my fitness age.

    If it is a serious option ... TOMTOM, please respond with an answer?

    Thanks
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,189
    Superusers
    I agree that fitness age is a lot of BS. The more I work out an fitter I get the higher my fitness age.

    If it is a serious option ... TOMTOM, please respond with an answer?

    Thanks
    TomTom will not comment on planned or future updates publicly (here or elsewhere) so we will just have to wait and see. Considering TT has left the wearables market and is not producing any new devices, I would assume at this point any updates will be limited to bug fixes (and even that may be limited - it has been over three months since the last update broke connectivity for many users and introduced battery drain issues and that is still unresolved). I would not expect much more development and certainly not something major particularly on the watch side (they may continue to tweak the MySports site and app, but not the watches themselves).
  • Traveller 13Traveller 13 Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Ok thanks for the info, appreciate it.

    The battery drain is also an issue. Next watch will be a Polar again then.
  • MrsPepperpotMrsPepperpot Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    New tOm Tom Runner. Tom Tom told me yesterday my V02 max was off the scale it was so good then today I got told I was 65.:astonished:
  • rosemontjdrosemontjd Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    I'm 37 years old and got my Spark 3 at Christmas time. My fitness age has gone from 40 years old then to 20 years old this week. Whilst I've increased my fitness level, I've by no means been committed but I have been consistently reaching over 70,000 steps weekly. My Vo2 MAX is currently 46.

    I don't feel 20 years old so not sure about fitness age as a measure! Knees and ankles aren't what they once were!
  • SpazzIISpazzII Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    rosemontjd wrote:
    I don't feel 20 years old so not sure about fitness age as a measure! Knees and ankles aren't what they once were!

    I don't think you can ask for a watch to measure the state of your knees and ankles :thinking:

    The VO2max is an approximation that includes your weight (ml/kg/min). I don't know whether or not the people getting weird readings have setup their profile with an accurate weight estimation or any weight estimate at all? If not, the app will start guessing, using averages... American averages. I'm guessing it will overestimate your weight and therefore underestimate your VO2max.
  • SpazzIISpazzII Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    It seems I have lost the ability to edit my posts.

    The TomTom app seems to want to encourage me by saying that I will increase my VO2max if I get one more star this week. How is that possible? That would mean it's not a measurement at all, but more like a grading system awarding points for high intensity training. My heartrate goes up quite fast so I get more points, but that doesn't mean I am increasing my VO2max at all. So if I get a high heartrate during low-intensity training (which would mean I am out of shape) I get a lot of points and get 'awarded' a higher VO2max? I hope I am wrong here, because that's not how this works, that's not how any of this works!

    Luckily, I am still also aware that I only bought this watch for its accurate GPS and heartrate measurements, not for these glorified gimmicks.
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,189
    Superusers
    SpazzII wrote:
    It seems I have lost the ability to edit my posts.

    The TomTom app seems to want to encourage me by saying that I will increase my VO2max if I get one more star this week. How is that possible? That would mean it's not a measurement at all, but more like a grading system awarding points for high intensity training. My heartrate goes up quite fast so I get more points, but that doesn't mean I am increasing my VO2max at all. So if I get a high heartrate during low-intensity training (which would mean I am out of shape) I get a lot of points and get 'awarded' a higher VO2max? I hope I am wrong here, because that's not how this works, that's not how any of this works!

    Luckily, I am still also aware that I only bought this watch for its accurate GPS and heartrate measurements, not for these glorified gimmicks.
    You hit the nail on the head, it is a glorified gimmick. No watch can tell you your VO2Max, that can only be determined in a laboratory under clinical conditions. Just like it cannot tell you your actual calories burned. It is an estimate based on an algorithm using indirect measures used to sell more devices.
  • SuseSuse Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Same here! My VO2 max given by my Spark 3 is, according to sources I can find in the category of good or average for my age group. According to TT however my fitness age is 13 years older than I am!
  • SuseSuse Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    PS I called TT today and all they could suggest was factory reset :/
  • HasanahmedHasanahmed Posts: 1 [New Seeker]
    My Tomtom fitness age is acting strange. Today I did a treadmill run for 5K in 30 min with 65% in peak HR zone. My VO2 increased from 41 to 42 (I am 42 years old) but the fitness age also increased from 37 to 40. Fitness age should reduce if VO2 increases. Can’t figure out what’s the logic. Does anyone else know what’s going on??? I have been using Tomtom for over a month now and do 3-4 workouts in a week. VO2 has hovered between 40-43 and fitness age has been moving from 27 to 40!!

  • Pierre MGIPierre MGI Posts: 8 [Master Explorer]
    I'm 59 yo and a good shape, regularly walking/running on hill. My chrono showed a good improvement and I don't know friends of mine able to follow me. But... for the Spark2, I'm 72 yo... really, it's ridiculous. I'm rather sure VO2Max doesn't take into account the difference of elevation (600m on 5km, the total loop 10km).
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,189
    Superusers
    Pierre MGI wrote: »
    I'm 59 yo and a good shape, regularly walking/running on hill. My chrono showed a good improvement and I don't know friends of mine able to follow me. But... for the Spark2, I'm 72 yo... really, it's ridiculous. I'm rather sure VO2Max doesn't take into account the difference of elevation (600m on 5km, the total loop 10km).

    Elevation has no bearing on VO2Max, which is based solely on Heart rate. If walking up higher grades is more effort for you then that will be reflected in an elevated HR and commensurately higher VO2Max. Make sure all your stats are right on MySports (height, weight, age, HR zones, etc..) and be aware it only calculates fitness points and age in running or cycling mode and only if you are in Zone 3 or higher. If you are walking and not keeping your heart rate consistently high you will get no benefit in age as you are not improving your VO2Max.
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