by John Wilson
My wife gets Runner’s World Magazine in the mail. Strangely enough, just having this magazine around the house inspired me to start running in late December. I ran a 10k in 2007 with my wife without training, which was a very bad idea, and I got very sick from doing it. So this time I’m going to actually train, and hopefully in that training lose a few pounds (40?). My ultimate goal is to run a half-marathon in Las Vegas in December.
Running for the sake of running started as difficult for me. I would just run for time with no real idea of how far or how fast I was running. Sometimes I’d get on the treadmill just to be able to track my progress. Having played 11 years of football, including four in college, I was used to having every aspect of my training measured. Be it a timed 40 yard dash or a measured benchpress, it was pretty easy to see increases. It was much more difficult with running. Enter: Nike+.
A gadget geek at heart (much to my wife’s dismay), I saw an advertisement for it somewhere, and knew I had to have one. Nike+ is a three part gadget: a pedometer like chip that goes into your shoe, your iPod, and a receiver attached to the bottom of it. The chip has an accelerometer that can determine when your feet are up, and when they are on the ground, and can tell you your speed and distance accurately (after calibrating to your running style).
With the device, you can set your race distance or time, and it will talk to you throughout the run about your pace, time and distance remaining. At anytime throughout the run you can push the center button and it will tell you time, distance and speed. What I typically do is set a distance, run away from my house until it tells me I’m halfway done, then I turn around and come back. There’s no way you can do this without a device like this. I tried to pre-map runs like this before I got Nike+, but I could never remember where to go once I got out there.
What I enjoy the most is sitting down after a long run and plugging my iPod into my computer. The iPod automatically uploads my run data, including second-by-second speed readings, to the Nike+ website through iTunes. You can use this data to track your improvements over a long period of time. It’s fun to see how many miles you’ve done over the month, how many calories you’ve burned and how fast (slow) you are. You can also track friends (which is motivating in that you don’t want them to see you loafing), set challenges for yourself (a specific number of runs in a specific amount of time, for instance) and upload your time and distance to your favorite social networking site.
As silly as it sounds, this device has definitely motivated me to run when I certainly didn’t want to. This month’s stats:
- 10 workouts
- 3:32 total running time
- 18.61 miles
- 11’24 mile average
- 3125 calories burned
- fastest 5k: 35:32
Not bad for my first month running, ever.
Check out the Nike+ website for more information or to buy your own.
Photo taken by me. See my Flickr feed here.