TechnoFitness Fun: Nike+, A Great Running Partner
By Meredith Rosson, Director of Youth Programs, Cooper Fitness Center
Growing up, I was always active. It started with playing in the backyard with my sister and then I was introduced to sports. By high school, I never had an “off-season.” I played three school sports and club soccer, was in gymnastics, and ran on the city track team. My schedule eventually forced me to have to choose between soccer and gymnastics. I chose soccer. Looking back, the reason was simple—it was a team sport that’s played outdoors. Even in college where I had a beautiful, state-of-the-art workout facility, if it wasn’t raining, I chose to go for a run instead of working out in the gym.
Recently, I found myself making excuses everyday for why I couldn’t work out. I enjoy being active, so why was I avoiding it? One day when I was planning the summer camp programs for our fitness center, the answer hit me like a bolt of lightning. I’m making excuses because the gym isn’t where I enjoy working out. I need to be outdoors and I need a workout partner. So I bought some new running shoes and found a really cool running “buddy” that’s available to workout whenever I am, morning or night—the Nike+.
Nike+ sensor ($19) is similar to a running chip used at organized races, but in addition to recording your run time the Nike+ sensor also tracks your distance, pace time, and calories burned. And it can fit into the soles of any Nike+ ready pair of shoes or you can buy a pouch – mine cost $9 – that can be laced to any pair of running shoes.
During your run, you can track your stats through a wrist band that communicates wirelessly with the sensor. Or if you have an iPod nano, iPod Touch, or iPhone, there’s a Nike+ iPod application that tracks your stats (the iPod nano and older versions of iPod Touch require purchasing a Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, $29). The iPod application allows you to select the type of workout goal you have – a time, distance, or calories-burned goal – and have a “coach” in your ear—literally—on every run. While listening to your favorite tunes, periodically a voice lets you know your progress and when you’ve reached your goal. At the end of each run, all of this data is stored, so your iPod device is now your running log.
For me, the best part of Nike+ is the website. I created my own Nike+ account (for free) and uploaded all of my workouts to track my progress. Currently, I am also using some of the Nike+ training programs to help me reach my goal of completing a half marathon this year. And on the site there’s a huge online community of runners. I’ve created and joined challenges with friends and made new friends from across the globe. Next on my list is to try one of the sport-specific training sessions and set up a program to work on my speed.
So whatever your reason was to end the relationship between you and your running shoes, the Nike+, and all of the motivators that come with it, is a great tool to help rekindle that old flame.
For more information about Cooper Fitness Center visit our website.