Product Type: Apple digital audio accessories
Newest Review: ... part in friendly competitions with others on the site. I am currently trying a program that will train me to run a 5 km marathon withi... more
Nike+: Novelty or motivational tool?
Apple Nike + iPod Sport Kit
Member Name: Laowaichris
Apple Nike + iPod Sport Kit
Advantages: Fun and easy to use; cheap; tracks speed, distance, and time of runs; the 'powersong'.
Disadvantages: May not be quite so suitable for the serious, semi-pro runner ; novelty could wear off for some.
Nike+ is a system of planning, tracking, and measuring runs while listening to your favourite -- or most motivational -- music. To do this you need to buy a few things first:
* An iPod Nano and The Nike+ Sports Kit (which consists of an oval-shaped sensor and a rectangular receiver that connects to the iPod)
Alternatively, if you have an iPhone or iPod touch you only need to buy the sensor -- which is half the price on its own.
Also, to make full use of Nike+ you should sign up to the Nike running website where you have the option to choose training programs, make a calorie/distance/speed goal, or take part in friendly competitions with others on the site. I am currently trying a program that will train me to run a 5 km marathon within 3 months.
So far so good, but Nike still wants you to purchase more of its gear before you can actually hit the concrete: a pair of Nike+ shoes please. The only reason you need a special pair of trainers is because Nike (or someone in a sweatshop in China) have carved out a small oval-shaped hole in the left shoe under the innersole where the sensor sits.
Of course, a quick look on Amazon will show you that if you already have a favourite pair of running shoes there are numerous pouches and holders that will adapt your shoes for the sensor.
Now you've got the gear, got the shoes, and signed up to the site. Ready to go? Not quite. I personally find that the earphones supplied with iPods can fall out quite easily (as tested when running for buses, trains, planes, etc). A good pair of speciality running earphones are probably in order. I went for a pair of Sennheiser PMX 80 Sport headphones. They loop around your ears and behind your head so they don't move at all when running. After my first run today I can tell you they work perfectly, completely solid, no jittering, and crisp clear audio.
Surely there's nothing else to buy? Well, maybe one more thing. You need somewhere to put the iPod as you're bounding around the streets. Placing it in a pocket could be OK, but the iPod is so small it could easily fall out if you don't have a zip. The solution is either to hold it or buy an arm strap.
And that's it -- well, apart from the actual running! I did find the option of a "power song" (where you press the centre button on the iPod and it plays your most motivational song) helped for a short time when I start to lose power, and the inner geek in me finds some motivation in uploading runs, mapping out routes, and keeping track of my progress. Overall I am very impressed with how it works, and once it's all running, how easy it is to use -- and it's cheaper than a gym membership!
Summary: Nike have developed a fun, interesting, and motivational way for people to start excersising.