Polar ProTrainer 5 – Average speed readout

Now that I’m using my Polar RS800cx during my cycling tours, I’m of course am using the Polar ProTrainer 5 software to get nice overviews on the registered data!
It’s a great tool to keep track of your trainings.

But also with this software there are some things that are a bit awkward. One of them it the average speed readout. Let me show you through an example.

Recently I rode from the seashore back to my home, this trip would take up some 150km. So overall a long ride! During this I was using both my Trek speed sensor and my Polar RS800cx. When I got home, I uploaded the Polar data to my pc, to take a look at it in ProTrainer 5.

First thing I mostly do, is taking a look at the overall ride in the graph mode. This mode has all data plotted in a big line graph ( default setting ), like the heart rate, speed, cadence and temperature. It will also give you a good overview of all the totals underneath the graph, like total riding time, max and average speed and others… This overview pointed out that I rode an average speed of 25.3 km/h!
Just take a look at it here:
graph overview

But before you can see the actual graph overview, you first get a smaller window with also some detailed data already available! The weird thing here is that the given average speed here is only 23.7 km/h!
Just take a look at it here:
Small overview

So I was a bit confused on how this was possible! Because what is the actual average speed now? Through some calculations of my own, it seems that the average speed on the small overview is the correct one, because the total registered time is 6hours 30minutes and the total distance is 154.1 km. Using this, you would get the 23.7 km/h for an average speed!
So how would the 25.3 km/h be possible? This got me thinking and thanks to my Trek speed sensor I’m able to interpret this. Because my Trek sensor gave following data:
Total distance: 152.4 km ( ok slightly of but on such a distance, nothing to worry about )
Total time: 6hours 2minutes ( hey that is much less than on my Polar!! )
Average speed: 25 km/h ( look the 25 figure is comming back )

So we can have following conclusion: Polar does keep track of the average speed calculated on the total time, total distance basis, BUT it will also give you the actual riding average speed!! Meaning that the 25.3 km/h is the average speed while the speed sensor was registering data!! All the time I was standing still is omitted! ( like how other speed sensor, like the Trek, work! )
But because I didn’t pause on every occasion that we had to stop during the ride, my Polar has a longer total time registered! Resulting in the lower 23.7 km/h average speed given in the smaller overview.

To summarise, I actually don’t mind that these 2 readouts are available in the software! To be honest, I’m glad it gives this, but I don’t like the fact that there is no indication in the software that this data could be different and also any explanation is missing!!
The other thing that bothers me is that the graph data does indeed give me the average speed for the actual riding time, but doesn’t present my what the actual riding time was!! Very annoying.

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