I heard about the Nike + system early in my running streak and set myself a goal that I wouldn't buy one until I hit day 100. Then at day 100 I decided that I was doing OK and didn't need it. It took a trip to England, where I wasn't sure I'd find a treadmill or be able to map things to get me motivated. So one day I went to Sports Authority and bought some new Nike Pegasus 25 running shoes, which I needed, and a Nike+ system. Then I hit Best Buy for a new iPod Nano to go with them. I'm writing about it, experimenting, and so it was a good business expense for me.
The system consists of a small sensor that fits in your shoe. There's a space underneath the liner in some Nike shoes, but there's also a $5 or $9 pouch you can attach to the laces of any other shoe. I figured I needed new shoes, so I'd get some Nikes.
From there you have two choices. There's a wristband and USB sensor that receives information, or you can use a Nano or iPod Touch, 2nd Generation. My iTouch is the first generation, so I grabbed a new Nano. It's small and there's a small sensor that plugs into the docking port on the bottom. I was slightly worried about it coming out, but it's proven secure.
Once you plug that in, you see a Nike+ option on your menu in which you can choose workouts and music to go with them. You do need playlists, as you can't just pick songs, so I learned the hard way one time that I needed a playlist to do a workout.
As you run, the pace, time, speed, and calories are recorded and then when you sync you iPod with iTunes, it automatically sends information to NikePlus so you can track your progress. It gets loaded up there and I usually grab the code to put that workout onto this blog. However it's also on the Nike+ site.
Do I like it?
I do. It's handy, and in places where there isn't a treadmil, or worse, the treadmill doesn't register well, it allows me to track progress. Not that I'm concerned about how far or fast I go (other than meeting the mile), I do like knowing. It's motivating, and fun.
The downsides? It's a little expensive, not the sensor ($29), and Nike+ is free as a site, but the iPod if you don't have one is $150 or more. I don't know how closely it registers. I calibrated the sensor, but it seemed a little fast to me based on my treadmill. It matched up pretty well, slightly behind the newer LifeFitness treadmill in the UK.
Overall I'm pleased and I'd recommend it to anyone that wants to track runs and likes the technology. It works well and simply, and I don't have to mess around to get my data recorded.