How to track progress with Suunto Movescount


How to track progress with Suunto Movescount

30 november 2016

Any goal-oriented athlete understands improvement means you need to track your progress. How is it done? Usually with field and/or lab tests that generate relevant data. With Suunto Movescount you get power tools to further help you analyze and track your progress.

One key aspect of assessing progress? Being sport specific. A fast runner is not necessarily a fast cyclist. To provide a simple and easy-to-understand measurement for progress for Suunto users, we provide automatic analysis for the most popular endurance sports.

Assessing progress at various intensity levels is also important. For a triathlete, it’s most important to be able to see how the base level (aerobic level) is improving, while a road cyclist aiming to win sprints needs to follow how top-end power output in short bursts is improving.


The challenge with progress analyses is that progress is usually quite slow – especially for elite athletes – so it is really important to be able to evaluate data over long periods of time.

For each endurance sport, Movescount looks for the best value for key metrics from each Move. These values are checked from each new Move that is recorded with any of the Movescount compatible Suunto products. For example: when a runner runs 22 kilometers with a Spartan or an Ambit, the run is automatically analyzed for fastest 1 km, 1 mile, 2 km, 3 km, 2 miles, 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and 21 km sections.

The fastest one km section

In this case the runner has done a 22.5 km run with quite high intensity. We have identified the fastest kilometer from this run. This run has the fastest 1 km section at the start, at 3min 05s.

The fastest 3 km section 

From the same run also the fastest 1mile, 3km, 2miles, 5km, 10km, 15km and half marathon sections have been identified. In this case the fastest 3km was 9min 25s with an average pace of 3:08.

Each section has been analyzed with altitude change and heart rate (if available). All this is done in Movescount automatically for each run.

The athlete whose Move was illustrated above, has 598 running Moves in Movescount between the years of 2010-2015. This means there are over 5000 metrics for Movescount to analyze.


With the best sections from each running Move identified, the progress trend tool provides the view on how the runs have changed over a long period of time.

The fastest 3km sections over time

In this example, the user is looking at 3km times between 2010 and 2016. The best times from each year are drawn as a trend graph, where the values are changing from 13:20 to 11:20. Each dot represents a Move with its best 3km section.

The fastest 3km sections over time with heart rate limits

To provide real understanding of progress, one needs to look at the trends with comparable intensities. So if the heart rate measurement has been used during the run, the values can be filtered based on heart rate range.

The example above shows how this athlete has selected the average heart rate range of 125-131, which is his aerobic zone.

Based on this graph, it is possible to see that the aerobic level in running has improved over 3 km sections from 15:50 to 13:13. This equals an average pace improvement from 5:18/km to 4:24/km.

The conclusion? Over his best 3 k segment, the athlete is 54 seconds faster with the same effort.

The fastest 3km sections over time with heart rate limits

We can do the same analysis for high intensity runs. Let’s take the athlete’s anaerobic heart rate zone of 147–154. In the higher intensity efforts, his progress is also quite evident. We can see that he improved from 14:40 to 11:51 for 3 km, which equals a pace change from 4:53/km to 3:57/km.


Of course, we’re not all just runners – we’re cyclists and swimmers, or often all three. The following metrics are automatically identified and analyzed in Movescount:

Fastest time for 1km, 1mile, 2km, 3km, 2miles, 5km, 10km, 15km, 21km (half marathon), 42km (marathon)

Trail Running
Fastest time for vertical 50m, 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 1km, 1.5km, 2km, 5km Fastest time for: 1km, 1mile, 2km, 3km, 2miles, 5km, 10km, 15km, 21km (halfmarathon), 42km (marathon)

Highest power for 10s, 30s, 1min, 5min, 10min, 20min, 30min, 1h, 2h,3h
Fastest time for 1 km, 10km, 20km, 30km, 40km, 50km, 90km, 100km, 160km, 100km

Fastest time for 1km, 10km, 20km, 30km, 40km, 50km, 90km, 100km, 160km, 100km Fastest time for vertical: 50m, 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 1km, 1.5km, 2km, 5km

Fastest time for sprint distance, Olympic distance, half distance and full distance

Fastest time for 500m, 800m, 1000m, 1500m, 1900m, 2500m, 3000m, 3800m, 5000m

Openwater swimming
Fastest time for 500m, 800m, 1000m, 1500m, 1900m, 2500m, 3000m, 3800m, 5000m

How you use this insight to augment your training is up to you – but one thing we’re sure about: knowledge has always equaled power. Now it’s time to turn knowledge into progress.  


Learn how to analyze a Movescount Move

Learn how to plan your workouts with the Weekly Planner