One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

JOURNAL

My Running Partner – The iPod/Nike+

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Tammy recently sent me this message on Facebook

Hi Roni! A couple things I wanted to ask you —

You have an iPod right? how are you able to have the screen that says how many miles you did, your pace, etc.? is it something you have to load? what a great way to track progress.

-Tammy

She’s not alone, my inbox is full of questions about the little running charts I post with the iPod. So I think it’s time to lay it all out there.

WAY back when (holy crap it’s been almost a year) I wrote a review about little device called Nike+ iPod Sport Kit. At that time I was only running for a few weeks and recently finished my first 5K. I immediately LOVED the device.

Why?

  1. First of all I’m a music whore. I’m one of those people who stayed up for hours and hours when I got my first iPod to “rip” all of my CDs. I love my iPod and I won’t run without it anyway. So being able to track with it is a bonus!
  2. Second, I’m a stat whore. *cough* have you seen my weight progress page? I swear it was on of the reasons I didn’t miss a meeting while losing. I really didn’t want a whole in my chart! (By the way.. I just noticed I haven’t weighed in since JAN! wow time flies–I must go to meeting.)
  3. Third, I like to be “in the know” when I’m running I need to know how far I’ve gone, how much I have left, and so on. Sometimes I don’t have to know but I like knowing that I can know if I really want to know. Know what I mean? :) I really don’t understand how people run WITHOUT some device that let’s them know. Maybe it’s because I don’t pre-plan my routes much. I learned to run with the Nike+ so I guess you can say I’m spoiled. I hit a button and a little voice says “You’ve ran 1.7 miles.” or “.6 miles to go.” or my FAVORITE “You’ve just reached your goal of 8 miles.” :)

OK, so that’s the WHY… Here’s the HOW… All my iPod paraphernalia…

Apple iPod nano
This is my iPod. Notice the color. :) I bought it after the iPod fiasco that happened in the fall.
Griffin Arm Band
This is the first arm band I’ve liked. It’s comfy. It doesn’t fall down or loosen. There’s a swivel head so I can turn the face of the iPod to see while I’m running. And it totally beats putting the iPod in my bra strap which is what I used to do. :~P
The Nike+ iPod Sports Kit
This is the what puts the running brains into the iPod. It’s can’t be easier to use. You plug it into the iPod put the tracker in your shoe and start running. I mean seriously. I was shocked at it’s simplicity. You can set the distance or times of your runs. It gives audio feedback. Tracks your history, etc. When you sync your iPod after a run iTunes (free) will ask if you want to send the data to the Nike+ website. You say yes and *tada* magically there’s a chart of your run. Just like this…

samplr run chart

Create an account there, join challenges, set goals, create training programs. Really the site has everything you need as a runner. It’s not only it’s easy. It’s FUN! Check out the graph of my runs for the last few months. Talk about visual motivation! Click here to se how I get the images of my running charts for my blog.

running summary

Shoe Pouch
Finally, the only other piece of equipment I have is the shoe pouch to hold the Nike+. Many people believe you have to buy Nike shoes to use the device. It’s simply not true. I have never bought or owned a pair of Nike running shoes and I’ve been using the Nike+ for almost a year. For 6 bucks you can turn any pair of running shoes into a Nike+ compatible shoe.

That’s it! Those 4 things make up the best running partner for me. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d find it as much fun without the Nike+.

And for all the walkers out there.. YES you can use it too. It will track walking. :)

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.




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Discussion

There are 59 comments so far.

    Mr. Jim

    March 17, 2009

    Great post, Roni. Thanks for sharing all this.

    Tammy

    March 17, 2009

    Roni, I’m so glad you posted this! Thank you SO much!!

    Holly

    March 17, 2009

    Can you talk about how you made yours so it adjusted to your stride? The problem I’ve had is that I don’t always run with the same stride and the mileage always gets off (I usually always do a trace of my route on google to track my mileage). But that might just be my problem :) Either way, how did you set yours up?

    Thanks!!
    -Holly

    Tanya

    March 17, 2009

    I’ve used this in the past and loved it. Can’t find it now though with 2 moves in the last few months. Here are 3 places people can log their miles online (and get graphs) if they don’t have the Nike+.

    Elaine

    March 17, 2009

    Great post, Roni!! Good job spreading the word about the best running device ever!!! My favorite is “100 meters to go!” I’m conditioning myself to sprint my heart out during that time so that I look amazing in the photos that take at the end of the half-marathon. lol.

    Elaine

    March 17, 2009

    For Holly-
    When you get the Nike+, you should calibrate. You can use it without calibration, but it’s best to calibrate. I used mine for about 2 months before calibrating and when I did, it only changed things about 5%. To calibrate, you find a 400m space (like a high school track) and run it. As for stride changing, the Nike+ has an accelerometer in it, which means that it tracks the distance that your foot moves it through, not necessarily if you have long or short strides. Unless you are walking, changing your stride up during running doesn’t matter. Also, you can take walk breaks without it messing up your data. If you want to walk exclusively, you can calibrate it as such.

    I hope that makes sense! I hope I didn’t further confuse you! All in all, the device is super easy to use, relatively cheap, and a little miracle. I highly recommend it!

    KUrunner

    March 17, 2009

    LOL at Elaine’s post! I do that too!

    I LOVE my Nike+. I would never run as far as I do without it. Plus, it’s really nice to have that “proof” that I did in fact run 10 miles. There’s only 2 things I don’t like about it, the first being that I don’t have a way to calibrate it since I don’t have a track or any “official” distance markers. I would do it on the treadmill but all the Nike forums advise against it for various reasons. The second is that I would like to be able to see my pace at any given point and not just where I click my button or hit a mile.

    Do you just screenshot your runs of off Nike+? I do the Share -> Copy Code thing and my runs never look like they do on the site.

    Nancy

    March 17, 2009

    I’m so glad you posted this! I have always wondered where you get those nifty charts of what you ran. Here’s my question:
    -I walk. could I use this to track my walking? Would I even want if for walking? I think this would work for me only because I like to take walks in all different directions and I never have a good accounting of how far I walked. I know a pedometer could do this, but it wouldn’t give me the nifty chart! What do you think?

    Pubsgal

    March 17, 2009

    Wish it worked with the iphone. :-(

    Michelle in CA

    March 17, 2009

    I am so bummed it only works with a Nano. Of course I have a shuffle and a a iPod. :-(

    roni

    March 17, 2009

    Holly – Unlike Elaine I did not adjust mine. I figured if it’s off it’s off and it will always be off. Just like my weight I’m not trying to focus on the exact number.. rather the upward progression. I want to know I’m running longer, faster and that will still be measured even if it’s off 5% . Again.. only my opinion. I know most *serious* runners would totally disagree with me.

    I do agree with Elaine on the 100 meters.. I’ve been running my heart out at that time too! :)

    roni

    March 17, 2009

    KUrunner.. I do take a screen shot.. works like a charm! :)

    roni

    March 17, 2009

    Nancy – Yup! It will track walking! :)

    Maria

    March 17, 2009

    A couple questions- my husband and I only have one Nano and we both like to run, is there anyway we could both use this program (obviously not at the same time)? Would it work if we bought 2 of the sport kits so we can calibrate them to our individual strides? Or would we need to buy another Nano? Thanks!

    Debra Graybeal

    March 18, 2009

    Thanks Roni! I’ve been wondering about how you tracked your runs. I’m definitely not to running yet, but I’m making progress on my walking. I’ve also recently started a blog and am trying to get more traffic. Also trying to lose weight and I enjoy cooking! So your blogs are great for me!

    Take care,
    Debra Graybeal
    Alabama

    Cynthia

    March 18, 2009

    Pubsgal–it does work with an iPhone and the iPod Touch. The device is built in, so you only need to buy the sensor–not the whole kit. :-)

    roni

    March 18, 2009

    Sorry…. should have added this to the links.. It DOES work with more then then Nano….

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MA365LL/C?mco=MTIxODk3Mw

    Robin

    March 18, 2009

    Oh my goodness, I WANT one! However, I own a iPhone 3G, and an iPod Shuffle (the new, small one). Am I out of luck?? I’ve run with both. The iPhone is good because if I get lost/hurt, I have my phone on me. I’ve actually used it recently to a) see where I was and b) when I realized I was lost, and gone the wrong way, called for a ride home to avoid making my run twice as long as it was suppose to be.

    Valerie

    March 18, 2009

    Hi Roni,

    Like you, I once really enjoyed listening to music while I ran…..but….have you ever tried running without your ipod? Not so much for your training runs, but on a race course that had entertainment? It’s something you may want to consider for the half or full marathon! I ended up having to run a half marathon without music once (because I forgot it) and I haven’t run a half or a whole WITH music since! It really is a whole different experience when you’re not drowning it out with music….to hear the other runners and what they’re talking about, to hear the spectators, to hear the entertainment on the course….everything from DJ’s to marching bands! It really is great! Also, I like to track everything just like you do, I have a Garmin GPS that does everything! It even has a virtual training partner you can race against! Anyway, these are only suggestions, every runner has their own preferences!

    Bonnie

    March 18, 2009

    I’d love one of these for walking (I don’t run), because I love stats too….but unfortunately, when I bought my iPod a little over a year ago, I bought an iPod Classic, and it won’t work with the Nike+…dang it. I did buy a heart rate monitor, just so I could get some stats (tehehehe)….but that started becoming a pain in the butt because I have to wear this band around my chest, under my bra, and I was always forgetting to put it on. So I’ve gradually quit using it. Perhaps I would do the same thing with the Nike+, so maybe it’s best it doesn’t work with my Classic. :) But I DO love your little graphs….they look so FUN!

    Holly

    March 18, 2009

    Thanks Elaine and Roni! I really appreciate your replies and will definitely have to try to calibrate mine.

    Karen

    March 18, 2009

    Can I just say that between your crazy 8 miles the other day and this little product review, you’ve TOTALLY inspired me to start the C25K. AND I have a gift card from Best Buy that’s been burning a hole in my pocket. I am going shopping today.
    Thanks, as always, for an awesome blog.

    Misty

    March 18, 2009

    I am totally jealous of the Nike+. I have a Zune. Not an iPod. Do you know of anything that works with the Microsoft Zune? I guess I will just have to stay inside on my treadmill!

    Lauren

    March 18, 2009

    THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT!!!!!!!!! That is so cool! I can’t believe you’ve only been running for a year, you make it look so natural and doable! I’ve just started back on WW, so I’m hoping to get my butt back in gear and get this body moving again too! ;) xo

    Two Ton Tilly

    March 18, 2009

    Hey I use that Nike running thingy too and I love it. Although it hasn’t seen the light of day in a while. I’m bringing it back this afternoon, right along with my sexy! I love your blog, particularly your stats b/c I’m a little crazy and I like to compare myself to other people. So, I appreciate knowing what 210 looks like or what 143 looks like. I have such a skewed perception of how I look and seeing others helps me put it in perspective. Maybe I don’t look like Baloo from the Jungle Book after all? Anyway, thanks for writing. You’re awesome:)

    Amanda

    March 18, 2009

    love, love, LOVE my Nike+ and iPod! Its the best running partner, ever!

    kristisummer

    March 18, 2009

    I lost my charger to my i-pod and now I am lost running without it. Guess I have to breakdown and purchase another. Thanks for the reminder.

    Kris

    March 18, 2009

    Thank you SOOOO much for telling about the shoe pouch–I’ve been wanting to buy one of the kits for a few months, but the websites all indicated that it was Nike shoes or nothing. So I figured I’d have to wait until I was ready to buy a new pair of shoes and then *sigh* go with a pair of Nikes. Thank you thank you thank you!

    deb

    March 18, 2009

    Nike + also makes a Nike + sportband) http://www.gearwest.com/nike-sportband-pr-8903186.html ) that runs independent of an i-pod. It doesn’t “talk” to you, but it keeps all of the same stats about time, pace and distance. I don’t use headphones outside so this is perfect for me. All you need is the wristband and the the pod for your shoe. I don’t wear nikes so I use the $6 shoe pouch. Also, I haven’t calibrated mine either and it comes very close to matching both my treadmill and premeasured road runs. It didn’t take long to become addicted to this thing! Hope this helps!

    Jennifer

    March 18, 2009

    I always thought you had to have the Nike shoes! Thanks for clearing that up!

    Herbalife Australia

    March 19, 2009

    excellent thanks for the tip will get onto the site and download it now for my next ipod run. you post so many great tips thanks again

    Emily

    March 19, 2009

    Has anyone tried the Nike + system with the standard iPod? I have an 80gig Classic (recent generation) iPod that i don’t want to give up =( It’s holds an insane amount of music!

    anyways – i went into Apple and asked the lady if it would work with mine. She said yes, since I had the same docking port as the touch and nano. Then online everything says NO. huh?? Is it a marketing thing to get you to buy the newer products? Or do I really need to shell out more money to have TWO iPods. . . .

    thanks everyone!

    Aime

    March 19, 2009

    Great topic. Roni, what kind of headphones do you use? Can anyone recommend headphones that are comfortable and stay put during a run? I don’t like the ear buds because they always fall out and I find them uncomfortable. Thanks.

    roni

    March 19, 2009

    Valeria – I’ve been thinking about it! I ran a few times “silent” and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I even find myself tunning out the music now and then! :)

    roni

    March 19, 2009

    Emily – This is all I can find on compatible devices…

    iPod nano 1st generation
    nano 2nd generation (aluminum)
    nano 3rd generation (video)
    nano 4th generation (video)
    iPod touch 2nd generation

    :(

    Ami

    March 19, 2009

    I’m such a tightwad that it’s made me so low-tech! But now I’m thinking I would love a Nike+, so I need an ipod. But…if I have all the music on CD’s, do I have to buy the same songs in MP3 format? I know with this question I’m showing that I’m embarrassingly out if it!

    roni

    March 19, 2009

    Ami – Everyone starts somewhere! You can “rip” your cd’s into iTunes and then sync with the iPod. It’s a very easy process albeit time consuming if you have a lot of cd’s like I did. :)

    Nichole

    March 20, 2009

    How did I ever run or walk without this device? It is amazing! I purchased it because we were headed to Hawaii and I vowed not to gain any weight. I new that I needed something to tell me how far I was running, and it was amazing! We excersised more on vacation than I do at home, we hardly moved the car. I was really anxious to run on the beach, but the husband and kids were always trailing behind me in a not so friendly stroller to jog with. So we power walked and it was great and really shook up my metabolism. I was a pound lighter when I returned, and I still enjoyed a Pina Colada everyday lol!

    Beverly

    March 20, 2009

    Do you have to carry the Nano with you on the run/walk? Or can you leave it at home and still let it track your distance? Just curious as I walk with my husband and so I don’t need the benefit of music – but would still like to know how far we’ve walked.

    roni

    March 20, 2009

    Yup.. the nano comes with. I run with others and just take of the headphones.

    Becky

    March 28, 2009

    Ok, work and home have both been extremely busy, so I’m just catching up via Google Reader… I was kind of sold on the Nike+ before, but after reading this and looking at your previous review, I’m totally SOLD! Oh, and I totally feel you re: music whore – I was totally chained to my computer until I had everything ripped into iTunes when I first got it. =)

    annalisa

    April 27, 2009

    Oh no! I think you’ve planted a seed in me. I WANT ONE!!!

    Maybe when I reach my goal. Yep. That’s it.

    WannaBeSkinny

    April 29, 2009

    I’m late on my post here, but I love mine too. I do wish it would do step counting too that would be fun too. I really love it and I love to press teh button and see how far I’ve gone. I have never done anything other than the basic workout (not timed or by distance) since I’m doing the C25K, but I’ll get there. When I run my first mile (first mile since my 20s!).

    Sheryl

    May 17, 2009

    I like the built-in trainer application at nikeplus.com. I started out walking and have gradually extended my distances, slowly implementing running. The trainer is great for setting goals which are then tracked with the nike+ sensor and uploaded to the nike site automatically when you sync your ipod. I’ve found it to be extremely motivating! I’m also using fitday.com to track my overall caloric intake and calories burned per day. It requires minimal work to watch what I’m eating but I’m learning a lot about healthier eating habits along the way and really enjoying the workouts as I track my progression in both weight and inches lost!

    kathleen

    June 1, 2009

    hope it’s okay, i forwarded this review to another great site! – and it was posted today!
    http://www.motherhooduncensored.net/shred/

    Lisa

    January 3, 2010

    Hi, Roni!
    I just bought the Nike+ipod sports kit. I love to run and thought this would be great for recording my runs and getting motivated. I don’t have an ipod and wanted to use my daughters until I am ready to purchase one of my own. Will I be able to switch over to another ipod and not lose my data?

    roni

    January 4, 2010

    Lisa – That is a good question. When you sync it sends the data to the Nike+ website. SO you may lose the history in the iPod itself (you may not as it could be stored in the device itself, I’m not sure) but you are sure to have your historic data on the site.

    Hope that makes sense!

    Shannon

    January 5, 2010

    I see where you take a screen shot to show us your runs…can you tell me how to take a screen shot? I just started the couch to 5k last night and I am soooo excited to show everyone on FB my 1st run. Can you tell me how to do that? I read your blog EVERY day!! Love it!! In FACT you are the reason I have started running!!

    roni

    January 5, 2010

    Shannon – THAT IS AWESOME!! Here are some links to help you take screen shots…

    http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Screenshot-in-Microsoft-Windows
    http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Screenshot-in-Mac-OS-X

    Hope that helps! Shoot me the link when you post. :)

    Shannon

    January 5, 2010

    Roni – you ROCK!!!! thank you!! Now how do i post it on facebook? lol you are already one of my friend on facebook.

    roni

    January 5, 2010

    Do you have a png or jpg now? You should be able to upload just as a photo. Have you does that?

    Shannon

    January 5, 2010

    I dont know how to make it a jpg. And I was wrong, I didnt have y ou added on my facebook, thought I did, so I just added you.

    Shannon

    January 5, 2010

    Roni – I sent it to you by email. lol the only way I could figure it out!! I sent it to your skinny minny media email! Thanks again!!

    RunningLarge

    January 14, 2010

    How do I get your little widget for my blog?

    roni

    January 14, 2010

    Not sure what widget you are talking about. All those images come from the Nike+ website.

    RunningLarge

    January 14, 2010

    Sorry Roni,

    On the right hand side (in the off white column) there’s a block with your Nike+ profile and a little clickable piece with your most recent run. Is that something you can set up easily? Is it from Nike+?

    roni

    January 14, 2010

    Ohhhh Yup.. got that on the Nike+ site. If you are a member there should be a widget link.

    Jacque

    January 14, 2010

    Hi Roni,
    I too am wondering about your nike+ widget. I am a member of the Nike+ site and I love tracking my runs but can’t figure out how to get a widget like yours. If you know where I should go on the site to get the widget I would love the info. Thanks.

    roni

    January 14, 2010

    You know guys.. I can’t find it now! They changed the site so much. If I come across it again I’ll post about it.

    Sorry!