I started using the Nike plus system in march of 2009 when I bought a pair of running shoes to start running, I was prompted to get some Nike ones (Nike Pegasus 25+). As my wife had an iTouch the only thing that was missing was the Nike plus pedometer sensor. So I got one shortly after. Nike plus uses a pedometer which you put in your trainer (in the special compartment in a Nike plus ready trainer, or in a pouch in your laces). This communicates to your iPod/iPhone and makes a good guess at the distance covered per stride. Your can calibrate it of known distances, and if you complete a distance you know, you can calibrate it from that as well.
Post Great North Run 2009 I used mapmyrun.com to get accurate (to within 10 meters) the routes I was doing, and did the same routes consistently. At times I would be completing the 5.18k and need to tell it so, as it had said I had done... 5.26k for example. But after a couple of attempts it could be within 10 or 20 meters. This accuracy was due to the same route being used, and the consistency of my pace. If I ran the same route at say 6:00 m/k it would give a different reading to if I did it in 5:00 m/k. That said, it is a great way for beginners to get motivated, listed to your music, log your run information etc. You send the Nike plus data to their website when you sync your iPod/iPhone to iTunes.
The Nike plus website became updated maybe 6 months ago which is now a lot more colourful and a more competent layout, but the essence is the same. Runs, on dates, showing a wiggly line of your pace going through the known pace points (which is at every milestone either a kilometer or mile depending on what unit you use, and whenever you press the function button to ask it for you time, distance and pace readout). You can set goals based on frequency of run, paces of runs, distance of runs etc. You can use running programs to train for events, which I did try with limited success. Kept on not allocating my run distances to the total... was still in its beta stage so I'm sure its fine now. 1 Year on I am looking at getting something a bit more serious to train with.
Although the Nike plus system is great, especially for the price/function. The use of a GPS watch would remove the need for constant calibration, a HRM would allow for better training at easy - hard effort instead of using a pace as a guide etc. Watch this space for a review over the next couple of months!
Nike+ on iPhone/iTouch
Here is a brief guide to the Nike+ application on the iPhone/iTouch.
To Start with you are given the the option of a type of workout.
Basic doesn't have a goal, good for an easy or recovery run.
Time will set a specific time as your goal, this can be a preset time or a specific time, you choose.
Distance, allows a goal of distance in kilometers or miles (regardless of your prefered unit)
Calorie alowas a calorie base goal.
Finally Calibration allows you to do a calibration walk or run of a set distance. This helps improve the accuracy of the readings.
The My Workouts tabs alows you to create a short cut for workouts. These can be chosen from the preset workouts or a custome distance, time or calorie. You then can choose a playlist or no music to be paried to the workout.
History displays all the runs you have done with this device as well as you "best" kilometer (or Mile) and your total distance logged on this device. Note, this is specific to your device not your nike+ account.
When 'tapping' on a run, you are displayed with a useful summary of the run.
At the top of the History page, if you tap on best distance you are displayed with a summary of your best times for distances. I would like to point out that these are not accurate as PBs are only set with pre-calibrated times. I.E. if you ran 5k, but the nike+ kit thought you did 5.2k it thinks you ran 5k quicker than you actually did. This is frustrating but i just ignore this section. I have fixed routes that i know when the 5k or 10k marker is and note my time after.
To show this my best 5k is 24'24" and 10k is 52'10".
At the top of the history screen if you tap on totals, it will display a summary of your workouts on this device. Number of runs, farthest run, total distance, time and calories.
I will go on to explain the various elements through the site.
If you click on the graph of your latest run the following information is displayed
Below this you can tell nike+ how the run was for you, the weather, and the type of running surface.
This helps you keep a diary of how you run when you are feeling "awesom" in the rain on the road for example.
If you select 'all runs' you are shown a nice graph of your last so many runs
You can go on and catorgorise you runs by week, month and year, showing the totals of data for each.
You can set goals to run against. These can be so many runs at a pace better than X m/k in a so many week period, or so many miles cumulatively in so many weeks, so many runs in so many weeks, or burn so many carlories in so many weeks.