Product Review – Nike Plus

I was very anxious to use this in conjunction with my New Years Resolution Goals. I had run with it once or twice back in the summer but I was unable to keep with it once I got busy into the fall. I had been wanting to do a little more running this year. It had been about 8 years since I had done any real distance running of any kind. Now I have gone about 30 miles with it and I feel confident I can give it a fair review at this point.

 First Lets go over the quality of the product. I usually have no problems with anything I get from Nike. I had the opportunity to work with them for a short time early in my training career and i was impressed with how detail oriented they were in every department. I figured this would be a well though out piece of equipment that would work quite well. I was correct on this assumption for the most part. 

The basic premise behind the product is that it allows you to track all of your running or walking workouts. Joining the insanely popular Ipod was just one of a million smart ideas Nike has done. You have a little sensor that you plug into the bottom of your Ipod Nano and then there is a sensor that goes in a little spot underneath the cushion of your shoe in the arch. I have never once felt it, and you will never know it is there so that is nice. One Downside is that you do have to wear one of the Nike Plus brand shoes. There are a pretty wide selection available so it should not be too hard. However I did try just attaching it to another pair of running shoes and it seemed to work just fine. So if you have a favorite pair of Adidas or Saucony or Asics, rest assured with a little bit of ingenuity you can make your Nike Plus work with other shoes. 

At First I really enjoyed using the product and was excited for my running workouts just so I could try it out. Now that I have used it a dozen times or so I have a few frustrations. Actually it is only one complaint but it is a bit of a big one in my opinion. The accuracy of the sensor leaves something to be desired. It has a calibration that you can use to help it understand your stride. I have done it 3 times and still it is off by as much as a few tenths of a mile. This can be a bit of a problem since you may have wanted to run a certain distance on a track. you know when you have done 2 miles simply based on the track but you have to do an additional 1/2 lap before your Nike Plus thinks you have gone 2 miles. I took a measurement wheel to the track just to be sure it was exactly 400m and it was.

I also found it odd that as I started to do set my runs for a certain amount of kilometers (a 5k for example) the mileage and the kilometers was off. I have been coaching long enough to know that a 5k is 3.2 miles. So you can understand my confusion when my mileage total came back a 2.96. 

I realize that this is not an exact science. I can overlook this flaw for the most part but it does get frustrating at times when you are trying to reach new levels of distance and speed only to find out the sensor is reading it wrong.

Overall Quality Score – 1.5/2

Next up is the Efficiency score. Perhaps my favorite part of this product is it provides motivation. For this alone it helps to improve your muscular efficiency because it gets you out there training. I look forward to running so I can input my data and see where I am at. There is also some additional programs you can use to help you with your training. i will discuss these in the extras section. The product will do nothing to anatomically alter your stride or realign your femurs or anything along those lines of making you a better runner. That is not what it is designed for. It is designed to be a fun tool to help motivate and then track your accomplishments. It does a terrific job of this.

Overall Efficiency Score – 2/2

Next up is the Value score. this is very easy. I only Paid $29.00 at the Nike employee store. It is easily worth this. If you like to run and have an Ipod, you would be foolish to not go ahead and get one of these.

Overall Value Score – 2/2

Perhaps the best part of the Nike Plus package are the extras that come with it. By purchasing this you get a free membership to Nikeplus.com. This is one of the best community sites I have seen. There is very simple easy to use pop up menus that allow you to track your runs, make goals, set training schedules, participate in hundreds of various challenges, even create your own challenges for others to try. It really makes it very easy to keep track of your mileage (keep in mind this can be off) and average pace. The Screens Below show some of the screens;

Overall Extras Score – 2/2

The final portion is ease of use. As long as you have some computer savvy and have used an Ipod before this is a pretty fool proof system. If you have any problems you have the backing of Nike which means you will have no problems.

Overall Ease of Use Score – 2/2

Total Score – 9.5/10

I really think you will like this product. Even if you use it and find out it is not what you had hoped, you did not have to break the bank to get one. If you are having trouble finding motivation or are looking for something new, give it a shot.

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