Friday, January 18, 2008

My new Nike+

My new Nike+ is cool. I’m a gadget geek I’ll admit it I am a self confessed gadget geek. I think it comes with gender I’m not sure. I’d being willing to bet that the lion’s share of geeks out there are men. I use to run with a Forerunner which is a GPS watch. It looked kind of like a hockey puck on my wrist but it worked sort of.

I think I’m one of those runners who has to measure every workout. Not to say I stare incessantly at my watch to get split times but at the end I like to see how far and how long it took. I usually start some sort of measuring device at the beginning and don’t look at it until I’m at the end. Whether it’s the stopwatch on my wristwatch or the Garmin Forerunner I simply had to know. It was a basis for comparison. I would record it either in a journal or calendar or spreadsheet and compare the time with previous times.
Some days I would benchmark thinking that run felt awful I would record my time and sure enough it was an awful time. I wasn’t addicted to the gizmos . . . well okay I still am but I didn’t need them. There were and still are some days where I would just go out and run.

The Forerunner was great. It served my purpose fulfilled my need for knowledge but there were several annoying things about the Forerunner that made me leave it for a Nike+:

1) The Forerunner 101 is one of the first GPS device Garmin put out for sport use. As such the receiver was old and took a long time to find a signal from the satellite network up in the heavens. This was extremely annoying when its freezing, windy, and raining and you are out on your driveway at 5 am waiting for your signal strength to be adequate.
2) It’s probably better for the 205 and the 305 but I kept getting the message signal strength is weak. I always thought that although the signal was weak that somehow it would continue to measure and extrapolate the distance. I mean come on it’s not rocket science. I am going 7.4 mph which is 39072 ft/hr or 10.85 ft/s. If I lose signal for 30 seconds I should travel a distance of 325.5 ft or 0.06 miles. But guaranteed I would get a weak signal on at least 80% of the runs. And my mileage would vary. I do the same route every weekday morning on my Nike+ the distance varies by no more than 0.01 miles. The same route on my Garmin has varied by 0.4 miles. The route is only 4.3 miles so that is roughly ± 5%.
3) I could never download from my 101 although 201 and above is capable of this information. These models are also capable of plotting your route which never really interested me. I don’t need to know where I’ve been. I know where I’ve been.
4) The Forerunner 101 was a bargain at <$100. The models above that cost significantly more. I believe the 205 is around $200 and the 305 is close to $250. The Nike+ retails for $40. An iPod Nano retails for $150.

That being said the Nike+ does not plot maps, nor does it do elevation, there is no functionality for heart rate.

I also like the Nike+ website where I download all my info too. I like the challenges and have already signed up for several.

If you have an iPod already I highly recommend getting a Nike+. It’ll be so much fun.


  1. Welcome to world of Nike+, I have had mine for over a year, in fact I am on #2 my first died after 1111 miles! Look out for me in the forums (SLB+) and I fire you off some invites to some of the challenges I put together.

    You should also look out for jen4bis and Monkey_Monk, both are ultrarunners

    Warning; it can be addictive and may deviate you from whatever training plan you're following.

  2. I will never go for a run outside without my Garmin. Like you, I have to track every mile I run. I would love to have a Nike+, but I stopped running with music about a year or so ago.

  3. Thanks. You're blog is great also. I appreciate the perspectives of fellow running fathers whose children and parent role is present in their writing.